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Does My Husband Have to Have a Long Range Plan to Lead Our Family?

I used to think that my husband had to lead in a certain way in order for God to lead me through him. His personality should be a lot more like mine, of course, for him to lead “properly.” I believed we needed a long list of things I thought were great ideas – lots of formal meetings, written goals, written/verbal feedback on how we were both doing (kind of like a report card), specific plans way in advance in many areas of life, etc…

Somehow, God put me with a man who thinks in a way that is totally unlike my way.  I used to think that meant Greg wouldn’t lead me or that he couldn’t lead me.

Wow, was I wrong!

God absolutely can lead me through Greg. Even without him having the leadership style I might think I would have if I were in charge. All of those things I wanted could be fine things. They may work for some couples, particularly if those things were part of the husband’s personality and leadership style. But, I think God knew that if I got to have all of those things, I might start putting more of my faith in our written plans and meetings than in Him. God has shown me that I can absolutely be content without big human plans, meetings, tons of feedback, etc…

The Lord has also shown me that as I trust Him to lead me through Greg, He knows how to prompt Greg at just the right time and how to inspire him and move his heart to accomplish His will for me. It isn’t all big and flashy. It took quite awhile for us to get to the place where we are now and I am sure we will both continue to grow in Christ and things will continue to change over time.

Most of the time, the way God leads me through Greg is softly, gently, and quietly:

  • When I have another one of my awesome new big ideas – where I want to radically change a lot of things for our family all at once. Greg quietly researches and prays about things. Then, after a few days/weeks, many times, he brings up important issues I hadn’t considered.
  • He tends to slow me down so I don’t rush into a hasty, and regrettable, decision.
  • He shares what he believes is best about various ideas and now I know that he has a lot of valuable wisdom that will benefit me if I will listen.
  • He gently offers suggestions.
  • He comes up with ideas that he believes God may desire me to do – like write a blog, write a book, teach a class, have a conference, etc… – and he shares them with me without any pressure. Then I pray about things.
  • He gives me counsel about how to handle difficult situations and people in my life – again with no pressure that I have to do things his way, but I know he has my best interests at heart and that I can trust him.
  • He lets me know when he feels I might be about to make a mistake.

God uses Greg to bring a lot of balance and wisdom to my life. I am SO thankful for his leadership now! Even though it is not what I originally thought I wanted and needed. And the truth is, human plans don’t always amount to much. We can’t see what is coming in the future. God has a way of being able to change our well-made plans.

It is not wrong to prayerfully make certain plans as we seek to do God’s will. But it is wise for us all to be very flexible and ready to change whenever God moves in our lives in ways we can’t predict.

FOLLOWING CHRIST IS A LOT LIKE FOLLOWING A TRUSTWORTHY GPS

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

I think it is easy for us to tend to want to know the WHOLE plan way ahead of time. We want God and/or our husbands – or SOMEONE – to reveal everything that will happen to us right now. It is hard to be at peace in uncertainty and in the whole not knowing thing. On our own, we can’t be at peace in times of uncertainty and trials, but in Christ, we absolutely can be!

I don’t have to know about the mountains I may face 2,000 miles from now. I don’t need to know about the detour I will need to take 5,000 miles from now. What I need to know right now is simply, “Lord, what step do I take next today?”

As I trust God to lead me, He will get the information to me when I need to know it. And He will lead me through my husband in His way and His timing to accomplish His purposes. He will orchestrate the events of my life according to His will. He will use all of the difficulties I face to help me grow and to prune and refine me so that I can grow stronger in my faith and so that He can conform me more to the image of Christ.

What does Jesus have to say about knowing the future?

Quite honestly, we couldn’t handle knowing all of the future right now.

It is a blessing in many ways that God doesn’t give us the ability to see that far ahead. For all we know, there could be a nuclear war tomorrow, or our electric grid might collapse, there might be a massive terrorist strike, the economy might finally collapse, or there may be a huge earthquake or some natural disaster. Or Jesus might return later today. Or perhaps nothing terrible might happen and things may continue on as usual. Maybe something incredibly good might happen that alters the course of our lives. We might try to make plans but our plans are pretty worthless because we don’t know the future. Only God knows.

My prayer is that we might trust the One who actually knows what is going to happen and that we might follow Him and humbly yield to His wisdom. Let’s walk by faith each moment. As we do that, and as we desire to be in the center of the Lord’s will, He knows how to direct our steps and how to lead us in His will.

 

RELATED:

How God Led Me Through Greg to Write a Book

Why Won’t My Husband Lead?

Ways Husbands Lead That Wives Often Don’t Notice

My Husband Isn’t Being a Good Enough Spiritual Leader

 

78 thoughts on “Does My Husband Have to Have a Long Range Plan to Lead Our Family?

  1. I really appreciate this post. My husband and I have been married less than 2 years. We had a child out of wedlock and got married when the baby was 2 weeks old. I grew up in church so I was really embarrassed to be pregnant out of wedlock to a man who was not a believer, but I was determined to love my child and be an excellent mother.

    My husband grew up in Cuba where religion is repressed so he didn’t grow up with Christian traditions at all. However, based on the way he was raised, he has a strong sense that the man is the head of the home. I do my best to respect him and submit to him and show him Christian love.

    I’ve been going to church by myself and then with my infant son since he was born. I never put any pressure on my husband to read the Bible or go to church with us. I wanted him to decide on his own. I just kept praying for him using a very useful book called “Praying for your husband from head to toe”.

    Out of the blue, 2 weeks ago, my husband said he wanted to go to church with me! I was shocked! He has attended church with me and our son for the past 2 Sundays and he seems to be enjoying it.

    I’m really praying that God will make a deep impression on his heart and will raise him to be a man of deep faith who God can use to lead me and our son. I want more than anything that my husband and son will grow to love and serve Jesus.

    1. Nikki,

      I am so excited to hear about your husband becoming interested in church all of the sudden. It sounds like you are doing a great job being a godly influence in his life and allowing Christ to pour through you and to speak to his heart. That is awesome!

      I pray that he will come to know Christ as Savior and Lord and that he might be the godly leader and man the Lord calls Him to be for His glory!

      Much love!

      1. Hi again April,
        This blog, your YouTube channel and your book have been very instrumental in teaching me to love and respect my husband in the way the Bible teaches. Thanks a lot. Your ministry is a very powerful tool that Christ is using to transform marriages and families.

        1. Nikki,

          What an incredible answer to many, many prayers. Thank you for the encouragement. I LOVE hearing that God is pouring through my life to bless and reach others for Himself. 🙂

  2. HI April: What wonderful insight you shared about how God pairs us with a man who thinks and leads totally different from us. This post was for me. Since I was quite successful in my previous career for a long time, most of the time, I rely on those same strategies that got me where I am today. This is not how my husband is. He moves slow, quietly, and like Greg is very gentle in his suggestions. I move fast, think quickly on my feet and like answers right away.

    So, until I can become more like Christ and rely on his sufficiency and not my own, I will wrestle with the flesh. But I am changing! Each month, I see new and small improvements. I also know that everyone is a work in progress but we must trust God to use our husbands the way he designed them to be. God will work IN our husbands, FOR our husbands so that our hearts can continue to worship Him and not worry about our own darn strategies. Not that we cannot make our own suggestions, but in the end, we all know that when our men lead, they feel appreciated and “powerful” and we feel “thankful” and humbly grateful. Blessings to you.

    1. Jennifer Thomas,

      It is so easy to assume our husbands are “wrong” if they don’t think and lead just like we would. But what joy there is to discover that God has given us men who are different from us to stretch and grow us and to show us His greatness. I excited to hear what God is doing in your heart and life. What a blessing to see God working in your marriage and changing your thinking and your spirit as you yield to Him.

      Of course we can make valuable suggestions and contributions. We have “influence authority” and we must use that wisely and carefully because we have tremendous power to influence our men for evil or for the Lord.

      May God ultimately be greatly glorified in our marriages. Let our marriages display a living presentation of the relationship between Christ and His church that many, including our children, relatives, coworkers, friends, neighbors and others who know us – may come to Christ’s kingdom!

      Yes, as they become the men God calls them to be and as they lead in His wisdom and power, they are powerful – in a godly way. It is the power of Christ flowing through them. And we can be so thankful to watch in awe as we see God lead us and our families supernaturally through the men we love.

      Much love!

    2. I love your testimony! You hit the nail on the head. The journey to learning to respect and submit to our husbands is truly about the flesh vs. the Holy Spirit. We really are to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14).

      Our sinful fleshy desire is to rule our husbands. The Holy Spirit can teach us to submit to our husbands in the same beautiful way that Christ submitted to the Father. Christ’s submission is what defeated Satan and gave him victory. We can have this same victory when we trust God enough to submit to our husbands.

      Biblical submission is so powerful and beautiful! I’m so glad that God is using April to spread this message and God can use us to bring His peace into our marriages and families.

      1. Nikki,

        Ooh! I love that! You know what? I am not sure I have really thought about making no provision for the flesh in this particular regard. But that is so true! I’m really glad you shared about this.

        Yes, one of our sinful fleshly desires is to control and rule over our husbands. Praise God that He can show us how not to make provision for the flesh in this – and every – area!

        I always love to hear the insights the Lord has given you. You are a blessing to me, my sister! So thankful we can share here freely.

  3. Thanks for this post, April. It’s been incredibly freeing to allow my husband to lead our family, and has brought us so much closer.

    I have a question about allowing our husbands to lead when it involves extended family. My mother re-married when I was young after my dad passed. So, my step dad has been in my life for a long time. The relationship between him and my brother and I has never been good, always strained, often painful. My brother and I have had really stressful visits in the last few years, and it’s taking a toll on us and the whole family.

    My husband sees all of this, and him and I are especially hurt that my step dad (who I have always called “dad”) does not make any efforts to talk to us or ever see or talk to his grandchild. She has no idea who he even is. My mother, on the other hand, is very involved in our lives and is an amazing grandma. She really wants me and my daughter to come for a visit, because she lives a plane ride away and always makes the effort to come see us.

    My husband has told me he does not want me and our daughter to go, because he doesn’t want us around my step dad. I understand and respect his wishes, but it’s breaking my heart to have had to tell my mother that I’m hurt and uncomfortable going to visit. I really don’t want to put my mother before my husband, and I want my husband to know that I respect him protecting us.

    Could I ask for prayer in how to deal gracefully with all of this? I’ve already told my mom that I need to talk to my step dad, and ultimately I want to tell him that because of his lack of effort I don’t feel comfortable bringing our daughter to visit. I know that this is causing so much pain for my mom, and it’s really difficult to do.

    1. SavedbyChrist,

      Extended family issues can get really tricky. And painful. 🙁 I can feel the pain all the way from here.

      How does your husband want to handle the situation? Does he want to talk with your stepdad himself – man to man – and explain things to him?

      I assume that your mom sees that the relationship is not good with your stepdad and yourself, your husband, and baby, right?

      Scripture does not limit a husband’s leadership in handling situations with extended family. Except to say that we are to honor our parents and treat them with respect, even when we are grown. We may need to help our parents when they are sick or unable to care for themselves.

      If your husband wants to handle the issue, I would support his desire to do so – and to talk with your stepdad himself.

      Otherwise, you can respectfully share with your mom that you are not able to go to visit, and that you wish things could be different. If she has questions, you can refer her to your husband.

      But more than anything. Pray. Give this situation to God. Invite Him into every aspect of it. Ask Him for wisdom for yourself and your husband. Ask for His healing for the family.

      I have seen husbands in similar situations try to protect their wives and children in ways much like your husband is trying to protect you and your daughter. And I have seen God use a husband’s strong stand like that to bring verbally abusive family members to repentance. It took over a year, maybe a year and a half, in one situation – that you can read about in my book, if you are interested. But God used the husband’s leadership and unwillingness to go to a family Christmas get together and some other get togethers to help the rest of the extended family see their sin. Eventually, they came in repentance to the husband and wife and there was real reconciliation.

      You can certainly still encourage your mom to come visit you. And you may even be able to, with your husband’s okay, help pay for some of her visits.

      Praying for God’s wisdom and His healing for you all!

      1. Thank you, April. I seem to have already gone ahead of my husband and tried to honour his wishes, but have still not been as strong as he would like me to be andnits causing some hurt feelings on my husbands end. I think it’s a good thing that he can see from an outsiders perspective, and I hope that as our marriage goes on I can learn to be stronger in my respect for him. My mom keeps trying to have me come out there and just have my step dad not around during the time I’m there…this is so hurtful because I don’t feel like it’s healthy for them, and it really negates that pain that I have in my relationship with them. Thank you for the encouragement. My husband is more than happy to pay my moms way here to visit, and loves when she can come. I am so encouraged by your story you shared. God, please take this burden and lead me in Your wisdom. I pray for healing in my family- Amen. Hugs to you, April

        1. SavedbyChrist,

          It’s awesome that your husband is making it clear to your mom that he loves her and wants her involved in your family’s life. I am so thankful that he is happy to pay for her airfare and that he enjoys her visits. What a blessing!

          God can lead in ways we can’t predict or expect. He leads through those in positions of authority in our lives. That is how He generally works. As you trust Him, He can make something beautiful of this situation. Doing things His way will strengthen your faith, strengthen your marriage, and may lead to healing for your stepdad, too. And – it may be a source of ministry and encouragement to countless others in the future as you share your testimony.

          Much love!

    2. Hi Saved,
      Your story just breaks my heart. I was tearing up reading it. I can really see your pain all through your post.

      I truly admire your husband’s position on this issue. You should not visit your step-father. It would be much better for your mom to visit you. Based on Genesis 2:24, you need to put your husband’s wishes above your mother. Your husband must be your top priority. Marriage can’t work any other way.

      Men were designed to PROVIDE and PROTECT their families. Your husband is PROTECTING you from uncomfortable visits and relatives who don’t treat you with love and respect while also PROVIDING a way for your mom to visit and be a part of your family. He’s doing a great job. You should continue to respect his wishes, while still praying for peace and reconciliation.

      You are very blessed to have this man as your husband. Thank him for everything he is doing for you and your daughter. He sounds like an excellent husband and father.

      1. Thank you, Nikki. I really appreciate your comment…I am a person that generally has a difficult time making hard decisions in relationships, because I never like anyone to feel hurt or upset. It has finally occurred to me that my husband is able to really protect me in this way, and I am so thankful for this. I really pray this is he beginning of some healing, because it’s just a terrible situation all around.

        1. Hi Saved,
          Are you a people-pleaser? Do you try to make everyone happy and protect everyone from being hurt? If so, that will lead to emotional devastation on your part.

          It’s very important to be able to set firm boundaries. If your step-father does not treat you with respect, it’s within your right to distance yourself. In fact, it may be necessary to distance yourself to preserve your emotional well-being.

          Jesus is the source of all love and even he did not seek to form close relationships from people who were out to harm him. He would admonish them with words like “You brood of vipers” or “Hypocrites”. He would only form a relationship with his “enemies” after they repented.

          When you learn to set boundaries, you will be much happier and you’ll feel better about yourself. Continue to follow your husband’s guidance in this issue, while ensuring that you are willing to forgive your step-father if he ever repents for his coldness towards you.

          Much love,
          Nikki

  4. My issue with my husband isn’t based on the ways in which he leads (feedback, meetings,etc), it’s his ability to lead that I have concerns about.

    We have been together 5 years and married for 2, however throughout the entire course of us being together, he’s had issues with keeping a job and providing stability. As of right now he has been unemployed for about 2 months. He’s been applying for jobs, but not keeping his promise on working through temp agencies in the meantime until something falls through. We’ll agree that he’ll be starting the next day (this requires him to be there very early in the morning), but when the morning comes he ends up oversleeping (this has happened multiple times).

    We have 4 kids all under the age of 6, we just recently moved into a new place in March and have been behind on bills since we moved in due to his loss of job. We can’t afford to not have two incomes. I’ve tried everything including trying to be understanding, forgiving, and praying for him and for myself so that I have more patience… but I am frustrated because I don’t feel he’s taking it seriously.

    I tried to leave multiple times but I can’t due to the financial situation because my kids and I wouldn’t have anywhere to go. I tried to get him to leave but he refuses. He tries to make me feel guilty for wanting to leave by throwing bible scriptures at me and making me feel as if I’m going against God for wanting to leave when it’s not for cheating.

    Things were starting to look up, we started attending church more, actively seeking Him, trying to read and apply the Word. We had to keep the kids out of daycare because we didn’t have enough to pay, but ended up being blessed to find someone to keep them for a week until could afford it. We built a game plan saying he would work at the temp agency to catch up on bills, but this morning I was disappointed once again.

    I am stuck in between a rock and a hard place because I am fed up but I don’t want to go against God by divorcing him for financial reasons. We’ve had to stay with parents or move from place to move after getting evicted twice. We went almost a year without having a place of our own so now that we do have a place I have zero tolerance for being put back in that situation. I just don’t feel this is the life God has for me

    1. Resentful Wife,

      Ugh. That sounds like a super frustrating and difficult situation. I hate that things have been so painful. 🙁

      You are welcome to send your answers to my Contact page if you would like to answer privately. I’d like to ask a few more questions to be sure I have a solid understanding of what is going on before I attempt to share anything, if that is okay. 🙂

      1. What is your relationship with Christ?

      2. Has your husband ever been diagnosed with any medical issues like ADD, bi-polar, depression, etc…?

      3. Does he have any active addictions right now or major unrepentant sin?

      4. Did he ever live on his own and take responsibility for himself financially?

      5. What does he want to try to do at this point to fix things?

      6. How do you respond when you are feeling so frustrated with him? What do you say and do?

      7. How is your time with the Lord going?

      8. What are you doing with all of that resentment? How are you getting rid of it?

      9. Is there anything God is showing you in your own heart/life that He wants you to work on in the midst of this big trial?

      Much love to you! I am so excited to be able to point you to the wisdom and healing that is available to you in Christ in just a bit.

  5. dear peaceful wife a couple of days ago i found viagra in my husband’s work bag. then today i found he had hidden it i his car.also in the car was a condom. i written you before that we hadnt been intimate in a long time, its now been around 2 years since we have been intimate. so my recent findings make me suspect him of cheating. ive been tired of this marriage for a long while now, he is often so rude to me and now this. this is probably my time to escape since ive never been able to fully trust him. its just unfortunate that we have a 2 year old daughter. please could you give me some tips on how to confront him

    1. d,

      Oh, goodness! I did not mean to overlook your comment. I’m so glad you wrote again. I have been working the past two days. Please forgive me!

      I can certainly understand that your recent findings make you suspect him of cheating. I think you have some legitimate questions that need honest answers.

      How is your walk with Christ going? It is going to be SO critical that you respond in God’s way instead of reacting in the flesh.

      Would it be okay if we do a spiritual check up for you – and then we can talk about how/when to address this issue?

      Much love and a huge hug, my precious sister!

  6. Hi April it’s been a while since I commented but I am still checking in to read when I can. This site and discussions continue to be a blessing to me on my journey with Christ. I wanted to say thanks for this post it has been a great read. I have struggled with this over the last year and it is only as I have learned to let my expectations of leading go, that I am starting to be able to see my husband as a strong leader. There is a lot of wisdom where once I saw it as not measuring up because in my pride and disrespect I refused to See anything else in him.

    We have reached one year since my husband said he was done and it was over. I have never been as content in my marriage and It has never been as strong as what it is now. I no longer live in absolute fear the future and continue on my journey to learn how to keep on trusting in the Lord even when there are struggles. One year after my world came crashing down we are in an entirely different place. The years of struggling and I never could figure out what was wrong on my own. I just needed to have my eyes opened. REALLY opened. GOD IS SO GOOD.

    1. TrulyBlessed,

      What a testimony you have to honor Jesus! WOOHOO! This makes my day!

      Thank you so much for sharing. How I long for us all to have our eyes opened – to ourselves, and to the Lord. Praising Him with you for all of the healing and transforming power He is working in your life!

      Much love,
      April

        1. d,

          I can certainly understand that you have felt sad. Is your husband still living with you? How have your interactions been?

          What kind of spiritual support do you both have?

          Do you have any godly mentors in your lives?

          1. hi April,
            Thanks for the hug i really appreciate your response. i would be happy to do a spiritual checkup. yes we are still living together i havent said anything yet just continuing as usual e.g. still doing laundery and serving meals. But ive been a bit more quiet than usual and sad. I am not working at the moment but im looking for a job. he doesnt come to church with my daughter and i. i hardly talk to my pastor. were friends with a christian couple from church but i dont know if they would later gossip about it. i hope things are going fine with your work

            1. d,

              When there is something potentially this big going on, it would be so easy to just lash out without thinking about consequences or without thinking about long term results. My desire is that you might respond with concern, but also without sin. This way, your husband won’t be distracted by you, and would only have his own issues to face. I hope that makes sense.

              1. How has your time with the Lord been going? What are you praying for – for yourself? What do you most desire with Him?

              2. Do you feel you are spiritually and emotionally prepared if your husband were to share that he is having an affair? What do you want your response to be? Do you have a sense of what God may desire your next step to be in that situation? Would you want to ask him to meet with the pastor with you?

              3. Do you have a sense of how your husband may react when you talk with him about this if you approach him fairly calmly without blowing up? This is a situation where, you may have a right to righteous anger/jealousy. And if he is cheating, you would certainly feel extremely sad because that would be a breach of the marriage covenant. Do you have a plan to guard yourself from reacting in the flesh and in sinful anger?

              4. Has there ever been any physical infidelity on his part before to your knowledge?

              5. What things are you praying for your husband?

              6. What are your greatest fears. Are you able to lay those before the Lord? Do you need help?

              To me, the ideal situation would be a gentle, soft conversation, as you follow God’s promoting when you believe you are spiritually ready and you think it is a good time to speak with your husband. Something like, “Honey, I just wanted to let you know I found X and Y in your car. Is there anything you may need to tell me?”

              If he storms out – don’t follow. If he won’t answer, that’s okay. Give him some time. Let me know. We will pray together. There are many ways he could react. He may deny anything, he may get angry, he may try to turn things on you. I vote to stay calm, gentle, and steady. I vote not to take the bait to change the subject. If he won’t answer or he tries to change the subject, it may be that you could prayerfully say something like, “I’m trusting you to tell me the truth.”

              He may admit sin and be unrepentant.
              He may admit sin and be repentant.
              He may deny he has done anything wrong.

              My prayer is for you to have the Lord’s Spirit and power of discernment. God can and will bring things to light. He can give you what you need for each step. Remember that He is with you. This is quite a spiritual test. Satan would love to use it to destroy you, your husband, and your marriage. God has the power to turn this awful situation into something that, ultimately, is beautiful and brings Him glory.

              Much love to you, my precious sister!!!

  7. Thanks for a great post and blog! This might not be perfectly aligned with the topic, but just feeling this joy and urge to share today:
    Thank you Jesus for Your revelation and understanding that You have given me today!!
    He has revealed some great and wonderful relieving insights to me today – praise His Holy Name and all glory to Him! I would just like to share a bit about this revelation:
    This was not like an instant revelation, but rather a dawning upon me giving me clarity, joy and peace above all. A struggle and search and transformation going for years with an eventual conclusion filling me with joy that I have not felt for many years if ever. Not the jumping and screaming type of joy, but the peaceful, calm, secure, content, thankful type of joy. I cannot quite describe this so words are lacking. Even amidst of my situation or circumstances. Best for me is to just share some of the things that God revealed / imprinted on me (strange thing is that I might have known this to some extent, but never really fully grasped, accepted and embraced it). There is no particular order but actually all at once / combined / integrated in some wonderful way:
    • He is my support, comforter, salvation …. Really everything and I can rest in it, derive power out of it and can be (and is) joyous to the extreme about it, no matter what my situation or circumstance is
    • He was, is and always will be there for me
    • My first and foremost should be to be obedient to Him and to please Him and no one else. The great thing is, this is not even dependent on me as He will work the will and ability in me to be obedient as per His Word. How cool is that! I just need to declare my complete surrender and utmost desire to be obedient.
    • I cannot control / resolve anything – not my marriage, my children’s spiritual growth, my wife’s depression and response (or lack thereof), being the best possible leader for my family, my career, colleague’s responses / salvation. I must surrender all and everything to Him, rest in Him and be content in Him no matter what the outcome may be
    • In some cases marriage might not always be exciting and romantic the way I thought it should be. Even if it is to glorify God and resemble the relationship between Jesus and his church that could also be manifesting through a husband who is serving his wife as Jesus showed us through his unconditional love towards people throughout his earthly life. When God work this unconditional love through me then even this can become exciting and even somewhat romantic.
    • It was quite arrogant of me to thought that I could plead from God for change in my marriage when I had this wrong perception and expectation from marriage. Not to even mention the fact that I am a sinner and in need of grace. My obligation and role is to focus on Him and how to honour and please Him through the love and obedience that He is working in me.
    • Everyone has a unique journey that God has chosen which is ultimately for our good measured against eternal standards. This journey can get very painful, but is for my benefit in some strange way that might not be fully understood (or at all) here on earth. One day all will be wonderful with Him and perhaps (just perhaps) wanting to know and understand wouldn’t even matter anymore. However I know that what we do on earth does have eternal value and impact on our eternal life. A very short time (relatively) that will determine eternal life.
    Some journeys seem to be harder than others and I sure have seen some dreaded situations far exceeding my own. I do not try to simplify this or slight anyone’s situation. For me years of perseverance and courage (only through God’s grace) have brought me to where I am today. Challenges have come and will come / persist and negative thoughts and temptations will hit, However He will always be there with me as He promised me in His word (Amplified Bible):
    Heb 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.
    16Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].
    Heb 2:1 SINCE ALL this is true, we ought to pay much closer attention than ever to the truths that we have heard, lest in any way we drift past [them] and slip away.
    18For because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able [immediately] to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted and tested and tried [and who therefore are being exposed to suffering].
    Ok words and time are falling short to continue further. Blessings for all on this forum who shared and encouraged. It certainly is encouraging me to hear about stories of dedication, obedience and the journey of unconditional love which would apply to both husbands and wives. And sometimes perhaps putting my situation in perspective in comparison. You are an inspiration and I thank you all.
    A special thanks to April and Greg for hosting and guiding this ministry. May you, your family and this ministry be richly blessed and receive His power, grace and wisdom to continue in obedience.

    1. TRANSFORMINGHEART,

      Thank you SO much for sharing the insights the Lord is giving to you! That is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved reading all of these things and had to smile at how many things have been similar that God has shown me, too.

      Would you be interested in allowing me to anonymously share some of these things in a post? I love that we can bless each other on this journey together. It blows my mind that God allows me the honor of being here with all of you and that He allows me to share Him and the treasures of Christ with my sisters and brothers.

      Thank you for the prayers. I appreciate them greatly!

      1. Sure April, you may share. May you and Greg’s ministry be richly blessed for His glorious purposes!

        1. TRANSFORMINGHEART,

          Thank you so much! I am excited to share the treasures God has shown you. And thank you for the prayer of blessing. There is no better gift than the prayers of our brothers and sisters in Christ!

  8. dear April im so grateful you are reaching out to me like this i have really needed someone to talk to about things.
    1. most days i try to use the biblegateway website to see the verse for today then i read it alongside the other verses in that chapter. i also try to read online daily devotionals. i really desire to be able to move on in my heart from not being able to complete medical school. so ive been praying about that and ive been praying to get a job. ive also been praying not to get ill again as ive had a psychotic episode once each year in the last three years, needing to be admitted into hospital each time. The stress that led to those episodes are out of the way now and i am stabilized and on medication.

    2. yes i do feel prepared, i feel calmer about things now compared to when i first found the items. if he shared he was having an affair i want my response to be calm and to simply say that i dont want to continue in our marriage. ive been suspicious of him for a while and i feel God may be ok with me moving on from being married. ive felt as if my husband doesnt want to be married to me either but just wants someone around to be able to take care of our daughter for free when he goes to work as childcare is expensive. i dont feel close to the pastor, ive hardly talked to her before so i wouldn’t want to get her involved.

    3. he may be annoyed that i was snooping on him.my husband tells lies a lot (he has once even told me that he believes ‘white’ lies are ok), i’ve also witnessed him tell lies to other people and his friends so i don’t feel he would ever admit to an affair. also he would probably be scared to tell the truth as he may feel it would cause me to have a mental breakdown again. i feel really strong in myself so it wont happen also its been a while since i found the items and i am mentally fine. i didnt think of having a plan to guard myself but now you have mentioned it i will pray right before i approach him on the issue and will try to be praying in my mind during the conversation.
    4. i havent been praying for my husband a lot but when i do i ask God to help him on his job as he wakes up very early to go to work.
    5. my greatest fears have been that there would be ill health in my family members or that i would get ill again. ive also been fearful of my husband having an affair. yes i think i need help

    thanks for the encouragement my dear sister and amen.i believe the marriage is already dead and want to move on with life. i think that my husband and i could remain as friends
    lots of love

    1. d,

      I’m so thankful you are feeling a lot better. That is a huge blessing! I’m also very glad to hear that you are feeling more calm right now.

      Let’s talk about a few more things, and then I will share some resources that I believe may be a blessing:

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

      2. Are you able to see that your husband is ensnared by the enemy and that he needs healing in Jesus? What do you believe God desires for your husband as a man for whom Christ died?

      3. Do you feel like you may be open to allowing God to use this time of trial to draw you closer to Himself and to help you grow in your faith?

      You are welcome to search my home page for fear. If you want to read those posts and then talk some more about dealing with fear, let’s discuss your thoughts together. 🙂

      1. Dear April,

        i thank God for the calmness and talking things through with you has helped me immensly
        1. what i desire most is to have a stronger friendship with Christ so that i have peace when i face trials. i also want the friendship to reflect in my behavior so that it leads others to Christ too.
        2. now that you mention it i can look past my hurts and see that he is in a dangerous position and needs healing. i believe God wants him to follow him and know having a relationship with him is worthwhile despite what he sees around him. i believe my husband is discouraged by seeing things online about pastors who get caught up in scandals and who seem to be only about making money. he probably looks at my attitude and judges me and this probably puts him off church also.
        3. yes i am open to becoming closer to Him and i will trust Him to increase my faith , i am wondering what good can come out of this but perhaps it will simply be God’s ability to reveal the truth to me.
        i will read the posts on fear, thanks and lots of love April

        1. d,

          I’m so thankful you took some time to get your thinking straight. It was wise to reach out for help before just charging ahead without thinking through things. I’m really proud of you!

          1. That is awesome. What a beautiful desire. I know God will honor anyone who has this as his/her primary longing.

          2. Your husband desperately needs Jesus. Like we all do. God has put you here in his life to be a godly example and to pray for him. His salvation and relationship with Jesus is the most important thing. He is not the real enemy. Satan and sin are the real enemies. May God use all of this to draw you both closer to Himself and to bring healing to you both. He may even heal your marriage. I have seen Him do that very thing many, many times.

          3. Right now, it is probably impossible to see what good could come from something like this. But there are MANY good things God can bring out of situations exactly like this:
          – Spiritual growth and maturity for a wife in such a situation
          – Salvation/regeneration by the power of the Spirit for a wayward husband
          – Healing for the whole family in Christ
          – A strong, godly marriage in the future, possibly
          – A godly example for others in the extended family, the church, and your sphere of influence
          – A ministry one day for others who are facing similar pain
          – God’s glory through His miracles in your lives and in your family.

          Much love to you!

          1. Dear April thanks for encouraging me by pointing out the possible good things that could result from the situation. here are some of my thoughts from reading the fear posts.

            i’m getting reminders that i really need to lean on Christ to meet my deepest needs as even if i had all my desires fulfilled such as having a husband who never hurt me that would n’t satisfy me- only Christ can.

            i realise i need to repent of idolatry of what ive put above Christ in my heart which is causing me to have fears.

            i know i need to get closer to Christ by spending more time in His word, it would also increase my faith in Him. April how do you know where to read i the bible, do i ask the holy spirit or use devotionals? the post where the wife finds scriptural truth to counter her fears was amazing and really spoke to me about God’s love for me

            i need to lay down my past disappointments of not finishing medical school and the pain of being ill in the past. reading through some of the fear posts brought me close to tears, how do i let God heal me of my past wounds?

            my father was unfaithful to my mother and had a child out of wedlock, they are still married but throughout their marriage, and even to this day i suspect my father of cheating. i am scared of following my mother’s example and want to run away from my marriage. satan has had me strongly believe the statement ‘once a cheat always a cheat’. also ive felt so unloved by my husband throughout our marriage, i guess ive been looking to him to make a mistake as an excuse for me to leave.

            before i used to think i had to trust that God would n’t let bad things happen to me if i had enough faith, and that when bad things happen it was because i did n’t have enough faith and was n’t a strong enough christian. but i’m learning through your blog that bad things will happen but i should trust God that he is able to bring good out of the situation

            i’m learning that i need to keep my focus on God and not on my marriage.i need to put lots more effort into seeking God than i have done and stop praying out of worry. i’ve also realised that i’ve been trying to improve my walk in Christ in attempt to get my husband to love me more. i should be seeking God to please Him only.

            1. d,

              You are most welcome. When we are in the midst of a trial, it is very difficult to see the kind of good fruit God may bring in the future. But this is exactly the kind of fruit I have seen in many believers’ lives who have walked through something similar.

              I love what you are seeing and what God is speaking to you. 🙂 These things are SO important!

              You could use a devotional. But what I would recommend is to start in the gospels. Choose one gospel, and then read Acts, Romans, and then the epistles. Then work on the Old Testament. Or, some people prefer to read one chapter from the Old Testament, one Psalm/Proverb chapter, and one chapter from the New Testament each day and they just cycle through starting in the beginning.

              I usually read a book at a time. Right now, I am working through the Old Testament. But I supplement it at times with Psalm or something from the New Testament.

              I’m glad you are seeing where your fears originated in your parents’ example and that you would like an excuse to leave. Those are important realizations. Now you can lay these things before the Lord and invite Him into the situations.

              There are plenty of verses about suffering being part of the Christian life and how God uses it all for our ultimate good. I’m so glad you see that.

              How are you today? Have you talked with your husband yet?

              Much love and the biggest hug to you!

  9. Hi April,
    I don’t think that any follower of Christ should have a long range plan about anything. Numbers 9:15-23 describes how the Israelites would follow the lead of the Lord day by day.

    “Whenever the cloud rose from the tent, the Israelites would break camp; whenever the cloud came to rest, they would pitch tent. At the bidding of the Lord, the Israelites moved on and at his bidding they encamped……Whether the cloud tarried over the Dwelling for two days or for a month or longer, the Israelites remained in camp and did not depart; but when it lifted they moved on. Thus it was always at the bidding of the Lord that they encamped, and at his bidding that they set out, ever heeding the charge of the Lord, as he had bidden them through Moses”.

    This is one of my favourite passages in the Bible because it describes how we are to follow God’s guidance day by day and not make long range plans. We just need to follow his bidding in complete love and trust. I used to have a tendency to set goals and work towards them, but I’ve learned to just follow God’s guidance and trust in HIS long range plan alone.

    1. Nikki,

      I think there can be times when we may need to make tentative plans beyond today. BUT – all of our plans have to be very flexible. With the understanding that we will do things if it is the Lord’s will, and that if He has other plans, we will go with that. I love the picture of how Israel followed the Lord. Sometimes they stayed for a day. Sometimes they stayed in camp for a year or longer. But when God’s glory lifted, they went. And when His glory stopped and settled, they stopped and settled.

      May we follow Him that way even now! 🙂

      1. Hi April,
        I agree with you completely. We need to plan and do what we need to do but still keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and his promptings. We can follow our Lord’s guidance through our husbands the way the Israelites followed God’s guidance through Moses. It’s all about trusting and following God. God’s plans always have to be more important than our plans.

        Much love!
        Nikki

          1. God’s blessings April!

            I’m always blessed reading your post. You are so encouraging… it’s been so wonderful and awesome. You are blessed and I bless God for the wisdom He bestowed upon you to reach out to me – “us”. You know how to exalt Jesus in all circumstances. It’s so lovely to know there are still women hungry and thirsty for righteousness. I’m glad I’m in the right place. I’m a pastors wife. I’ve followed you since February last year and always blessed with all the posts and the godly comments. God bless you all that have been sharing! I really appreciate.

            I’ve learnt to put Jesus ahead of all things. Even in the darkest hour Jesus Christ is Alive. I’m so grateful to be here. You are doing so wonderful through Jesus in my life. I’m praying that one day I will attend your conference. You point us all to Christ. Very Important. My idols are gone and I don’t want them back. I’ve rejected the lie that anyone or anything else can satisfy me. I’m in for Jesus Christ and Him alone. Where I lay down my desires, will, all that I have and all that I fear. I’m seeking Christ far above everything now. You, April, know how to bring out the best in one. Towards Christ alone.

            Your topic sometime ago in BITTERNESS was a bomb God used to transform me. I suddenly found myself so bitter and unforgiving. I was praying about it, seriously! When I found your post on it, I was so hurt! I didn’t know how I got to that. Thank you so very much, I must say!!!!! You have touched my soul greatly in so many ways. I’m free from bitterness and unforgiveness. I want the will of God even if it’s so painful!

            God bless you, Greg, family and ministry. God will continue to uphold you all in His right hand of righteousness in Jesus name Amen. I love you

            1. Visitation,

              I’m so thankful to hear from you and to hear what God is showing you! WOOHOO!!! What joy it is to my heart to hear about God’s miracles and His healing in His children’s lives. 🙂 You made my day!

              Thank you so very much for sharing. What a blessing and honor that God allows me to share His treasures with my sisters. May He be greatly exalted and praised!

              Much love!

  10. Dear April,
    i dont want to miss out on good fruit but i’ve wondered if i could have a peaceful life out of marriage. my husband is 11 years older than me so i’ve felt like he doesnt take me seriously, and i myself have found it a challenge to have the courage to talk to him about things at times. im learning not to take the respect thing too far, i have been a doormat and allowed him to disrespect me. i hate the dynamics of our relationship right now, i’ve felt like i really want to end things as an escape. he has been so dominant in our relationship so ive been afraid that if he has had an affair and i dont give any consequences but simply forgive him then it would be as if he has gotten away with it.
    thanks so much on the advice about where to read in the bible.
    yes i really need to lay everything before the Lord, including the fears i have just mentioned. i have been generally calm and ok, but i’ve been tears writing this because it’s making me to be really honest about the painful situation but im happy to not bottle things up. i havent talked to him about it yet but i think i will tell him on sunday as i think he’ll have a day off then. lots of love

    1. d,

      It is very possible to take respect too far, to idolize our husbands and to try to please them at any cost. That is not healthy. There are two extremes we have to avoid – disrespect/contempt/control and passivity/giving up our personhood/giving up our influence.

      Forgiveness is not the same thing as trust.

      Forgiveness is an unconditional command we have as believers to keep us from becoming contaminated with bitterness – which is very toxic. Trust is conditional. A wayward spouse would have to be willing to repent and rebuild trust before you could work toward rebuilding the marriage.

      Praying for God’s wisdom for you, my precious sister.

      If he tends to be really dominating, try searching “Radiant” on my home page search bar. Her posts may be helpful. Also, “control man.”

      The most critical thing is to stay as filled up with Jesus as possible and to get rid of any sin in your own life that God may show you so that you can have His power, wisdom, and discernment to respond in godly ways no matter what your husband may do.

      Much love to you!

        1. d,

          I pray for you to allow His Spirit to completely fill you, to heal you, to empower you, my precious sister. May His will and His glory be done in your life and in your marriage. May the Lord reach your husband’s heart and bring him to repentance and regeneration in Christ.

  11. Hi April
    There’s been quite a lot happening here lately. I can’t write about it all but I am writing today to pleas ask for prayer as in a couple days time my husband will be in a situation and making a possible decision that I don’t agree with and that is sure to change the course of our family quite drastically. I haven’t updated here for a while but I’m happy to say that I’m quite calm about it considering the possible implications. I’m concentrating on proverbs 16 verse 9 and I’m doing so much better at resting in God and knowing that I’m safe in His hands and that no matter what decision my husband makes, He’ll be with me. It’s so great. That’s not to say I’m not very concerned about what’s going on here. I am. I’m just not freaking out! But please could I ask for prayer for my husband to have a sound mind and to make the right decision here. He has admitted he is feeling selfish and wants to do what he wants without regard for the kids and I.
    Thank you. Bel.

    1. Bel,

      I’m so thankful to hear from you! And that you are growing in Christ. That is awesome!

      Have you respectfully shared your concerns with your husband and that you don’t agree if you have prayed and believe that is what the Lord would desire you to do?

      Of course we will pray with you and for you.

      Lord,
      Thank You for all that You have been doing, all that You are doing, and all that You will do in Bel’s life and in her husband’s life and their children’s lives. We lay this situation before You, in the highest heaven, from which You reign in all sovereignty, majesty, love, truth, power, and glory. We pray for Your Spirit to reach Bel’s husband in a powerful way, to direct his steps. We pray for Your will to prevail and Your wisdom to be made known to this couple, so that what happens might be for Your glory alone. We pray for Your power and Your wisdom for Bel as she seeks to respond in a godly way. We pray for You to contend with her husband to direct him. We thank and praise You that You are sovereign over circumstances in spite of our free will and we pray for You to guard this family against the enemy’s plans. We thank You and praise You for what You are about to do. Please help Bel continue to trust in You completely and to respond in a way that lets her husband hear Your voice and in a way that honors Your position for her as the influential authority in the marriage while her husband leads as the positional authority. Draw her closer to Yourself, increase her faith, let her be the godly wife and mom You call her to be. Let her radiate the love of Christ and be a great blessing to her family and all who know her.

      Amen!

  12. April
    Thank you so much for your lovely prayer. This situation unfortunately will be ongoing for some time. Even if this decision he’s about to make doesn’t pan out there will be more after it. ( i think you know what I’m talking about) He’s unsettled. Unhappy. And looking for happiness and contentment in every place but the right place it seems. I’m trying to keep in mind though that maybe there’s something going on here that I can’t see yet. Maybe God is making plans or changes here. Who knows.
    I have tried to say a few things about my concerns but it turned very bad with some foul language from him about how our family is “messed” up anyway ( to put it very mildly) and so it doesn’t really matter what he does or decides here. Usually I would have lashed out at that but i just ended the conversation and pretty much ignored him as I was so upset and hurt. He later came to me asking me to help him with something he knows I really have no idea about. I wondered if it was kind of an olive branch thing after I hope he realized what he said was despicable. I don’t know though. So now I have a bit of fear at speaking out again. So I’m just praying that God takes over here and directs him.
    Thank you again. That prayer meant a lot.
    Bel.

    1. Bel,

      Your situation is not an easy one right now. That is for sure. I’m glad you didn’t lash out at him. That is also interesting that maybe he was trying to extend an olive branch and show you some respect after doing things maybe he realized were wrong.

      I have total confidence that as you follow God and allow Him to fill you up and direct your steps, He will show you the light you need for each step He has for you and He will do beautiful things in your life, my dear sister.

      So thankful we can pray for each other together on this journey.
      Much love!

  13. My husband mentioned something to me yesterday that took me by surprise. He said, “You always listen to online pastors, peaceful wife, etc. (and I often quote things you’ve said or other pastors have said, to him), but when I try to talk to you about spiritual things, or advise you, you always argue OR stare straight ahead with out responding.”

    This really made me think back… and it’s actually true! I think it has a lot to do with what your talking about in this article… trusting that our husbands CAN and SHOULD lead us, even spiritually. My husband doesn’t talk about the bible everyday, but when he does, he goes very in depth. Sometimes what he is saying can be very dense, and sometimes I’m just not in the mood to listen, as bad as that sounds.

    He told me this is very frustrating—which is hard to hear because my husband RARELY EVER complains about anything concerning me. But the bible is clear: “…if they (wives) will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home” (1 Corinthians 14:35), and also “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Timothy 2:12).

    I think of the latter scripture in terms of me wanting to “teach” my husband about what other pastors say HE or WE should and should not do while he is trying to share HIS vision for our family, or his interpretation of the scriptures to apply to our family. He always has such good wisdom to share, I am SO ashamed that I shut down when he talks. This is just something I wanted to share in case anyone else finds themselves doing this.

    1. Amber M Winston,

      What an important, although painful, realization! I am so thankful you shared this. I know there have been times I have done this, too, with Greg. I remember he hated when I used to read Christian marriage books before God opened my eyes to my sin in 2008. I wanted to submit to all of these authors and teachers and wanted to totally change everything in our marriage suddenly because a book said something. But I didn’t hold his ideas and suggestions in high regard and argued with him or resisted him, insisting I was right and he was wrong.

      Hmm… maybe this would be a good topic for a post.

      Much love!

  14. Hi April, I can imagine how swamped you are but can you please remember me in your prayers? My fiancé has been complacent about being accountable /discipled. He’s currently part of a group now but it’s almost as if he’s not because they hardly come together and meet, and talk.

    I’m struggling because i want to take control and push him to sign up again to be assigned to one.

    Can you please pray for me to surrender this to God but at the same time to pray for my fiancé to feel the need to be discipled? And also whatever reservations he has about being discipled that he will surrender it to God as well?

    Just for your info, We’re both born again Christians and walking with the Lord.

    I greatly appreciate this, and thanks so much!

    1. Hopeful,

      I will pray that the Lord might provide for your fiance. I will also pray for you. 🙂 This will have to be his own decision. And, just because he is not meeting face to face with a particular mentor doesn’t necessarily mean he is not growing in his faith or that he is not being discipled. Does that make sense? Is he seeking the Lord wholeheartedly and growing in his faith? Is he reading and doing studying on his own?

      I assume he is going to church and maybe a Bible class at church?

      Much love to you!
      April

      1. You are right that he doesn’t have to do that to grow. Because i see how he’s seeking the Lord on his own. He reads the bible, he prays, his attitude and responses have greatly changed. but, the bible also teaches fellowship and corporate worship. He watches sunday sermons every sunday, online. So no he doesn’t go to church.. 🙁 and doesnt go to a bible class…

          1. About 3 years. For now, I think it’s out of convenience. I dont think he sees the need to leave the home because he gets to worship at home.

            Would I make thing’s worse if I asked him why? Or will that just push him away more?

            1. Hopeful,

              Is there a Bible teaching church within a reasonable distance of him?

              This is a significant issue. If you ask him about it, I would not use the word, “Why?” That can sound condemning. But you could, in a friendly way, seek to better understand his thinking. “Honey, I’m interested to better understand… would you share your thoughts with me about church?”

              If he is unwilling to go to church at all, that is a red flag. It doesn’t mean you definitely can’t marry him. But it does mean you will need to do a lot of praying and maybe fasting over this issue, seeking the Lord’s wisdom. If you know before marriage that he is not willing to go to church and to fellowship with other believers, that is important. Don’t expect him to change. Is this something you can live with for the rest of your life?

              Much love!

              1. Hopeful,

                You can’t make him go. He will have to want to go on his own. Perhaps he has legitimate reasons why he doesn’t want to go. I don’t know his heart. This will have to be his own choice. If you pressure him, that will only repel him.

  15. Hi hopeful,

    If you can observe most men doesn’t like that their own decision will be initiated by somebody else.
    Give me the chance to share this with you. I was once tried to correct some of my husband failures. The result triggers his rebellion acts. He felt that he has been dishonored by his actions and underestimated his own capabilities. In fact I never meant that he would be offended.
    As I’ve observed your fiancé has his own insights pertaining his own understanding in dealing his Christianity. We can actually worship God anywhere, but there was a so called outlet that God lead us to be, his sanctuary wherein he gathered his people to have a corporate prayer and the place wherein we can celebrate his day especially every Church Service. And God brought us to certain group of people as another outlet to train us how to minister the lost & found souls. If he stays at home & just listening to the sermons, he overlooked one of Gods command in Matthew 28:18-20.
    Ms. Hope I will pray for you that may Gods word touch your fiancé’s heart that he must also be a submissive disciple to glorify Gods kingdom. And to you Ms. Hope I will pray that you will still carry your wide patience, understanding and love for God & for your fiancé. Sometimes our own ways may resulted in a conflict response, may God lead you the right pathways…Ms Hope don’t forget to guide your fiance especially to share with him your daily quite time with God… Communication matters the most and put God the center of your life…That’s one of my failure in my marriage, I was confident in my own ways, now my husband has been left out and the world overcome his pleasures and desires…

    1. Hi DARL1982,

      Thank you for taking the time to shed some insight to my situation. I see what you mean… and yes, I think that’s where most of my frustrations come from is that he’s missing out by being complacent/passive in his relationship with Christ.

      As a fiance and eventually a wife, is prodding and spurring him in his spiritual walk off limits? Is this something I will always have to be quiet about and just pray and surrender to Christ? When is the right time to speak out and tell him that I think he needs to make certain sacrifices?

      I cringe when he’s able to get up early , despite a lack of sleep and sometimes feeling under the weather, to go to the gym or go do his hobbies… It’s always at the tip of my tongue to say, how diligent and self-sacrificing are you to do those things but can’t go to church or be discipled… but of course I dont because I dont want to push him all the more. but what will? Sometimes my mind goes to the place where i think, is this something that he needs to commit to before we get married?

      This is all too confusing for me…

      1. Hi hopeful,

        Thanks much for the reply and trusting me to give you piece of advise… Sometimes they need to be discipline, but since God’s ways is higher than our ways, let it be… If you are with him lay your hands or hold his hands and pray for him that God will reveal more wisdom for him and he may had a submissive heart for Christ, please Ms. Hopeful don’t give up praying for him…Show him how you submit to God…

        1. Your response is very touching, DARL1982… Feeling very overwhelmed can really take me off track and shake my faith. I come from an idealistic christian mindset and when things don’t “look a certain way” it disorients me and panics me. thank you for reminding me that my submission is ultimately to the Lord.

          1. Hi Ms. hopeful!

            Amen for that! and Praise God!

            I know you love your fiancé, in our daily undertakings, there is undying battles in our relationship, never allow the enemy to snatch what is worthy for Christ, since we are in Christ, we are the woman & warrior of Christ that you & God are in one team to defeat the enemies. Your fiancé was not the enemy and the spirit who tries to destruct him you have to fight for it… I know God made u an instrument to lead your fiancé to God.

            Ms. Hope I want you to be stand firm in your fiancé.

            Ill pray for both of you that Gods love will be the center in your lives!

            1. what powerful words! you don’t know how encouraged i am! thank you and I pray that you and your husband come together again. I hope that he goes back to Christ.

              1. Ms. Hopeful!

                Honestly I am still struggling nowadays, I just can’t believe that I can still contribute advises, especially you emphasized it as one of the powerful words….probably it wasn’t me talking here now, might be the holy spirit uses me to participate…

                I am so blest that I found this site wherein this is one of my outlet to relieve my self from pain…Thanks much to Ms. April…

                Have a blessed day ahead Ms. Hopeful, I am looking forward to hear more of you here 😉

      2. Hopeful,

        Your influence at this point is pretty powerful. Not to force him into things. But to respectfully let him know what you need and expect in marriage. You are not in a covenant yet. So you are not bound to him. If he doesn’t want to be involved in church, that is his choice. But then it is your choice whether to stay in the relationship if this is the kind of spiritual leadership he wants to provide.

        You don’t need to tell him to do anything. Lecturing him or preaching at him won’t work.

        Sometimes, all you have to do is slowly back away a bit and create some space. Go to church yourself. Get more involved with believers. If he wants you in his life, he will be able to see that this is important to you. It may be that is all it takes.

        Or there may come a time when you will have to say that his stance on church has caused you to have to make a change in your decision about marrying him, as you prayerfully consider this.

        You don’t want him to go to church just to appease you. He needs to go because he wants to go. And if he doesn’t want to go, that is not your call to make. Your job is to respond in the way the Lord desires you to for your own life.

        You can’t be his Holy Spirit or his conscience. But you can be a wonderful godly influence. It is your affirmation, your joy, your peace, your being filled with the Spirit yourself, your devotion to the Lord and reverence for Him and your godly attitude in the face of difficulties that will speak the most powerfully in his life. Not words. Not pressure.

        Much love!

        1. April, thank you for taking the time to respond. Thank you for the wisdom. I will definitely take them all into consideration. And thanks for the tip about not saying “why” but asking him to just share for me to understand.

          He’s been to my church before and he appreciates the preaching but is far from him. Like an hour away. There is one near his home but he doesn’t want to go alone. Rather watches the livestream of the sermons of my church.

          About willingness, I guess there is willingness because he did sign up for a bible study group. He’s been a part of it for about a year already but they have not been meeting regularly and when i suggested for him to find another, he was defensive (not angry) about it saying he wants to stick it out longer and see.

          About church, he seems to think church is simply about listening to the preaching of the word of God. So he does not see the need to get up and get dressed for it. But that’s my theory and i could ask him to verify that.

          1. Hopeful,

            If he doesn’t want to go alone but is willing to go with you when he is closer, that may work out. This is something about which to have some friendly, non-pressuring conversations about expectations. And it is something to consider – will you be okay if he continues like this after marriage?

            It is best not to make demands, give ultimatums, or get upset. It is best not to pressure him verbally.

            But you can simply say things like, “I’d love to talk about expectations about various things once we get married. Here are a few things I would like to get your ideas on. And I would like to share mine, too, so we can know where each of us stands on these issues:

            – What are your thoughts about the importance of going to church on a regular basis?
            – What are your expectations about what it means to lead as a husband?
            – If we disagree about what church to go to or I want to go more often than you do, how would you like to see us handle that?
            – What kinds of things would be most important to you in choosing a church?”

            I would not suggest giving him spiritual directives. He will need to make his choices. And you can share what you would like to do in a respectful, non-pressuring way. Then let him make his decision.

            Much love!

            1. Hopeful,

              If you are seeing spiritual growth and a desire to know and love Christ and submit to Him as Lord, this may be something you can negotiate and patiently work through. Continue praying and seeking the Lord’s direction. 🙂

              1. Hopeful,
                I would encourage you both to seek godly premarital counseling with a trusted pastor/mentoring couple. This is one issue to address in that setting. And, if you have godly parents, they may have helpful insights, as well. It may be especially good to be able to get feedback from godly, mature believers who know both of you.

Thanks for joining the discussion! Let's keep it classy and respectful. I'm so glad we can walk this road together.

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