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A Word to Husbands Whose Wives Are on This Journey

My dear brothers in the Lord,

Thank you for taking the time to read some things I’d like to share with you that I hope may be helpful. I appreciate your time and support so very much!

Note – My sites and books are purposely one-sided. I only talk about what women should do because I don’t teach men, so that I can honor the scriptural command that women are not to have authority over men in the church. That is an important thing I hope that people will keep in mind when they read my posts. There is a whole other side for men who follow Christ, as well. I trust that husbands will study and seek the Lord wholeheartedly for themselves, yielding fully to His Lordship.

THIS IS A NARROW ROAD

This road that your wife is taking is very narrow – just like the road all believers must take. It is the road to true discipleship in Jesus – to biblical womanhood. Only a few women, even in the church, find and take this path today. It is completely:

  • counter-cultural.
  • counter-intuitive.
  • absolutely crazy from a worldly, human perspective.

Women who take this road must challenge everything they thought they knew about:

We must question our old fixed beliefs about almost everything and be willing to tear down most of what we thought was true and rebuild on God’s Word alone – even if we have been believers in Christ for decades.

THIS IS A TOTALLY NEW LANGUAGE AND PARADIGM

We must learn this new foreign language of respect that goes completely against all of the messages in which we have all been marinating in our culture for generations. What God calls us to do (respect our husbands and submit to their leadership) also goes completely against the way most women think.

There are so many things that seem very disrespectful to men that are just not on our radar as women or that seem like “not a big deal” from our perspective. Most of us are not purposely trying to be disrespectful. Most of us also don’t realize that our culture is very disrespectful toward men and that disrespect for men has become mainstream and normal. Most of us who struggle with being disrespectful or controlling don’t realize what we are doing or if we do, we have no idea how to stop.

It is shocking to us, and a bit overwhelming, when we first see all that is disrespectful to our men and we are confronted with sin we didn’t even realize we had.

We tend to speak and hear the language of love. The list of things that can seem unloving to us is often just as overwhelming to husbands as the list of things that can feel disrespectful to men can be to wives. The language of respect is very different – sometimes completely the opposite of our language of love. Many of us have never even heard about this stuff before. Ever. So it is a lot to absorb and process.

THERE IS VERY LITTLE HELP AND SUPPORT FOR WIVES ON THIS ROAD

Many wives have no one to:

  • be a real life example.
  • mentor them personally.
  • pray with them.
  • help them get up when they stumble.
  • cheer them on.
  • teach them.

My calling from the Lord is to seek to be a Titus 2:3-5 wife for my sisters in the Lord online so they don’t have to walk this road completely alone. Thankfully, we all have access to God. The most important thing is that we have Him with us.

Women who seek to learn to genuinely respect their husband and honor his leadership face incredible opposition from:

  • the enemy.
  • family members.
  • most friends, even Christian ones.
  • neighbors.
  • coworkers.
  • many church members.
  • sometimes even pastors and Christian leaders.
  • the media – books, shows, love songs, romantic movies, magazines, commercials, etc…
  • the world.
  • the culture.

If they also face opposition from the very man they are trying to learn to bless, it can be extremely discouraging.

Of course, the same things are very true for men, as well.

THIS IS A LONG PROCESS

It’s easy for husbands to think that wives should just suddenly “get” respect and biblical submission and be able to be completely perfect godly wives at the flip of a light switch. That they should never ever stumble again.

I have walked beside thousands of women on this road. I have seen many miracles! But I have never seen instantaneous perfection.

I have never seen any wife (or husband) become absolutely perfect and completely sinless for the rest of their lives. We can learn to walk in the power of the Spirit and have increasing victory over sin. We can stumble much less as we grow as we yield to God’s Spirit and His Lordship. But absolute total perfection is something that will not be ours until we enter the gates of heaven. While we are on earth, all of us will still need grace at times.

I want to encourage you that if your wife is seeking to allow the Lord to change her, just because she stumbles at times does not necessarily mean that she is not changing.

If she gets right back up and continues pressing on, God is changing her.

(Ladies, this is not an excuse for us to purposely keep sinning, of course.  Our goal must be to seek to please the Lord and to allow Him to transform us and empower us to walk in victory.)

MEN AND WOMEN HAVE VERY SIMILAR JOURNEYS

This is the process of sanctification. It is a lifetime journey of becoming more like Jesus. Husbands have a very similar journey to take that is equally grueling, humbling, and difficult as they learn to become the godly men the Lord calls them to be. It is completely counterintuitive for men to love their wives with the agape love of Jesus and to lead with authentic Christlike humility, gentleness, and godly wisdom. As one man in my Sunday School class described it,

“It requires a complete change of the constitution of a man to be the husband God calls him to be.”

This path toward holiness is equally challenging for wives and husbands. It requires a fundamental change of our constitution – dying to our old sinful self, taking up our cross, giving up control, learning to love/respect supernaturally and unconditionally, receiving our new nature in Christ, tearing out any idols in our hearts, repenting of all sin, learning to let God’s Spirit have control rather than the flesh, yielding to Him in absolute surrender, giving up the world’s wisdom and its ways, etc… These things are generally a process of growth, refinement, and maturation for all of us.

WE GREATLY APPRECIATE OUR HUSBAND’S SUPPORT

Some husbands are extremely unsupportive as wives seek to change. I totally understand why. I know many men are afraid that this process is not real and that their wives can’t really change. It is easy to assume that this is just another attempt at manipulation. That is how my husband often felt until God opened my eyes almost 9 years ago and began to slowly change me. I know that many husbands are afraid to get their hopes up that maybe their marriages might be healed and that they might feel respected and honored by their wives. I know there is a lot of pain for many husbands that is extremely difficult to bear.

But when a husband throws obstacles (his own sin) in his wife’s way – like being negative, critical, harsh, hateful, controlling, mean, unplugged, rude, unkind, or is consumed by some addiction – it makes it much harder for her on this journey. These stumbling blocks delay healing for the marriage. My prayer is to see all husbands and wives experience the healing and transformation that is available to them in Christ and that all of our marriages might bring great glory to the Lord.

I long to see husbands seek to help their wives and support them on this narrow path that leads to Life in Christ.

Your love, prayers, support, words of life, gentleness, selflessness, and humble leadership are so powerful in our lives as wives. What a blessing when we have husbands who are willing to love us like Jesus loved the church even when we are struggling and stumbling. When one spouse obeys the Lord, the other is blessed and it is much easier for the other spouse to obey Him, as well.

IF A HUSBAND AND WIFE ARE BOTH ON THIS JOURNEY TOGETHER, HEALING COMES MUCH SOONER

I share things with men, at times, that I hope might be helpful, like today’s post. But I don’t seek to teach, disciple, or mentor men. I simply implore husbands to start on their own journey to become godly men and husbands, to seek to be as supportive as possible of their wives’ desire to follow Christ and to become godly wives. If both spouses are on this journey together, my experience has been that the healing can happen a LOT faster.

Much love in Christ!

April

SHARE:

If any husbands would like to share with our other brothers how the Lord has shown them to encourage and support their wives on this journey, that would be great.

RELATED:

An explanation of how this process for wives usually unfolds 

Resources for Men

www.peacefulhusband.com – my husband’s blog

Why Do I Have to Change First?

 

 

31 thoughts on “A Word to Husbands Whose Wives Are on This Journey

  1. I know you wrote this for men but as I read it, I felt both challenged at my lack of empathy and grace towards my husband regarding HIS journey and encouraged to pray for more.
    The message behind your message for me, was telling me…”This is true for you and this is true for him. You’re on the same path, if only you could both see that and instead of fighting, have more grace and compassion with each other”
    I’m a first generation Christian, only just starting out as a wife and step-mum and it is so hard fleeing all that I’ve inherited, thought, absorbed and had modelled to me all my life by both those around me and society. By God’s grace though, I overcome everyday in amongst my many failures everyday. I know I’m growing, I know it’s slow and I despair of ‘the sin that dwells within’ daily, but I am amazed at God’s work in my life and I’m truly thankful at being called out of darkness and having the opportunity to become the woman God wants me to be.

    Thank you for this post x x x

    1. Isaiah 6510 – Love this! I’m so glad you were challenged to have more empathy, grace, and prayer for your husband on his own journey. That is awesome!

      Absolutely, if we can stop arguing and fighting and treating each other like the enemy, if we can realize we are on the same team and we do have an enemy who is trying to destroy us and work together with God – what a difference it would make!

      Thank you so very much for sharing a bit of your testimony. What a joy to see what God is doing in your life! I praise God with you and pray for His continued good work in your life and your husband’s life. It fills me with joy to hear from you, my precious sister.

      Much love!

  2. April, this is a great post. There are so many relevant points made here. It is so very important for a husband to do his part in a godly manner, then it becomes much easier for a godly wife to do her part in a godly manner. That can only empower their marriage and subsequently empower their families to grow for God’s glory.

    I know when God opened my eyes to choose to love God’s way, my husband and I reconciled in Jesus’ name. By no means has it been easy at all because the adversary sees God’s glory he tries to interject himself, but through other people. That’s what an everyday walk with the Lord is a necessity for a marriage, even if only one is practicing God’s righteousness. God gives us the power through prayer and discipline and will deliver our marriages for the good if we stay focused on Him. Amen.

    1. Benita Wallace,

      I know that many times, it is just not possible for both spouses to work on this together. Most of us experience one spouse “waking up” first to the Lord. But it sure would be amazing if both spouses can work on things together as a team!

      Yes, there is always going to be opposition when we seek to honor the Lord and build a strong, godly marriage. So thankful for God’s power to help us. We all need Him!

      Much love!

  3. Thank you for this article April. What you write is so true. My husband is finding it super hard to have any hope that things would change. He is pursuing a divorce because he can’t take another chance that my attempts might fail again. His hurt is too deep and he is struggling to forgive. This is definitely a change that cannot happen overnight.

    I have accepted his pleas for a divorce and have stopped trying to convince him or stall the process. I am just grateful that I did try and for everything I have learnt on this blog in the last year and a half. I will continue to seek the Lord and to seek to grow to undo everything that the world has taught me and take on the likeness of Christi a part of me is even relived at the thought of divorce as it will give me more time to just focus on my walk with God. I am saddened though that my husband gave up on me 3 years into marriage, but reading your blog has made me understand how hurt he is and so I am not bitter at his decision.

    Please keep me in your prayers as I walk this painful journey.

  4. Thanks for coming back from summer vacation and writing something wonderful like this. As you said, this is a very difficult path for husbands and wives. We both know something is wrong, that we don’t have each other’s back and are quick to judge by the wrong (this world’s) standards. I’ve asked my wife, “let’s try a different way and take baby steps” and “nobody matters by God and us.” But we listen to family, friends, psychologists, and even ministers or priests who are quick to agree with us that, “yep, your husband is wrong or your wife is wrong.” We like blame, sides, deflections. Until we have the love for God and the agape love you mentioned, we’re spinning our wheels. In the meantime, I pray for my spouse and always look for and appreciate God’s love in nature, people, and events. He has a perfect plan for us…we just need to want it and pray for it.

    1. PJgrateful,

      Praying for the Lord’s healing for you both and for your marriage, dear brother. May the Lord grant His victory in your home. May you both have His power to love, honor, and respect one another.

  5. Hi April,

    It’s me again. We did a spiritual check up on another post of yours.. I am having something very interesting happening to me and I just feel like I need some advice. Or just some clarification as my thoughts and feelings are worrying me a bit..
    As I said last time we talked I have been on this journey since 6 months of marriage and we are now more than a few years in.. it’s frustrating bc it’s still super hard for me..
    Anyway, some good news to start with! I had been reading and meditation on some of the blog posts and scripture you sent me that you thought would be a blessing. I also have been trying to focus solely on the lord! So for they past few weeks I’ve noticed major differences in my marriage.
    I gave myself a goal not to nag 1 time in 1 week and I almost made it through. The week was wonderful. My husband would text me throughout the day and tell me I was beautiful and be so much more touchy to me. Wow.. it was honestly weird 😳 But felt good. I also tried the thing where I say things that aren’t necessarily true but I want them to be. like telling him he’s an honest person when I really think he’s lacking in that area but I said it and other things and wow, that really spoke to him too. You could just tell his demeanor and confidence changed.

    Anyway so what I am worried a bit about tho is how I’m feeling this week…….
    My husband left for a work trip he will be gone this entire work week. He is a very hardworking man it’s one of the things I just feel so blessed by him about. He also works many overtime hours so I can work part time and build up my at home business.. he’s very supportive.
    So he went on this trip.. he’s been telling me he misses me everyday and being sweet and stuff it’s been good. But what I’m worried about is this.

    I HAVE THIS PEACE. This weird peace. A peace I have not felt in a VERY long time…
    Let me explain my thinking..

    so to me The perfect marriage would be coming home from work making dinner taking a walk with our dog watching a TV show we like spending time together talking together Reading our Bible together praying together etc. any of those things. It doesn’t have to be all of them. But those are the things I feel would help us build up our marriage. To me this is what married people do together, this is what I saw my parents do together. This is what life partner to together.I greatly enjoy time with my friends but they are all busy and married and we hang out maybe once or twice a month. I also do Bible studies a few times a month. Sometimes I will go shopping or run an errand that I need to do. But,Every other night I would love to spend with my husband.like normal married ppl. (In my eyes) however this is not my marriage. Every night I have to wonder what is my husband going to have come up today? I know spending time with me and doing the above things is not really a priority, so I always have to wonder if I’m going to be alone that night. Some weeks sure he’ll only be gone one or two nights a week but normally it’s around four night a week. He has many hobbies, and some of them last until the wee hours of the morning, like fishing. And he spends a lot of time with his friends. Watching games, getting a beer, having a bonfire, riding dirt bikes etc.
    Almost every night I have to wonder am I going to be alone tonight? Is he going to get enough sleep tonight I know he has to wake up early for work, is he going to be so busy this week with his friends that when he finally gets a day off all he’s going to want to do is sleep. Is he going to miss church again this week because he’s wearing himself out? Are we going to get in a fight and he will leave tonight? (-this actually happens a lot, He truly cannot stand hearing me nag and will leave if it even begins ) I also ALWAYS wonder why doesn’t he just want to spend time with me?!?!?

    So now that he is gone for work.. which has never ever happened. And I know exactly what he’s doing, going to work, getting dinner, going back to the hotel, calling me, going to sleep. I don’t have to worry about him at all, what he’s doing or if he’s going to be with his friends who in my opinion are all bad influences. A lot of my anxiety about him being out stems from them being bad influences,
    . So it’s like every night has been peaceful, every night I’ve done what I want, and cooked what I wanted and just flat out DIDNT WORRY ABOUT HIM… I actually really like it, and I’m confused by it. I thought I would hate him being gone, and he’s going to have to start doing this more often so I’m just like why do I feel this way. I feel so good and so peaceful. And forgot what it was like to just be at peace not thinking or worried about what someone else is doing.. I want the person who I’m with to make me a better person, not make me a more worried and less peaceful person. I realized as I was thinking this that yes my husband and being married has definitely drawn me closer to the Lord, for this I’m thankful, but it hasn’t been in the way that I wish. It hasn’t been in a way that I feel he has encouraged me or help me draw closer to the Lord, or like I am being drawn closer to God because my husband is godly, it’s been in a way that sometimes I am so down and depressed and sad, that I have no choice but to go running to Jesus . I know that this is good too, but I just wish My marriage and my husband was something that positively pointed me to the cross. But it’s just not.

    Also trying to be a godly good wife who takes care of her husband and respect him and does a lot of things for him even when she feels left out or even when she feels not important and to still try and keep a smile on your face and to still try and be positive and to still try and create a peaceful atmosphere for him to come home to.and more and more IS SO HARD Sometimes I just wonder if it’s all getting to me Or driving me crazy or something. Sometimes it just feels like everything is all about him.
    So to have a week where my life is not revolving around him, maybe that’s why I feel so peaceful. I know that this is terrible to say that my life must revolve around him, but I’m having a really hard time finding a balance between putting him and his needs as a priority and being a good wife, and also keeping myself happy because he doesn’t always do the best job at that…

    1. Niki,

      Oh my goodness! So much of what you shared here makes me chuckle in an “I can relate to her so much!” kind of way.

      I’m glad you are reaching out to talk about these things. I’m also really excited about what God is doing in your heart. I know it is hard. Really hard. And painful. And completely counterintuitive and it sure involves a lot of dying to self.

      So – a few thoughts:

      1. You are beginning to see why your husband may not have wanted to be with you much. The nagging thing repels men like a plague. Really, most women don’t enjoy that either. That is pretty impressive that just one week of almost no nagging made such a big difference. What awesome news! God can continue to help you with this, my sweet sister. And as your husband sees that you are not nagging him, trying to control him, trying to change him, preaching at him, upset with him, negative, critical, etc… he will probably figure out ways to be with you more often.

      2. You have SO MUCH powerful influence in his life! You are his “wife mirror” as Gary Thomas describes in Sacred Marriage. He looks into your eyes and your words to see the reflection of himself. Most likely, he believes whatever you reflect back to him. When he sees a wife who is upset, disappointed, depressed, angry, scared, self-righteous, condemning, accusing, etc… he tends to believe that is who he really is. Most men don’t like to see a negative reflection like that, so they go somewhere else where they feel more accepted and respected.

      When he sees that it is possible to please you, that you are proud of him, that you see the good in him, that you are sincere about respecting him, that you don’t act like an angry mom, that you are friendly, positive, and fun to be around – he will light up. You don’t change him. But you influence and inspire him.

      3. Your expectations of what marriage “should” be like are very similar to most women’s expectations. They are similar to what mine were for many years – minus the dog. 🙂 I wanted deep spiritual connection, Bible reading together, praying together, talking face to face for hours, eating supper together every night, walking together, physical intimacy almost every night. I thought that his expectations and mine would be the same.

      But they weren’t.

      There is nothing wrong with the things you desire. They are good things. But some of those things are unrealistic. Some of it is unrealistic because he is a guy, not a girl. And some of it is unrealistic because he is hurting and wounded spiritually right now. Maybe he is kind of in a spiritual ICU. Or maybe he needs to be. Maybe his faith in the Lord was tested a lot and maybe his faith has been kind of shattered.

      Your expectations of a man who is spiritually unwell can’t be the same as your expectations of a man who is spiritually vibrantly healthy. Just like your expectations if your husband were physically in a coma in the ICU would be very different than if he were physically in good health.

      It is important to lay down our expectations before the Lord. Our expectations can quickly turn into resentment when someone fails us. And resentment will destroy us spiritually. We can’t afford one ounce of resentment.

      This is a great time to remember to find all of our security, identity, joy, personhood, purpose, contentment, and peace in Jesus alone.

      My hope is built on nothing less
      Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
      I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
      But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
      On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
      All other ground is sinking sand,
      All other ground is sinking sand.

      It is also a great time to remember that no human can meet your deepest needs for emotional and spiritual connection. You will come to a place where you are content and overflowing with Christ no matter what your husband does. This may not be the way you wanted your marriage to draw you to the Lord. But it is often the way the Lord works – through trials and disappointments.

      He is refining and pruning you, my precious sister. And the results will be good and beautiful.

      It is very easy to make our husbands idols and to depend on them for our happiness and to base our contentment on whether they are doing what we want them to do. That is sinking ground.

      4. It’s fine that you are experiencing and enjoying peace this week. Savor this time with the Lord. Soak in His presence. Praise Him. Draw near to Him. Let Him speak to you. Ultimately, this journey has to be all about pleasing, loving, and knowing Jesus, not all about pleasing your husband. You can live in that kind of peace even when he comes back. 🙂 For real!

      Don’t buy the lie from the enemy that your husband is making you more worried and less peaceful. Your worry and your peace has nothing to do with your husband and everything to do with your character being filled up with the Holy Spirit. Your husband can’t make you be anything. He can’t rob you of the gifts God gives you or of your peace and joy in Christ.

      5. As you continue to grow, you will learn to be flexible. You will learn to enjoy when your husband is there and enjoy your time with the Lord when your husband is gone. You can be at peace either way and not freak out. Both scenarios are good gifts to you.

      6. How is your walk with the Lord going? What are you doing to nourish your soul and spirit? If you are trying hard and are worn out – that is a red flag that you are trying in your own strength. Your willingness to abide in Him and to receive Life from Him is EVERYTHING in this journey. He alone has the power you need. All He wants is relationship, connection, and emotional and spiritual intimacy with you – kind of like what you always wanted with your husband.

      You will get to the place where everything is about Jesus and the side effects are that your husband is blessed by you because you love Jesus. Your husband can’t be the biggest thing.

      Much love!

  6. I’m so sorry to be so long and needy…. but there is also one other thing I feel like I should mention. When I met my husband he was on a crazy journey with the Lord! He was always saying walk by faith and was really trying to be a man of God. Even sometimes I would have to say can you stop spiritualizing everything? But he was just very into it and desiring wisdom from the Lord, he also became a pastor and followed this “dream” for A few years until it didn’t work out… He had a couple different pastor jobs and none of them were what he was thinking they would be. In my opinion he has submitting to authority problems. So now that it seems he is far from God and not into all that and focusing on building a new career and saving money for our future and money money money, friends, hobbies etc. I feel so many times like I just don’t want to be with him… bc that is what drew me to him. I want to seek the lord still and do more and grow but he seems like a bump on a log in that area at the moment. And I keep feeling like I want to have a conversation about how when I married him he made me feel like we were going to have this marriage that honor God, and that’s just not what it is, I know it would not be useful because anytime I want to tell my husband my feeling or talk about something that may take a long time he yells or dismisses it or says this is just Satan telling you lies or says we’re not talking about this. Or says you’re going to say something you don’t mean or just leaves. He hates deep conversations and so after all this time sometimes I just feel completely unheard and fake.

    1. Niki,

      This is part of the journey. Sometimes there is a break in the middle of the journey like what y’all are experiencing. I have seen that happen to quite a few believers. And then – in time – in God’s perfect time – there is a breakthrough and healing and faith is not only restored but refined and made more perfect.

      Be patient. You can’t force him to draw near to God. But – as you focus on the Lord and allowing God to heal and transform you – you may bless and influence your husband to want to come closer to you and to the Lord. God will do the hard work. You just obey Him and stay close to Him and trust Him that He is going to work in your husband for His glory in His timing. Often, it is after the wife is healed that she kind of gets out of God’s way so that the husband can hear God’s voice more clearly.

      Have you read about what Greg told me about that? If not, I will be glad to share it with you.

      Lay your marriage before the Lord:

      “I want our marriage to bring glory to You. And I want to do it Your way not my way. I trust You. Change me. Purify me. Heal me and heal and bless my husband. Bind up his wounds. Heal his broken faith. Restore his soul. Use him mightily in Your kingdom. I thank You and praise You for the victory of Jesus over our marriage.”

      And then wait patiently and continue to allow the Lord to work mightily in you. Already, you are seeing the fruit of what God is asking you to do. That is crazy! As you commit to and agree to do things the Lord’s way and humble yourself, you may just get to witness many, many more miracles.

      He is not asking for fakeness. He wants total heart change.

      Check out these posts:

      I Wish My Husband Would Pray with Me More
      My Husband Is Not a Good Spiritual Leader
      What Is Godly Spiritual Leadership?
      Overcoming Bitterness

      Much love! I’m honored to be on this journey with you!

      1. April,

        I was out with my sister last night when I read your responses. I had to stop reading half-way through because the tears were coming!
        This sort of encouragement and advice prompted by the Holy spirit.. ugh.. is just SO what i need! I need it always but I really needed it this time! I have so much to learn. Sometimes I feel so strongly and deeply that I am right, I know what I’m talking about and i know better but i just don’t!! Then God puts me back on track. He’s so patient with me. I just hope i can “get it” and REALLY “get it” soon!!! (What are your thoughts on medication for someone who is high strung, hormonal, really easily swayed control freak and overthinks everything? lol)
        I hope one day I get to meet you in person and give you a big hug and truly tell you how much you have changed my marriage and my life… and my walk with Christ. It’s crazy. I try to think where i’d be if 6 months in i never read this concept of respect and this way of life, submitting to God. I honestly did not know it before and can’t imagine the empty selfish life that path would have led me down!
        I realllllly struggle when things don’t go as i planned, or how i thought, or what i imagined in my head. Even with small things, so you can imagine when my marriage, and the way id be led to the lord didn’t go as planned… it really has just taken me for a spin lol but i like that you said it may not be how you imagine but it is often how God does it! & i want his way!

        I’m thankful for you. I hope you can really see the way you’ve impacted lives and impacted the Kingdom. I am sorry you had to go through a tough time for 15 years but God is restoring so much through you!
        I have read that Greg was able to hear God clearly once you stoped nagging. Like it was like There was static or something before…
        I realized that when i met my husband, and he was on a journey with God like i told you, and so spirit filled and wanting to be a pastor and just like so lost lol but trying to find his way to God – it was beautiful and raw and child like faith – I was not in the picture. That was before me. So to see where he is now spiritually really shows the damage I’ve done. So sad.
        I pray God will restore in my husband what’s been lost and just restore me in general! I pray for my “inner man” and soul cleansing! My soul is ugly right now. I have cleaned the outside of the cup and the inside is still so dirty. Please pray for me. I’m so grateful for this outlet to talk through these things when i have no one in real life. I pray i can be an “april” for a young wife in the future and use my mistakes to help her!! <3

        Thank you,

        <3

        1. Niki,

          This line:
          Sometimes I feel so strongly and deeply that I am right, I know what I’m talking about and I know better but I just don’t!! Then God puts me back on track.

          Yep! That could be my own quote right there!

          It requires a lot of humbling ourselves before the Lord to become godly women/wives. Eventually, you realize that eating humble pie is a GOOD thing. The taste starts to grow on you. 🙂 Because you realize that pride is completely against God. It was the primary sin of Satan. It is also our primary sin. Everything evil comes from pride. Everything good comes from godly humility.

          Andrew Murray has a book, “Humility,” that is extremely eye-opening and VERY humbling – and healing.

          Ha! You are describing me, too, before the Lord changed me – and for the first 3 years or so at the beginning of my journey. Well, as a pharmacist, I can tell you there are medicines that might help a bit. But you know what? If the real issues are spiritual, I would encourage you to just continue to seek to let God work in your heart. He can absolutely heal you and bring calm, balance, peace, joy, patience, and all of that good stuff to your heart. As you let Him, of course.

          I know where I would be if God had not opened my eyes. I know that I would’ve alienated Greg much further. I would be completely consumed by resentment and bitterness. I would have alienated my children. I would be extremely stressed, upset, negative, critical, lonely, afraid, and anxious all the time. How I praise God for opening our eyes and for showing us His beautiful narrow path that leads to abundant life!

          I look forward to the day I get to meet you face to face and give you a big hug. What an honor it is that God allows me to do this and to share these treasures of His with my sisters. I am so very blessed! One of the things I look forward to the most in heaven is getting to see how everyone’s lives were changed and how God worked through different people’s lives for His glory. I can’t wait!

          Check out these posts:

          Waiting Becomes Sweet
          Submission Means We Hold the Things of This World Loosely
          Does My Husband Have to Have a Long Range Plan to Lead My Family?
          Facing Trials and Uncertainty with Joy
          But I’m Right! I Should Be in Charge. I’m the Better Leader.

          And my post for single women:

          Are Your Plans Set in Concrete?

          I have no doubt that God will use you to bless many other wives in the future and to show them the treasures you have learned in Jesus. Can’t wait to see all that He has in store!

          Lord,
          I lift up Niki to You. I thank and praise You that she belongs to Jesus. I praise You also for the good work You have begun in her and that You will be faithful to complete it. I pray for her to have the capacity and faith to receive all that You have provided so graciously for her. Help her to focus on her walk with You and the transformation You want to work in her life for Your glory. Help her to stop focusing on self and what self wants and focus completely on You and what You want. Use her to greatly bless her husband and his faith. Draw her to Yourself. Regenerate her soul by Your power. Fill her with Your Spirit. Let her lose to pour Your love, truth, healing, and power into the lives of all she touches.
          Amen!

          1. April,

            Thank you for all your guidance 🙂 I have definitely been allowing God to take precedence in my heart the past few weeks.. I have been loving the time with God and what only He can do in my heart and life. Ahh it is so sweet. I am happy yet embarrassed to say, this past weekend was the first weekend in almost 4 months (that’s 16 weekends in a row) that me and my husband have not fought. I know because I went back through text messages. :/ It’s always why are you still not home? Why didn’t you call me? You never want to spend time with me. Etc. type comments that always start the fight. This weekend though i was determined to let God rule in my heart not my feelings!

            One night my husband even went to a friends house, for a guys night before his friend’s wedding. I knew he’d be out late, wasn’t sure if he planned on staying the night tho BECAUSE my husband did not text or call me once or even tell me he was there or text me and say hi or goodnight NOTHING. He just went straight from work to his friends. Well he was picked up. So I could have assumed he would stay but it still would be nice to be told. Anyway we didn’t talk The. Entire. Night.

            Something like this is completely normal in my husband’s mind but in my head, of course we should talk all night. This would have as well normally sent me off the deep end. And send me into a rage that lasted into the next morning when I would finally see him and then GO completely off LOL. This really is a normal weekend for us.

            HOWEVER I did something differently this time!

            I got food with some friends for dinner, enjoyed my night and went to sleep! The next morning I left the house to get coffee and on my way home I called hubby to say, “Good morning! I’m heading home. Do you want me to pick you up at (so and so’s) house?” He said, “Good morning, Babe and yes that would be nice since everyone is still sleeping!”

            I said ok and picked him up with a smile on my face. He then told me about his night and showed me a video someone took of him saying “first one asleep” not surprising since he had been up at 5am that previous morning. We laughed about it and went on to have a nice day. Crazy. literally this is not normal. He had to of been thinking that. I also asked myself I wonder how many fights I have started for absolutely no reason.

            Little things like this have been changing in our relationship. This same day he went out to clean our garage. He put a dip in his mouth like he does when he “works” on things – cars, garage, house etc. He knows I HATE it and never does it around me. I have thrown fits at our house before.. made him literally go out back and throw his dip into the woods while I was screaming about what and awful person he is until he yells, “THERE, HAPPY NOW?!” So this time when I saw him working hard, cleaning OUR garage mess, with a tilted head trying not to make eye contact with me because he wanted to avoid conflict… I said to him, “Thank you so much for doing this. I love you.” 🙂 And he smiled with an, “I love you, too” while FINALLY looking me straight on.

            The point is, I’ve made a big mess of things. He is not even close to innocent either though. But I know I must take responsibility for my part and with God’s help I’m finally doing it and finally realizing the freedom in this. It’s been great, and I have confidence that He who began a good work in me is going to finish it to completion even though it will be a journey! It’s one I’m ready to take with God while I watch myself and my husband be blessed by it on the way.

            Last night tho, I did have to fight tears before bed. It has been quite a while since my husband initated any intimacy. The past couple times I have mentioned to him he hasn’t done that – his response is always the same… Well you didn’t do anything either!

            I took that as he wanted me to and so I always do… and I’ve never been turned down. But I am starting to feel discouraged and unwanted in this area. I said AND did multiple things last night to try to turn my husband on and be sexy and say without completely saying, “I want you to come on to me.” I was cuddled… told i am loved… and even kissed quickly on the lips and on the forehead… but nothing… I was completely and totally devastated. I felt so unwanted.

            But I sucked it up and realized I have not been a safe place for my husband. I have done things that have surely destroyed intimacy in my marriage. I chose to focus on the Lord and did not get pouty or rude! Thank goodness! Those two are my go-to’s. But I still didn’t get what I wanted.

            I am hoping and praying that as I continue on this journey and make my husband feel more like a man and more comfortable, safe, and respected that he will show interest in me sexually. Again I’ve never been rejected by him, but I definately am not pursued either.

            My instinct is to ask if he’s watching porn. If he doesn’t love me. Why he isn’t like other men who want it all the time. Or to pout, be rude and tell him he’s not a man. But I refuse to sin in that way.

            Any insight on this topic? I would love to bring it up to him but 100% of the time I try to talk to my husband about my feelings it ends terribly 🙂 LOL. So trying to take this one to God, seek Godly counsel, and also just flat out pray my husband would desire me sexually and passion would be brought back into my marriage. (John 16:24)

            I hope I am taking the right steps.

            Over-all I am doing great on this journey, April.
            Thank you from the bottom of my heart

          2. Niki!!!!!!!?!?!?!!?

            I am SOOOOOOOO excited about what the Lord is showing you and the changes you are making! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How I praise God with you! This brings such joy to my heart!

            Great job dealing with your husband going to his friend’s house. You handled that like a pro. As long as you know he is trustworthy and just hanging out with the guys – there is no need to freak out. Of course, it is not what a wife would like most. You would rather him be home with you every night. But – that day may come as he feels a lot more welcome and respected and safe at home.

            I am also SUPER proud of you for just thanking the man for cleaning up the garage to bless you and not freaking out about the dip. That issue will be something he will have to decide on for himself. God can work in his heart. We will pray for that. In the mean time, you treating him well and honoring and respecting him will draw him to you and bless him and the marriage.

            I am familiar with this dynamic, too, with feeling rejected sexually. But honestly, you have it pretty good if he is willing to be intimate if you initiate it. It can get a whole lot worse than that and feel even more devastating when you do ask and he changes the subject or says no. I’m glad it hasn’t gotten that bad yet.

            Check out these posts:

            The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage

            When You Feel Deprived in Your Marriage

            Placing My Higher Sex Drive Under God’s Control

            Not all of these will apply since your situation is not as bad, thankfully.

            Some things to keep in mind – sometimes a guy is just exhausted. Not every man wants sex every single night. And if he has been feeling disrespected and unsafe, that can really impact his libido, too. The first post will talk about some reasons why guys may not be as interested. And, sex drives change over time for men and women. Men tend to have their highest sex drive in their late teens and twenties. And also mornings. Women tend to develop a higher drive in their 30s or 40s. And we often like evenings better when we are more awake.

            Just because your husband doesn’t want sex every night doesn’t mean he is weird or not a “real man.” I am SO THANKFUL you are not saying any of those tempting things to him. They would really cause a lot of damage to your marriage if you did.

            You are doing awesome!

            Much love!
            April

          3. Niki,

            Also, if you have my book, there is a section on sex that goes over some things that would be super helpful, I think, in this situation.

            Much love to you!

          4. Oh my goodness… Speechless.. i just read “Waiting becomes Sweet” .. wow….. THIS. This is what i so need!! Thank you God for just revealing that to me! I can’t wait.. to WAIT. Every word of that post just spoke to me.. How u were before.. that is me identically.. I forgot to tell you that I gave all finances over to my husband as well- it has been magnificent!!! 😀 This is a big step for a control freak like me, also i have told my husband for many years “he sucks with money” but i’ve been telling him what a blessing it’s been to me to have him do it and also telling him how AWESOME he’s doing.. because he is!

          5. Niki,

            YAY! I am SO THANKFUL that this was such a blessing. HA!

            “I can’t wait… to WAIT.”

            Love that!

            Thank you for letting me know this is such a blessing. And I am glad that giving your husband control of the finances has been freeing for you, too. It was very freeing for me and my OCD tendencies.

  7. Thank you for this forum and sharing to the glory of God. Some sharing from my side:

    I am still continuing with my journey of unconditional love with Jesus by asking Him to keep changing me and transforming my heart. I have started on this journey about a year ago and believe that through His grace I have made big progress.

    I have also struggled with the differences in my marriage where natural preferences had a certain control but I had to adjust my natural preferences to keep it positive even if it seem to be unfair to me. God revealed to me that it is about obedience to Him and that He will reward this – sooner or later. It was also revealed to me that I should really ask God to remove any anger I am still holding in this regard. I might have forgiven, but I was still holding on to anger.

    It was very relieving to let go of the anger in the realization that we are all unique and we should not judge anyone. My anger might be justifiably against sin, but then again I need to also see my own sin and the price, love and forgiveness of Jesus that I should reciprocate.

    I also had a struggle with God about some challenges in my life and especially my perceived trend to always need to adjust and tread carefully and be cautious in various aspects of my life – work, marriage, social, parenting. What I believe the Lord showed me is that I should relax more and rest in Him and be more myself while being obedient to Him. This surely did take some burden away from me.

    From a more direct, practical point of view, recognition for the good and nice stuff that my wife is doing (even if it is not that important to me) and not questioning the motives, even if it might be small baby steps is always encouraging and appreciated as it also applies to husbands.

    May you all be wonderfully blessed.

    1. TRANSFORMINGHEART,
      Thank you so very much for sharing a husband’s perspective and sharing some of the light bulb moments the Lord has given you. This is awesome!

      May the Lord richly bless your walk with Christ and your marriage and family for His glory!

  8. Hi April,

    You are right, men have a different journey, and it can be hard to understand and empathize with the differences in the journies, and the strange personality quirks & personal history each brings to the situation.

    One thing I’ve learned is patience & persistence. God’s time isn’t our time. The Holy Spirit never quits working on a person, and even though we get worn down with life, the Holy Spirit doesn’t.

    I really like the way you’ve brought in Sanctification into this post. It’s so true. Life is about learning to reject selfishness and align your will to God’s will.

    Your post was really great.

  9. Dear Peaceful Wife,

    I need to preface this comment by telling anyone who doesn’t know that my wife is not on a journey like this.

    I might not be completely clear in expressing my thoughts because what I want to share is more connected with a deep feeling.

    It is more than a giddy, emotional feeling like: that feels good. It is more of an experiencing the Will of God pour through me. Being given that sense of direction allows me to glorify God by following His Will.

    In those times, I experience that I can be a husband who truly loves his wife, who is grace and faith filled. It is then that Christ in me who is guiding me to love my wife, who even though she is not walking with Jesus, is aware of a change and responds positively to that change. When however, I am too busy with the concerns of the world, getting the necessities of life taken care, I am working too much out of my own power.

    As men, I believe we need to work to be constantly open to God’s Will, in order that our womenfolk can rest into the protective space that it is our duty to create.

    There is a tower
    that protects the wife;
    We are that tower,
    We are that structure,
    That provides security.
    Within the tower is nurturing and caring
    And creating.

    Thank you,
    JesusCentreofLife

  10. Driving my husband to work..
    Me: honey are you still in love with me?
    Him: shocked look.. grabs my hand, yes I’m still very much in love with you, are u in love with me still?
    Me:shakes my head yes with a smile on my face.
    Him:what kinda question is that
    Me: just a question
    Silence..
    Me: I guess I just want more attention from you.. but being with (so and so) last night and seeing how he loves on her even though she treats him terribly, made me realize it doesn’t matter how good of a wife I am, it’s just different personalities. You liked to be with other people all night socializing
    Him:yeah.. well I don’t think (so and so) is that much of an extrovert
    Me: yeah
    Silence
    Him: well I can get better at that
    Me: oh it’s ok it’s just your personality I’m not asking you to change or get better at anything
    Him: no but I can get better at that
    Silence
    Me: I wanted to have sex last night when we got home
    Him: why didn’t you say something or do something
    Me: bc I always do and sometimes I want you to say something or do something..
    Him: well I just am very tired at night. It’s just the times of the day are bad. Sometimes in the middle of the day I want to but can’t bc I’m working and then when I get home I’m just so tired.
    Me: *thinking* of all the nights he’s not too tired to stay out late with his friends, this was probably the worse response I could get. Too tired to have sex with your wife but can play poker till 1 am 🤔
    Me: yeah I understand .. maybe I just want more love and attention sometimes and so I feel like I want sex but maybe it’s not even the sex maybe I just want to feel wanted by you
    Him.. yeah…
    Parks the car and we get out
    Me: well I love you, Have a great day.
    Him: I love you too
    A very boring hug takes place
    And I leave.
    👍🏼 Cry the whole way home
    Read “when you feel deprived in your marriage”
    Get a call from him
    Excited maybe he’s gonna express some love to me and tell me sorry he’s been so lazy in our marriage and just that he loves me 😀
    But nope… it’s a money question
    Fantastic!
    Thanks marriage.
    Trying so hard to focus on God. I’ve been doing so great but here comes PMS reminding me how unhappy I am in many areas of my marriage and how I literally just want a hug from the one person who seems too busy and mind elsewhere to notice.
    I had to ask my husband to please kiss and hug me first when he gets home before he does the dog…
    An all time low.
    😔

    1. Niki,

      I am SO very sorry to hear how upset you are,my precious sister. I was actually really surprised after that conversation that you were upset. I thought it went great!

      Like he said he wanted to try to get better, that he does love you, that he was exhausted sometimes (sex does require a lot more energy than poker), and that he was listening.

      Here’s the way men work. They aren’t good mind readers. In romantic movies they seem to be. But most of those scripts are written by women. Of course it would be amazing if he magically knew you wanted sex and he always had energy. Of course it would be awesome if he was never away with his friends. Yes, it would be awesome if he called you from work just to say he loves you. Most men, in real life, aren’t like that.

      But he DID sound very loving, compassionate, and understanding from what you are describing in this conversation. You are working on not being disrespectful – which will help make home a lot more welcoming. This may take some time. It is totally fine to let him know when you would like a hug (and to describe what kind of hug you would like) or that you would love to have sex with him (in a positive way).

      It’s also wonderful to recognize when you are feeling hormonal and not to let your hormones or emotions totally take over. I have some posts on that! Please search “PMS” and “emotions” on my search bar.

      Let’s hash through this together.

      To me, it is also really helpful to realize that the pain we feel when our husbands don’t spend time with us or we feel rejected by them because they are too tired is similar to the pain God feels in His heart when we are too busy for Him and we neglect Him.

      Thank you so much for reaching you! Sending you a huge hug!

      Much love!

      1. I guess it’s all about expectations. I really desire more love and passion like when we were dating I want to know I am still wanted by him! He very often laughs at me bc I’m “cute” and will pull me close for a kiss bc I’m so “cute” lol but I want to be wanted in a womanly type of way too! He wants to feel like a man im sure, well I want to feel like a woman! Not just a cute girl. I am thankful he feels that way and I make him smile and stuff but how do I express like I want this passion and love? I feel like he won’t be able to do it bc I asked, that’s where I struggle with telling him exactly what I want.

        I know he can’t read my mind but if I ask for it and he doesn’t do it then I will feel worse. I also feel like if he was good in this dept. I would become a lot less critical of things! I would be like yeah this isn’t perfect or I wish he didn’t do that but he loves me a lot and I’m happy with that!

        Ya know but yeah my PMS literally changes me as a person, it’s weird. All week I truly loved my husband and was pleasant to be around bc I just had a joy coming from me from being filled up with God’s spirit. I know when I’m PMSing bc then I start to look for my husband to make me happy! Which during this time as well donesnt always seem like a bad thing to want.. but would it be best for me to just give my husband space in the sex department and allow him to decide when to come onto me instead of always initiating or saying oh I wanted to and then him telling me he’s tired? Me initiating is starting to become just as painful as being turned down! Bc I feel absolutely terrible when I have to do that bc he won’t….ever. And I’m just reminded of it every time I do and it’s not like his response is 100% always yes let’s go now! Sometimes it takes a minute.. idk it sucks but I feel like I really am chasing affection not just love making..

        I thought about what you said that’s how God feels when we neglect him and that definitely does put it in perspective. This journey was going so great, I was thanking God bc for the first time in YEARS I felt a bit of progress in my heart on this journey. I know there are bound to be some speed bumps and that’s ok.
        He’s patient with us.

        Thanks for listening April!!!
        ❤️❤️❤️

        1. Niki,

          Yes, it is a lot about expectations being different.

          So – here is an idea…

          You have shared your heart with him. Now – what if you give both of you about a month. See what happens. Be friendly and a safe place for him emotionally. Focus on respecting him and continuing to allow the Lord to change you. Don’t let your hormones tell you that the sky is falling when it really isn’t.

          As he feels more respected and feels more safe, things may change on their own. They often do. I heard a story about that just this past week from a wife. 🙂

          And even when you are PMSing, please do NOT depend on your husband to be responsible for your happiness. That is a recipe for disaster. When we have PMS, we tend to see our husbands through a very skeptical light, as if they are out to get us and as if they are our enemies. When you notice you are feeling disappointed or thinking accusing thoughts toward him, stop. Take everything to the Lord. Ask Him to help you take your thoughts captive.

          We would all love for our husbands to do all the things we want them to do to make us feel loved. And our husbands would all love for us to do all the things they’d like us to do to make them feel respected. Yep.

          But reality is that husbands and wives are real people. Real marriage is not fantasy or a romantic movie or novel written by an expert writer who knows all the best lines. In real life, women and men have extremely different perspectives and expectations. It may be that God might use this little bit of conflict to help you both grow and become more like Jesus.

          There is no reason why a husband has to always be the initiator. Yes, it feels awesome to be pursued. Husbands often enjoy being pursued, too. When they are feeling respected and they are not exhausted or sick.

          So, how often do you want him to initiate? If you could choose?

          And how often do you initiate? How often do you expect to have sex or want to have sex, would you say?

          If the real issue is that you want to feel loved – is it possible that he IS doing things in his own way to show you love that you are maybe not receiving as love the way he intends?

          What would affection tell you? Can you be content with cuddling or does it have to be sex?

          You know what? I think I have a post about this that may be helpful. I used to think in a very similar way as what you are describing. See what you think! Let me know your thoughts.

          Much love!
          April

  11. You know what is cool though, yesterday we were with his group of friends for quite sometime . I really do not fit in there but I try to be nice to everyone. And I had a lovely time. Of course my husband enjoyed being around them and he did have a few drinks but did not smoke or dip once which was really cool bc I’ve never seen him be around them and not do that…. he also was talking to many people about God and invited them to our church Sunday. I also prayed he would not want to go out with them after the get together to the bars bc they we’re asking us and I did not want to go and knew he needed to wake up early and he just wanted to come home! I was so happy! Then of course I wasn’t super enjoyable bc I wanted him to be lovey and he wasn’t but looking back I wish I would have appreciated all those things and been more thankful for all that and loved him better.

Thanks for joining the discussion! Let's keep it classy and respectful. :)

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