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Ten Tips for The Journey to Become a Godly Wife

In the beginning of this journey to become a godly wife, when you are seeking to allow God to transform your heart, mind, and life I have found the following things may be wise. (This post is specially geared toward wives who realize they have been disrespectful and controlling.) Of course, all of us ultimately need to follow the Spirit’s leading in any situation:

  1. It may be best not to talk to your husband about what you are learning spiritually (unless he specifically asks) for usually the first few months, possibly longer. And if he does ask about what you are learning – it can be wise to keep things brief for a number of reasons.
    • Men don’t tend to respond much to our words about spiritual things, especially if they are hurting because of our sin or they are far from God.
    • Men don’t tend to respond much to our words about spiritual things when they perceive that we are far from God or if they don’t hold us in a lot of respect at the time because of the way we have been treating them.
    • When we are beginning this journey, we tend not to express ourselves very respectfully about what we are learning and we can inadvertently sabotage ourselves if we try to talk about it a lot.
      • “I’m learning I need to be quiet when I think that what you are saying is really stupid.”
      • “I’m going to respect you because God says I have to not because I actually respect you.”
      • “Wow, it is really hard to learn how to genuinely respect you.”
    • Most men would rather not hear all the mechanics of what we are learning. There are some very spiritually mature men who tend to be more verbal who may enjoy hearing some of what we are learning but that would be pretty rare.
  2. Keep the focus on your own heart, sin, and obedience to the Lord:
    • In your private walk with Christ.
      • Focus on repenting of any sin in your life every day. Invite God to expose sinful motives and thoughts.
      • Pray for God to change you.
      • Thank God for your husband and the good things about him.
      • There may be a time where all you do is pray for God to bless your husband and you don’t pray for God to change him if you have been praying that with selfish motives in the past.
      • Take responsibility for your spiritual well-being and growth.
    • In any conversation you believe you need to have with your husband about spiritual things (unless he is involved in serious unrepentant sin against you that simply must be addressed sooner).
    • Yes, he has sins in his life, too.
    • When speaking with other people
      • (although you may need to talk some about your husband’s issues with a godly mentor/counselor, you can still do so very respectfully).
  3. Let him SEE and experience what God is doing in your heart by your change in attitude, countenance, respect, kindness, patience, peace, joy, etc…
  4. You will likely come across a lot of things as you learn and grow that he may need to learn, too, but I suggest refraining from trying to be his spiritual teacher. God can work on his heart in time and reach him in powerful ways you can’t possibly reach him.
    • If you approach him as his spiritual authority, teacher, or preacher, it will probably repel him from you and from the Lord.
    • We are not in a position of spiritual leadership over our husbands. God has chosen to give our husbands that role of headship.
    • It is SO easy to come across as self righteous or prideful if we try to verbally teach our husbands.
    • There will be plenty of things we can humbly share as a fellow traveler on this road later when the marriage has been healed as the Lord may lead – once our husbands are interested and ask for us to share.
    • Our words as wives about spiritual things are a lot less necessary than I ever realized for many years early in our marriage.
  5. As he sees the godly example you set, it will preach a more powerful sermon to him than if you attempt to lecture him, preach at him, or teach him. Again, words are not usually that meaningful to men. They are much more impacted by changed actions and attitudes.
  6. Start a list of all the things you can think of that you respect and admire about your husband. Add to it all throughout each day.
    • Maybe consider mentioning one sentence of something you admire/respect/appreciate about him each day.
  7. If you start thinking about all the things “he should do” – that is often a red flag to refocus on allowing the Lord to transform you first.
    • It may be wise not to read books or sections of books that are about what husband should do if that is a trigger for you.
  8. Don’t be surprised if he is not very supportive of your changes at first. That is pretty common. Yes, it would be awesome if he could be super supportive. If he is not able to be in that spiritual place of strength yet, extend grace to him and continue to allow God to radically transform you to be more like Jesus.
  9. Focus on being a safe place for him emotionally and spiritually.
  10. Find all of your security, peace, joy, and identity in Jesus alone, not in what your husband does or does not do.

 

Don’t be surprised if, as God changes you, your husband gets confused about what on earth is going on. That is pretty normal. I have some posts listed at the bottom that address this issue.

SHARE:

If you have been on this journey for awhile, what are some pearls of wisdom you may feel led to share with our sisters who are just starting?

PRAY WITH ME:

Lord,
Please give us the light we need each step of this journey. We yield ourselves fully to all that You desire to do in our hearts and minds. Cleanse us! Refine us! Purify us! We humble ourselves before You. Expose any sin and anything that is not from You in our souls and lives. Help us get rid of all of that. Help us to embrace Your wisdom and Your Spirit. Let us hear Your voice clearly and follow You wholeheartedly. Make us into the godly women You call us to be for Your glory! Use us to bless our husbands and families and those around us.
Amen!

Much love!

NOTE – There may be exceptions to some of the things I am talking about in extremely toxic, abusive situations. In such cases, seek the Lord’s wisdom and wise, godly, appropriate counsel one-on-one.

RELATED:

My book “The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord”

I was surprised to discover that what my husband needed to feel respected really wasn’t a long list.

41 thoughts on “Ten Tips for The Journey to Become a Godly Wife

  1. One thing I learned was to “read between the lines.” After being on this journey for a bit, I was able to talk to my husband about it some. But when I asked him what I could do differently or how I could better respect him, he couldn’t give me an answer. So instead I just tried to pay attention to things he did / didn’t like. I also used some of the lists you have here on the blog. But as you have mentioned before, every husband is different. So that’s why it’s extra important to be in tune to our spouse.

    This is a great post. I needed this reminder, as I have let day-to-day life get in the way of my journey. Thanks a bunch for all you do. You are always a blessing! 🙂

    1. The Redeemed Way,

      It was a really long time before Greg could articulate what felt respectful to him, too. I did TONS of things to try to show him respect. Turned out, he really only wanted a few very simple things.

      I really appreciate you sharing a bit about your journey and how you figured out the things he liked and didn’t like.

      I’m so thankful this was a blessing. May the Lord be greatly honored in each of our lives and marriages! 🙂

  2. April,
    This post is such a blessing, thank you! I think these are 10 tips that apply to us wherever we are on the path as we can slip in any moment. Bless you dear sister!

      1. April,

        Could you explain or give more detail of what you mean by;
        “Unless he is involved in serious unrepentive sin against you that simply must be addressed sooner”?

        I am in now a healthy and healing marriage through a lot of interventions. Praise God for this and His vessels! I have followed some of your blog and some of your replies. I find some of the generalization of men common in our culture. Not saying that it’s good.

        I’m wondering why you believe the following and what are the contributing factors;
        You said;
        “Men don’t tend to respond much to our words about spiritual things, especially if they are hurting because of our sin or they are far from God.”
        “Men don’t tend to respond much to our words about spiritual things when they perceive that we are far from God or if they don’t hold us in a lot of respect at the time because of the way we have been treating them.”
        “Most men would rather not hear all the mechanics of what we are learning. There are some very spiritually mature men who tend to be more verbal who may enjoy hearing some of what we are learning but that would be pretty rare.”

        You identify most men and spiritually mature men in different places. Why do you think most men have these tendencies? Why are there not more spiritually mature men and why are they rare?

        I appreciate that you note and often promote a disclaimer about extremely toxic abusive situations but I feel confused at what would ‘define’ them from your position? Many of the discussions and replies on the blog highlight these toxic abusive situations to me. Not all victims of abuse are very good at discerning this danger early on. Part of the coping is finding new ways of functioning and creating any peace to offset the core issues.

        My own personal journey involved my own husband’s unrepentive sin; it was his attitude and his entitlement of how to treat another person. He learned these behaviors from his family of origin and was just playing them out~ even if they were not so obvious to put a finger on.
        Was is serious? Yes, because it was very toxic to any forming of a healthy bond, once addressed the abusive behaviors are prevelent.. although many wives have normalized these attitude and responses from their husband, so they are unaware of just how damaged the marriage is and the crisis it is in.

        1. Freedom,

          If a husband is threatening his wife or children’s health and safety – if he is violently abusive, involved in serious drug/alcohol addictions and is not in his right mind, if he is demon possessed, if he is mentally unstable and unsafe, if he is involved in unrepentant infidelity or prostitution or some other severe offense – there may be times when a wife may not need to sit around and work on her own sin first. She may need to get herself and her children to safety, for example. And then, she may be able to work on her own sin. But there are times when things are so dangerous that she may have to remove herself from the situation first. Does that make sense?

          Of course, there are many shades of gray. I can’t begin to possibly list every scenario and honestly, sometimes wives will need godly counsel and, of course, the Holy Spirit to help them know exactly what they need to do and when. It may be that a wife does need to leave but if she leaves suddenly, she may be in more danger. So – I would encourage women in very severe situations to contact appropriate experienced help – including the police, medical help, Christian counselors, pastors, etc… if necessary.

          Okay… here is my reasoning for what I shared about those general tendencies with men:

          1. Men don’t tend to respond much to our words about spiritual things, especially if they are hurting because of our sin or they are far from God.”

          If I have been extremely disrespectful to my husband for a long time, and now I am seeing that I need to change, but I haven’t had much time to change yet and my husband is still hurting a lot because of my disrespect, for me to try to verbally pull him toward God at that moment is not going to work, usually. At that point, he has lost respect for me because of my sin against him. He will need to see real heart and behavior change. My words won’t carry much weight.

          Also, if a man is far from God, himself, 1 Peter 3:1-2 describes how a godly wife is to witness to him – and it is “to win him without words” by by her godly example of respect and honoring his leadership appropriately. It is my understanding that this is likely because lots of words about spiritual things from a wife to a man far from God must not be very effective. And may actually be damaging.

          2.“Men don’t tend to respond much to our words about spiritual things when they perceive that we are far from God or if they don’t hold us in a lot of respect at the time because of the way we have been treating them.”

          If I have been disrespecting my husband, insulting him, usurping his God-given authority, trying to control him, and I have been hateful, unforgiving, and resentful… I have no credibility spiritually with him at that time. Why would he listen to me about spiritual things? He sees the fruit of my life.

          3.“Most men would rather not hear all the mechanics of what we are learning. There are some very spiritually mature men who tend to be more verbal who may enjoy hearing some of what we are learning but that would be pretty rare.”

          It has been my experience that there are a TON of little baby steps that most wives go through as they learn. I personally went through about 30 books about godly femininity and biblical marriage in 2.5 years. I spent a good 3-5 hours per day 6-7 days per week studying, praying, journalling, seeking to understand. I misunderstood a LOT in the beginning. And at that point, Greg wasn’t able to articulate to me the things I needed to understand in ways that I could understand them.

          Most men, in my experience, are shocked at just how difficult this process is for wives. They often think that it should be easy and we should just automatically understand respect and their masculine perspective. But we don’t. And sometimes, we can very inadvertently come across disrespectfully as we try to explain what we are trying to learn. Also, sometimes we can just overwhelm our men with way too many details about the process. I know I have to watch myself about that kind of thing.

          If your husband is “already spiritually awake” as you begin this process and if he is super verbal and if he understands the journey you are taking – he may be excited to talk through things with you. But that is not the situation for most of the wives I have known.

          Spiritually mature men and women are quite rare, unfortunately. It is a narrow path. And it is difficult to find that path even in our Christian circles today.

          All sin is toxic. All sin is abusive. All sin, left unchecked, leads to death of relationships. But we do have to have discernment about when it is necessary to leave a very dangerous situation vs. the normal kinds of sin we just need to stay and hash through. For me, I was not in any danger. My husband was just very passive and unplugged. I needed to definitely stay and work on my sin first. For quite awhile. Then God eventually began to heal my husband and marriage after a number of years.

          Thanks for the important questions!
          Much love!

          1. April,

            I appreciate your reply and most certainly your responses continue to concern me.

            The questions I asked seem to be answered from you by the position of a ‘wife’ being a disrespectful wife or at least that seems to be your base line assumption. I don’t think this is wise. As a Christian sister this my cry to you & your platform and I think this is where we differ. We also differ when you define sin;
            “All sin is toxic. All sin is abusive. All sin, left unchecked, leads to death of relationships. But we do have to have discernment about when it is necessary to leave a very dangerous situation vs. the normal kinds of sin we just need to stay and hash through.”

            This is going to continue to cause confusion in ‘victims’ of emotional, mental and verbal abuse. These forms of abuse are indeed toxic and many times in church communities it is not highlighted as dangerous but as difficult.
            To me if ‘normal kinds of sin’ as you might define, left unchecked Does lead to death of relationships.

            Also, victims in general are very well acquainted with ‘being over responsible’ for the health of the relationship’ it is much more familiar for them to think that they have to over function or ‘over peace’
            a very toxic arrangement. They tend also to carry a sensitive conscious and willingness to take accountability for their behavior to an ‘unhealthy level’ (that being defined as disrespect, when in fact it clearly could be a place of courage and confronting the unhealthy/sin behaviors in the marriage)

            What you might define ‘normal’ I might define as serious and in need of serious interventions.

            1. Freedom,

              My particular slant is that I was a disrespectful, controlling wife. So – that does color my approach, for sure. That is where I was when God “woke me up” to my sin. In my particular situation, my husband was extremely shut down, passive, unplugged, depressed, and unresponsive.

              Of course, there are other possible situations. The vast majority of women who read my blog come from a similar scenario to mine – where they were inadvertently controlling, disrespectful, in charge, etc…

              But there are other women who tend to be too passive, subservient, who give up their personhood in order to idolize their husbands. That is not healthy either. For wives from that particular background, I would encourage them to search my blog for posts like:

              – the pendulum effect
              – 25 ways to respect myself
              – Radiant (all of her posts are excellent)
              – command man
              – I am responsible for myself spiritually (not for others)
              – Is it possible to be too submissive
              – Is it possible to be too respectful
              – healthy vs unhealthy relationships
              – approach my husband’s sin LMSdaily
              – conflict

              For those who are experiencing significant emotional abuse from their husbands, the site http://www.leslievernick.com may be a better fit than my site. Of course, things can get gray even in this area because there are some couples where both spouses are emotionally abusive and verbally abusive. Sometimes if one spouse stops the abuse, things begin to heal. I have many posts for wives who may be engaging in verbal or emotional abuse on my site.

              There are many areas, as I mentioned in my answer, that are gray. I am not able to delineate every possible scenario and whether a wife should stay or not. I don’t personally have the wisdom every wife needs in every possible scenario.

              We know that God’s general command for wives is to stay with their husbands. I Cor. 7. So if we don’t need to leave, we shouldn’t leave. Of course, there are times when a wife would have to prayerfully leave. I know we would all love to have a big long check list with hard and fast rules about when this should be. But there are some wives in very similar situations to other wives. Sometimes God may lead a wife to leave in that situation. Other times God may lead a wife to stay in that situation. There are a lot of variables that I can’t begin to address in a general post.

              I have a post about Should a Christian Wife Consider Separation? that may be helpful.

              Most of the time, as a general principle of the Christian life, we will be looking at our own sin first. Because it is only as we deal with our own sin and allow the Lord to transform and heal us that we can have the power of the Spirit to hear His voice and prompting clearly and He can then help us to see what we need to do in our unique situation.

              But just because we deal with our own sin first, does not mean we never deal with our husband’s sin. There are times we may need to address it. Here is a post about that. But in this particular post, I am talking mostly about the very beginning of the journey when a wife wakes up to realize that she has been disrespectful and controlling. That is what this post refers to. That is the starting point for about 80-90% of the women who read this blog. At the beginning of that time, is usually not the time for a wife to try to confront her husband. There is generally a period of time where she will be focusing on her own repentance and spiritual healing.

              I try to have guest posts by wives who have very different backgrounds and marriage dynamics from my own to help round things out so that this is not the only scenario I address. There are certainly more gray areas where there is not immediate physical danger but things are very toxic. And yes, any of these sins, if left unchecked, can be extremely dangerous.

              My biggest concern is for wives in all situations to experience their own spiritual healing in Christ. I believe that once a wife has the power of the Spirit, she will then see what the Lord desires her to do in her specific situation and she will actually have the power to do it.

              Thank you for sharing your concerns. I try to insert some caveats into my posts to account for those in potentially abusive situations. I don’t want anyone to be abused. I don’t want anyone to be sinned against at all. I hate sin and the damage it causes to husbands, wives, and children.

              If there is a way I can express myself more clearly to help women who are being abused – I am definitely open to suggestions.

              Much love to you!

              1. April,

                Thank you for your reply. I appreciate your awareness of your slant and from where you bring your position. This is key as you know. You probably have done this but if possible, can you post the disrespectful behaviors and the controlling behaviors that you believe woke you up to your situation? I think it’s easy to generalize phrases only to find out that two people are defining things differently.
                I think reminding your readers of what those are in specifics can help any victims who might be much more attracted to your site.

                When someone says something like, ‘we have a really close relationship’ I sometimes have to ask well how might you define close? My ‘close’ my be far different than their ‘close’.

                Many that are abused subconsciously don’t want to see the reality of their situation or the patterns in relationships. Part of it is the coping skills and the cycle of abuse that forms these survival skills.

                My husband would tell you (in his part pre-maturity) that many things he wanted to define as disrespectful from me, it wasn’t until he got the necessary professional help to see that my behaviors were actually loving, connecting and honoring of the marriage and he was choosing to label me as disrespectful based on his definition, (conveniently)to remain in a power position and abuse it. That he did ….through many passive unplugged behaviors.
                So glad to not be there anymore! Praise God for revealing truth and healing, however it was a long journey. My sin was exposed as to the level of tolerating the treatment, and God helped equip me to be the wife I needed to be for my husband and family.

                That is just one part of lens of where there was a lot of broken interpretations that caused a lot of unnecessary wounding. His skewed lens came from a lot of the neglect and abandonment he suffered as a child.

                Thank you again for mentioning Leslie’s Vernick site. Her ministry is so healing and full of so much reality for many who are struggling and in need of support.
                Much love and prayers for your journey through!

              2. Freedom,

                I try to keep my posts to 1000-1400 words. So I did not list all of the possible things that would be disrespectful – in God’s eyes. But I did provide links to those posts so that women could quickly examine the topics.

                I agree that disrespect and respect are big words. Like “love.” And there can be many meanings. And people who are acting in the flesh love to twist those words and definitions to serve their own egos. So, it is a great idea for women to check out those links if they are not familiar with what I have written. That will help us all be on the same page.

                I hope to respond in greater detail later today. Thank you fir sharing more of your story.

                I am so thankful to hear that you and your husband are doing so much better and that the Lotd is healing and changing you both! ❤️💜❤️

              3. Freedom,

                My apologies, I am trying to write between errands. 🙂

                Perhaps you would be interested in prayerfully considering writing a similar posts with 10 tips for ladies who are coming from a place similar to where you started your journey of healing in Christ? I’d love to share some other perspectives that other women can relate to.

                And I changed the top of the post to be sure to be clear that I am addressing those who have realized they have been disrespectful and controlling. I had no clue I had been disrespectful or controlling in God’s eyes for over 14 years in our marriage. My about page goes into a lot more detail. But I am so thankful that the Lord woke me up. And so thankful that He healed me, my husband, and our marriage.

                I’m also very grateful to hear about how He has healed your marriage, as well. And that you are both doing so much better spiritually. That is what I long to see – husbands and wives, men, women, and children experiencing the life-changing power and healing of Christ in their lives.

                I also have a number of posts about being enmeshed – and idolizing our husbands – because that tends to be very common and can get quite unhealthy. Wives are welcome to search:

                – oneness in marriage
                – enmeshed
                – husband idol

                I’m glad that Leslie Vernick’s site has been a blessing. I have heard that from a number of wives. Interestingly, if I had read that site before God began working in my heart, I would have felt justified to become more controlling and more disrespectful, I believe. So I am glad that the Lord has different people with different experiences and backgrounds in the body to edify and build up the body of Christ.

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

                Much love in Him!

              4. Freedom,

                My husband, Greg, was similar to you, it seems. He never confronted my sin. He never addressed my arrogance, pride, demands, entitlement, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, critical spirit, judgmental attitude, self-righteousness, contempt, my ordering him around, my taking over and making all of the decisions. I truly believed that I carried the weight of some of God’s sovereignty and it was my responsibility and duty to make him do what I thought was best and that he was wrong if he didn’t agree with me. He felt he had no voice. He and I both viewed him as being 100% of the problem. 🙁 I know I would have argued with him if he had attempted to address my sin. But wow! I sure needed someone to address it. No one did. Until God finally, thankfully, woke me up almost 9 years ago with the book Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

                We can all tend to lean toward being too passive or too controlling. Those things are destructive. There is this beautiful place of healthy balance in the middle – a place we can only reach with God’s power and wisdom. I want to see us all get to live in that beautiful place.

  3. I think what was and sometimes still is so hard for me is rejection from other people, even Christians,and from the culture. Being respectful of your husband is darn near a subversive act. Being submissive is not perceived as a good quality in many places. I actually lost friends over it, had family angry with me. I got my husband a cup of coffee once and there was a great deal of shaming over it that actually made me a bit angry.

    My husband too,he underestimated how painful that all was for me,how much flack and resistance there can be from friends and family. He’s far less social and doesn’t care as much about the opinions of others. For me I had to think of it like the way you go on a diet and suddenly everyone around you just wants you try their brownies.I don’t know why people are like that, but often they aren’t going to be your cheerleaders.

    1. Insanitybytes,

      You are correct, being respectful of your husband IS a subversive act, in that you are obeying God in a culture and world that is set against Him and under the sway of the evil one. If you even mention the idea that there are roles permitted to women and roles not permitted to them, or the submission word, it seems to trigger fear and loathing even amongst believers.

      I had a pastor shame me for wanting to stay home and be a homemaker. I don`t have any kids at home so apparently that is supposed to mean one no longer has a ministry of being a wife. He then took some specific shots at me from the pulpit, twisting things I had said to him about being new in the community and not having anywhere to go or anyone to hang out with, to suggest that all I did was sit on my duff in my house. From the pulpit! He felt I could not witness in the community unless I had an outside job.

      I mean seriously. I think it threatens people because it quietly points to the fact that there is a God, and thus authority and thus someone who has the right to expect our obedience, a much despised message in a society based on prideful individualism and blatant rebellion. I am personally praying that God would connect me with another woman who is a true Christ follower in my area, so that I would at least have some fellowship and support. Don`t know if anyone exists here that way but it can`t hurt to ask.

      1. SevenTimes,

        True. Any time we obey God in this culture, people are going to get really upset. Evil is now good and good is now evil all around us.

        I’m so very sorry to hear about the situation with the pastor. Of course you may stay home and be a homemaker. Even if you don’t have kids at home. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and God can use you just where He has you.

        Goodness, I can’t imagine a pastor specifically targeting a wife from the pulpit. SO heartbreaking!

        I pray with you that the Lord might provide a godly prayer partner for you, my dear sister!

        1. Hi April 🙂 Yes, sadly this really did happen. He didn`t do it by name, as in call me out so that the entire church would know exactly who he meant but he was specific enough and used specific words and phrases from our conversation which had happened a day earlier to let me know at least, who he meant. I`ve actually seen this behaviour in a few church situations and this particular pastor did it with others too and saw nothing wrong with it. I realize now its spiritually abusive behaviour, except in situations where its a valid sin and discipline situation and all the steps of the biblical process have been mercifully followed, yet without repentance. I think what you said about Evil now being good and vice versa has also infiltrated the church enough that this is why we are seeing things like what I have experienced and what insanitybytes described, where attempts at biblical obedience are labelled as legalism and one might suffer being persecuted and reviled over it.

          Thank you for praying for me in this regard. And for encouraging me that is okay to be a homemaker. I feel so isolated. I do not want to fellowship in churches where the gospel is so watered down that it is all about being seeker sensitive, accepting and inclusive, and the church doesn`t look any different than the world, let alone one where biblical submission and leadership is not taught or supported. I mean, here I struggle with serious rebellion, control, codependency or idolatry, and other things and I need examples of godly womanhood, faith and obedience and yet when I get to church I see rather that the things I am struggling to put down,. I am being encouraged to see as normal, and these things are being justified as part of our freedom in Christ and under the banner of there being no male nor female in Christ. Very discouraging indeed and really set me back in that I came under intimidation and doubted myself as to whether or not I was just being a legalistic idiot.

    2. insanitybytes22,

      I am extremely blessed that my parents are very supportive of my ministry. And my siblings are, as well. There are many families where I know that I would be disowned for the things I share here.

      I have definitely lost friends. And gotten a LOT of hate from certain segments of society and even the church. I have also upset female coworkers at times because I defend men instead of bashing them. I try to defend anyone who is being insulted.

      So many people misunderstand the whole concept of submission. To almost everyone in our culture, it means slavery. So I understand why they don’t like that idea. I don’t like it either! And disrespect is now so normal for men, we don’t even realize what we are doing and how much we insult men on a continual basis. So when there is a woman who really treats her man well, respects him, and honors him, she stands out. A lot.

      To me, this is part of the Christian life. The world will not understand God’s ways. We will receive persecution of many varying degrees for standing on God’s Word and for obeying Him. Yes, even in the church. But that is okay. It is ultimately only His approval we need.

      May the Lord empower us to shine brightly for Him in this dark and dying world. May He use us to throw life preservers to many other people so that they might receive Jesus and eternal life.

      Much love!

  4. Number 6…. I’m having a hard time with that one. Please pray for me to think on things that are from above. Philippians 4:8

    I know that battle starts in my mind and to keep all thoughts captive to Christ. This shouldn’t be difficult with the help of the Holy Spirit but I am battling! I know I’m having small victories so I praise God for that! Also, praying the armour of God over myself and husband as well. Ephesians 6:11-18

    Thanks for the post April.
    🙂

    1. Cara,

      Can you come up with at least 2 or 3 things, my dear sister?

      Thankful that you are praying for God’s armor for yourself and your husband.

      If you’d like to talk about things, I’m here. And if you need a video about taking our thoughts captive, perhaps this may be a blessing.

      Praying for God’s victory and praising Him that He has already provided the victory for us.

      Much love!

  5. Hi ladies!

    April thank you for this blog post. I have been on this journey for close to two years now, and I will say, things are still very hard. However, I have gotten to know God on such greater levels in these two years. Even though I continue to make mistakes, and sometimes fall back in old ways (and need to go back to the Lord) I can say He is faithful to extend grace to us that is sufficient and He is so long suffering to us! My marriage is still rocky in many ways. I won’t lie and say things are perfect. But, I’ve come to find I can find contentment even during these trials. Would like to encourage others to just trust in the Lord and His goodness and just rest in Him, such a good place to be!

    1. The Lords Handmaiden,

      I’m so sorry to hear that things are very hard still. I know that Greg was pretty withdrawn for the first 3.5 years of my journey. Then at that point, he began to feel safe with me again. It sure gave me a lot of time to ask God to refine my motives and to learn to depend on the Lord alone no matter what Greg did.

      I’m so thankful to hear that you are finding contentment in Christ even in the trials. That is beautiful!

      Thank you for sharing with our sisters. Praying for the Lord’s healing for you, your husband, and your marriage.

      If you want to talk about anything, I’m here. I’d be glad to point you to resources and to more healing in Christ.

      Much love!
      April

  6. I think now it is on the men to love, respect and honor their wives. Too long have we conservative christians tried to put all the blame on the women – now the men should take a good look at their many faults and work to become men worthy of their women. It is the truth that many men are NOT godly in their hate and disrespect. Women need to be heard inside and outside of the home to truly fulfill Jesus wishes.

    1. Susan,

      I wrote a post to husbands this past weekend. They have at least as much, if not more, responsibility to submit to Christ as Lord and to be the godly, humble, loving, selfless, gentle men God calls them to be. The whole Bible applies to men and women. Just because I only teach women does not excuse men to sin at all. We are each personally accountable to the Lord for every thought, motive, word, and deed. Jesus gives zero excuses to any of us for anything God calls sin.

      We are all in desperate need of His power to change and transform us from wretched sinners to glorious saints who live in His holiness and love.

      No one should be being abused. Not men. Not women. Not children.

  7. You are talking so much about becoming a safe space – when it is the men who proclaim to be husbands are unsafe space for their women who love them. We need to address the rampant domestic violence – and no, the victims are not guilty at all. Unless we condemn and fight against this the church – and christiandom will always be considered abusive.

    1. Susun,
      I agree in many ways here. I think when we spiritualize abuse at many levels we revictimize those offended and hurt and they are burdened with more false guilt and shame. There are healthier churches and ministries that are going after this and revealing all the covert ways that can keep people stuck and contributing to an unhealthy body of Christ overall. Prayers for your journey.

      1. My foundational understanding of sin is as follows:

        – All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23)

        Therefore, men and women have sinned.
        In our feminist culture, we tend to minimize the sins of women. And we tend to get very upset when anyone suggests that women can sin, not just men.
        But it was not a gift to me to hear the idea that women are good and men are evil. We all have sin in our lives that we need to address before the Lord and we all need to repent and turn to Jesus to receive forgiveness, cleansing, salvation, and healing.

        It is my belief that abuse of any kind is sin. And that sin of any kind is abuse. I don’t believe that abuse and spiritual sin issues can be separated.

        Men’s sins need to be thoroughly addressed in light of Scripture.
        Women’s sins need to be thoroughly addressed in light of Scripture.

        Not all women and men have the same sin. But we all have the same desperate need for Jesus. And we are all on level ground at the foot of the cross.

        Much love!

        1. When it comes to dealing with another person’s sin:

          Jesus admonishes us to take the beam out of our own eye first so that we may see clearly to remove the speck in our brother’s eye. Matt. 7:1-5
          We also have Matt. 18:15-17 where we are to confront our brother privately about his sin. If he doesn’t repent, we are to take several godly witnesses with us to address and confront his sin appropriately, and if he still won’t repent, we are to take him before the church. Then if he won’t repent, the church is to administer discipline.
          But when we address another person’s sin, we are to watch ourselves that we not be tempted into sin ourselves. Gal. 6:1

        2. In reading some of the comments that relate to abuse esp. the one about there being healthier churches and ministries going after the problem of abuse, I think the concern behind it is the willful ignorance of many Christians about evil and how it deceitful it is and the desperate position that leaves someone in who is truly being abused and needs help. Like shepherds who refuse to believe the wolf could come to their flock. I don`t believe April would tell any woman that it is noble to stay and be abused and that there is something sanctified and holy about cooperating with evil against women and children, ie, spiritualize abuse.

          But it is well known that there are many churches out there who DO say such things and whose brand and practice of Christian faith is rather based in churchianity and what I call `nice i anity“ rather than facing the whole truth of the bible. These folks seem to want to believe that no one is really truly evil and that such evil could not possible exist among US. As a result, because of this erroneous bias, they are easily bamboozled by those with evil motives and wolves in sheep`s clothing find their congregations a welcoming and comfortable place where they can safely do their thing and often get away with it unconfronted. In addition to being ignorant about evil, they are also ignorant about repentance. They mistake emotion for repentance rather than looking for and requiring fruit of repentance. It is often the leader who wants the approval of people and is enamored with proving he is a successful pastor that is most at risk for this, being too afraid of being disliked to deal firmly with sinful behaviour, call a spade a spade, or uphold what the word says however unpopular. Such don`t see beyond a surface brand of faith that has the appearance of godliness. Consequently, an evil person need only do enough of the right things to put in a convincing performance of godliness and no one is willing to believe otherwise. I`ve seen this sort of thing and it isn`t always a man who is the problem. The number of churches I have been in where a controlling and manipulative female bully gets away with her insubordinate sin because the pastor is afraid to tell her her place is about equal to the number of churches where arrogant prideful men who ride roughshod over others are allowed to carry on in their sin because they are male.

          The truth that the ground is level at the foot of cross for instance is a good example of the kind of trip that might be laid on a person seeking help and deliverance from ongoing cruelty and oppressive control. Its a true saying. It means we are all sinners, no one is righteous, all are in need of saving. No problem there. But the way truths like this one get used on women in abusive situations ( and in some cases, it is men who are in abusive situations) is rather evil and sadly, all too common. When women disclose abuse to their pastors or elders, it is common to hear lines like that trotted out to make it sound as if the wife has no right to be upset at the abuse she is suffering because she too is a sinner and it then gets turned into a question of the wife lacking forgiveness and mercy rather than one of the husband being abusive. I do not think this is the way April meant to apply this truth but I am aware that some ladies who visit this blog are fearful that they might hear such a thing from someone advocating biblical roles for women.

          Women who claim abuse are often shamed as manipulative whiners seeking attention, without any attempt to ask for examples of what is meant by abusive behaviour. Some churches will recognize only physical abuse as if one kind is more awful than another. But causing someone to live in fear and walk on eggshells is just as destructive, just in a different way. Most of us would be freaked out by a spiritualized guilt trip like that I think. But Paul did not say that to the Corinthians when it was reported that a man among them was engaging in a form of gross sin. He did not say `Well, you know, the ground is level at the foot of the cross and he needs Jesus just as you all do, so you need to show him grace and mercy and do your best to get along with him and help him“. Paul actually commented that the brand of sin the man was practicing was so particularly vile and perverted so that it was not even named among people groups known for being heathens. And then he instructed the other Christians to remove him from their midst immediately until such a time as he produced fruit in keeping with repentance. The others were walking in repentant obedience. This man was not. This shows the vital importance especially today in this time, of being Berean and not assuming that just because someone claims to be speaking for God, that they are in fact accurately representing Him. Hope this is helpful to someone.

          1. SevenTimes,

            Thank you so much for sharing your insights. They are very helpful.

            You are right – I never want to tell a woman who is being abused to stay and take abuse if things are really serious and she is not safe in some way. I also don’t want men to stay and take abuse if they are not safe. It is such a difficult thing to talk about online in a large group. That is why I like to refer women to one-on-one godly counseling, although I know that it can be hard to find a godly counselor who will give biblical, helpful, healing, godly advice.

            But in a large group online – the frustrating thing is that there are a lot of different filters and histories women have:

            – Some actually have very godly husbands but because their husbands try to lead appropriately, these women believe they are being abused. They use the word “abuse.” They truly may think they are being abused. But they are perhaps deceived. Examples: Some wives think it is “abusive” that their husbands want them to stick to a genuinely reasonable budget or to not openly flirt with other men.
            – Some are being abused in very serious ways physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually, but are in denial about it. They don’t even recognize that I am talking about their situation if I use the word, “abuse.”
            – Some are being abused and realize they are being abused but can’t talk about it openly online for fear of repercussion. So if they do say anything, they may talk about very small things their husband did but not disclose how bad the abuse is, which makes it impossible for them to receive appropriate counsel.
            – Some women are in a joint abusive relationship where both husband and wife are abusing each other in various ways. It’s possible that in such a situation, if a wife takes care of her own sin and abuse, things may calm down. Of course, that is not always the case. Each situation is different.
            – Some women are abusing their husbands but believe that they are being abused themselves and that their actions toward their husbands are justifiable and excusable. I would have to say that I was emotionally, spiritually and verbally abusive toward Greg, but I didn’t see it. I thought he was totally at fault and he was the only one who needed to change.
            – Some women lean toward passivity, giving up their personhood, respecting their husbands in unhealthy ways, idolizing their husbands almost as if the husband is god and can make no mistakes and can do no wrong.
            – Other women lean toward control, type A personalities, running over their husbands, disrespecting their husbands.
            – Some husbands are too passive, uninvolved and unloving.
            – Some husbands are harsh, controlling, unloving, and disrespectful to their wives.

            And then there are some women who were abused as children, or who were spiritually abused (or at least, incorrectly taught) by churches that taught that it is acceptable for men to abuse women or for women to abuse men.

            I have not found the perfect way to try to address all of these women in one post.

            It breaks my heart that these scripture passages would be used to justify a husband’s or a wife’s abuse. I long for all sin to stop. I long for all of us to have healthy, vibrant, safe, beautiful marriages.

            I am not familiar with churches who teach that women should be mistreated, controlled, dominated, and subservient. So I appreciate the counterbalance and insights that my sisters share who have experienced this.

            Much love and thank you for the important discussion!

            1. Honestly, the churches where I grew up, I don’t recall us talking about marriage much at all, or roles. Some of the churches – the only sermons on Sunday mornings were about salvation. Every single Sunday. And Sunday School was just mostly about learning about the Bible in a historical way and to know the verses. But it wasn’t much application.

              I don’t recall anyone being confronted about sin much.

              Also, for those who have not experienced how abusive some people can be, they may just not have the knowledge and experience to deal with some of the more difficult situations.

              1. Another thing that I think can be problematic, is that once we label someone “an abuser” (whether a man or a woman) we tend to write them off as beyond God’s reach. I don’t believe anyone is beyond God’s reach. Of course, if they are very abusive, we may need to protect ourselves and our children. We may not be able to be with that person if we are not safe. We sure may not be able to trust that person if they are unrepentant. We may have to have appropriate boundaries. But I never want to give the message that someone is beyond the help of Jesus.

                I have walked beside a number of people who we would all easily label as “abusers” whom God healed and changed. I’m so thankful for His miracles!

                But it is important to remember that it is God who changes people. We don’t change them.

  8. A zillion thank you’s for this very practically helpful post. I’m sitting here thinking to myself “Ohhhhhhh…that makes sense now! No wonder!” I know there is uniqueness in every situation and relationship and your response to ‘the very important questions’ was as helpful as the original post, but all I can say is for me, you have hit the proverbial nail on the head!!!
    This post is a keeper for me, I need to print it off and examine my words to my husband in light of it.
    This kind of practical help is not only precisely what I need, it’s also an answer to prayer.
    May God bless you sister, with more of what you have recieved from the Him, as you give it away x x x

    1. Isaiah6510,

      I’m so thankful to the Lord that this has been such a blessing to you. And yes, no two situations are exactly the same. So – we do need to seek the Lord and His Spirit for wisdom for our particular situations.

      I know I sure needed this kind of information very early on. I didn’t have it. And I think that is part of why it took me SO LONG to “get it” and to see healing in myself and in Greg. But – I am honored that I am able to share some wisdom that I had to learn the hard way so that maybe my sisters in Christ will have a bit more help than I did.

      I can’t wait to see all that the Lord has in store for you!

      Yes, may God pour all of His goodness, love, truth, and healing through me into the lives of my sweet sisters for their edification, growth, and blessing.

      Much love!

  9. First of all I would like to say that English is not my native language and I think that you – Mrs April could correct my mistakes if you want to.

    Reading your posts has helpt me to be more forgiving to women. I feel encouraged not to think “what other people should do”, but think what I should do. It really helps, but sometimes I think if such thinking doesn’t have some borders. I mean I feel like I’ve been hurt by women when I was growing up (it was the time when my personality was forming) and it was painful, but probably more painful have been problems after those situations. I have been trying to find help to talk about it with some female psychologists (non-Christian and Christian). When talking to those psychologists I realised that it is much easier for them to talk about men’s sins then women’s sins. I thought I should think about my sins, responsibilities, but I feel like my bitterness towards women is still there. I feel like something is wrong with showing my own and men’s sins and not showing women’s sins. I feel sometimes tired of this situation and ask myself a question: what’s wrong? Do I make something wrong or do they? I understand that I am a sinner, that I don’t understand women etc., but I feel like something is wrong, l feel more and more withdrawn.

    I know that we are from different continents and there are some cultural differences. Probably American women are different than Polish women.

    I also would like to say that you don’t have to respond to my message if you don’t know what to read. Just wanted to share my doubts.

    Thank you.

    1. Man from Poland,

      I’m so glad you are reaching out for help and for healing.

      It sounds like things were quite painful when you were younger. If you were sinned against by family members as a child – there is usually a healing process most people have to go through as adults, even as believers in Christ.

      Yes, it is important to take responsibility for your own sins and behavior. But it is also important to properly deal with other people’s sins against you and to acknowledge your hurt and that the sin done against you was wrong.

      I have a post on righteous anger that you can search for if you would like. I also have a post on my other site http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.com called “healing for hopelessness” about healing from childhood wounds.

      You are also welcome to search my blog for things like:
      – bitterness
      – forgiveness
      – spiritual healing

      If you were abused as a child, it is even more important to hash through all of that pain and the wrong done against you and to be able to see things clearly in light of God’s love and truth so that you can heal fully and move forward.

      If you feel it would be helpful to talk about things here with me, you are welcome to. I will do all I can to point you to the healing available to you in Jesus. He can set you free from all the bitterness and heal your scars.

      Much love in Christ!

      1. Thank you for your support.

        I think I will pray and consider what to do. Your proposal for help is a big thing for me.
        Maybe I will try to talk about those topics with my therapist more open, but I don’t want to hurt her or manipulate saying her that she does something wrong etc. Sometimes I don’t how to say what I think about someone’s behaviour with love. I have to think about it.

        I must add that your articles, videos have helpt me believe in Godly feminity, which is important to me.

        Thank you

        1. Man from Poland,

          Whatever you would like to do – I trust the Lord will lead you. I’m here if you want to talk. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to talk about these particular topics. May the Lord richly bless your walk with Him and may you find all of the spiritual and emotional healing that is available to you in Jesus.

  10. I believe this is confirmation for me. I’ve been praying for God to change me in order for my husband to be won. The more I read and learn, the more I want to share/teach my husband. The more I share, the more he reject. I reached out for spiritual advice and was told exactly what you wrote. My husband is the head and to focus on changing myself and allow God to change him.

    I enjoyed this read and I truly believe this is confirmation that God is the only one who can change my husband. I will continue to work on myself and have faith in God to do the rest.

    1. Monica,
      This sounds like an awesome plan. I know it is tempting to want to share everything we are learning. There may be a time in the future when that is totally fine. But I am so excited you are on this journey now.

      Praying for God’s healing and blessing for you both and for your husband’s salvation!
      Much love,
      April

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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