I’m trying something a bit different today. This is a fictional story with a very real kind of situation many wives face daily. Let me know what you think!
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
The phone on the nightstand screamed to life waking Allie out of her pleasant dreams. It was time to start another day.
Time to get herself showered, dressed, and ready for work. Time to get the three children ready for school. In an hour, it would also be time for her husband, David, to leave to start the day at his grueling job.
As she stumbled into the bathroom and flicked on the light, wincing from the brightness, she immediately noticed her husband’s dirty socks on the floor 2 feet away from the hamper. Again.
She also saw that the toilet seat was left up, something she had politely asked David to try to avoid doing. And she couldn’t help but see that David’s sink had thousands of tiny little hairs left everywhere from where he had forgotten to rinse the sink out last night when he shaved right before bed.
The old Allie would have lost it. She would have marched right into their bedroom, shaken her husband awake, and demanded that he get up right then and put the toilet seat down, rinse the sink, and put his dirty socks in the hamper where they so obviously belonged.
That old voice in Allie’s mind beckoned to her. Enticing her to return back to her old ways. It was a bit tempting.
But Allie had a spiritual awakening, of sorts, six months earlier. She realized that she often acted toward David in ways that didn’t match up with what she said she believed about Jesus.
She began to understand that the way she thinks, speaks, and acts is a choice as a believer in Christ. And that the way treats other people reveals the depth of her love for Jesus.
She has been discovering that when she yields her heart fully to the Lord and gives Him control, He can give her the ability and power to act in Christlike ways that she doesn’t have apart from Him. She doesn’t have to cave in to the guilty pleasures of screaming and ranting like she used to.
Even better, she doesn’t have to live with the regret of lashing out and saying hurtful things to her family.
She is beginning to see now how much damage her harsh words caused her husband, her marriage, and her children. She had no idea for so many years earlier in her marriage that when she lost her temper, there was a steep price for everyone in the family to pay.
Lost intimacy. Lost joy. Lost happiness and fun times. Forfeited sweet memories.
It’s not that Allie couldn’t simply ask David for what she would like for him to do to help her out. She definitely could. But right now, he was asleep. And honestly, these three little things were not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of eternity. She knew that he didn’t purposely try to upset her.
He was in a hurry when he was getting to bed last night. He shaved just for her because he knew she would enjoy his kisses a lot more if his face wasn’t so scratchy. He wanted to get to spend some extra time cuddling with her and watching their favorite show together. They got started a bit later than planned.
Allie purposely veered away from that old voice and decided to think about the day before and all the good things her husband had done for her and the kids.
Why, just yesterday, her car battery had died. He was her knight in shining armor when he came as soon as she had texted him and jumped her car off and let her take his car so she could pick up the kids while he took her car to get a new battery.
And last night, when their 7th-grade son, Dillon, was struggling with Algebra I homework, her husband put aside his plans for the evening and spent two hours coaching their boy through polynomials.
She was sure it would have taken her at least an hour to brush up on the concept herself. But her husband cheerfully and patiently worked with their boy, calming his anxiety, and helping him understand. He was such a good teacher.
In fact, that was why her husband was a bit late coming to bed. Because he was trudging through Algebra with Dillon. But even though David was tired, he stayed up a bit late snuggling with Allie, smiling at her, and looking so content and happy to be with her.
He had started to let his guard down around her again. He looked like he was starting to feel safe with her emotionally, again. For several years, he used to just sit in the den watching TV by himself at night. But now, he enjoyed being with Allie and sharing precious times together.
As she thought about it, David seemed much more interested in physical intimacy in recent months, too. What a huge answer to prayer that development had been! She hadn’t realized how much her abrasive words and caustic attitude had turned him off in the past.
Allie decided to offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God as she thought about the sweet, loving, and kind things David had done for her and their children. And to thank God for what a gift David was in her life.
And then, she focused on a praise song to start her day. As she hummed, “Behold Our God” quietly to herself, she quickly picked up the socks and put them in the hamper, rinsed out the sink, and lowered the toilet seat. Surely she could have a selfless servant’s heart, just like Jesus did.
She decided to choose joy, peace, and thankfulness as she started a new busy day.
She let gratitude overwhelm and flood her soul. Gratitude for Jesus and the way He was healing her and her marriage. Gratitude for David and their marriage. Gratitude for her dear children.
Then before she left for work, when David was awake, she gave him a huge hug and a passionate kiss before she sped out the door. She whispered to him, “Thanks again for being my hero yesterday with the car battery thing. And thank you SO much for helping Dillon. Oh! And I really enjoyed our time together last night, too.”
Maybe she would mention the sock, sink, and toilet seat thing in a week or so if they continued or if it really bothered her. But she also started to realize that, some things just aren’t a super big deal. She decided to focus more than ever on the things that really will matter in the long run.
And she prayed on her way to work,
Thank You for helping me not get hung up on a few little things that really don’t matter much. Thank You for helping me remember the heroic things David did for me just yesterday. Thank You for giving me the power not to respond in my old flesh but to respond in the power of Your Spirit.
I yield my life, my marriage, and my family to You. I want nothing but Your greatest glory. I want to be as close to You as possible. Make me much more like Jesus. Heal us all by Your power, Your truth, Your Word, and Your Spirit. Thank You that You promise to complete the good work You began in us all. I rest in Your promises and in Your love today.
Make my life beautiful for Your Name’s sake.
Can you relate to Allie’s situation? Why or why not?
Is this story encouraging? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
What are some things the Lord has shown you that have blessed your life and marriage? Any pearls of wisdom you’d like to share?
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19-20
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil. 4:8
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor. 10:5
What a great description of how the thought process of a wife can be. I like the fictional format you used to showcase it.
I have been learning a lot about story and how powerful it can be to convey messages. I appreciate the feedback so much. I love how in a fictional piece, you can get “inside the head” of the person. It feels so much more intimate than a movie or TV show. And more engaging than a lecture.
I loved this!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!! I look forward to reading more of your short encouraging stories! Great Job!!!
I appreciate your thoughts very much. Thank you! If this is encouraging, we can definitely try some more in the future.
Yes!!! That would be great!! I will most definitely read them!!!
I liked the story but I can’t relate to it. I’m tired of being the only one making any effort in my marriage.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, dear sister. For the first 3.5 years of my journey, I felt the same way you are feeling now. Like I was the only one trying in our marriage. This story in today’s post was inspired by situations that happened much later in my journey.
I can remember having to decide that I was willing to do things God’s way whether Greg ever changed or not. Whether I ever felt loved in my marriage or not. It was scary. I didn’t think Greg would or could change. I didn’t think he could lead. I didn’t think he could hear God. But this decision also freed me in a strange way, if that makes sense. That decision I made to let God mold me into the woman He desired me to be just for His glory, even if nothing else changed, was the most difficult decision I think I have ever had to make.
For those 3.5 years, I spent 3-5 hours per day, 7 days per week, studying godly femininity and what it meant to be a godly wife, praying, journalling, and begging God to change me. I read over 30 books. I had no mentor. And it was very slow going. I had no clue what I was doing!
Sometimes I would get frustrated because I didn’t see Greg changing. ANd I felt like I was trying SO HARD on my end. The Lord would gently call me to His side and say, “Why are you doing all of this, April? Is it because you want Greg to change, or because you are willing to change just for Me?”
Those 3.5 years were actually the most important years spiritually. I learned to do things just for God, to depend on Him alone. And I learned to obey God first, whether I thought things would work out the way I wanted them to or not. Even if that meant it would be for an indefinite time frame.
In time, God eventually did heal Greg. And He eventually did heal our marriage. But even now, I know my hope can’t be in Greg or in what he does. My hope has to be in Christ alone and His approval alone. And I know my goal has to be to please Him alone.
Maybe we can do a story with a wife from this kind of perspective. I actually do have a number of real life testimonies on this issue, as well. I’ll try to find the links later today, if you would be interested.
Much love, dear sister!
If you’d like to talk more about things, I’m here.
Wow. Your reply is so powerful. Especially this “That decision I made to let God mold me into the woman He desired me to be just for His glory, even if nothing else changed, was the most difficult decision I think I have ever had to make” Thank you so much April.
You are most welcome. Sometimes, when we hear people’s testimonies, and see their marriages were healed, we kind of assume that the people knew that things would work out for them in their marriage. But I didn’t. Not at all. I wasn’t guaranteed that God would do what I wanted Him to do. My only guarantee was that God would change me and that I could follow Him and let Him heal me and empower me to be who He called me to be.
The results, I had to be willing to leave in His hands and His timing. Whether they ever happened or not.
This is exactly what I needed to read today! Thank you for writing this story. The Holy Spirit really used it to speak right to me.
Yay! I’m so thankful God used it to be a blessing to you. <3
I love this fictional story and how it shows the power of our Lord to change us and more importantly, show others in our family our deep love & belief of the Word (Truth). Personally, for me, when I don’t put in the work and get the power of the Word working in me, then my old fleshy self comes knocking. If the heart does not get saturated by loving Jesus more than self, the mind will try to overtake you!
I keep reminding myself that casual pursuit of our Lord delivers casual results but when I dig down deep and get the Lord rooted in my mind & heart, then bigger, stronger more loving results take over!!
Thank you for this learning lesson. Lots of LOVE to you.
So true! When we don’t abide in Christ, we don’t spend time in His Word, in prayer, in praise, and in seeking Him first, that old sinful flesh loves to rise up.
Thank you for sharing these precious insights.
Much love, dear sister! <3
What a wonderful story ❤️ I read your book Peaceful Wife last year and it really opened my eyes. God has been working on me. This story is so encouraging, as I find so many similarities to my current situation. I fight my flesh each time I want to address certain things with my husband. I take it to the Lord in prayer first or cover it in grace. Things have been so much better between us.
I’m not so dependent on my husband, worried about what he’s doing or not doing for me. I do pray that my husband be more present with me and the kids, but that’s what I do, I pray about it. Not nag my husband about it.
In the meantime, God sustains next and strengthens me and meets all of my needs. I live to serve God and be obedient to Him, and in turn, my husband and children are blessed. Our love for one another is growing. I am choosing to be grateful and dwell on what is good, rather than any lack I feel. There is healing happening, and it feels really good ????
Many blessings April! This story about Allie is excellent! I see so many blessings that happened. In James 1:19 it says to be Quick to listen, slow to speak slow to anger , in this case we would listen and be led by the Holy Spirit.
Often our emotions leads us and we must slow down enough to think on Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Allie prayed over her emotions and she chose not to enter into a battle over things that are not important, she thought about the big picture, being grateful over so many things that her husband was doing. She chose to be grateful and she chose to respond kindly. After all “My response is my responsibility.” (Emerson Eggerichs)
Thank you April, may the LORD continue to use you mightily, above and beyond all that you can imagine.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
On the narrow path,
Joy Ann Lester
Yes! James 1:19 is such an important verse for us all to understand and live out in our daily lives.
And thank you for sharing Philippians 4:8. Yes, as we focus on the good, we see more and more good things.
Taking our thoughts captive for Christ is a discipline we all need as believers. It keeps us from spiraling into destructive thought patterns.
I appreciate you sharing your insights greatly!
How I praise God for what He is doing in your heart and life!
It is the most wonderful thing not to have your spiritual wellbeing tied to what another person does or doesn’t do. Not to have to be dependent on a person for your sense of worth, identity, love, and stability. When we look to God for these things, we are able to be unshakeable in Him even when circumstances are difficult.
And I love what you said about that you live to serve God and obey Him and then your husband and children are blessed.
That was one of the first things God asked me to do! He called me to stop asking for Him to change Greg and to focus on two things about Greg.
1. Good things I could be thankful for.
2. Being a blessing to him.
There were times, later in the future, when I did need to address issues with Greg in loving, respectful, gentle ways. But for a long time, the only things I felt God prompting me to do were focus on these two priorities in my marriage.
It was amazing to me how when I began to focus on the good, I began to see more and more good things. And as I didn’t focus on the bad, I saw less and less bad things. (Of course, I do have to say that my husband was not abusing me. I was not in danger from him. If someone is in danger, ignoring abuse would probably not be a good plan.)
Thanking God for His goodness and rejoicing with you over all that God has done and will do in your life!
Guy’s POV here… My W is one who doesn’t let anything slide. It’s a constant, non-stop tirade from the time she wakes up till bedtime. I’ve become convinced she believes that in pointing out my failures, she is demonstrating her “superiority” (at least in her mind) and greater refinement.
Problem is, while I’m learning to do the things she wants the way she wants them done, I only do it to shut her up, not because I agree that her way is better, or even necessary at all. (who cares how you break the breakfast eggs into the bowl, as long as it gets done.) If men were to react to every little thing like women do, we’d be accused of being “controlling,” “dictatorial,” or even “abusive.” When women act like complete tyrants, it’s dismissed with platitudes like “happy wife, happy life.”
It is very hard to be on the receiving end of someone who is super controlling or very OCD. I had no idea how much I was hurting my husband for the first 14 years of our marriage. I was controlling, too. But I didn’t see it. I HATED it if anyone treated me like that. Worse than anything! But I couldn’t see what I was doing. I guess it is the whole “pride is blinding” thing.
There are some deep core beliefs that seem to get skewed in people who become really controlling. For me, I had to be willing to examine some of my fixed beliefs and compare them to Scripture to see that I needed a totally different way of seeing God, myself, and others. Because I really believed, before, that I WAS responsible for things that truly were not my responsibility. I had to properly understand where my responsibilities ended and God’s and other people’s began.
I have some resources that may be helpful.
Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced
The Pain That Pushes Us to Control
The Cure for My Compulsion to Control
I have lots more resources on this topic, if anyone needs more, please let me know.
What if it’s always on you. What if it never gets better, regardless of focus and it slowly kills you.
It sounds like things are really painful, and maybe they have been for some time. I’m so very sorry for the hurt you are feeling. 🙁
If things are really tough, I would encourage you to seek some outside help in person with a counselor you can trust.
Another really great resource for wives with very difficult husbands/marriages is Nina Roesner’s eCourse Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity.
Obviously, it depends on exactly what is happening how you can respond in the best way. And if it is just beyond your ability and you need help, it is okay to reach out for help with someone who is godly, experienced, and able to help you.
Sending you a huge hug!
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