The first few years of my journey, I stumbled a lot. Like… A. LOT. For years. But every time I fell, I repented and got right back up, begging God to continue to change me to make me more like Jesus.
All I wanted was to:
- Love Jesus with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength.
- Yield completely to His Lordship.
- Glorify Him.
- Let Him transform me.
- Tear out every thought, belief, word, and action that didn’t align with Christ.
- Rebuild my life on Him and His Word alone with the help of His Spirit.
- Bless Greg.
Now that I have a better understanding of God, my husband, and God’s design for marriage, I don’t feel tempted to go back to my old skewed beliefs at all. It’s obvious to me now how wrong they were.
The whole reason I acted the way I did—controlling, demanding, prideful, self-righteous, disrespectful, bossy, resentful, bitter, etc…—was because of my wrong thinking and wrong assumptions.
I believed some terrible lies:
- Greg didn’t love me.
- I had the responsibility to make other people do what was right.
- God was small and wimpy and I carried a lot of power and authority.
- Greg should do what I wanted him to do.
- Greg was responsible for my happiness.
- Everything depended on me.
Going back to my old mindset now is about as tempting as it would be for me to want my husband to tear up the new deck boards he just installed and replace them with the old rotten boards that used to be there.
NOT a temptation!
I Am Not the Same Woman Now
The old nature is still there. I can access it any time. But it repulses me now. My desires are totally different now because of Jesus living in me and He is firmly on the throne of my life. I don’t want to access that old nastiness!
I have a stable spiritual foundation now built on the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ and His Word, the Bible.
I know who God is now. How huge, sovereign, omnipotent, and powerful He is. I know He is completely good and has good motives toward me. I know He can work through any situation for my eternal good and His kingdom’s glory.
I know I can trust Him. I have tasted and seen how wonderful it is to put all of my faith in Him.
Why would I ever turn my back on Him to go my old way that lead to nothing but misery?
I also know who Greg is now. I understand his personality and masculinity more than ever. I also don’t idolize him or expect him to be my primary source of contentment, security, and emotional/spiritual wellbeing. I don’t idolize myself or my happiness.
I look to Jesus to fill me up. I find contentment in Jesus not in things or people of this world. I know He, alone, can satisfy the deepest longings of the heart and soul.
I don’t doubt my husband’s love now. I don’t assume the worst about him anymore and we have an 11 year history of me seeing that I have been right when I assume the best.
More than that, I know Jesus will never fail me even if my husband does. If I have Him, I am where I want to be.
It’s also incredibly helpful to constantly write and teach about the biblical principles God has given us as believers in Christ and godly wives. It helps me to grow when I know I am setting an example for my children and others. There is a lot of accountability.
Do I Still Have Temptations?
My sinful nature is still with me. I can still access it. But my goal is to crucify it daily and not let it rise up with God’s Spirit helping me.
Sometimes, if I am exhausted, hormonal, or in pain, I might say something with an edge of irritation to my voice. But these days, I usually realize it very quickly and immediately apologize.
(I just checked with my husband, and he confirmed what I am sharing. I wanted to be sure I wasn’t saying anything inaccurate!)
Of course, I have to watch for pride, fear, worry, impatience, unforgiveness, and irritation daily and take those thoughts captive for Christ right away the second I notice anything flare up.
Pride is my greatest concern because it is so sneaky and can be easy to miss in our own lives.
There are also new challenges that come up that bring new temptations to be afraid or worried. My desire is to always take those things straight to Jesus and to trust Him to lead me through them.
I still have much to learn and much growth ahead of me.
I am not perfect and realize I will not be completely sinless and perfect until I step into heaven’s gates and God completes the good work He began in me.
But I have no desire for my old toxic mindset. It was so destructive and repulsive.
My desire is to stay very close to the Lord daily and filled up with His Spirit. I know I am completely dependent on His power and help. The only reason I can do anything good is His power working in me. May Jesus alone be exalted in my life!
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.Gal. 2:20
April, thank you for being sensitive and obedient to His leading. This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me and you’ve been totally led by the “spiritual memo” that went out to all believers :). At least it seems to be that way. Anyways, when I read this I couldn’t believe that I’m not the only one that has dealt with this issue where the “old me” may come back. I have been fearful of that this last week and reading your post really encouraged me that He is omnipresent and sovereign and died on the cross once and for all. All those sins are gone and I can walk worthy of His righteousness and stand fast in my faith. The verse I’m studying this week is James 4:8 and Hebrews 10:22. This post also falls in line with that — staying close to Him makes the “old me” be squashed! Thank you again!
This is something all believers face. Romans 7 describes the struggle. Then Romans 8 provides the victory!
Yes, Jesus has finished His work completely on our behalf. When we receive Salvation, we are, in God’s eyes, justified. God sees our sin on Christ and His holiness in us.
But we go through the process of sanctification for the rest of our lives where we learn to live under the power of the Holy Spirit and to crucify the sinful nature. We continue to learn and grow and mature.
Jesus provides the power we need to have victory over the old sinful nature. What a blessing! If we fall, we repent and get right back up and follow Jesus. We invite Him to cleanse and purify us. He is always willing to help us as we depend on Him and trust His Spirit to work in us. We can’t do it on our own. But He can do it in and through us!
He is SO good!
Thanks for sharing this. I thank God you are in that place of not wanting to go back! It’s been five years and I’m still struggling a bit by my own assessment. I’ve been convicted recently by 1 Peter 3, so I’ve been meditating on that and refocusing my thoughts on what God wants me to do, rather than what I want to flesh out in the moment. Thanks for sharing your journey, it is an encouragement to know it can get better with time, and through the power of the Holy Spirit!
I remember Nina Roesner (author of “The Respect Dare”) saying it took her about 10 years to really “get it” on this respect journey. I haven’t seen many women just suddenly and completely transform. Please don’t be discouraged, as you continue to seek Christ first and yield to what He wants to do in your heart, He will lead the way. <3
I think of those 3.5 years or so where I struggled so much as my time in the wilderness, kind of like Paul had. It was during that time that God refined my motives and taught me to depend on Christ alone. I'm so thankful for those years. They were not wasted!
Love this! Yes, we can change our former way of thinking/acting. I am proof of that and I cannot begin to think what my marriage would look like today if I had never acknowledged and addressed the way I handled things with him in our earlier days.
How I praise God for His willingness to heal and change His children. And that He continues His good work in us all our lives. I can’t wait to see all we will get to learn. <3
Funny how your posts turn up when they do. 5 minutes after I let my old self out, I sat down to this. If I wasn’t so angry at what had just happened I would laugh.
Thanks for this!
Happily gave up,
Isn’t God the most wonderful loving Father?
I was just looking at an old post on this topic and thought this might be a blessing to a lot of the ladies today:
Every wife’s story is different. Every wife’s timetable is different.
I have seen some women for whom all of this seemed to “click” within WEEKS. But I have seen some women for whom it has taken 10 years or longer for things to really settle in their minds about becoming a godly wife and woman. There are MANY factors involved!
– Sometimes struggling on this road can come from sin we are still cherishing in our hearts: unbelief, disobedience to God, idols, bitterness, gossip, control, unforgiveness, pride, self-righteousness, etc that we don’t realize are still there. As long as we hold on to sin, ANY sin, we cannot have God’s power full blast in our lives.
– Sometimes we THINK we have stopped all of our disrespect (or some other sin like bitterness), and don’t realize that we are still doing disrespectful things we don’t even notice that are keeping us stuck.
– Sometimes it just takes time to learn and absorb so much. I often talk about, this process is kind of like “eating an elephant.” You can’t really eat it all at once. We can only absorb so much at a time.
– Becoming a godly wife is part of the process of sanctification, too – which lasts our entire lifetime – as God’s Spirit makes us more and more like Christ. We will not be “perfect” until heaven!
– My willingness to obey God and submit to Him plays a huge factor here. If I balk and rebel against what God asks me to do – I will definitely slow the process down dramatically – wandering in the wilderness until I am willing to obey Him.
– Other times, we struggle because of intense spiritual warfare – none of us are exempt from that.
We will all face temptations and trials. That will never stop until we reach heaven.
Much love and encouragement to everyone! <3
Some other posts that may be a blessing that ladies can search for on my blog:
– Stages of This Journey
– Grace Alone’s posts
– A Fellow Wife’s posts
– Has This Journey Gotten Easier?
It’s not about us trying harder as much as it is about us resting in His love and receiving what He has done for us and yielding to His Spirit.
Thank you, April!
You’re most welcome. If you ever need encouragement or support, please reach out! <3
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