Skip to main content

“Isn’t Loving or Respecting Myself Wrong and Selfish?” – by Radiant

I’m honored to welcome Radiant to share with us today. She has been married almost 23 years and has several children. The Lord has radically healed her from pretty severe spiritual oppression and even physical illness. This sweet sister in Christ has had a very different road from my own. She had the opposite personality and issues from mine. We had to work on becoming godly women/wives from opposite ends of the spectrum. But the end goal is the same. To be filled up with Jesus, healed by His power, yielded fully to His Lordship, overflowing with His love, truth, and grace, and ready to be the women the Lord calls us to be. I pray this may be a blessing for those who struggle in understanding your identity in Christ, your worth in Christ, and how to think of and treat yourself in God-honoring ways:

To the many, many others who struggle with this; grace and peace to you to be strengthened in your spirit to receive the truth from God in this crucial area today. If we can’t get this – we can’t grow, and we are going to stay imprisoned in darkness.

April and I come to issues like this from opposite extremes. When April used certain words – “love yourself” or “respect yourself,” for instance, – I automatically repelled from those ideas like the wrong end of a magnet. I could no longer hear what she was saying because my biggest fear was being a selfish, nagging, demanding pig of a wife. And my biggest pride though I couldn’t realize it – was not having needs, not asking for anything, and never being demanding like those other people.

I tried very hard to be completely self-sufficient. I thought that was a good thing.

But there is a way that seems wise to man that in the end leads to death. That is what my thinking was.

Self is a confusing idea for us in our Christian culture.

  1. We have an Old Self that we are to die to. It is also called “the flesh” or “our sin nature.” (Colossians 3  and Galatians 5 show the traits of our Old Self – it’s not pretty for any of us). The only thing it is good for is dying. We are to put it off completely – it is nasty. Like a totally filthy garment of rags. It is completely tainted with sin. It needs to die on the Cross with Jesus and be buried with Him in baptism. I think that is the self we think people are pointing to when they say “love or respect yourself.” We know our Old Self is disgusting, with nothing good in it – and we have tons of evidence listed in alphabetical categories since we were four years old to prove it. Any self-effort to improve or love God or be good on our own is tainted by this Old Self. But that is not all there is to us as new creations in Christ.
  2. We are all image bearers of God. There is dignity to all of our lives from conception to death, no matter the state of our physical/mental/spiritual well being (Ps. 139). We are broken image bearers – but still image bearers. And there is a sacredness and a dignity to human life, including YOU because of that.  You have worth because God created you just like a painting that was painted by Picasso has worth because He painted it. You count as one of the ones in the world that God so loved – for whom He sent His only Son to die  (John 3:16).
  3. If you are a believer in Christ – you have a New Self. If we could see spiritually what that New Self looks like – as C.S. Lewis says, we would be tempted to worship it. The demons can see the Holy Spirit in us. They see the Light of Jesus’ goodness flowing through us in beautiful glory, (IF we are walking in faith and our true identity in Christ and in His authority and dying to Self). And they are terrified.

Most of us in our Christian culture have received a gospel that is Non-Good News. We believe Jesus died for us (He probably hated it and felt like He had to), and that He saved us just enough to get us into heaven and dump us at the very outer rim, near the huge walled perimeter, while He moved on to “important people and things.” Now everything is up to us to make the Kingdom happen and to grow by ourselves (we have been trained to think – or we misinterpreted what was taught).

So we have the Seed of the Spirit in our hearts which wants to burst open with Life and Light. The Seed of Life. But we are refusing to breathe.

The Word is God-breathed – and we need to breathe in His Word for us personally every day and actually absorb it. Sometimes, we are not watering that Seed with Living water, but with the poison of evil lies we tell ourselves. We have hard, rocky, unbelieving hearts in a Church full of unbelief and worldliness. We have choked the seed with the cares of this world and with pseudo-science, culture, entertainment, and busyness. We have stayed in the rotting darkness rather than come out into the Light, thinking we have faith and are doing pretty well as Christians since most Christians we know are in about the same place or have an everything-is-fine facade.

Of course we are not growing. We are starving and rotting.

We have not taken every thought captive for Christ. We have allowed the Enemy to infiltrate every area of our thinking and feelings, and therefore every part of our mind, heart and body – but not our spirit – because that is the Lord’s once we are saved. Our spirit and His Spirit in us long for Him! There is a war within us that isn’t content until we have freedom, life, peace, joy and most of all Christ!

He desires Truth in our inmost being. Where are these thoughts coming from?

  • “No one could ever love me.”
  • “I am the most worthless person ever. I am Nobody.”
  • “Jesus could never love me. I am too far beyond His help.”
  • “God has abandoned me and left me to rot in a pit/dungeon/shelf.”
  • “Jesus would never want to set me free.”
  • “Jesus could never heal me/my situation.”

Are these the thoughts of God or of the Enemy?

If this is what God thinks of you – who is this God? Is God good? Is He love? Is He all powerful? Is this the God of the Bible? If these are lies – what are we doing letting them stay in our brains?

Somehow we believe that we can be saved – but still treat ourselves like absolute dirt and not believe anything God says about Himself or about us.

  • Like we can legitimately call God a Liar.
  • Like it is ok to treat the Bride of Christ that way.
  • Like it is ok to treat our Holy, Almighty, Good, Merciful Father that way.
  • Like we are more holy than God in our lack of forgiving ourselves or receiving good?

We have been deceived if we believe these things! We have been robbed of so much grace and blessing and truth!

Don’t let the Enemy keep gloating over you!

No, our Jesus is STILL anointed to set the captives free, to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, and to open the prisons of those who are bound. (Isa 61) Where the Lord is there is freedom! If Jesus has set you free, you are free indeed!

But – you have to receive it by faith. True faith requires action. You have to walk out of that prison. You have to come into the light once those shackles are off. You have to breathe His healing Presence in. Breathe in His love and forgiveness and all He has done for you. Receive it.

  • Breathe out the lies and hurts and bitterness and unbelief and feeling abandoned and voicelessness and not counting as a real person and all of the vows you have made yourself to protect yourself since you were little.
  • You have to exchange the lie for the truth.
  • Confess your brokenness, pain, these lies you have been believing, how you have made Jesus small and you and your problems and limitations and weakness big.
  • Confess that you have thought of God as cruel – that He made you wrong and isn’t able to or won’t save you or set you free.
  • Confess that you felt abandoned by God at a crushing time in your life. That you thought God was mad at you, or that you may have been mad at God though you could never admit it. That when everything crumbled to pieces in your life, and God didn’t fix it, you tried to step in and save yourself and your marriage and your kids. You may need to write out a list of things to confess to God to get it unjumbled in your head. Your list may look different but we all have a list.
  • Get every negative thought and hurt and bitterness and unbelieving thought out into the Light. Reject it in the Name of Jesus.
  • Then – don’t leave yourself empty – receive the Truth about God and you. And know you are truly forgiven, white as snow. Not because you feel it – but because God promised it. “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9. He is Faithful and True. He does not lie.

So our first step is to receive total forgiveness – that there is nothing else we have to do and we do not need to hang on to our guilt or accusing ourselves anymore. The debt is paid. Where that old self was – we now have our New Self – which is Christ in us. His goodness, His perfection, His mind, His heart, His desires, His power. All Him. So we don’t feel it yet – but we receive it in faith. And we receive everything God says is true about His Bride. about His Church. His people. His love towards them – that is His love towards us.

It is Christ in us that gives us our new identity and all goodness.

Now – we have a reason to treat our “selves” well. Because it is Christ in us. We are absolutely one with Him. Nothing can separate us from His love. Not even our old self! That is the identity April is trying to get us to see. Our New Self that is glorious and one with Christ.

Then the next time the old accusation darts attack us – we have our armor on, ready for battle (Eph. 6:10-17). We have  on

  • The breastplate of His righteousness protecting our hearts.
  • The helmet of salvation (we KNOW we are saved).
  • The belt of truth (so we don’t trip up on all those lies).
  • The readiness of the gospel of peace on our feet.
  • The sword of the Word to fight off the enemy.
  • The shield of faith.

And we reject the lies and accusations in the Name of Jesus and replace them with the Truth. We have been drinking milk like baby Christians, but we start to get stronger and ready to move on to solid food because we can discern truth from lies by lots of practice and being washed in the Word (Heb 5).

Blessings!!!

SCRIPTURAL SUPPORT:

Loving ourselves appropriately is something God assumes we will do. Check out the second greatest commandment and God’s instructions to husbands in Ephesians 5:

  • “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matt. 22:36-40
  • In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. Eph. 6:28-30

Other verses about self-respect and thinking rightly about self:

  • Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Cor. 5:17
  • For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Cor. 6:20
  • For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:4

OTHER POSTS BY RADIANT:

I Can’t Ask for Things. I Shouldn’t Needs, Desires, or Emotions. 

For a Wife with a Critical, Perfectionistic Husband

Cinderella and the Gospel

Being a Trophy Wife Is Not the Goal, Dear Sisters!

RELATED:

How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ

Let Your Yes Mean Yes and Your No Mean No

Being Vulnerable and Direct Feels Wrong

Is It Possible to Disrespect Myself?

25 Ways to Respect Myself (Think Rightly about Myself)

Dying to Self

Dying to Self Can Be Dangerously Misunderstood

Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced

Here are some lies I have come up with that some of us may believe – I’m sure they don’t all apply to everyone, but they may give you some ideas to prayerfully consider as you invite the Holy Spirit to examine the hidden motives of your heart in your quiet time. This is not an exhaustive list! If you recognize that some of these lies are things you struggle with, I invite you to search on a site like www.openbible.com or www.biblegateway.com for terms to find verses in Scripture that reveals God’s truth about these topics. Be willing to REALLY dig into whatever lies are issues for you and spend as much time as you need to hash through what is true and what is not true. Some of these things are not conscious beliefs, but rather unconscious fixed beliefs upon which we have built our lives. Allow God to transform your thinking though the power of His Word! Compare everything any human author said against the Bible. Be willing to trash ungodly thinking and rebuild your life on God’s Word.

Lies about God:

1. He is not good.
2. He is out to get me.
3. I have to earn His love.
4. God is holding out on me.
5. God’s commands are oppressive.
6. God is small and wimpy.
7. God is evil.
8. God is tempting me.
9. God can’t help me.
10. God won’t help me.
11. God is not sovereign. People are.
12. God is a tyrant. And people are just robots with no choices.
13. God needs me.
14. Jesus is not enough for me.
15. Circumstances are greater than God is.
16. God’s Word is not true or not totally true.
17. I can’t trust God.
18. God is not loving.
19. God is not just.
20. God should submit to me.
21. God just wants me to be happy (by my own definition of temporary fleshly happiness).

 

Resources:

On my site:

Lies about Self:

1. I know better than God.
2. I am worthless/ugly/unloveable.
3. Even if I am in Christ, I am still a wretched sinner, I cannot receive my new identity and new self in Christ.
3. I am not a “real person” or a “real woman.”
4. God’s promises and His Word apply to other people, but not to me.
5. I know best for others. They all need my help and wisdom but I can’t ask for help or need help.
6. I can convict others of sin, that is my job. I am responsible for others’ decisions, choices, and the consequences they experience.
7. My sin isn’t as bad as other people’s sin.
8. God can’t forgive me.
9. I can’t forgive myself.
10. I can’t learn to hear God.
11. I must earn people’s love.
12. I am (or should be) the savior for myself and others. I am sovereign over my life and other people’s lives and circumstances.
13. I am exempt from God’s commands.
14. My emotions are greater and more important than God. They are the source of absolute truth, not God.
15. I don’t need spiritual nourishment from God and His Word.
16. I don’t have to pray for myself.
17. I can cherish certain sins and lies in my heart and be fine.
18. I am above having to forgive or give grace. I deserve to hold on to the “treasure” of  bitterness.
19. I haven’t been forgiven from much because I don’t have much sin in my life and don’t really need a Savior.
20. I can’t be beautiful in God’s eyes.
21. I can’t know God.
22. Other people are important but I am not important at all.
23. I can be close to God and strong spiritually without allowing God full access to the darkest places of my heart.
24. My motives are always good.

 

Resources:

On my site:

Lies about Others:

1. I am more important than they are or they are more important than I am.
2. I am justified to sin against people if they don’t do what I want them to do.
3. If I am in a bad mood, I have a free pass to lash out at other people in hurtful ways.
4. People are here to serve me or I am to be a slave to people.
5. I have to avoid conflict at all costs.
6. Others are responsible for my happiness and emotions. If I am upset it is their fault and they better fix it.
7. Others are responsible for my spiritual growth and character.
8. Others should submit to me and do what I want them to do.
9. Others must be perfect by my personal definition.
10. Others should control me. And I should have no voice.
11. I should control others and they should have no voice.
12. Others’ feelings don’t matter or my feelings don’t matter.
13. I have to disrespect myself to respect others or I have to disrespect others to respect myself. I can’t respect God, myself, and others at the same time.

All of these issues require proper balance and biblical understanding. If we swing too far one way or the other, we are living in sinful, destructive mindsets rather than in the truth.

Resources:

Lies about Perfectionism/People Pleasing:

1. I should be able to be perfect in my own strength without Christ. I’m a good person. I am not a wretched sinner.
2. Other people’s approval is the most important thing.
3. If I can do things perfectly in my eyes, I can control everything and I will be safe and can be guaranteed the outcomes I desire.
4. My approval and opinions are more important than God’s.
5. I am responsible for things that really aren’t my responsibility.
6. If I am not worried, afraid, and trying so hard that I am exhausted, I don’t really love other people.
7. I can’t relax and enjoy intimacy with God or with others.
8. My value is in what I do – not in who I am or in what Christ did for me.
9. If I don’t ever make mistakes, other people will love me and never be upset with me. This is a reasonable plan.
10. Perfection, in my definition(i.e.: how clean my house is, or how much I follow a list of manmade rules), is more important than people and relationships.
11. I am the key here, not God.

Resources:

You may also search my home page search bar for things like:

Much love to you! I am praying for you.

April

 

Making Adjustments

April profile

Usually, during the school year, I am able to spend 30+ hours per week on online ministry – writing posts for both of my blogs, responding to comments, making Youtube videos, and sharing on Facebook. When my children are home for the summer, things get a bit more challenging ministry-wise. I don’t want to spend 30 hours per week online when I can spend time with them making memories and doing things together. This particular summer, we have had some staffing issues at the pharmacy where I work. At this point, it looks like I may be needed more at work throughout the whole summer, maybe even longer. I don’t know for sure yet. This has been a blessing to Greg that I have been able to work so much more in the pharmacy. I am thankful for that and thankful for my job. I am torn because I don’t want to neglect y’all in any way  – and yet, I have to make some changes, at least for the summer. I can’t do everything I really want to do.

Instead of having about 30 hours or so per week for ministry, I am going to have to adjust my expectations for the next 2 months, at least, that I will probably have about 10 hours per week. 

Would you please join with me in praying as I seek to do only what God desires me to do above all else?

Lord,

You are so very good. You alone have all wisdom. You know the plans You have for each of us. You are able to change our circumstances and direct our steps. You have the wisdom we need for every aspect of our lives. You know my heart – how I want to be in the very center of Your will. I want my priorities to align with Yours no matter what. I want to be sure I am spending much time with You in fervent prayer and in Your Word. I want to use my time wisely and make the most of the time I have with our children. I want to use my time wisely in ministry and I long to be available for You to use me however You desire to here. You know the deep sadness I feel when I think about not being able to be as available in ministry. I want to use my time wisely at work to bless and minister to those You ordain to cross my path there. More than my will, I long for Your will.

I lay everything out before You, Lord. I give You all of myself and all of my time and abilities. I will not cling to anything but Christ. Show me the way You desire me to go. Make it clear to Greg and to me the path You have for me. If You desire me to be at work more, I want to be where You want me to be. If You desire me to minister more, I want to be there. If You desire me to be with my children more, I want to be there. Help me to hear Your voice clearly as I wrestle with balancing all of these very good things in a way that brings You delight and honor. Direct my steps.

I also have another book to write that is due December 1st. Help me manage my time wisely so that I am able to hear Your voice and write Your message in that book and give it the time it needs, as well. I hope to really get going on it again when school starts back but not my will, but Your will be done. Please give me Your Spirit’s power, Your words, Your truth, Your love, and the time I need to allow You to pour through me into that work, as well, for Your glory.

I seek the good of my husband, our children, my boss/coworkers/patients, and those to whom I minister online. I know that You are able to lead me in the way that will ultimately be best for all involved and that will bring You the most glory. I pray that You might greatly increase and I might greatly decrease. I lay my dreams, desires, and plans down. I will wait patiently on You to show me Your way. Let me spend my time doing exactly what You want me to do in every area of my life.

Amen!

PRACTICALITIES:

Right now, I expect that I will need to drop back to one post per week for the rest of the summer. I will also have to adjust how often I post on www.peacefulsinglegirl.com, Facebook, my closed Facebook prayer group, and my Youtube channel, “April Cassidy.”

If you have been on this journey for awhile and you feel led by God’s Spirit, please reach out to those who are struggling and hurting in the comments. I will need some extra hands on deck to help me minister. I really don’t even have to say this – because y’all already do such an amazing job!! I am beyond grateful for the amazing readers God has provided here. You bless me tremendously! I want to thank so many of you for the way you all reach out to others and the way you extend love, support, prayer, encouragement, and the way you share the treasures God has given you in the times of fiery trials in your lives.

People are welcome to comment. 🙂  I appreciate your patience, though, as I may not be able to respond as quickly as I have in the past.

One good thing about these time constraints is that I pray it will help us all to be sure we are depending primarily on God, not on any person. Ultimately Christ is what we all need so desperately. What a blessing that He allows us to share this road together. I’m honored to get to be here!

 

Lord,

Be greatly glorified in each of our lives. Let us be in the very center of Your perfect will doing exactly what You desire us to do each moment of every day!

Amen!

 

 

 

 

"If I Trust and Obey God, I Will Be Fake and Lose Myself" – a Guest Post

Featured Image -- 15626

A wife asked, “Why does God always want to change people? That’s not real unconditional love. I don’t want to lose myself and I feel like I would lose myself if I do what God wants me to do.”

FROM ANOTHER WIFE AND SISTER IN CHRIST (with her permission):

You will be more *you* than you ever have been, when you give yourself fully to God and allow Him control of your life. I know it doesn’t seem like that, but it’s true.

The fact is, the old you is gone if you have truly put your trust only and totally in Christ for your salvation. If that is true, then your sinful self (your flesh) has been crucified, is dead and buried and you have been raised to new life in Christ. What God asks of us, then, is to live from the truth of this reality (Christ in you, with the personality, gifts, talents, etc. that He has given you). Until you begin to believe what He has said about you (you are loved completely and totally and are safe in and with Him, you are righteous in Christ, you are secure in Christ, etc., etc.) you will not have joy and peace because there is no joy and peace apart from Christ. You have to embrace all that Christ is in and for you for you to experience the freedom that Christ has already purchased for you.

I promise you, there is nothing to fear with this beautiful God who loves you.

Yes, you will experience trials and yes, there will be suffering. He does not lie to us about that (isn’t that great? You can totally trust Him because He doesn’t sugar-coat things!). But, the reality is we are going to face lots of trials in this life – either way. Not putting yourself in God’s hands doesn’t remove you from the trials and sufferings of this life. It just removes you from the blessing of resting in Him – in His love and sovereignty… and unfortunately, it sets us up for even further suffering because we determine to do it our way and hold on to control – and have to experience the painful consequences of our own way of doing things. God is too good and loves you too much to let you stay there.

Oh, and let me just bluntly call it like it is… Satan is flat-out lying to you.

Sometimes, it helps just to bring that out right into the light. He is trying to convince you that if you trust God totally, then God will require and demand of you more than you can give, or that God will test you with untold horrors. (I understand because I have bought into the same lies at times and still hear the whispers of them at times).

If you are truly one of His, He absolutely will bring you to a place of surrender. If I were you, I’d just trust that simple fact right now. Don’t try to force it, don’t feel condemned for not being able to “be where you should be” right now. Just simply tell him, “Lord, I want this in my life but I cannot do it. I can’t even surrender to You totally. But You have promised You will complete the good work You began in me and I trust You for that.”

And guess what? With a prayer like that, you have surrendered. Surrender is just handing it over to God….He will do the rest. All He asks is that you are willing.

And sometimes, I have to pray prayers like “God, I am willing to be made willing.” That’s all I have to offer Him and it’s enough. He delights in our admitting that what we have to offer in and of ourselves is inadequate. He is the Source of it all.

I’m excited for you because He’s already begun the work!!!

Praying for you today. So many of us have been there and yes, it feels crazy scary. But, God has you. Just relax and rest in Him. He is so good. Believe it.

Isaiah 43:18-19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

RELATED:

If I Become a Godly Wife, Will I Lose My Voice, My Power, or My Identity?

Does God Want Me to Be Fake or Lose Myself?

I Will Not Be a Second Class Citizen! – the RestoredWife

I Kind of Hated Some of  What You Had to Say! – guest post about how a wife felt when she first read my blog

What Does It Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?

Godly Femininity Part 1

Godly Femininity Part 2

 

Transforming Our Thought Lives

someday-1431134

When the flesh is in control, our minds are filled with worldly things like:

  • greed
  • bitterness
  • gossip
  • hatred
  • materialism
  • envy
  • idolatry (desiring other things or people more than we desire God)
  • negativity
  • complaining
  • contention
  • lies
  • pride
  • lust
  • worry
  • fear
  • unbelief
  • self

These things consume our thoughts, fuel our motives, and ultimately determine our words and actions, as well.

When we repent of our sin and come to Christ, yielding to Him as LORD of all in our lives, He transforms our thinking by the power of His Spirit and His Word. So now, we purposely trash everything that is from the sinful nature and the enemy and fill our minds all throughout each day with things like:

  • thanksgiving
  • praises to God
  • contentment in Christ
  • prayer for ourselves, others, the church, the lost, and the world
  • good things about God, others, and this world
  • God’s peace
  • joy
  • God’s Word
  • truth
  • faith in God
  • songs to God
  • love for God
  • love for others
  • things that will benefit others
  • patience
  • kindness
  • grace, mercy, and forgiveness
  • God’s character and nature
  • awe  and reverence for God
  • genuine humility

Whatever we think overflows from our hearts from our facial expressions, our tone of voice, our words, and our behavior. When we are filled to overflowing with the power of the Holy Spirit and the goodness of God, this is what will spill out onto those around us.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 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. 4:4-8

Further Study:

Galatians 5:13-26

Ephesians  4:29-32

Taking Our Thoughts Captive for Christ – Peaceful Wife VIDEO

A Heart of Thanksgiving and Praise – Peaceful Wife VIDEO

WorthyofLove Realizes What This Journey Is All About!

Featured Image -- 19074

 

Worthyoflove shares some insights God has been showing her:

Yes, there is hope. And I am finding that God is intervening more and more quickly when I start to put my husband up as an idol again, or anything else.

I am learning first hand now that God will NOT allow any competition in our hearts. It is practically a guarantee that if I begin to idolize my husband, our marriage, people pleasing, control, or self again, then my husband will immediately withdraw from me and I am right back to where I started – alone, upset, and feeling pretty bad. And as much as I want to change, want my husband to change, want our marriage to be “good” – I am seeing that I can do nothing. I am powerless without GOD working in me to WILL AND TO DO of His good pleasure!!!!

Most importantly, I am seeing now for the first time, with the eyes of my heart, that this journey is really not about MY MARRIAGE OR HUSBAND at ALL! It is about God changing me and my heart to worship God and to Obey Him and please Him!!!!

I admit, when I first found your site and God opened my eyes and I began to really trust God and saw Him working in me, it took a few months, but my true motives were exposed when things did not really pan out as I would have liked – and I was immediately devastated.

But it is coming down to THIS:

  • I can either Trust God completely, letting go of all control, my own ways, all my desires for a good marriage, etc….I can trust God to deal with my husband and work in Him, and totally trust God for the outcome, whether my husband ever truly changes or not, whether he one day decides to leave, or whether he ever does anything I desire or not..I have to decide, Will I trust God with everything?

OR

  • I can continue to try to make things happen how I want, only losing more and more of my intimacy with my husband, and push him so far away that only a miracle could save the relationship, if at all. And not only that, I will be far from God, sinning, living in the flesh, and miserable!

Hmmmm….I think the choice is CLEAR!:)

I will TRUST IN THE LORD AND LEAN NOT ON MY OWN UNDERSTANDING! (Prov. 3:3-5)

I pray that God opens the eyes of all of our hearts, that we may see that HE ALONE IS WORTHY!!! And that we may TRUST IN HIM with all of our hearts! In the Name of Jesus! Amen

Other Posts By WorthyofLove:

A Wife Finally “Gets” Her Husband’s Text Messages

Without a Word

A Big Lightbulb Moment about True Contentment

 

Modest Swimwear Ideas

adidas-mini-in-gray

swim dress from www.hydrochic.com

We don’t have to give up swimming just because we want to dress modestly. There are so many options today no matter what coverage level you desire to achieve. Here are some ideas that may inspire you. 🙂 Happy summer, my dear sisters!

Surf suits for women from Amazon

from Amazon
from Amazon

 

 

 

images-13

 

 

 

 

Swim skirts/capris from Hydrochic

ss201-y-trb-blk-missy_1_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Board shorts for women from Amazon

 

saleoff-clothing.com-board-shorts-maui-rippers-womens-our-womens-long-board-shor-womens-stretch-celestial-90-p

Rash Guard shirts for women  from Amazon

SBART-Rashguard-font-b-Women-b-font-font-b-Swim-b-font-font-b-Shirts-b

 

The rash guard shirt is from www.aliexpress.com. There are short and long sleeve versions and they are UV protective at many sites – search “swim shirt”!

Swim tights for women from Amazon

HTB1mIjPIpXXXXasXVXXq6xXFXXXd

The swim tights are from www.aliexpress.com

 

Swim dresses are available at  Modli.co and Hydrochic.com as well as many other sites with a variety of coverage levels.

DLJ1278modest-two-piece-overall-swimdress-azure-blue

DSS1637

When a Husband “Doesn’t Buy” His Wife’s Changes

From a sister in Christ who has been on this journey to become a godly wife for a year and a half – I am so thankful for her willingness to share:

 

My husband insists I will always be who I was. He asks “is THIS the REAL you, now?” I replied that “I won’t be done till I die. I will continue to improve and learn every day I breathe.” He just threw his hands up at me, exasperated. But it’s a pride sin to think that we “know it all” and have nothing left to learn. Where is the reality or growth in that?

There is still much hope. I haven’t wanted to believe it, but my husband has been much less aggressive and mean for the past 2 weeks (after a year and a half of this journey). He is thanking me for things I do and has stopped being paranoid about things he thinks I’m doing and am not.

I really think that when a wife begins this journey of respect and truly changes her whole attitude on marriage, life, and herself, this is a massive change for men to try to understand.

It’s as if they don’t know who we are, have no idea if they will like who we are or becoming – and yet they are used to a certain kind of shrew-ness from us that they have built up defenses against. And (now) they are married to a stranger. It’s like they are putting on armor, carrying 3 swords, a mace, and bludgeon and ready for a fight that doesn’t come anymore. They are all amped up from our constant disrespect in the past. So they actually “hunt” for the fight. But, because we are no longer fighting, they feel like some kind of trick or sorcery is going on. They just can’t believe a person can up and change their whole personality.

  • My husband often has told me that he is not mad at me, I am who I am. He cannot change that. He just didn’t think it could change at all.

He was right, HE could not change me, I could not change me, but GOD could. He just didn’t like who that person was… well, that was before God. I didn’t even like who I was. We all have this spouse itching to fight because the battle was never ending and they are ready. We have dropped all our weapons and they don’t know what to do. So they provoke, prod with hurtful words, try to find that monster inside us they are sure is just hiding or waiting for the right moment to rear it’s ugly head so they can strike at it with all their weapons. Yet, we have let that monster die… our old self.

I think it takes a lot of testing, and time for our spouses to poke, prod, stomp around to finally feel secure that the monster is gone before they can start laying down their weapons and trusting again.

I think it is very important that a sense of worth and value has to be developed inside us as well. We have been the mouth, then maybe the mouse. There is a balance of graceful control and wisdom that I think God is trying to grow in us. A sort of confidence that endures no matter who comes and goes from our lives. When we can live in a way that other people’s chaos doesn’t affect us as much, and we are able to look at God and say, “Thank you Lord, for not making me have to be responsible for this other person’s choices in life” then we can live much more free and as victors over our own life, not victims of other people’s lives.

I have a real sense after a long-awaited talk on the phone last night with my husband that he really is accepting the change in me and trying hard to think of his words before saying them. Right now, he kind of stinks at it. But, I did too – when I first started. I feel true hope for a restitution of our relationship for the first time in a long time. It is obviously too soon to bank on such a statement, but I know I may not get that glorious apology or huge hug asking for forgiveness. If I think about it, do I need that? No, not really. I might WANT that, but if I never get it, I’m ok.

I know I have done what God asked me to do in this marriage… to love him “even though” he didn’t love me/was being a jerk/said and did hurtful things/rejected me/gave up on his family/ acted like a put out teenager, etc. Frankly, he didn’t deserve that love from me. But here is the thing – none of us deserve that kind of love, but we have it in God. God loves us in our imperfections and when we act like jerks and do/say hurtful things, etc. Look how we turn from God and reject Him. Yet, He loves us through it all, so much, that He gave up His only Son to save us from death… because He loves us like that. To obey Him, we are asked to love others in the same way “as you do for the least of them, you do unto Me.” It is His overflowing love poured into us that allows us and gives us the strength to pour love into others… even our spouses.

I look at my husband as very lost, struggling and drowning. When I keep that in mind, I keep my compassion toward him. Yes, I tried to throw out life preservers and reached for him, but if he didn’t use them, well, that was his choice. Sink or swim. There are many things my husband can grab onto, but he has to do it now, I can’t make him. I’m just not shoving his head under water anymore.

For those who are struggling, I pray so much that you can lift your eyes away from your husband and marriage right now and start growing yourself to become more confident, secure and strong as a person in your own merit (in Christ). God has given you gifts and blessings just for you. Not just you with your husband. You want something right now that you cannot get from your husband. The store is closed, no one inside, shut up tight. If you break in, it will go really badly. Stop knocking on that door! You need to look to God for what you want. I suspect it is acceptance, value, feeling good enough, affection, closeness, security, trust, and partnership.

I challenge you to look into the Bible and find verses where God can fill these needs for you. Maybe you can see how He can do that and really take it into your mind and heart. You need God first. Then, if others can add to that on earth, here, then it’s icing and sprinkles on the cake…but you need the cake first (God). I hope that makes sense. Here is my example: I can get trust from God and I can trust Him, Psalms 9:10 “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord have never forsaken those who seek you.”

In this way, you can verify God’s promises to you, rise above the shortcomings and disappointments of human failings and lean onto God for all your needs. My favorite is Matthew 6:26, “look at the birds in the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” This is God’s word that He will provide for us. He is the great I Am.

I just know that I saw my husband as my god for so long, that when his human failings started to show, disappointment and fear took hold in me. The best lesson I learned from any of this is to not put a human into that god position, he/she is certain to let you down. That also includes not putting myself (who is also human) into that god position. Only our true Lord God holds that position… that is why no other thing or person should be above Him. He is a jealous God, and it is idolatry when we don’t put Him first. Kids, marriage, friends, hobbies, fame, fortune, need for approval from others… there are so many sneaky ones too. (Kids as an idol for me was a surprise).

I pray for all of us with wayward spouses to be able to let them go. I pray that God helps them find their own way without our demands,  wishes, control, and fears getting in the way. I pray that each one of us can see our true self as God sees us; cherished, loved, valuable and important to Him. I pray we can let go of the things we want from our spouses so bad, but are not there yet inside of them, but I pray God helps them find what they need to heal, grow and be drawn to Him. I pray that each of us learn to stand with strength, dignity and courage as children if God, to wear our birthright proudly and without shame. We are children of God, “If He is with us, who can be against us?” I pray that we can grow in God’s design to have the control of our emotions and resist the enemy to become followers of Christ who are strong against the stormy winds of life, trusting our Lord is still in control.

RELATED:

Why Isn’t My Husband More Supportive of Me As I Change?

Things Got Worse At First When I Began to Change – The RestoredWife

25 Ways to Respect Myself

My Security and Identity Is in Christ

25 Ways to Show Real Respect for Your Husband

25 Ways to Show Reverence for God

Husbands Share What Speaks Disrespect to Them

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected

23 Signs Your Husband Is Beginning to Trust You Again

"Without a Word" – WorthyofLove’s Experience

 

From WorthyofLove (who wrote about her husband’s text messages):

When a Husband Is Negative, Critical, or Hurtful” is just the reminder I need in my particular marriage. It seems more often than not that my husband is on the negative side, and a lot of times I take it personally. Before finding your site I would either go into “man mode” when he expressed his negative feelings (which is my name for when I try to solve all his problems and give advice and try to be the leader)—- or I would just shut him out and tell him to “man up”.

 

Well, after finding your site a few months ago, and really going through all the things I needed to change, etc… the perfect divine test came. My husband works away during the week, so we were talking on the phone one night, and he was very upset. He was upset about a work situation and very stressed about it, and just basically spiraling into negativity and hopelessness.

For the first time EVER, I LISTENED to him tell me all about it, and I just let him tell me all of it. And I had to consciously make a point to be quiet and just affirm his frustrations and build him up and be on his side about it all.

After a while, he calmed down, and he was definitely shocked that I didn’t storm into man-mode and go off about what he needed to do in that situation. Haha. Not long after, he said something like “maybe I’m exaggerating”….after he got it all out, he realized that it would be ok! And the next day he handled the situation at work and everything was ok! And I told him I was proud of him and that was that!! He even told me that I “handled him very well”! and he expressed that he would like me to be like that whenever he gets upset about work or anything!

I’ve noticed that over the past 2 months of this journey, my husband has DEFINITELY responded to me NOT giving him advice, any Bible quotes or anything of the sort in these types of situations, AND just in general in our marriage. He is beginning to say things out of the blue like:

  • “My attitude is bad”
  • “I need to stop treating you like that”
  • “I’m going to be thankful instead of complain”

This is only the beginning. I still mess up every now and again and fall into man-mode but THANKFULLY, The Spirit of God will not let me go on in it for long….there is very deep conviction when I do it, and if it happens when my husband is home I immediately say “wow I’m sorry. I don’t want to be like that!!!” and he is very forgiving.

I can confirm in my own experiences so far just in these 2 months that responding in love and/or being quiet, and just allowing GOD to convict him has done miracles!
actions truly speak louder than words to men!!!

RELATED:

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

A Drill Sergeant Approach VS a Godly Feminine Approach

Calming the Storm

Portia’s Story – Winning Him over Without a Word

Godly Femininity

To Speak or Not to Speak

I'm Working on Book #2!

IMG_1424

My publisher, Kregel Publications, asked me to write a second book, tentatively titled, “The Peaceful Mom”!

How amazing is that?!?!

God continues to open so many doors, I am completely overwhelmed and in awe. My goal has been, “Lord, I am fully Yours. Use me however and wherever You will. Just show me the way. Whatever assignment you have for me – I want to be in the very center of Your will. I want all of Your perfect will and nothing but Your perfect will.”

Greg and I have two children – a 14 year old son and a 9 year old daughter. We are still in the middle of the whole thing and have a long way to go, ourselves. The second isn’t going to be a book about parenting, but rather, a continuation of “The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord” where we delve even deeper into living fully for Christ and how that impacts our attitudes and mindsets toward our children. Many wives have commented to me how what they have learned about respect and about living for Christ as Lord has dramatically affected the way they approach their children, too. Of course, when Christ is Lord of all in our lives – He will empower us in all of our relationships and change the way we treat everyone!

God-willing, I am planning to discuss things like:

  • God’s design for families
  • Purifying our thought lives
  • Being responsible for ourselves spiritually and our own emotions
  • Honoring our husbands as fathers
  • Modeling to our children how to respect those in authority
  • Not allowing our children to become idols in our hearts
  • Releasing our dreams for our families and children to God and seeking His will and His greatest glory instead
  • Counting trials as joy
  • Overcoming perfectionism and people pleasing
  • Avoiding destructive attempts to motivate our children like: playing the martyr, loving with strings attached, control, and guilt
  • Living out forgiveness, mercy, and grace in front of our children

The biblical concepts we will talk about in book 2 would apply for women who don’t have children, too – even to many single women. We will be delving more deeply into discipleship and following Christ. Those things apply to us all! Then we will focus especially on how these concepts relate to us as moms.

I AM GOING TO NEED HELP!

I would like to collect stories from my amazing readers about these topics that I may be able to use in the book. Be on the lookout in your life. 🙂 If you think of something God has shown you about how you relate to your children in one of these areas that you believe He would like you to share, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Examples – some moms have realized (when reading about becoming a peaceful wife) that:

  • their teenage sons respond well to respect rather than control
  • they had made their children into idols that they desired above Christ in various ways
  • perfectionism has been killing the joy in their home
  • as they learn to take their own thoughts captive, they are better able to help their children take their thoughts captive and address any unbiblical thinking and lies their children are believing
  • when they are full of the joy and peace of Jesus instead of being very worried and upset a lot, their children blossom
  • children respond well to encouragement, vulnerability, direct communication, genuine praise, respect, honor, and unconditional love
  • parenting is much more productive and easier when moms close ranks with their husbands and the parents present a united front
  • their children’s behavior improves when they begin treating their husbands with respect and that the children begin to speak more respectfully to both parents and maybe to other authorities in their lives

Maybe you have a similar story you would like to share about things God has shown you on this journey regarding your children and the way you think as a mother. Or maybe you would like to share a godly or unhealthy example you experienced and how that impacted you later as a wife and mom. Stories will be shared anonymously. I don’t want to throw anyone “under the bus” or dishonor any of our parents. We can remove identifying details, if necessary. The main goal is to pray about if there is something in your experiences that you believe God may want to use to bless others to help them learn without having to repeat mistakes or to help them learn from beautiful examples you have seen.

I can’t guarantee that every story can be used. But I love to hear your stories and can’t wait to see all that you want to share.

 

Thank you all for being on this journey with me! What an honor to get to walk this road together! 🙂

Much love to each of you,

April

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: