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What Do I Do with My Desire for Verbal/Emotional Connection?

This is the second part of this series on talkativeness and wives. The first post was, “Am I ‘Too Chatty’ with My Husband?” It is primarily for wives who believe they talk too much or whose husbands would maybe prefer less talking. Next week, I plan to talk about the issue of wives being too quiet.

At first, when I realized I was talking way too much for my own good, it was painful. I felt sad, oppressed, upset, resentful, and lonely to think about cutting down on my words to other people. I didn’t know how to stop talking too much or what to do with all of my emotions and self-talk.

I find that it is helpful to take these kinds of discouraging thoughts to the Lord. He is always ready to listen to me. He can help me hash through my thinking even better than any husband or best girl friend could. He wants me to abide in Him every moment – always completely one in Spirit with Him – and to “pray continually.” That is very encouraging! Plus, He can transform my thinking and my heart. He knows how to restore and heal my soul, if only I will come to Him and allow Him to work powerfully in my life.

Interestingly – that pain I feel when I want to talk more or connect more with my husband can remind me that God’s heart hurts when I neglect him. And His heart rejoices when I come to Him to fellowship and connect with Him.

ADOPT A NEW PERSPECTIVE

I can:

CONNECT WITH GOD EMOTIONALLY/SPIRITUALLY

I can:

  • Praise God.
  • Journal my prayers and thoughts. (This seriously helps me, as much or even more than talking to another person.)
    • Write down my emotions – all of them. And all of my self-talk. In a very raw way. I can shred the paper up later if necessary.
    • Take my thoughts captive for Christ.
    • Develop a list of things for which I am thankful and continue to add to it daily.
    • Work on a list of all the things I respect about my husband.
    • Invite God to work on my sin, motives, and thought life.
    • Pray for myself.
    • Pray for others.
  • Sing praise songs in my mind or in another room out loud.
  • Listen to or read sermons, podcasts, Youtube videos, the Bible, or books about the Lord and about growing in Christ. (When I do this, I feel so close to the Lord and so loved. I know I am not alone at all.)
  • Listen and be still before God. Stillness is most necessary for me to learn to hear His voice and leading.
  • Take a walk in nature and soak in the beauty and wonder of God’s creation.

DEVELOP A NEW UNDERSTANDING OF MY HUSBAND

I personally was amazed to discover that Greg said he always felt connected with me and bonded to me, whether we were talking a lot or not. He doesn’t connect with words. He feels just as connected to me when we are together talking as he does when he is at work. His love and sense of connection are, essentially, constant. Wow! That was a shock. I always thought we are only connected when we are talking and communicating verbally.

When Greg explained his perspective to me, it helped me to rest in his love and in the firmness of our connection. It helped me to see that I don’t have to grasp and struggle to feel connected. I already am connected to him. I can just enjoy that bond. Perhaps your husband may have a similar perspective?

Perhaps our amazing God thinks this way, too, when it comes to being connected with us, that we are always connected to Him and in fellowship with Him? Every moment of the day. (Unless there is sin blocking the way.)

BECOME A SAFE PLACE FOR MY HUSBAND

If I am willing to focus on treating my husband well and being a safe place emotionally and spiritually, he may feel a lot more open to sharing and connecting with me, in time. This requires a lot of patience and maybe a lot of waiting. In the time of waiting, I can focus on what God wants me to learn during that time. Waiting truly can become sweet with the Lord. So things may change to some degree with my husband’s willingness to talk as I change my approach. I know Greg is much more open to me talking with him in recent years since he feels safe and honored.

FIND MULTIPLE SOURCES OF CONNECTION

First, I have Jesus. He is my greatest source of verbal, emotional, and spiritual connection. He is truly enough! But then, as an extra bonus, I also have family, friends, and other believers. We can have godly mentors who can help us to grow in our faith and in our marriages. And then, in time, as the Lord leads, we may be able to mentor other women. What a priceless blessing that is!

I don’t have to feel deprived at all, even if my husband isn’t as talkative and verbal as I am. I can be content in all circumstances through Christ who gives me strength! (Phil. 4:12-13)

If I Have Jesus, I Have EVERYTHING!

EXPERIENCE A SHOCK

I actually found out – I need times of silence, too. It’s good for my soul. Now, I can enjoy silence in a friendly way. It’s peaceful and relaxing. I am in a much better place of balance than when I talked non-stop. I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn about the wisdom and gift of silence.

SHARE:

What wisdom has God given you in this area. Or what struggles do you have and where do you need some encouragement?

RELATED:

The Frustrating Quiet Phase

Bitterness of Soul – I Want to Be His FIRST Priority! – by A Fellow Wife

Oneness in Marriage: Not Too Close, but Not Too Far Away

Closeness in Marriage Looks Different from What I Expected – by A Fellow Wife

A Fellow Wife Thinks about Giving Space

When Your Man Needs Space

Why Space Can Be a Gift

How I Became Enmeshed with My Husband – by LMSdaily

20 Simple Ways to Enjoy Your Man

23 Signs Your Husband Is Beginning to Trust You Again

Finding Contentment in Christ Alone in Painful Trials

 

 

 

 

 

“My Husband Was Out Late with a Friend – Again!”

 

I’m so excited about this guest post by a new guest contributor, Fortified in Christ.  The dilemma that this precious young wife experienced is one that so many of us can relate to. It is spiritual warfare. I appreciate her honesty, transparency, and the rawness of the struggle she shares with us. And it seems to invariably happen that when I post someone’s story about spiritual warfare, they experience quite a bit of attack from the enemy. Please do pray fervently for her with me – for God’s protection for her and for her marriage and for God’s greatest glory and victory in the trials she is experiencing this week.

BACKGROUND

My marriage is just over a year old. I married a wonderful man who is very warm and caring towards everyone. The goodness of his heart can be clearly seen in the way he relates to his friends. However, this very same thing that attracted me to him has caused a lot of strife in our marriage.

  • From the beginning of our marriage, I thought that my husband gives his friends an excessive amount of his time and attention.

He jumps as soon as they call him to invite him to hang out, do them a favor, or lend them money. This has caused me a lot of hurt and pain because it makes me feel as if I am very low on his list of priorities. This has caused many arguments between us and a lot of frustration on both our parts. My verbal pressure on him to spend less time with his friends and more time with our son and me mostly fell on deaf ears. He couldn’t understand why I was being so demanding and I couldn’t understand why his friends were so important to him. He said that I was always complaining and making demands and he was getting tired of it.

Because of the constant conflict on this issue, I made a commitment to search for my peace, happiness, and sense of security from Christ and not my husband. I realized that there was nothing I could do to make him change his point of view but I had the power to work on changing my own.

I read as many posts as I could find on this blog. I was very inspired by two articles in particular: Finding Contentment in Christ Alone Through Painful Trials and Waiting Becomes Sweet. Still hoping to become my husband’s #1 priority, I was inspired to believe that the time of waiting for his heart to be turned more toward me and less toward his friends could be a sweet time where I grow closer to God.

A TEST

One afternoon, my husband left home at 4pm to help a friend buy some furniture and transport it to his house. He said that they would be going to a furniture store nearby and I assumed that he would be back at home around 6pm. As it turned out, he didn’t get home until about 8:45. Between about 6pm and 8pm when he didn’t get home when I expected him to, my heart and mind began spiraling out of control. I was really hurt and angry and filled with sadness, assuming that after buying the furniture, he decided to hang out with his friend for a few hours and leave me at home by myself.

I was thinking that I could no longer tolerate his obsession with his friends and I should just take our baby and stay at a hotel for a few days and ignore his phone calls to punish him and show him how it would feel to live without us for a while. I actually called a hotel nearby to find out what their daily rates were. I changed my mind about the hotel and then considered locking him out of our bedroom and leaving a note on my bedroom door saying that he needs to sleep on the couch.

I was fighting back tears as I was bathing my baby and putting him to sleep. I began thinking that if he continues like this, I would eventually have to divorce him and raise our son by myself. I began fantasizing that I would punish him by only allowing him to visit his son once a week for 2 hours because “he doesn’t deserve any better. He cares more about his friends than his son anyway. He’s not ready to be a family man and maybe he never will be. I’ll look for another man who really appreciates me and who likes to spend time at home with me.”

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Around 8pm, I realized that I was really getting off track and being overly dependent on my husband’s time and attention for my happiness. I reminded myself that my joy should come from Christ instead of my husband and that I was responsible for my own happiness. I decided to calm myself down and make myself happy by watching my favourite show on Netflix.

VERY DIFFERENT RESULTS

By the time he got home at 8:45pm, I was calm, happy, and peaceful. I asked him in a friendly way why he took so long to come home and he explained that his friend had heard about a cheaper furniture store in another town nearby so they went there instead. They had to battle through rush-hour traffic and a long wait at the store. He was sweaty and exhausted from lifting the furniture into his truck and then setting up the furniture into his friend’s house. His friend is almost 70 years old and could not help with lifting the furniture. I offered him sympathy, rubbed his back and we cuddled lovingly on the couch for a while and then we cooked together. What could have been a horrible night filled with anger, hostility, and revenge turned out to be a peaceful and loving night.

I was truly amazed by this experience. I was shocked at how quickly my mind got so off track and that I was considering punishing my husband and ultimately divorcing him over something as innocent as his helping out an elderly friend. I’m even more amazed at how quickly I was able to calm myself down and refocus on Christ and take responsibility for my own happiness. I’m so glad that I was able to allow the peace of Christ to rule in my heart (Col 3:15), instead of being controlled by anger and hardness of heart.

This experience taught me the following:

  1. I get to choose what rules in my heart: the voice of the Accuser or the peace of Christ.
  2. Whenever I notice that my mind and heart are spiraling into a cesspool of negativity, blame, anger, and sadness, I need to take my thoughts captive for Christ.
  3. I need to seek my contentment in Christ, not in my husband’s attention. This will help me to avoid a lot of marital strife and bring peace into my home.

 

Nothing external in my marriage has changed, but my heart has definitely changed. It now feels like it’s full to overflowing with a peace that passes all understanding. It has given me real inspiration to continue seeking Christ and building myself on His Word.

 

FROM PEACEFUL WIFE

Praise God that this husband did NOT come home before 8pm that night! It could have been a marriage-ending evening if he had. May this post remind each of us of the enemy’s tactics and help us to be alert and better prepared for his subtle attacks – as well as being alert to our own sinful nature. He uses very similar methods with almost all of us. When I notice that I am full of anger, resentment, hostility, and accusations against my husband (or someone else), these are big red flags that there is a spiritual battle going on. The flesh is trying to take over and give the Holy Spirit the boot.

It’s not wrong for a wife to want to be with her husband. But if he decides to help a friend or do something else, the way we respond should be gracious and without resentment.

The Accuser wants me to listen to his smooth voice and to side with him in becoming his mouthpiece into my marriage. He wants me to savor feeling like a victim. He loves for me to be upset, freak out, assume the worst about my husband, and assume the worst about God. He wants me to respond in the flesh and forget about living in the Spirit of God. He delights in me listening to his accusations against my husband and joining in with him against my husband to create division.

The closer I am to the Lord, the more quickly I can recognize the enemy’s voice and immediately reject it and run into the arms of Jesus for protection, truth, and shelter. I can’t afford to listen to the enemy’s accusations against my husband. I can’t afford to play with destructive, sinful thoughts. They have to go the second I realize the thoughts are a temptation. I must resist the devil and submit myself fully to Jesus (James 4:1-12)

Fortified in Christ’s story reminds me very much of some previous posts that may be a blessing:

A FINAL THOUGHT FROM FORTIFIED IN CHRIST

Strife, jealousy, fits of anger and divisions are works of the flesh and we are not to make provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

  • Galatians 5: 19-21
    Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Romans 13:14
    But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

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If you have a story that is similar where you were focusing on some really terrible things but then began to focus on the Lord, we’d love to hear about it! Or if you are struggling in this area and want to discuss it, please let us know.

Much love!

CLICK HERE FOR MY LATEST YOUTUBE VIDEO – “RESPECT BASICS”

TO CONNECT ON MY PEACEFUL WIFE BLOG FACEBOOK PAGE – Click Here.

REMINDER – My sites are designed very specifically for women. Men may certainly read them, as well. But my sites are quite purposely one-sided because I don’t offer instruction to men. This is out of respect for God’s Word that says that women are not to teach men or have authority over men in the church. Husbands and wives are each accountable to the Lord for themselves. It is not only wives who are to submit to the Lordship of Christ and who are to allow the Lord to change them. All of us have sin issues to deal with and we are all called to holiness, selflessness, obedience, godly love, dying to self, humility, etc… as followers of Christ. Here are some resources for husbands.

FOR WIVES IN VERY DIFFICULT MARRIAGES – please check out Nina Roesner’s e-course, “Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity.”

A Wife’s Beautiful Response to Her Husband’s Drug Addiction

I love to share individual stories, as I can, that bring glory to God. Even about extreme situations.  This is one wife’s story is about what God led her to do in her specific situation. Everything she did isn’t a blanket post for all wives with husbands who are drug addicts. But I am so thankful for her willingness to share. Her heart for Christ and her heart for her husband are the main things I want us to see. May each of us seek to hear and follow God’s Word, His leading, and His wisdom in our own situations:

——–

I felt compelled to write to you after looking through some of the comments on your posts. I see some broken women try to argue about some points you make and say that they don’t apply to their extreme situations. And I do know our God is loving and has a unique relationship with each of us, and there’s never a cookie cutter answer. But as someone going through an extreme situation, I’d like to say God’s Word and commands for us as wives still apply (maybe in a slightly different form, but they still apply), and your posts are still an incredible blessing!

My husband and I have only been married a year and 6 months, and it’s been quite the whirlwind. Early on in our marriage my husband relapsed into an old drug addiction. My husband came back from a Christian rehab program recently. The miracles God has done in both of our hearts while he was there and I was home were incredible.

But a few weeks ago my husband relapsed again.

I just finished your book, The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord, a bit before I found out he relapsed. The first thought in my head was, “Why would God be teaching me to be submissive and respectful when I was about to get hurt again?” But then I realized our God is all-knowing and at the exact moment He was encouraging me to read your book and speaking great things to me through it, He KNEW what my husband was going to do.

Things went down very differently this time.

When he told me, I didn’t scream, throw things, or yell. I let go of my controlling grip on my husband and tightened my grip on our Lord Jesus. I found peace in Him. I told my husband I loved him over and over and that I don’t want him to condemn himself. I related to him because I, too, have backslid at different times in my life. No, I do not have addiction problems, but sin is sin.

His response was so loving, so apologetic. Last time it was all about him and his pain. This time he was concerned with how he hurt me. Yes, my situation is unique. It’s extreme. I had to be strict with my husband and take the wheel last week. With the help of our Pastor I insisted that my husband go back to the rehab program out of state. But I held tight to God’s commands to me as a wife. I held tight to respecting my husband. I didn’t add to his pain that I know he was feeling. I didn’t add to the condemnation I know he was pouring onto himself.

I tried my best to die to my flesh, and love like Christ loves. Christ dies for us even while we were yet sinners. I can love my husband, even while he is yet a sinner. Yes, in my unique situation, prayerful separation is necessary. But with my eyes locked on Christ and focused on the eternal, the thought of divorce is not even an option. The thought of anger and resentful emotions fade away. I have salvation, what more could I need? I am full in Christ. I am stable when God is my foundation.

Thank you again for your book and your posts! They made a significant difference in the way things unfolded this time. God is doing great things! <3

——–

FROM PEACEFUL WIFE ABOUT EXTREME SITUATIONS:

Note – this particular husband was repentant. If he were not repentant, a wife would probably have to adjust her approach to some degree. And if he were violent or dangerous, she may have to also adjust things depending on the situation.

No matter what situation we may face, all of us are called by God to respond without sin ourselves. Even when we are being sinned against. When we add our own sin to our husband’s sin, it only makes things infinitely worse. When we respond in the power of God’s Spirit and wisdom, God begins to pour His healing into the situation through us. It may take time to see fruit. But we can know we are doing what God calls us to do when we walk in obedience and faithfulness to His Word by the power of His Spirit. His commands still apply to us. We just need to understand exactly how by His wisdom.

Nothing is too hard for God. No one is beyond His reach!

Please join me in praying for this wife and husband – for God’s healing and for His greatest glory to come out of this very difficult trial.

I don’t usually write general posts specifically for wives in extreme situations – where there are major drug/alcohol addictions, abuse, unrepentant adultery, criminal activity, demon possession, severe spiritual oppression, severe uncontrolled mental health issues, etc…   I don’t personally know what every wife should do in every possible situation.  I don’t have personal experience with most of these situations myself. People don’t need my wisdom or opinions. They need God’s Word and His clear direction. I know He has exactly what each of us need and that He can provide for our great needs out of His abundant supply.

I am so thankful when God uses what I have written to bless wives in many different situations  But I am also very concerned for my sisters who may be confused. I never want to add to confusion for even one woman. Sometimes women in situations like this can misunderstand important concepts like: respect, dying to self, submission, unconditional love, forgiveness, and trust because of filters they may have

Let’s talk about some things I have seen that are of great concern to me.

SOME WAYS WOMEN MAY MISUNDERSTAND GOD’S WORD AT TIMES:

Some women in very difficult marriage situations think dangerous things like:

  • Respecting my husband means respecting his sin and not intervening or using my influence authority for good in his life.
  • Submitting to my husband means I give up my personhood and become completely passive and just do whatever he wants me to do no matter what.
  • Submitting to my husband means I never say what I think, feel, or desire. I should totally give up my voice to be a godly wife.
  • Respecting my husband means I never say anything if he is sinning against me or our children or if he is doing something very wrong. I just cooperate with him no matter what. I ignore the verses in scripture about lovingly, gently, respectfully confronting sin.
  • Loving my husband unconditionally means staying even if our children and I are not safe and even if he is dangerous and not in his right mind. God hates separation and divorce, so He must want me to stay and endanger my life and our children’s lives. I ignore the fact that God also hates violence and oppression and that I have a responsibility to protect my children and myself if my husband is sinning against us or not in his right mind due to addictions, uncontrolled mental health issues, severe spiritual oppression, or major unrepentant sin.
  • Jesus’ command for me to forgive unconditionally in Matthew 6:14-15 means I also have to trust my husband who is not trustworthy and treat him like I would if he hadn’t severely broken my trust. I don’t realize that trust is not an unconditional command – it is different from forgiveness and unconditional love. Trust must be rebuilt together in cooperation. It requires two people to rebuild it. God never commands us to trust untrustworthy people. We are only commanded to trust the Lord unconditionally because He is not sinful and unable to have wrong motives toward us.
  • God calls women to be weak and wimpy.
  • Respecting my husband means I have to disrespect myself and just put up with genuine abuse (I say “genuine abuse” because sometimes wives will use the word, “abuse” to describe things that are truly not abusive. Sometimes women use the word, “abuse,” to describe a husband’s godly leadership. “My husband is so abusive. He expects me to stick to a budget.” “My husband abuses me because he doesn’t want me to flirt with other men.” Sometimes women use the word, “abuse,” to describe any behavior they don’t like. “My husband reacts negatively toward me when I disrespect him.” Those things are not abuse. God hates abuse and so do I.)
  • I can be a godly wife even if I don’t spend time with God, don’t pray for myself, and don’t know Jesus closely myself. I can remain in spiritual bondage and oppression myself and respond rightly to my husband’s sin and issues. I can do this all in my own strength without God’s power and help.
  • I can’t respect (rightly relate to) God, my husband, and myself all at the same time. For me to properly respect my husband, I have to sin against myself or God.
  • Respecting and submitting to my husband means he is always right no matter what he does.
  • Respecting my husband and obeying God’s Word means I have to stay and it is a sin to leave under any circumstances.
  • Dying to self means I have to just suffer silently in every situation and act like things are fine when they are truly not.
  • Respecting my husband means I have to do anything to make him happy no matter what the cost to me or our children. If he is upset with me, it means I am wrong. End of story. My husband’s words, emotions, and decisions are the ultimate authority in my life, not Jesus.

If we have a skewed understanding of these key concepts or we idolize our husband’s approval rather than seeking God’s approval above all, we can end up making poor choices. That breaks my heart. So if a wife is in extreme situations like this and she thinks that respect, unconditional, love, dying to self, forgiveness, and trust mean things like what I just listed above, I would want her to seek godly, experienced counsel who could help her discern her thoughts and God’s Word rightly. I want all women to understand these critical concepts correctly because if we don’t, we can make some really terrible decisions for ourselves, our marriages, and our children.

THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD FOR ALL OF US:

If women are having trouble with these concepts or feel confused about what they should do, I would encourage them to seek godly one-on-one counseling with someone who is experienced with the issues they have in their marriages. Some women in very difficult situations are able to hear God rightly as they read my posts and respond in the power of the Holy Spirit to their husbands. That is awesome! I praise and thank God for this! Some women in very difficult situations may need resources other than my blog that are much more specialized for their particular needs. That is okay, too.

ULTIMATELY, WE ALL NEED JESUS AND HIS HEALING:

Jesus is the key and He is what we all desperately need. His Word applies to us all no matter what we may be going through. It is critical for us to have right understanding of His Word. How I long for each of us to experience the abundant Life He offers to us no matter what may happen in our marriages. My greatest desire is that we all end in the same place – JESUS – whether that is here or elsewhere:

RESOURCES:

I have many other resources, if you need something in particular, please let me know. And always check anything any human author says against scripture and seek to have a right understanding of God’s Word!

  • Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas may be helpful for wives whose husbands tend to be harsh with their children or who have anger issues.
  • If you are dealing with a very difficult marriage or you tend to have a husband who is very harsh you may find healing in Christ for yourself, and your marriage, in Nina Roesner’s eCourse Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity.
  • www.hotline.org is for women in physically abusive relationships who may need to plan to get away safely.
  • Hopefully each woman can find a local body of believers in Christ who will be equipped to help her with any severe situations.
  • There are Christian resources for drug addictions – the most important thing is to have something that is biblically based on the power of Christ. Check with a trusted pastor or Christian counselor in your area for what may be the best fit for your situation.
  • www.xxxchurch.com or www.brentriggs.com also has helpful resources for porn addictions.
  • Some churches have prayer ministries where prayer warriors pray over people and see them set free from addictions, sin, shame, and even diseases. I would love for wives facing extreme trials to be able to be surrounded by spiritual support, love, and powerful prayer by the body of Christ. If your church doesn’t have a powerful prayer ministry, search until you find one that does and visit there for prayer if possible.
  • The posts I linked throughout this post may be a blessing, as well.
  • If your husband is violent, or threatening violence, or things are extremely toxic, please seek one-on-one, experienced, trustworthy help if at all possible. And if you need to contact the police and it is safe to do so, please do whatever you need to do to be safe.

SHARE:

If you have resources you would like to share or you want to share about God’s faithfulness in your situation, please feel free to share. If you are facing a great trial and need prayer for your situation, you are welcome to share that, as well.

How Could a Godly Wife Possibly “Respect” an Unfaithful Husband?

This post is merely a brief introduction to this weighty topic of dealing with a physical, sexual affair. It would take a book to do this issue proper justice. I cannot possibly touch on all of the things a wife would need to do in such a situation in one post. And what works for one wife in one situation may not be the best thing for another wife. Thanks for understanding! If your husband is cheating on you, please seek one-on-one counsel with a trusted, godly, experienced, Spirit-filled counselor. And most importantly, seek the Lord wholeheartedly and allow Him to lead you each step of the way. Let Him heal and transform you for His glory! He has the great wisdom and discernment we all need for every moment.

Adultery is a terrible thing. It is always totally inexcusable.

As are all sins.

God never gives anyone a free pass to sin against anyone else. God hates sin – and we should hate it, too. Sin destroys people and relationships. Let’s look at a few basic things about this issue before we get into how a godly wife could respect a cheating husband:

How God Views Sin

Something to keep in mind is that no sin is ever acceptable in God’s eyes. ANY sin that goes unchecked for long enough can destroy a person, a relationship, and/or a marriage. Sin always progresses if left to fester. It leads to more and more sin and pain, and then, ultimately, to death. (I’ll share a list with some links to various other sins that can be extremely spiritually and emotionally damaging to our lives and marriages at the bottom of the post.)

Any sin – in thoughts, motives, words, or actions – would send any of us to hell if it were not for the gift of grace offered to us on the cross by Jesus. Of course, we must receive that grace and yield our lives to Him as Savior and LORD to experience His forgiveness. But His forgiveness and the gift of the cross is available to us all.

God is love. But He is also holy. He can’t tolerate any sin in His presence at all. Whether our sin is that we ate a piece of fruit He told us not to eat (like Adam and Eve), or our sin is something we would label today as “a big sin,” it all destroys our relationship with the Lord. We all need a gracious Savior who is willing and able to pay the price for our sin on our behalf that we can’t pay.

We all are on level ground at the foot of the cross. We all need Jesus desperately – and equally. A wife is not “better than” her husband morally or spiritually – no matter what his sin may be. According to Jesus, only God is good. No people can be good in their own strength. On our own, we are all wretched sinners without hope. I’m so thankful God loved us too much to leave us condemned but that He made a way for each of us to be right with Him through Christ! No one is beyond His reach!

A Godly Wife Can Refuse to Repay Evil for Evil Whatever Her Husband’s Sin May Be

She doesn’t have to cuss him out, hit him, throw things at him, threaten him, be bitter at him, insult him, call him names, lash out at him in sinful anger, ridicule him, smear him to everyone she knows, gossip about him, slander him, hate him, teach the kids to hate him, condemn him, have a “revenge” affair herself, be bitter at God because of her husband’s decisions to sin that he made in his own free will, etc…

She doesn’t have to respond in sin. It would be extremely tempting to respond in the flesh, but she is no longer a slave to sin if she is in Christ! (Romans 6:1-14)

She doesn’t have to try to make him change or control him. That won’t work. He has a free will, just like we all do. He has to make his own decisions. She can’t verbally drag him into being a good husband. He has to want that on his own. She can seek to inspire and influence him and make doing what is right attractive to him – but what he does is up to him.

She can separate herself from his sin and not take on any guilt for his sin, knowing he is responsible for his decisions and sin before the Lord. She is responsible for herself. She can also humbly acknowledge that God is the primary one being sinned against by her husband’s adultery.

What She Can Do Instead of Responding in the Flesh

She can set a powerful, shockingly holy and supernatural example that makes him have to see Christ in her.

As he sees Jesus in her life, he will see the stark contrast of his own sinful life and the lack of holiness there. She can be a godly influence. She can conduct herself with dignity, grace, poise, and honor in her interactions with him. At the same time she gives him space to make his own choices, she can also trust in God’s sovereignty and rest in Him. As he sees the difference in his live vs. her life, God may open her husband’s eyes and he may be moved to genuine conviction and repentance.

I am not saying any of this is easy. Or that there are guarantees that a wayward husband would repent.

Humanly speaking, responding in godly ways is impossible. But with the Holy Spirit, a Christian wife can absolutely respond in God’s power.

She can seek to remain faithful to the Lord and continue on in the peace, joy, and security of God’s love for her. Yes she will hurt. Yes she will grieve. The pain of adultery is greater than the pain of widowhood, in my estimation. But she also has so much hope in Jesus! She can depend on the Lord to make something beautiful from this situation. She can entrust her husband and his soul to God. She can be free from fear, living in great faith in Jesus.

A godly wife can respect her husband, God, their marriage covenant, and herself. Meaning – she can think rightly about all of these things according to God’s Word.

She can claim God’s promises to her and proclaim His truth out loud over herself, her husband and her family. She can go through the house when he is gone and sing praises to the Lord at the top of her lungs and invite His Spirit into their home and into the family to heal all that sin and Satan have stolen. She knows that the Lord is able to repay her for the years “the locusts have eaten” (Joel 2:25). And she can truly have His joy and peace in the midst of her pain. She knows this is not the end of the story. She keeps her eyes on Christ, not the storm. In Jesus, she knows she is unshakable.

How Could a Wife Respect Her Cheating Husband in a Godly Way, Not an Unhealthy Way?

A lot of these things are ways a wife would seek to respect her husband at any time and with any sin going on in his life. Infidelity would be one of the most extreme situations that would be a very big spiritual test for any spouse. But no matter what her husband may do or not do, every wife has the choice and ability to obey the Lord for herself and to receive His reward for her obedience. How she thinks, speaks, and acts is all about her walk with Christ.

She can:

  • Respect that her husband is a person created in the image of God.
  • See him with God’s eyes to know what he could be if he turned to the Lord. She knows he is a beloved son of God for whom Christ died.
  • Speak respectfully to him and about him.
  • Be very cautious about sharing about his sin with others, only sharing when appropriate so that she can get the help she needs. She doesn’t have to tell all her coworkers or everyone at church or everyone on Facebook.
  • Look for any good she sees in him and affirm that.
  • Refuse to look down on him in self-righteousness, knowing we are all capable of any sin if we are far enough away from the Lord.
  • Deal thoroughly with any sin in her own life and repent to the Lord and to her husband, if she realizes she has sinned against him.
  • Respect that she is married to him and she can still honor her vows to the Lord and to her husband, although he has broken their covenant.
  • Humbly, respectfully introduce appropriate new boundaries and consequences because of his sin as she follows God’s leading and His Word (like separating and not being sexually intimate, for example).
  • Continue to honor her end of the covenant by avoiding adultery herself and by depending on the Lord to help her respond in the Spirit not the flesh.
  • Treat him in ways that honor the Lord because that is her character in Christ and it pleases Jesus for her to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:17-21) – not because her husband necessarily “deserves” honor and respect.
  • Feel her feelings and even express them to him, as appropriate (after she takes her thoughts captive for Christ), in God-honoring ways. She can express her pain and hurt without sinning as she abides in Christ.
  • Purposely not seek to turn his kids against him.
  • Do whatever she needs to do to focus on Christ and to experience His healing for her broken heart.
  • Surround herself with a godly support system, with the Word, with prayer warriors, and with God’s truth.
  • Avoid those thoughts, resources, and people who tempt her to react in the flesh.
  • Make sure she has on her spiritual armor.
  • Look to Jesus alone for her ultimate security, purpose, peace, joy, and hope.
  • Respectfully, humbly, lovingly ask that he genuinely repent and show proper fruit of repentance and that he be willing to rebuild trust before allowing him to attempt to re-establish physical, spiritual, and emotional intimacy.
  • Recognize the vast difference between forgiving her husband (which is an unconditional command of the Lord) vs. trusting her husband (which is not a command and is conditional depending on what her husband does).
  • Remain committed to obeying the Lord for herself, yielding to His Lordship in everything.
  • Plead over her husband for his soul before the Lord that he might find repentance, salvation, and regeneration knowing that his relationship with Christ is the most important thing, not the marriage.
  • Know who her real enemy is, and it is not her husband. She knows this is a spiritual battle.

A Godly Wife Knows:

  • She is not her husband’s Holy Spirit. She isn’t divine. She can’t convict him. Only the Holy Spirit can convict him or anyone else.
  • She is not his judge. God is his judge – and hers, too. The Lord will take vengeance appropriately and He will ensure justice is served. Either each person will pay for his sin in hell forever or he will receive Jesus’ payment for his sin and repent and turn to Jesus. A godly wife doesn’t want her husband or anyone to go to hell. She wants everyone to turn to Christ and receive salvation and new life in Him!
  • She is not and cannot be her husband’s Savior. Jesus is the only Savior.
  • She doesn’t want to be the Accuser of her husband. Satan has that role covered just fine without her help. She doesn’t want to make her mouth available to the enemy.
  • Her husband is ensnared by the enemy, like we all are at one time or another, and that he needs Jesus to set him free.

 

A Harvest of Righteousness Awaits Those Who Walk in Obedience to the Lord

As she avoids sinning against her husband, because she is abiding in Christ, all her husband will have to look at is his own sin. Eventually, her godly life will pour conviction on him without her having to preach or lecture or tell him how sinful his life is. If He is going to hear God’s voice and repent, a believing wife’s willingness to do things God’s way make it as easy as possible for a husband to see his sin and experience conviction. She can’t make him repent. But she can influence him in amazing ways.

Whether he ever repents or not, she will have the satisfaction of knowing that she has no regrets and that she handled herself rightly. She won’t have to apologize or repent when she walks in the victory Christ has provided for her. She can wait with joyful anticipation to hear God say those wonderful words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” And she will enjoy the rewards of her obedience forever in heaven.

She may even get to see her husband there, too, forgiven before the Lord, radiant and spotless, part of the perfect bride of Christ. Not only that, but God may use her obedience and faithfulness to Himself and her godly example to draw countless other people into the Kingdom. What a glorious celebration that will be!

 

Ultimately the goal has to be, “Whatever will bring You the most glory, Lord – do that in my life!”

SHARE:

If you have been in a position like this or similar to this, and God has shown you how to respond in godly ways, I invite you to share the wisdom He has given you with our struggling sisters.

RELATED:

If you have a very difficult marriage and you need spiritual healing in Christ so you have His wisdom and power to know how to handle your husband’s issues, check out Nina Roesner’s Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity eCourse!

What Should Be the Response of a Christian to a Spouse’s Affair? – www.gotquestions.org

Resources for those whose spouses have committed adultery from John Piper

When Your Husband Says, “I’m Done.”

25 Ways to Respect Myself

25 Ways to Show Reverence to God

25 Ways to Show Real Respect for Your Husband

17 Tips to Ask for What You Desire Respectfully

How to Be a Safe Place for Your Husband

Husbands Share What Is Disrespectful to Them

Is It Possible to Disrespect Myself?

I Am Responsible for Myself Spiritually 

Are We Responsible for Our Spouse’s Happiness?

I Am Responsible for My Emotions

POSTS ABOUT VARIOUS SINS THAT ARE ALSO VERY DESTRUCTIVE:

Dealing with Annoying Things…

A good test of whether the Spirit of God is in control in my heart – or my sinful nature is in control – is how I respond when people do things that tend to annoy me. I’m going to share some examples of ways we could respond that would be godly (as long as our motives are right).

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Cor. 13:4-5

Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh… The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Gal. 5:10, 22-23

I have awesome news, dear sisters in Christ, I don’t HAVE to be annoyed! Jesus can give me the power to extend grace in many situations that maybe would annoy me if I was acting in the flesh. He can also give me the power to be vulnerable, respectful, and kind while asking for what I need. But even if I don’t receive what I would like, I can respond in the power of the Lord and don’t have to give in to resentment, control, bitterness, or any kind of sinful motives or thoughts – as I abide in Him.

SATAN’S STRATEGY

Satan would love for me to be annoyed, irritated, and resentful. He would love to take some tiny little inconsequential issue and get me to focus on accusations against my husband or bitterness so that he can gain a huge foothold in my life. If you haven’t read about this, I invite you to see exactly how he does this in these two posts:

How Satan Would Love to Destroy Your Marriage Through Your Thought Life

My Demon – by Kayla

 

SOME EXAMPLES AND SUGGESTIONS TO PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER:

HE LEAVES THE TOILET SEAT UP

photo credit www.ebay.com
photo credit www.ebay.com
  • I can accept that part of living with a man might be that the toilet seat gets left up sometimes. After all, I always leave the toilet seat down. Maybe that could be annoying, too, from his perspective? It doesn’t have to be a big deal for me to put the seat down, any more than it would be for him to have to put the seat up.
  • I can take this opportunity to thank God that I have a husband. Living with another person involves some small inconveniences, but the rewards of getting to be a wife are worth it! There are a lot of women who wish their biggest problem in life was that they had a husband who left up a toilet seat.
  • I can refuse to assume evil motives on his part.
  • I can respectfully ask, in a pleasant way, “Honey, if you get a chance to put the toilet seat back down when you are finished, that would be wonderful. Thanks!”
  • If he doesn’t remember, I still don’t have to resort to bitterness. I don’t have to even be angry. I can just put the seat down myself and remind myself that I am glad he puts the seat up and doesn’t make a mess on the seat. He is being considerate to put the seat up.
  • I can feel in the dark to see if the seat is up with the lid so I know to put it down so I don’t fall in or I can have a night light on in the bathroom.
  • I can be super thankful for indoor plumbing and for toilet seats. Not everyone in this world has such a luxury!
  • I could ask for a “squat toilet” like the one on the right like they use in Asia. Then there is no seat over which to have any contention. Problem solved! Ha! 🙂

 

 

IMG_0145HE DOESN’T PUT THE DISHES IN THE DISHWASHER “CORRECTLY”

  • If he is putting dishes in the dishwasher, that is awesome! Not every husband does that. What a blessing! I want to be sure that I thank him and show appreciation – not a bunch of criticism – or he may not want to keep helping me. Who wants to help someone who criticizes all of the help she receives? (Here is a post about overcoming a critical spirit.)
  • I don’t have to say anything about how he packs the dishwasher. If the dishes are not all clean, I could simply take a crusty dish to him later, with a pleasant attitude, and say, “Hmm… it seems like the dishwasher didn’t quite get the dishes clean.”
  • I could scrub the crusty dishes and say nothing – as long as I can do that without any bitterness or resentment. It is definitely possible with the power of the Holy Spirit!
  • If things are not tense in the marriage already, and my husband is feeling relatively respected, I may decide to say something (in a friendly, casual way) like, “I noticed that it seems like sometimes the dishwasher cleans the dishes better when they are put in like this…” Or, “I’ve noticed that if the dishes block the jets, things don’t seem to get as clean.”

 

HE LEAVES DIRTY CLOTHES ON THE FLOORIMG_0147

  • I can pick them up myself with a joyful servant’s heart and focus on how thankful I am to have my husband in my life.
  • I can say in a friendly way, with a smile, “Honey, if you would please put your clothes in the hamper sometime, that would be great. Thanks!”
  • I can leave them there until he picks them up. It just depends whose tolerance is greater for a mess. If I am the one who can’t stand clothes being on the floor, maybe it would just be worth it to my sanity for me to quickly put them in the hamper myself with good motives.

When I focus on thankfulness, I can have peace.

 

IMG_0148HE DOESN’T TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE

  • I can say (in a friendly, pleasant way, with a genuine smile), “Baby, would you please take out the kitchen garbage when you get a chance tonight? Thank you so much!”
  • I can give him time to take it out on his schedule and not expect him to do it immediately.
  • If the garbage really smells awful, I can take it out myself, or ask an older child to if that is possible.
  • If it is a garbage emergency, I can say, “Honey, the garbage is really smelling nasty. If you could please take it out as soon as possible, that would be awesome. Thanks!”
  • Of course, I need to recognize if my husband is really busy, sick, exhausted, stressed, or involved in something. If he is, I may rather just take out the garbage myself rather than disturb him.

How might I bless him today?

 

HE SITS DOWN TO RELAX WHILE I HAVE A LOT OF CHORES TO DOdrew-coffman-125736

  • I can respectfully ask him for some help with specific things in a friendly way and let him know that when these chores are done, I’d really love to relax and cuddle with him.
  • I can bring my laundry basket in there and sit with him and enjoy his company while I fold laundry.
  • I could let the chores wait a bit and just go cuddle with my husband and enjoy being with him for 20 minutes or so. I don’t have to be jealous of his taking some time to relax when I could join him!
  • I can ask children to help with age-appropriate chores and train them to help so that I delegate a lot of my chores to them more and more.
  • I can focus on being a blessing to him and appreciating all that he does for me. Maybe he went under the house last week to fix the sewer line. Or maybe he took my car to the shop. Maybe he mowed the grass this week for an hour or two.
  • I can be thankful he has the chance to rest and relax.
  • I can focus on thanking God for all of the things my husband does for me and our children.
  • I can thank God I have a husband and family to care for.
  • I can evaluate my time management and see if there is anything I can adjust to help me have more time to relax, as well. Maybe I could even ask for my husband’s input.
  • I can evaluate whether everything I think needs to be done really needs to be done. Maybe I can let some things go? Perhaps I can think about the story of Mary and Martha?

IF THINGS ARE EXTREMELY TENSE

If your husband has been talking about divorce or he is extremely shut down or angry and has been feeling very disrespected, there can be a period of time while y’all are in the beginning stages of healing where it could be wise not to ask him to do anything. Sometimes giving him a bit of time and space to heal without him feeling pressured can be helpful temporarily.

ANDREW MURRAY QUOTES ABOUT HUMILITY

“The only humility that is really ours is not that which we try to show before God in prayer, but that which we carry with us, and carry out, in our ordinary conduct; the insignficances of daily life are the importances and the tests of eternity, because they prove what really is the spirit that possesses us.”
Andrew Murray, Humility

“The humble man looks upon every, the feeblest and unworthiest, child of God, and honors him and prefers him in honor as the son of a King.”
Andrew Murray, Humility

 

SHARE

Has God given you wisdom and power to respond in a godly way to a situation that used to annoy you? We’d all love to hear your insights! Do you need some help with something that is annoying you? You are welcome to share that, as well. 🙂

RELATED:

Posts on Bitterness

How to Overcome a Critical Spirit – by www.gotquestions.org

Laying Down My Expectations

How to Have a Relationship with Jesus Christ

Healthy VS. Unhealthy Relationships

How to Stay Filled with the Holy Spirit

Examining the Real Reasons Behind Perfectionism and People Pleasing

Dying to Self

 

 

Avoiding a Critical Spirit Toward other Women on This Journey

It’s predictable.

When I start to grow and God works in my life, there is always a new temptation that comes along with each step of growth and deepening faith. Satan will make sure of that.

As God begins to show me the sin in my heart, I start to become aware of the sin in others’ lives, as well. Things that didn’t bother me one bit before (when I was fine with doing them myself) will start to grate on my nerves in other people’s lives – like fingernails on a chalkboard.

I may find that women disrespecting their husbands or trying to control them is everywhere (or whatever sin I am currently working on in my own life).

When a particular sin issue is finally on my radar, I will become much more aware of the same sin in others’ lives.

If I am not careful, however, I will fall into a trap of the enemy. If he can’t keep me blind to my own sin, he would love to encourage me to develop a prideful, self-righteous, condemning, critical spirit toward others who are involved in my same kind of sin issues.

It can be tempting to think, “I have this whole disrespect and control thing totally in the bag. I’m being such an amazing Christian wife now. Doesn’t every guy wish he could be married to an awesome girl like me? All those other women really need to get it together.” But then, the second I do that, there is that nasty pride again. That is what started the whole thing in the first place with my control and disrespect toward my husband!

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Romans 2:1

Pride. Ugh!!!

We all have to always be on guard for prideful thoughts. Here are some thoughts that may help us keep things in proper perspective:

  • How can I look down on other women who have the same struggles I do?
  • If I see others dealing with my particular sin issues, it is a chance to notice how destructive sin is and to see how much my own sin wounds those in my life when I act like that. When I see it more objectively from the outside of someone’s life, I may see it more from the perspective of my own husband when I do this to him.
  • I may be tempted to try to control or disrespect other women. That is not okay. Then I am right back to doing the same sin again!
  • I may find out next week or next year that I am still doing things that feel disrespectful to my husband that I am not currently aware of. I still have much to learn myself and will always have much to learn.
  • How can I condemn another person when if it weren’t for the grace of God, that is where I would be right now, too?
  • This is an incredible opportunity for me to extend the grace of Christ to others that I have received myself!
  • Without the Lord’s power and His Spirit, I am capable of any sin in my own sinful nature.
  • People sure don’t need my opinions or human wisdom, they need the Lord.
  • Lord, help me see my pride clearly and help me to detest it as much as You do.
  • The only power I have over any sin is Jesus’ power in me. It is not my own goodness. I have zero ability to please God in my own power.
  • These precious women – for whom Jesus died – need my prayers, my support, and the love of Christ.
  • They need God to open their eyes like He did for me and to be set free (just like I needed to be) because if they knew how to get out of that spiritual prison, they would.
  • God desires me to show genuine, godly respect to these other women (and everyone else).
  • I have the same depraved sinful nature that every other person does – thank You, Jesus, that You have put it to death!
  • I still have access to my sinful nature – but now that I have Jesus, I have a choice to allow my old self to remain dead and to live by God’s Spirit or to get my old sinful nature out. I can still sin if I choose to. Only through the power of Christ in me can I have victory.
  • It is a moment by moment choice whether I “reckon myself dead to my old sinful nature” or not. If I am far enough away from God, I am capable of any sin. But if I am in Christ, I won’t want to be in sin, but I will long to please the Lord.
  • Those who don’t have Christ have no choice but to sin, they are slaves of the sinful nature. This should provoke compassion in me for them.
  • My sin was and is just as deadly to my soul as any one else’s sin, no matter what sin it may be.
  • We all stand on level ground at the foot of the cross in total desperate need of Jesus’ blood and the cross.
  • I must constantly embrace humility. Exalting God alone, not myself.
  • God is good. I am not.
  • Anything good in me is from Jesus. Not from me. I have no right to boast in myself, only in Christ.
  • How I long to only think and say things that are of the Lord – to speak His Life – and not to use my thoughts or mouth to speak death to others.
  • I will want to be very careful with saying something – only sharing if I am sure God wants me to speak and if my motives are pure and I can share with great humility.
  • It is generally best for me to share only if another person asks for my advice – and it may be best simply for me to share things God has shown me rather than to tell her what to do. But only as God clearly leads me.
  • Not everyone will be ready or willing to hear about what God has shown me. Only God can open a person’s eyes to sin.
  • If I find that my friends tend to be very disrespectful of their husbands, I may need to separate myself from them more. Not in a resentful or prideful way, but just to keep myself from temptation.
  • If I do speak, I must have both truth and love for the person to whom I speak. And I must have the power of the Holy Spirit or I may cause more damage. This is a very sobering thing.
  • How may I pray for this woman who is struggling? How may I seek to bless her in a way that would honor God?

Lord,

Thank You that You have opened our eyes to sin in our lives to which we had been blind. It is a gift that we can see the sin now and that we can repent. Help us be humble about the temptations lurking around every corner to be prideful. Help us to be aware of Satan’s tactics to take us down. Help us recognize his voice when he tempts us to accuse others. He is the accuser. I don’t want to let his thoughts invade my mind and give him access to my mouth to use to attack others with his words.

Let the Holy Spirit alone rule in my heart. Give me Your eyes for other women and men. Give me Your heart and Your mind about them. Let Your Words of life flow from my mouth. Not words that will kill and destroy. Let me look on all other people with compassion, godly love, kindness, and total humility – knowing we all need You. I want to exalt You not myself. Cleanse me and radically transform me to be more like Jesus. I trust You to live in and through me so that I can obey You. I can’t obey You by myself. I can’t repent by myself or come to faith in Christ by myself. I am completely dependent on You, Lord, to cause me to grow and to live in victory over sin.

Amen!

VERSES:

Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent. Prov. 11:12

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Prov. 16:18

Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. Prov. 26:12

Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Eph. 4:32

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

Resources:

Taking Our Thoughts Captive – Peacefulwife VIDEO

Avoiding Gossip – Peacefulwife VIDEO

Giving Friends Godly Marriage Advice

Don’t Expect Outside Support

 

 

 

How Do I Respect My Husband without Idolizing Him?

To me, the primary key in balancing respecting my husband but not idolizing him is to watch my motives. I want to care about his feelings and concerns. I want to treat him well. But why?

Do I want his approval more than anything?

Or do I want God’s approval more than anything?

If I idolize my husband’s approval:

  • My motives are to please him and to satisfy him at any personal cost to me. These motives are fueled by huge fear of my husband’s rejection of me.
  • I may be willing to be a doormat and very passive.
  • I may want to change to please my husband without considering if I am pleasing God.
  • I want to treat my husband well to try to get him to stay and give me the love I want from him.
  • I love and respect my husband with strings attached. I have a lot of expectations of what he should do for me in return for what I do for him.
  • I would be devastated if my husband is not happy with me, even if I am doing what is right.
  • I would be devastated if my husband leaves me or dies and feel like there is no hope if he is not with me.
  • If my husband left me, I might grovel at his feet and do anything to get him to come back, even if he was involved in serious unrepentant sin.
  • I might be willing to disrespect myself in order to meet my husband’s definition of respecting him.
  • The fruit of my attempts to respect my husband will be frustration, disappointment, fear, loneliness, worry, bitterness, and/or possibly even physical sickness because I am not acting in the Spirit, but in the flesh.

If I have Christ on the throne of my heart and His approval is most important:

  • My motives are to please God and to satisfy Him at any personal cost to me.
  • I seek to bless my husband because I know he is made in the image of God and he is beloved by God.
  • I want to treat my husband well because God wants me to treat him well and because I love him with the love of Christ.
  • I look for the good things in my husband to admire because that honors the Lord.
  • I change to please God primarily. I want to do things that please my husband to a degree – but only if I know God is pleased with those changes.
  • I love my husband unconditionally without strings attached.
  • I can be content even if my husband is not happy with me, as long as I know that God is happy with me – it wouldn’t be my favorite thing, but I could deal with it if I had to.
  • I seek to respect God first, respect myself (think rightly about myself in light of God’s Word and receive God’s truth about my new identity in Christ), and respect my husband all at the same time.
  • I measure my success as a wife and woman by God’s Word not my husband’s current mood or emotions.
  • I can stay at peace in Christ even if my husband is upset at something or even if he is in a bad mood.
  • I can even stay content in Christ and full of His joy no matter what my husband may do or not do.
  • I honor my husband’s God-given leadership because I reverence Christ and trust God to lead me through my husband if my husband is not asking me to clearly sin or condone clear sin. I do want to trust my husband as much as possible, but ultimately my trust is in Christ alone.
  • If my husband were to leave me or die, I would be very sad. I would grieve. But I would know that if I have Jesus, I have the greatest Treasure in the universe.
  • If my husband left me, I would pray for my husband. I would want him to come back and to reconcile the marriage. But my greatest concern would be his soul, not my personal happiness.
  • The fruit of my respecting my husband would be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in my life because it is God’s Spirit empowering me to do this (Gal. 5:22-23).

Note:

It’s not wrong to enjoy pleasing our husbands. It’s very helpful to us when they give us some feedback and we know that they appreciate what we do for them. We feel so blessed when our husbands smile at us or show us that they are responding positively to our respect. But we can get sidetracked by their feedback sometimes – or lack of feedback. God can use our husband’s feedback to benefit us and help us on this journey. But not all feedback from our husbands reflects God’s feedback. We must test our husbands’ feedback against God’s Word. I hope that makes sense.

Related:

 

 

Control Girls and Family Christmas – by Shannon Popkin

A guest post by author Shannon Popkin:

I’d like to call a pre-Christmas huddle. Calling all the women in the family please. Can we huddle up for a moment?

I’m calling this meeting because I think there are some hurting women among us. There are some mothers of adult children and mother-in-laws who feel unloved and underappreciated. Their emotions churn as they wonder, “Do my kids even notice all I’ve done for them? Do they even care about me?” And there are some adult daughters and daughter-in-laws who feel stressed out by all of the expectations that they sense coming from the matriarch of the family. Their emotions churn as they wonder, “Does she even see what she’s putting me through, here? Does she see that we’re all trying to make her happy?”

Both feel misunderstood. Both have a very clear idea of how to make things turn out “right”. And neither of them are talking about it. As the clock ticks down toward December 25, the tensions are rising, along with all of the inflated expectations.

Controlling Christmas

Many of these cross-generational tensions that we face stem from our desire for control. As women, we’re particularly interested in creating a Happy Ending for our particular family. We have this inner drive to make everything turn out right. But our heightened expectations only cause us to become more controlling—especially during the holidays.

When I was writing my book, Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control From Seven Women in the Bible, I was surprised at the consistency. Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, and Miriam all lived thousands of years ago, and yet I saw them struggling with control the same way we do: they took matters into their own hands and tried to make things turn out right for their families, based on their own single-focused perspective. And they made the whole family miserable in the process. I also noticed that the only way they found what they were really looking for—abiding peace, satisfying family relationships, and deep security—is when they did the opposite of taking control. When they surrendered to God, and made their story all about Him.

I hope that you’ll consider the many, many lessons that can be learned from these Control Girls of the Bible in my upcoming book. But for now, can I offer a few suggestions? Regardless of where your branch is on the family, tree, here are some gentle suggestions for how to choose surrender, rather than control this Christmas:

  • Christmas can be perfect without being perfect. The food, the table, the decorations, the gifts. All of these things can demand an enormous amount of attention. And the greater our expectations, the greater the stress load—shared by everyone. Let’s ask ourselves this question: What is my main goal? To be a blessing to my family? Or to create a “Pinterest Perfect” Christmas? (The two might very well be mutually exclusive.)
  • Be flexible. The people who share your DNA or your last name are not your property. True hospitality considers the needs and preferences of others. Ask what time for dinner will work best for the baby’s schedule. Let your kids know that it’s fine if they want to come a few days after Christmas, since they’ll be traveling to see the other side of the family on Christmas Day. Don’t expect your parents to make a ten hour trip. Be delighted if they do, but not offended if they don’t. Let’s stop making demands or assumptions. It’s controlling, it’s rude, and it destroys peace rather than sharing it.
  • Traditions are not obligations. Sometimes the most gracious, sensitive thing to do is to break a tradition. Or at least set it aside for a while. Maybe this year your son will want his kids to wake up in their own house on Christmas morning. Or maybe this is the year that Christmas brunch becomes Christmas munch… on leftovers. Every year your family changes just a bit. Let’s ask ourselves, Which am I holding to more tightly—my traditions or my loved ones?
  • For goodness’ sake, remember to help. Holidays are a lot of work, and one person shouldn’t do it all. Not the mom or the daughter. Not the mother-in-law or the daughter-in-law. Share the planning, the cost, the kitchen prep, and the cleanup. And gratefully accept the help that others offer! If your daughter-in-law shows up with a dish, take a generous helping and compliment her on her culinary efforts! If your mom is kind enough to clean her house from top to bottom so that your kids can reverse her efforts in a matter of minutes, the least you can do is pick up before you go. Remind yourself: Be kind, one to another. Especially at Christmas.
  • You better not cry. You better not pout; I’m telling you why: Because you’re sabotaging your own Christmas. Be honest. Ask yourself, Am I sulking? Do I have a complaining heart? Is my attitude sullen? If so, is it because I’m not getting what I want? You might very well not get what you want this Christmas. Or on any But by trying to control (sulking and pouting are forms of manipulation), you only make everyone miserable—including you.

Peace at Christmas

Let’s try something different, shall we? Christmas is Jesus’ birthday. It’s the time that we celebrate our Prince of Peace, coming to earth to set up his kingdom. He wants for there to be peace on earth! And peace in families! And especially peace that extends beyond generational lines.

This sort of peace only comes when we are following Jesus and doing life the way he showed us. How did Jesus live? Toward other people, Jesus was a humble servant. He poured out his life and gave himself up on their behalf. And toward God, Jesus lived a life of deep surrender. He said, “I seek not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.” (John 5:30)

So let those be our guardrails. Facing others, we serve. Facing God, we surrender.

Our Control Girl hearts will tempt us, this Christmas, to obsess over recipes and gifts and table décor and whether Johnny’s going to be here on Christmas Eve. But as a Jesus Girl, we’re invited to surrender control and spread peace on earth.

 

 

Bio and Book Info

Author and speaker Shannon Popkin loves to blend her gifts for storytelling and humor with her passion for God’s Word. Shannon’s book, Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible, which is available for preorder, is releasing in January. Shannon is also a contributing blogger at TrueWoman.com.

Shannon is happy to be sharing life with Ken, who makes her laugh every single day. Together, they live the fast-paced life of parenting three teens. For more from Shannon, please go to shannonpopkin.com, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

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My Husband Blamed Me for ALL of the Problems in Our Marriage – by the Satisfied Wife

ADMIN NOTE:

I am going to be spending as much time as possible with my grandmother who is in her final days or hours this week. I will respond to comments when I am able to. Thanks for your patience and prayers for my family.  I would especially appreciate if some Titus 2 ladies might jump in to help encourage our hurting, struggling sisters as they feel led by the Lord. – April

My apologies for the issue with the last post that went out on email this morning – please ignore it.

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A guest post by Satisfied Wife about how to evaluate this issue with a husband who tends to blame his wife for all of the problems in the marriage:

If we try to go off of our own perceptions in life, we will most likely be found to have made some errors. However, if we look to God and His Word, we will not find error, and we can trust His Word to speak truth to us in any situation.

Here are some things that the Bible says about ALL people:

  • There is NO ONE righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10)
  • All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. (Is. 53:6)
  • For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)

The place to start when trying to figure out what or who might be the one with the issue in the marriage is the fact that no one is righteous apart from CHRIST.

The Bible also says some things about judging others:

  • “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Romans 7:1-5)
  • Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:11-12)
  • Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? (Romans 2:1-3)
  • For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” (1 Cor. 5:12-13)

I see that it is ok to judge MYSELF (asking the Holy Spirit to shine the truth of His light into my heart) and to make sure my heart and life is right and aligned with God’s will. Unless I do this FIRST, I will NOT be able to clearly see what is going on in my marriage – whether I have an issue, or if the toxicity is coming from my husband. When you are in the middle of a marriage relationship where you are trying all you can to change, and seek God, and get your side right, and you may even see progress over time –  it is much much harder to figure out what is going on if you are being blamed for ALL the issues in the marriage, no matter what you do.

STEP BACK AND SEE WHAT YOU ARE BEING BLAMED FOR

Me personally, when I found myself spinning in circles trying to figure out what is wrong with me all the time – and trying to uncover some hidden sin that was causing me to feel like a total failure in my marriage – most times, the Lord led me gently back to the truth about what was really going on in my marriage, and He showed me that I was taking blame for things that were NOT my problem.

If my husband is blaming me for:

  • His bad moods
  • His irresponsible choices (for work, quitting jobs, etc.)
  • His unhealthy sleeping patterns/eating patterns
  • Him not taking ANY time for himself to seek God/rest
  • His harsh, critical, or condemning words towards me
  • His discontentment in life
  • His inability to trust me (when there is absolutely NO reason for him not to)
  • His insecurities
  • His fear
  • His inability to lead our family
  • His withdrawing from me
  • His physical sinful attitudes/actions toward me
  • His inability to love me

Then, in my experience, God has had to show me that I am only responsible for MY own:

  • Choices
  • Behaviors
  • Attitudes
  • Decisions
  • Emotional/spiritual well-being
  • Words/how I treat others
  • Contentment

When once the Lord led me back to this truth that I am no responsible for my husband’s life, choices, attitudes, behaviors, etc…. – I was able to let go of all the weight of carrying blame for things that did not belong to me! I still had some things that WERE my issue and when the Lord shows me my own sin — I repent immediately. No one is perfect.

So the key for me was to first realize that it is often not just either me or my husband – there is most likely sin on both sides.

But then, when once the Lord opens my eyes to my OWN sin—and I REPENT – that is when I am able to see clearly if I am being blamed for things that do not belong to me. When I am allowing God to reveal the truth to me, I am able to discern when my husband is blaming me. And at this point, my evaluation of that is what leads me to find freedom in Christ, and I am able to step back and focus on my own life, and God, and not allow the blame darts to hit any part of me any longer, because once I know the truth, the truth sets me free.

I think evaluating in a godly way has to do with looking at my own life, repenting of any sin, and then being able to see clearly what I am being blamed for. When I can see that it is NOT my responsibility to:

  • Make my husband happy
  • Fix his irresponsible choices
  • Fix his sin issues
  • Mother him
  • Give him security in life/marriage in ways that only God can
  • Meet the deepest needs of his soul

Then I am free to step back and pray, and allow God to work in my husband’s life and heart, while not subjecting myself to inappropriate blame any longer.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

We must weigh criticisms and rebukes against us in the light of God’s Word by the power of His Spirit. Then we can receive any rebuke that is true and repent of our own sin but we can also reject any rebuke or criticism that is from the enemy and that is not true. Reminder – we can have reverence for God, respect for ourselves (right biblical thinking about ourselves), and appropriate respect for our husbands all that the same time. We must have all of these things going on in proper balance.

RELATED:

“Do You Think Women Are Always to Blame for Problems in Marriage?” – Peacefulwife responds to a concern from a reader

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

Approaching My Husband’s Sin Issues – by LMSdaily

25 Ways to Respect Myself (or to think rightly about myself)

25 Ways to Show Real Respect for Your Husband

25 Ways to Reverence God

How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ

Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced

Healing for Destructive Jealousy – by Truly Blessed

NOTE: There is another Peaceful Wife Conference scheduled for November 18-19th in Garnett, KS for any ladies (single or married) who are interested and able to come. Check out the button on the right top corner of my page for a link to more information and tickets.

Truly Blessed and I had a conversation with a wife who was struggling with the thought of her husband ever seeing any beautiful women (not lusting after them, necessarily, just seeing them). In this post, we are talking about husbands who are truly seeking to honor Christ and their wives in their thoughts, not husbands who are using porn or ogling women or flirting with them. (If your husband has a lust addiction, please search my home page for “porn” and also check out www.xxxchurch.org for more resources. There is such a thing as righteous jealousy and anger. That is not what we are talking about in this post, however.)

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I just wanted to say I have struggled in the past with this as I’m sure many women do, and wanted to reassure you that God is able to help you overcome this as He has helped me. I am finally feeling the freedom of not being jealous of my husband’s every look, thought, and action toward other women. The scripture that helped me to overcome this is Phillipians 4:8. When I feel jealous, I remember these words, and focus on what is good, true, right, lovely, admirable, about my husband and my marriage. I remind myself that my husband is a dedicated man, he has not cheated on me, and has avoided the opportunity when it was available to him. He is honest and he has integrity.

He is with ME, and not her. This is his choice. He is choosing to stay loyal to me, which says that he has hope and a desire for us in our marriage. Then I remind myself that when God told me I needed to give up trying to control my life and give it to him, I promised that once I gave my life to Him, I would put all my trust in Him and no longer be afraid of what is “out there” that could hurt me, impact my life, or my marriage. HE is more than capable of handling my life much more than I could ever be. Truth is I have no justified reason to be jealous or fearful and I remind myself this every day.

I also have struggled to understand why I felt this way when I don’t want to, and God helped me realize how much I had lost confidence in myself, and to the point that I was always jealous because I had convinced myself that I wasn’t worth my husband staying in our marriage. I had myself convinced that he would probably go and find better than me – so that made me more jealous.

Every word, glance, action towards another woman – I was fearful that it meant my husband wanted to find “better than me.”

I would freak out because I felt if I didn’t, I would lose control. Now I realize (with God’s help to show me), that there IS nothing I can to do control, beyond striving to be a godly wife. If I focus on this and my husband did succumb to temptation or become unhappy and leave, there is nothing I can do about that. So I focus on pleasing God in my role as a wife and let God worry about the rest.

It is a hard battle to overcome the lies that Satan tries to convince us are true. But they are lies!!! We are daughters of God, and That makes us worth more than we ever could imagine!

I believe Satan uses jealousy as a way of driving a wedge in to destroy the relationships God wants us to have. I know my jealousy was a huge strain as my husband was tired of every moment being under pressure that he would offend me with something that was completely innocent, and it contributed to his shutting down in our marriage. No doubt he felt like I was not going to trust him anyway – no matter what he did. So why keep trying? I can see that now, as I realize now so much of my jealousy was unwarranted and unfair.

Funny thing is the more confident I become and the more I overcome the jealousy, the less I worry, but the more I see my husband relaxing and just enjoying our relationship.

I have gone through feeling SO rejected by my husband and that now that we are on the road to healing in our marriage, I know it was my disrespect, contempt, self righteousness and my assumptions of evil motives in his heart that were major turn-offs for him.

A big thing for me was accepting when the Lord showed me how self-righteous I was, and how I was making assumptions of evil motives in his heart. For a long time I couldn’t see how (in my heart) I was glorifying myself and putting myself on a pedestal that I was better than he was, and believing he just wasn’t capable of the honesty, loyalty, faithfulness, and love that I was in our marriage – so everything he did must be evil and a lie!

Oh how sinful of me!  The Lord has forgiven me but my heart still breaks when I think about how hurtful this was to him! No wonder our marriage was suffering! Who would be attracted to someone who treated their spouse like that!? I thank God for His mercy is all I can say to that.

The more I strive to be a godly wife and respect my husband and love him for just who he is, the more I see the attraction building up between us again.

My husband and I have had some very insightful conversations while we have been on this healing journey, and one of the things he has said that has hit me was how much value there is in a history together, that a physical relationship with your spouse is fulfilling not just because of the attraction but because of the “history” and the life you have made together. It’s so much deeper than what ever could come out of lust. Does that make sense?

I was so struck by the reassurance that (most) husbands really do value their relationship with their spouse. It isn’t JUST physical attraction for them, and it has helped to take away the fear of him turning his back on our marriage just to have something out of lust. I can’t believe I was so disrespectful to him that I didn’t believe he had integrity. I can see now how hurtful that must have been when I treated him like that. My heart would have been broken if he thought that about me.

Now I have never been one who has withheld in the bedroom, treated it as a chore etc… but I can say that the Lord has been teaching me on this journey how to love my husband freely and without condition, and the freedom I have compared to how I felt under the grip of fear!!!! I feel so much more secure to be able to love more deeply than I ever have. I really feel this reflects in our physical relationship, and the more I grow as a godly wife, the more confidence I have in myself, and the more security I have in myself even physically in my appearance and body image, yet also in so many other ways.

I do believe my husband sees this difference in me. I no longer fear the “younger, prettier” women like I used to, because I am more confident in what I have to offer my husband not just physically but in every way.

I do believe that our husbands respond greatly – in a physical sense – to a woman who is confident in who she is and is happy with and confident in her own physical appearance, regardless of what physical “imperfections” a woman may feel she has. If I am doing my best to reflect God’s love and be a godly woman and my husband doesn’t embrace that, there isn’t anything I can do. I can’t force him to love me in every way. That is his own choice. All I can control is (receiving) who I am in Christ. If I am confident in every area of my life, I can be attractive in so many ways, but if I present him with unattractiveness in my spirit, my attitude, my heart, I sure can drive him away!

In addition, I do believe that God does expect us in every area of our marriage, to continue to make effort to make things “work” as well. This means physically, spiritually, emotionally, and intimately. I don’t believe just because we are daughters of God we can just expect and take for granted either, that our marriages will just always be fulfilling without any effort to change, grow, and in our marriages, strive to continue to please our spouses and meet their needs wholeheartedly. I would hope that all of us on this journey to being the wives that God wants us to be, can agree on that. Of course God expects that of our husbands too, but we can only do what WE can do.

Some days are better than others, but I’m slowly getting there. God has shown me so much about myself on this journey and I am gaining more confidence in myself and God is doing a lot of work on my heart. The more confidence I gain as a woman of God, the more I am assured that I have nothing to fear.

RELATED POSTS THAT MAY BE HEALING:

I Can’t Go on Like This! I Need to Change!

Placing My Higher Sexual Appetite Under God’s Control 

Being a Trophy Wife Is Not the Goal, Dear Sisters – by Radiant

Roots of Insecurity, Low Self-Esteem, and Sinful Jealousy

A Husband’s Pain – His Wife’s Body Image Issues

Our Identity in Christ! THIS Is My Security!

Fully Trusting God with My Husband – Laying Down All My Fears

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

RESOURCE:

A free one-time Christian based counseling session and referral to a local Christian counselor at www.focusonthefamily.com

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