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Resources for Men

Some people say that because I only teach women, I must be saying that men can do whatever they want and they are off the hook when it comes to being godly husbands. No, not at all! I am not sure how anyone could arrive at such a conclusion! There is no excuse for any believer to think that he/she is “off the hook” and not responsible to God for how they live and relate to other people. Men are at least as accountable – if not more so – than women are before God. (Those in positions of God-given leadership hold a greater accountability.)

Thankfully, even though I only teach women – the Bible still completely applies to men, as well. It applies to all of us! I hope that is obvious.

There are PLENTY of resources for our men and brothers in Christ.

A FEW RESOURCES THAT GREG AND I WOULD RECOMMEND (some are wonderful for men and women):

www.radical.net – David Platt’s site (search biblical manhood and biblical womanhood or marriage)

www.desiringgod.org – John Piper’s site (search biblical manhood and biblical womanhood or marriage)

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem

www.seriousfaith.com Brent Riggs has a number of posts for men about being godly men/husbands

– a resource about how husbands can love their wives is Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs he also has a website that you may search with this link

Grace Filled Marriage, by Dr. Tim Kimmel, is for husbands and wives and is excellent

His Needs, Her Needs by Dr Willard F. Harley

The Resolution for Men – the Kendrick brothers and Randy Alcorn

Other resources by the Kendrick brothers about prayer, The Love Dare, etc.. https://kendrickbrothers.com/projects/books

How to Be a Godly Husband by www.gotquestions.org

– Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray or his book, Humility, are excellent resources for spiritual growth for men and women.

– E. M. Bounds book on The Necessity of Prayer will help any believer in his/her pursuit of a much more effective prayer life

My sites are for women. I don’t attempt to teach or mentor men out of respect for scripture’s instructions that women are not to have authority over men in the church. So I believe the focus here has to be on what God calls us to do primarily – not on what God calls men to do. My calling is Titus 2:3-5.

THE BIG PICTURE

However, I do want ladies to know about the whole picture in God’s design, not just what women are called to do. And I want the men to have the resources they need. Y’all are welcome to search the sites I listed above or check out these two posts by a minister at my church:

Spiritual Authority – A general overview of the concept of Spiritual Authority in Scripture relating to government, the workplace, the church, and family by a minister at my church, Rev. H. F. Weaver.
A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage  – Husbands have positional authority and wives have influential authority. Both are important and powerful. By H. F. Weaver, a minister at my church.

Biblical Submission Does Not = The Husband Is Always Right – Husbands are still fallible, even though they are given extra responsibility.

A Husband Is Never the Absolute Authority – God is the absolute authority. There are limits to human God-given authority.

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships – When men or women become too passive or too controlling, it is a problem.

My husband, Greg, also has a blog for men – www.peacefulhusband.com

POSTS ON MY BLOG BY MEN THAT MAY BE A BLESSING TO HUSBANDS

 

I can’t wait to see what God has in store for each of us. How I pray we will seek Him more fervently than ever and that we might allow Him to continue to radically transform us to be the people He calls us to be.

SHARE:

Gentlemen,

If you know of a biblically grounded site for men that you would like to share with our other brothers, you are welcome to share in the comments. Thanks so much!

Why I Put My Wedding Rings Back On – a Guest Post

By a sister in Christ… I’m so thankful for her willingness to share for the first time in a post. I never get tired of hearing how our amazing God heals broken people and relationships:

Bare fingers fussed around the edges of divorce documents. Time had passed long and hollow since the sparkling bands of diamonds and emeralds had graced the ring finger of the two becoming one. I was ready for divorce. I felt done. Yet, I lacked peace.

When I’d last prayed the still, small voice had spoken into my spirit “six months.” Six months what? I’d thought. Six months until he changes? Six months until this nightmare is over? Six months until I stop crying?

I decided to meet a lawyer just to get the legal facts. I’m certain my jaw dropped when she said,

“It’ll be six months until you’ll even get to court. Maybe you want to think about it some more.”

I had felt God wasn’t working and had been thinking the dry season without visible change was His sign I should divorce. Now, I had a stirring of hope. I apologized for doubting Him and counted six months on the calendar – about the time of our vacation to the ocean. Tired of waiting around for him, I had planned it for the kids and me. I would pray about it until then and make my decision when we returned.

In the meantime, I read the book, “The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord,” and the Peaceful Wife blog. April’s counsel was challenging: turn your eyes to Jesus. Stop making an idol of your husband. My heart was full of unbelief, anger, and unmet needs and hurt. And pride. Other wives felt the same. What sort of crazy road was this? we all wondered? Yet, the women who had gone before us were all singing the same song over our souls: turn to Jesus.

“God is sovereign, not your feelings” April would said. That struck a chord with me.

The time of the vacation arrived. A few days before leaving, we had an argument. Normally I would have been crushed. Angry. Confused. Oh, it hurt. But this time I didn’t give in to the feelings. This time I prayed. And again the still small voice reached out to me through the storm.

Put your rings back on.

When God speaks, the layers of meaning in one sentence, one word, can be endless. I knew immediately the command to put my wedding rings on was a call to fight, to humble myself before Him, to stand strong, to stop being lukewarm about my marriage. I was either all in or I was out. It was time to stop sitting on the fence and crying because things weren’t changing.

I slid the cool metal circles over my ring finger. I felt like an idiot. They were like a sword piercing my pride. He probably doesn’t even know where his ring is – if he even has it anymore. The bitter thought quickly receded, however, when in that one act of obedience I suddenly understood this moment was not about a marriage to a man, but a marriage of a woman to her God. The rings symbolized a vow I had made to my husband, but more than anything else they were an outward sign of a vow I had made to God to stand with Him as a helpmeet to my husband through life.

“I’m so sorry, Lord!” I cried out. As I repented of betraying the commitment I’d made to Him, His Spirit filled me anew. The rings sparkled and danced with life. I’d forgotten how beautiful they were. For a moment the pain of the years lifted and I was a bride once more.

What I noticed next was a prompting of the Holy Spirit to confess out loud that I wanted my marriage to work. This was difficult. Part of me wanted to be free from the hurt and humiliation. I had been encouraged by several friends to file for the divorce and move on. In my heart though, I knew I still loved him and dreamed of having our family together again. I felt ashamed at having this longing in the face of such unlikely odds. The prompting persisted, so alone in the car I would whisper, “I do want our marriage to heal, Lord. I still love him. I love our kids.”

This continued for several weeks. I watched War Room. I made a war room in my laundry room with pictures from my wedding day and each of our children. I posted scriptures and hand written prayers and simple words like Bring him home, Lord.

 I stopped fighting against the guidance of the wives who had gone before me, both in the Peaceful Wife blog and other forums He had sent my way. I let Him make changes in me. I focused on being more sensitive to the Spirit and simply got closer to Jesus. I got out of the way and God moved.

It’s taken some time, but there has been a real softening in my husband’s heart. He has apologized for the years wasted in anger. He listens to me now when I share my heart. He even tells me he loves me and I can hear in the tone of his voice it’s true.

I’ve thrown out the divorce papers and have begun to dream again.

And, yet, more than anything, my heart has the peace of a woman who has put God first, a wife who has learned (and is learning) to die to self in order to be a vessel of His goodness and redemption in another’s life. I thought I knew how to be a good wife. But I never asked Him how to be the wife my husband needed. God didn’t just want my cooperation. He wanted my submission.

Playing at the park today, I saw a woman I hadn’t seen in a long time. She looked at my rings and said “Oh, your rings are so lovely.”

As I pushed my son on the swing, the light of the sun sparkled over them as if imbued with Heavenly majesty. “Thank you.” I smiled. “I think so, too.”

SHARE:

If you would like to share a struggle you have had for a post idea or how God has been working in your heart and light bulb moments God has shown you – you may leave your story in the comments or submit it to me privately on my Contact page. 🙂

I’D APPRECIATE YOUR HELP:

If you have read my book, I would love for everyone to leave a review on Amazon. If I get 18 more reviews, my publisher, Kregel, will provide more funding for promoting the book. 🙂

RELATED:

The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord by April Cassidy (book link to Amazon)

God Stopped a Wife’s Divorce Plans

The Bible and Divorce

Kristen’s Story – Being a Peaceful Divorced Wife

When Your Husband Says, “I’m Done”

Should You Strive to Keep Your Husband at ANY Cost?

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Other People Don’t Always Know What You Should Do in Your Marriage – by The Satisfied Wife

 

This post is by The Satisfied Wife (AKA WorthyofLove). She is in a very difficult marriage with a husband who tends to be rather harsh at times – and yet, what God is doing in her heart is SO beautiful! I appreciate her willingness to share with us:

ON SEEKING GOD ALONE TO KNOW HIS WILL FOR OUR LIVES

In each of our lives, the only thing we can rely and trust in is the Lord, and His Word. There really are no other guarantees in this life. He is our greatest need, and our only source of life. When you are in a toxic marriage – it really is a great opportunity to seek the Lord with all your heart. I have found in my own life, being around toxic relationships and people is what drove me to Him in the first place. God can use anything to accomplish His greater purposes! Way before finding April’s site, I was driven into the arms of the Lord and His Word. It was the only place I found true rest and hope.

In my experience, seeking the Lord alone for the truth in your marriage is what will matter most in moving forward not only with the Lord, but in your marriage.

THE DANGER OF SEEKING HUMAN WISDOM ALONE
I honestly never sought anyone’s opinion about my marriage or life in the first place. I sought the Lord wholeheartedly, though. And through seeking the Lord above all – that is how I was led to His Body (April’s site). And once led to the Body, the Lord has been able to teach me so much truth and He has truly opened my eyes in so many ways since finding April’s blog.

However – at one point – I, too, found myself relying on what I was learning through the blog, along with what the Lord was teaching me, to direct my steps completely in terms of my own personal life and marriage. Because at that point, I was desperate for answers, and willing to try anything to “fix” my marriage.

When we are desperate for answers—we are at the greatest risk of being deceived about what our next step should be. Especially if we are not truly crucified to the flesh—and we have a predetermined will of our own. We will look for the answers that match our own will—and believe it is confirmation of God’s leading. We must first be truly crucified to our own will and ways—and seek only to know God’s will and ways.

That is the power of God working here. Many women might come there to find answers about their marriage and how to get their husband to love them a certain way, etc… but what they find is Christ Crucified as the Power of God! AMEN!

JESUS IS THE ANSWER
We can read and learn all we want about marriage, respect, submission, how to handle difficult people, how to walk in the Spirit, how to do this, that and the other thing. But knowledge of all that is NOT what will get you through the actual reality of your daily life living within a toxic marriage.

Your Spirit union with the Living, Risen Lord Jesus is what will get you through the toxic marriage. HE is what is needed. Not a list of rules. Not human wisdom.

If I adhered to all the “research” and “wisdom” of this world—I would be divorced already. I would have given up the first time I felt I was slighted or mistreated without a cause. That is the answer that the world gives to women who are in a toxic relationship. And perhaps that MIGHT be the answer that the Lord ultimately leads you to in certain situations (that are biblically supported).

The point right now is that when we are in a toxic marriage, and we are cowering under the oppression and fear of what will happen all the time – the most important thing is not what April says, what anyone human, or book (Christian or otherwise) says – it is what the Lord says. It is what He is leading you to see and do, that matters most. And He is not afar off – if we are in Christ and belong to Him, He has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Christ Jesus has forever secured our entrance into the Presence of God by His precious Blood shed on the Cross! That is a FACT. Your feelings are NOT fact.

If any precious woman finds herself in a toxic marriage after evaluating in a godly way what is really going on – the best thing she can do is truly set aside some time, and seek the Lord. Pour out her heart to Him. Depend on Him alone for guidance, wisdom, and truth. (Maybe refer to Andrew Murrays “Waiting on God” and “Absolute Surrender”).

LOOK AT THE FACTS

Having already been through this more than once, the greatest thing when seeking God alone for truth has been to look at the FACTS.

  • The facts from the Word of God that tell us who we are, who God is, What God can do, etc.
  • The facts about how I am being treated (look to actions of spouse not words)
  • The facts about how I am acting/reacting to this treatment

A fact is a fact. It is what happened. It is what has been proclaimed. The biggest blinders in this process are your own feelings, because we all know that sometimes our feelings are actually NOT facts.

So I’ll say this – in my case, when my feelings matched the facts – I took them as real. If I felt as though I was being manipulated/controlled inadvertently, and I looked at what my husband did, compared to what he said – I found it was true how I felt.

HOW TO SEEK GOD

Seeking God, to me, has meant that I stop looking to anyone, anything, any system, and other source – except God alone to guide me, save me, provide for me, etc…

It means that I pray – I spend time reading His word and other trusted sources of spiritual food. I wait for Him and I depend on Him. Utterly. Wholeheartedly.

  • To speak to my heart.
  • To open my eyes.
  • To fill me with His Spirit
  • To save me from my own self
  • To save me from the fiery darts that are coming at me from the devil.

Be aware – any one who sets their WHOLE heart on God is a target of Satan. Don’t be shocked to find that yes, your very husband can be a tool in the devil’s hands to paralyze you spiritually – to trip you up and stop you at ALL COSTS from seeking God! Because when we seek God alone – we let go of all the things of earth -and when we are in our spiritual position with Christ by faith – we walk in His power and we are a HUGE threat to the Satan and his kingdom.

The Spirit of God is the Spirit of TRUTH. He cannot lie. He will not lead us into lies if we set our heart on Him alone. He will open our eyes, and grant us a revelation of Christ Jesus in our hearts – and when we see Christ alone -we will know Him and the Bible says that Christ is wisdom to us—CHRIST is wisdom! In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom. So then, more than anything else, we need knowledge of Christ in our situations!

 

“The ONLY Thing I Have Right Now Is the Lord.”

I’m so thankful this wife is willing to allow me to share her response to this post about two ways wives tend to respond when their husbands say they are done. Right now, things are still a mess in her circumstances and with her husband – but what I want us to see is the beauty that God is creating in her soul in the midst of this fiery trial:

My separation from my husband is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. My husband has moved out of our home and is staying with family. As a wife of a man who has had trouble leaving and cleaving since day 1, this situation makes our separation SO much harder. Add to it that his family is encouraging divorce, and I am living my worst nightmare daily.

The ONLY thing I have right now is the LORD. He is my strength, my light, my song.

I feel like a psalmist sometimes. I cry out to God, tears streaming down my face, my heart-broken to the point of feeling physically ill. Where is my God? Why is this happening? What does it take to mend my hurting spirit? I have been angry with God, confused, depressed, anxious, unable to sleep, overeating, under-eating, and in the lowest point of despair I have ever felt. Some days. I have asked God to bring me home. I am not suicidal; I simply feel like all I can do is breathe. Going to work is an enormous chore sometimes. Making food is all but impossible. Smiling or laughing feels insincere. But God is with me through it all.

I miss my husband more than I know how to express. I have made GIGANTIC mistakes that have brought our marriage to this point. My LORD has brought me to my knees in dire regret and sadness over my abuse, desire for control, overpowering, mean, non-supportive, and downright selfish ways. My LORD has reminded me that He paid the price for my sins, and I am washed by the blood of the Lamb. My LORD has reminded me in my darkest hour that He will never leave me or forsake me.

The Lord has brought me closer to Him than I have ever been during this trial. For that, I am blessed and eternally grateful.

I lay down my marriage at the feet of Jesus daily, usually multiple times each day. I know healing takes time, and I know our God works in ways we cannot comprehend as sinners. I yearn for quick restoration, but I know I would rather be separated for years than divorced forever. My husband’s heart is resistant to the work of the Holy Spirit right now, and I want him to hear the voice of God. I pray for his heart and for blessings for him often. I want him to feel the closeness I feel to the Lord. I want him to rely on the eternal not the temporary. I want him to trust his God more than his family. I want him to remember his baptism, what Jesus did for him, and let that change his heart.

There is absolutely nothing that I can do. I have reverted to “Wife #1” too many times to count (see this post). Now I give my husband to God. I release him. We are one flesh by the joining we received by God on our wedding day. My heart aches for him, my heart is broken, and hearts can be restored.

No matter what happens, I love my Jesus and I love my husband.

Through this pain, I am firmer in my faith than ever before and I trust that God is working all things out for my good. He is with me through every storm. Praise be to God!

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

When I see this kind of faith, humility, and trust in God – I know God is powerfully at work and amazing things are going to happen. I know there will continue to be healing and regeneration for the wife  – that God is using the trial to grow her and bring her to much deeper faith and greater spiritual maturity. Please join with me in praying for God to continue His good work in this dear sister’s life and for healing for her, her husband, and their marriage for God’s greatest glory in His perfect timing.

ENCOURAGING VERSES:

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope… Romans 5:3-4

He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

RELATED:

Kristin’s Story – a Peaceful Separated Wife

A Separated Wife Finally Begins to Experience the Peace of God in Her Life

“My Two Year Anniversary As a Separated Wife”

A Divorce and Reconciliation Story – by The Restored Wife

 

The Answer to All of Our Marriage Problems

Praying for Your Husband So That God Will Hear

There Must Be More to This Journey Than Just Prayer

“My Two Year Anniversary As a Separated Wife”

ADMIN NOTE – with the transition to the new host for this site, some people have been getting error messages or warnings that the site is not secure. This issue should resolve itself within the next few days or clearing your cache should fix it immediately.  Let me know if you continue to have this problem.  My apologies for the inconvenience!

FROM A DEAR SISTER IN CHRIST WHOSE DIFFICULT STORY INSPIRES ME GREATLY:

Today marks two years of me being a separated wife.

It’s not the story I would’ve asked for and definitely not the one I wanted, but it’s still my story. It can be hard to think a back to the terrible day that my husband left. Having told me about his affair and that he and his mistress were having a baby together in just a few short months, he moved out. Shock, hurt, anger, betrayal all hit in an instant. The journey to today would be long, hard and painful as more shocking details would come to light and his repentance has yet to happen.

At the beginning God was revealing, through April’s blog then through my church elders, the idols of my heart. The Lord led me through an intense time of confession and repentance as I painfully laid down my wants, desires, hurts and “rights” to God. I realized that the idols (stemming from my desire for control) I was clinging to were accusations against God – saying that I knew better than him or that he didn’t really care about me or what I wanted. God was beginning a work in my heart and showing me, more than ever, my great need for him. That he is all we need and that he is a good, loving Father.

Even though my husband and I have been separated for two years and have had very little contact during the past year (a good thing for our particular situation since there is unrepentant adultery), he hasn’t divorced me. Through much prayer and counsel from my local church leaders, I have decided to remain as I am (I Cor. 7) and not seek a divorce. Waiting is hard and each day has challenges. I’m thankful to say that I have many days filled with joy, but I also struggle with depression and anxiety at times and some days I don’t know how I’ll get out of bed to go to work or to be a mom. Despite that, I also know that God has used this situation to grow my faith and to draw me closer to Him…and that is always a good thing.

Today is the two year “anniversary” of becoming a separated wife, so I spent time going through my journal from the past year. I was reminded of how much hope God has given me during the hardest year of my life. I am so thankful for the hope that he has given me, despite my circumstances.

  • Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice] in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Hebrews 5:1-5
  • Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. I Peter 1:13 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23 
  •  Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. Psalm 23:18

In a worldly sense, it seems crazy to have hope while going through a difficult trial. But God has shown me where my true hope lies. It is not in the idols I held on to so tightly.

Hope is not having my situation turn out a certain way or having control of my life… its knowing that my future is secure in God’s hands. Hope is trusting in the work that has already been done on the cross, that my salvation is secure through Jesus Christ. It is knowing that my story, as bad as it is, is the story God gave me. I find so much hope in the fact that we serve a sovereign God. My situation isn’t an oversight, it wasn’t an accident, God didn’t forget about me. God is a good God and everything he does is good. He can be trusted to write my story. He knows how this will end and I can trust that he is using it for his glory and for my good.

Through God’s strength, I’m able to surrender my hopes and dreams of the life I wanted because of the hope he’s given that this isn’t my home. I live in anticipation of the life to come. I love reading Hebrews 11 to be reminded of those who have gone before us and how they lived their lives by faith.

  • But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:16
  • He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. Hebrews 11:26
  • For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Hebrews 13:14

The practical way that hope has kept me functioning day in and day out through these past two years is the hope in the promises of God.Never have the promises of God been more real to me than they are now.

When my “worst case scenario” happened, His promises sustained me. When I’m hit with depression, His promises carry me. This is the most useful advice or steps I could tell anyone to take when going through a difficult time: learn the promises of God and cling to them when the hard moments hit. It may be quoting them out loud, praying them back to God, or writing them in your journal. They bring hope and peace because God’s word is true.

  • This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. Psalm 119:50

A few, of the many, of God’s promises that have sustained me:

When I think my life has no purpose or is a mistake, I know God has a plan for my life.

  • The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Psalm 138:8

When I cry and am filled with sorrow, God promises that He keeps record of my tears (Psalm 56:8) and that one day I will reap with shouts of joy (Psalm 126:5).

When I feel forgotten or alone, God promises that he will never forsake me.

  • “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

When I pray to God, I know He hears me.

  •  I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. Psalm 17:6

The list goes on and on. I’d encourage you to search the Word to find His promises. There’s no better way to fight those lies we so easily believe when going through suffering or any day for that matter. When we turn to God in our hardest moments, He is faithful to respond. He will always give us the immediate response of His presence. He will give us a peace that surpasses understanding, even in the most difficult situations. And in His love and care for us, He has given us hope.

NOTE FROM APRIL:

I am not going to be able to approve comments that may be hurtful to this wife in a very painful, and difficult time. Please feel free to share encouragement, prayers, and support.

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.

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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

The Treasures of God in the Midst of a Great Storm

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From a wife whose husband threatened divorce a year ago and who wants to share with other wives who are in extremely painful situations similar to her own:

I want others to know that I had many “turn the corner” moments over the last year. I am approaching 1 year since the bomb drop and have been reflecting on it.

At this point, my advice is to stop focusing on your problem marriage and focus on your God.

Take your entire life right now, and start looking at what is GOOD. Your marriage may not be in that list, but your health, kids, family, job, appreciating nature, celebrating how much you have learned about yourself and God from where you were, this blog as a resource for encouragement, each and every day that God gives you to be one day closer to fulfilling your destiny. All are things to celebrate.

When I stopped focusing on my marriage day in, day out and forced myself to do something nice for other people, I turned a giant corner! My husband even noticed. He commented that he doesn’t understand how I could be “happy” when our marriage was a mess. Yes, marriage IS a mess, but I everyday I am moving forward with it. And everyday I can also notice all the things that are “right” in my life. Accepting that my life may not or ever be 100% perfect is huge for me, a perfectionist. Trying to achieve perfection in every area of my life was making me crack. As I hyper-focused on my crappy marriage, my health was suffering, my kids were feeling neglected, my work was not getting my full attention while I was there, my family felt helpless.

Eighty percent of what was good in my life was getting sucked into the mire along with my marriage. It needed to stop.

  • I started walking and listening to praise music, thanking God for teaching me every day how to learn from him.
  • I began to sleep. I even prayed for the gift of peace and sleep.
  • I started taking time to talk to the elderly at the nursing home I work at, I felt GREAT when I could comfort them, and if I found a few that loved God too, we would talk for hours!
  • I helped my mom with a few projects.
  • I dove into doing things with my kids.
  • I started my hobby back up. Never in a consuming way.
  • I took care of my needs.

I looked at my husband as an out of control storm. He was hurting me, raging inside, confused, hurting himself, and I couldn’t fix it. I could only stay out of his way and let God calm that storm.

I COULD, however, not aggravate the storm. I did this by not forcing my husband to see my point of view. Not demanding his time. Listening to understand HIS feelings, even though he didn’t want to even hear about mine. Stopped trying to “fix” our marriage, my husband, his feelings or demand forgiveness from my husband. The more I lived to seek approval from God and not my husband, the less guilty I felt and the less blame I took on.

If my husband was going to be in a cranky mood or criticize, I no longer took that on as my responsibility to fix. I focused on me not reacting to it, not barking back, not getting my point across or arguing. We literally did not talk for an entire month because I wasn’t arguing anymore. I knew my husband didn’t care about my point of view, was consumed by his own hurt and emotions and could not give me what I craved and wanted from him so badly. So I asked God for it. He delivered. The whole mood shifted.

Today: things are calmer. I speak very sparingly. More facts, every day items, kids, schedules. Not at all the loving husband I want, but not the monster I feared anymore, either. We do not have sex, we barely touch, but he has started kissing me on the forehead again. No more fist bumps or just walking away. I hear “I love you” occasionally. He is attempting to come home more. I have let him be responsible for his own doctor appointments, prescriptions, schedule, and meals. I am cheerful and pleasant, I include him and invite him, but I don’t berate him if he doesn’t show. His relationship with the kids is his to deal with. I work on my relationship with the kids.

I am still working out how to talk to my husband about my needs, wants, and feelings…I know I am not there yet, but working through it. I think my husband is starting to open his eyes. He feels he has let us down, says we deserve more of him than he has given. Seems like small steps, but I hit my knees in thanks to God when my husband said this! Everyone thought I was crazy for putting up with all of this unloving behavior from my husband, but I stayed because I promised God. I was not being abused, no addictions, no infidelity.

I have seen the small changes and am glad for them. Am I eager to run forward? Yes, but I don’t. Do I sometimes want to lay into my husband and blow like a volcano until everything I ever felt, thought, hurt about came boiling out and I exhausted myself? Yes, but how hurtful would THAT be?

It may feel like a Friday, but Sunday is coming! Jesus died on the cross on a Friday, but He rose again on Sunday and in doing so. Saved us all from death. This is what true faith does!

I know in my heart that God didn’t take me this far just to leave me. I don’t know if my husband and I will be reconciled. I don’t know if he will one day just leave or one day have a rebirth in Christ like I did! All I know is I am NOT sovereign and I can only control and run MY race. The rest, well, God has it covered. Whew, too much for me, anyway.

RELATED:

My Husband Wanted a Divorce (same author as this post)

A Peaceful Separated Wife – Kristin’s story part 1

A Separated Wife Finally Begins to Experience the Peace of God in Her Life!

A Peaceful Divorced Wife – Kristin’s story part 2

Can You Pray Too Much for Your Marriage?

My Husband Said, “You Worry Too Much!”

Why Doesn’t My Husband Support Me More As I Try to Change?

Twenty-three Signs Your Husband Is Beginning to Trust You Again

Could Your Husband Be Trapped in Shame?

Six Things I Learned from Having an Unbelieving Husband

"My Husband Wanted a Divorce" – by LMS

 

Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:27-31

Today’s post is by one of my readers. God has done an amazing work in her in the past year. She has been walking in the power of God’s Spirit so often – in spite of the fact that her husband has not been very responsive to the changes God is making in her life so far. I’m so thankful for her willingness to share a bit of her story:

MY CHILDHOOD

I was raised as a Catholic by parents that were raised in Catholic school. I attended catechism and confirmation, but to be honest, as a kid, it was just more school work to me and meant nothing to me, really. I memorized what I had to and went because I was a “good kid.” I was an excellent student and always A/B’s in school.

When I was 11, I distinctly remember seeing my parents lovingly gazing into each other’s eyes and I asked them if they would be together forever, they promised me they would. A year later, my mom picked me up from school and told me they were getting a divorce. My world imploded.

I felt that I could not trust anyone but myself if I could not even trust my parents.

My dad was a workaholic and my mom had an affair. I always blamed my mom for the divorce because of that. I had recognized the fact that my dad was trying to take care of his family by working, but I really didn’t know how that felt as a wife of a workaholic.

My grandmother had always been a happy Christian who adored me and complimented me on how I would always find a way to solve my problems by reading a book about them. She encouraged that in me. I remember thinking the Bible was just a fantastic story. I began to look more to scientific explanations of the meaning of life and how we got here.

MY “ROCK BOTTOM” ALMOST A YEAR AGO

I pretty much stayed at this level of spiritual maturity until – as a 42 year old married woman for 18 years with two tween-agers – I went on a family vacation to Florida and the moment we got there, my husband told me he wanted a divorce.

Needless to say, it was the worst week of my life.

On the drive home, I was lost and desperate to figure out how to save the marriage I worked so hard for. I pulled out my smart phone and Googled something about loveless marriage or how to save a marriage and “The Peaceful Wife” blog popped up.

The light bulb moment was the article about “how men feel disrespected.” The 50 point list of items were so convicting. I could check off probably all but 8 that I had done. It was no wonder my husband was so discouraged that he wanted to end our marriage. I was brought to my knees with repentance. I apologized to God and begged for forgiveness when I realized what I had done. I knew at that point I could not do this on my own. I had no idea what a real relationship with God was, but I had nowhere else to turn.

I asked my husband for forgiveness, he said he forgave me, but did not act that way.

I begged my husband not to just pick up and leave, he agreed that we would do this together or not at all. He was looking to do DIVORCE together, I was looking to SAVE THE MARRIAGE together. Thus began my journey to find myself.

MY BABY STEPS

With April’s help and many suggested books, I began to learn about submission (to God and in marriage), how to put God first on my priority list and how to run my own race. I discovered the true meaning of agape love and how to love my husband and kids unconditionally. I learned healthy boundaries and how to love my husband even when he doesn’t deserve it. I practiced being godly with the lovely seniors I work with at the nursing home I work at and I was able to talk to my mom about my journey.

My parents have both gone through 2 divorces each and I really had no good example of how to be a godly wife. I faced my past fears of workaholic dads, irrational responsibility of other people, control, pride and many other idols. It was very painful and heart wrenching. However, my mother has even grown closer to God and may benefit from my journey as well.

Thus, I am on a journey along with many other women to find the true meaning of a relationship with God. With April’s help, I am eager to pass on the truth about how to live in God’s love for everyone on this planet, especially with those we love the most. Relationships are not to be disposed of like so much trash, God does not treat us that way, we shouldn’t treat others that way either.

RELATED:

When Your Husband Says, “I’m Done”

PS FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

This couple is still together although there is much healing that still needs to be done. I’m so thankful for this wife’s faithfulness to seek Christ and to obey and please Him even as her husband remained quite distant and skeptical for many months. Her husband has recently begun to soften a bit toward her. Please pray for God to continue to work and to heal them both!

“Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

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What a tough, painful, awful question for any wife (or husband) to have to think about. My heart grieves for the many people I hear from who are in this very situation every week. I don’t have God’s wisdom about every possible scenario – only God can show each wife whether He desires her to stay or to leave at a particular time. Many women want me to tell them what they should do. Sometimes there are no easy answers. But this is something that each wife ultimately must decide between herself and God. 

If a husband continues in unrepentant sin – infidelity, drug/alcohol/gambling addictions, has severe and uncontrolled mental illness, is involved in criminal activity, or is genuinely *abusing his wife and/or children – there can be times when God may prompt a wife to leave or to seek appropriate help immediately.

  • Sometimes in really serious situations, this may be a pretty obvious decision a wife may need to make. There are times when it takes a wife leaving or her asking her husband to leave for him to realize the seriousness of the situation.
  • In some less clear cut situations, God may prompt a wife to stay and seek to minister to her husband His way.

God loves marriage and hates divorce (Mal. 2:16, Matt. 19:4-6). Marriage is a sacred covenant that is designed by God to picture the relationship between Christ and His church (Eph. 5:22-33). There are times when separation is necessary, but separation is not the general goal of marriage. If we must separate, we can do so while praying for God to bring about repentance from any sin, spiritual/emotional healing in Christ, and reconciliation for the marriage (I Cor 7:10-16).

Separation is a very serious thing, and not something to enter lightly. I don’t believe it is wise to bring up the topic of divorce for a believer. It is difficult to find much biblical support for a believer in Christ to initiate divorce (with very few exceptions).

I would want to spend SERIOUS time in fervent prayer and fasting before beginning to consider talking about separation unless there is an emergency situation involving safety. This is a life changing decision that could have extremely negative consequences for everyone in the family. Much caution and godly wisdom will be necessary here!

Some questions I would want to prayerfully wrestle with and consider if I found myself in a very difficult situation of trying to decide what God desires me to do (these questions cover a very wide range of possible situations):

– Do I accept that my husband has free will from God just like I do? He cannot force me into decisions and I cannot force him into decisions. God doesn’t override our free will and we don’t have the right to override people’s free will. We can ask for what we want respectfully. We can say what we are and are not able to do. We can set boundaries and limits on what behavior we will accept. We may have to change our own behavior in response to what our husbands do. But I cannot demand that my husband do what I want or force him to do what I want any more than he has the right to do that to me – even if I believe I am right.

Do I understand proper boundaries in a relationship? I am responsible for myself, my emotions, my decisions, my behavior, my sin, and my obedience to God. My husband is responsible for himself in those areas. I cannot change my husband. He cannot change me. We are not responsible for our spouse’s happiness. We can seek to bless them and we may influence them, but they are responsible for themselves.

– Am I a people pleaser? Do I seek my husband’s approval (or someone else’s approval) more than the approval of Christ?

– Am I acting like a martyr?

– Do I have pride or self-righteousness in my heart?

– Do I want to leave simply because I am not happy at the time? Is it possible I could be placing too much emphasis on my current level of happiness? In my pursuit of my own temporary happiness, am I willing to wound my husband and children and destroy my family? Is happiness God’s greatest goal for me? Or does He want me to be holy, faithful,  obedient, and pleasing to Him primarily? Are my changing emotions more important to me than my covenant with Christ or with my husband?

– What will the cost be to my husband, children, others, and myself if I stay? What will the cost be if I go?

– Do I long to obey God more than anything, even if it is a painful path?

– Am I willing to allow God to “prune me” spiritually?

– Am I willing to trust God and embrace whatever good purposes He has for me and my family in the midst of my pain (Rom. 8:28-30, James 1:2-4)?

– Am I trying to be a godly wife in my own strength instead of resting in Christ and allowing His power to fill me?

– Am I trying to use guilt to manipulate my husband into doing what I want him to do?

– How does God desire me to partner with Him to draw my husband to Himself so that I am not a stumbling block and so that I don’t get in God’s way in my husband’s life? Is this a time of not using words but showing my husband my godly, respectful, cooperative attitude (1 Peter 3:1-6)? Is it a time when I need to confront my husband’s sin? Or do I just need to leave quickly for my own safety or our children’s safety without any discussion?

– How does God desire me to respect Him, respect myself, respect my marriage covenant, respect my husband, and respect our children in this trial?

Am I overdoing respect and submission in a destructive way?

– Am I being controlling or disrespectful?

– Am I meeting my husband’s needs for things like respect, honor, love, and sex – even if I think he is not meeting my needs adequately – unless there are severe issues going on that keep me from being able to meet his needs? (Eph. 5:22-33, I Corinthians 7:1-5)

– Am I being the wife God desires me to be?

– Do I believe I am justified in God’s sight to sin against my husband if my husband sins against me? God never gives any of us a free pass to sin or accepts excuses for any sin. Sin is always sin, even if we are being sinned against. God desires us to respond in the power of His Spirit and overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:17-21, Gal. 5:18-25)

– Is my husband actually sinning against me according to God’s Word? Or is our struggle simply a matter of different personal convictions?

– What do I need to do so that I am as close to God as possible, being nourished spiritually, filled with His Spirit, and abiding in His Word?

– Do I possess and wear the full armor of God each day? (Eh. 6:10-17)

– Do I view my husband as the enemy – or do I see past him to the real enemies – sin and Satan? (Eph. 6:12)

– Do I understand Satan has a plan to steal, kill, and destroy in my marriage? (John 10:10)

– Am I able to let go of any bitterness and forgive my husband? That doesn’t mean I need to trust him until he is willing to rebuild trust. But am I willing to get rid of the poison of bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness in my heart so that I am right with God and I don’t give the enemy a foothold in my heart and life? (Matt. 6:14-15, Eph. 4:27)

– Do I need outside, godly, biblical, experienced help?

– Am I safe? Are our children safe? Do I need to involve the police?

Am  I willing to hold my husband loosely and cling to Christ alone – knowing He is sufficient for me and that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (2 Cor. 12:9, Phil. 4:12-13)?

Are there any expectations I need to lay down? Are any of my expectations unbiblical?

– Do I have any idols in my heart – things that I cherish and desire more than Christ? Is Christ truly my greatest desire? Is He the Love of my life?

– Is there anything I might be doing (attitudes, beliefs, words, thoughts, or actions) that could contribute to the toxic atmosphere in our home that God desires me to change (Matt. 7:1-5)?

What sin is in my life do I need to address?

– Am I willing to let God change me first instead waiting for my husband to change first?

– Am I willing to obey God even if my husband never changes without being bitter at God or my husband – understanding that this is all about me and Jesus and that how I treat my husband is a barometer of how I treat God?

– What resources does God have for me in this situation? (the Bible, biblical books, blogs, godly counselors, prayer, prayer partners, means of provision)

– What are my motives in wanting to stay? Do they honor Christ, are they based on I Corinthians 13:4-8 love, or are my motives based in fear or idolatry of my husband?

– What would my motives be if I decide I need to go? Do I have righteous anger or sinful anger? Do my motives to honor Christ or am I filled with hatred and a desire for revenge? Am I trying to punish my husband?

– Am I willing to seek to bless my husband (no matter how he responds) from a position of great strength and power in Christ – not as a doormat and not as a controlling wife?

– Am I seeking to understand my husband, realizing that there may be a lot of things I don’t know about his motives and actions? Am I unfairly assuming he has evil motives?

– Am I willing to seek to obey and honor Christ alone in my relationship with my husband knowing I will answer only to Him when this short life is over (Matt 25:21)?

– Am I secure in my identity in Christ no matter what my husband does?

– Am I able to hear God clearly (Isa. 30:21)?

– Am I praying so that God will hear my prayers about my husband?

– Am I willing to obey God whatever He asks me to do?

– Am I filled with His Spirit?

– Am I seeking God’s greatest glory above all else? That is my highest purpose in life (1 Peter 2:12).

SHARE:

If you have been in such a situation (as a husband or a wife), what other questions would you suggest wives ask themselves as they wrestle in prayer over this painful decision and seek Christ above all else? What encouragement would you share for those who are hurting?

If you are struggling right now and need prayer, you are welcome to ask for prayer and God’s wisdom. We may not know what God desires you to do. But we can pray with you for God to show you as you seek Him with all your heart!

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

Psalm 46:1-3

* Some women are being terribly abused and that is not right! Not ever! No one should ever be mistreated and abused in any way. God hates all sin. All sin is destructive. What makes the word “abuse” complicated is that some wives think they are not being abused but they are not. I want to be careful here! When I talk about abuse – I am talking about a spouse genuinely seeking to hurt the other spouse emotionally, spiritually, financially, or physically – not just that a husband has a different opinion, is asking for respect, wants his wife to honor his appropriate leadership, or wants a wife to keep a balanced check book. I hope that makes sense!

For wives in very difficult marriages, I encourage you to check out Nina Roesner’s eCourse Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity. It is a private forum where women can encourage each other and there is instruction in how to think rightly of ourselves and how to heal in Christ first so that we have the wisdom and the Spirit of God to know how to address issues in our marriages properly.

RELATED:

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The Wrong Counselor Can Be More Dangerous Than No Counselor

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A Peaceful Divorced Wife

A Separated Wife Finally Experiences God’s Peace!

When Your Husband Says, “I’m Done.”

The Bible and Divorce

A Husband Teeters on the Edge of Divorce

Some Ideas That Helped Me Destroy My Marriage

RELATED TO ABUSE:

Do I Condone CDD or BDSM?

Do I Condone Marital Rape or Abuse?

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