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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

 

 

 

 

 

Am I “Too Chatty” with My Husband?

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Ladies,

This is another one of those topics where the key is balance. It is entirely possible to be way too talkative. It is also entirely possible to be way too quiet. Of course, what you talk about or avoid talking about also matters.

When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is prudent. Prov. 10:19 CSB

How I used to hate that verse! Probably because I talked almost non-stop. But – now I recognize it is very true. I believe that it can be wise to look at my motives and expectations every now and then if I find myself wanting to talk a lot.

Note – I am going to be speaking in generalizations, by necessity in a post like this. Your relationship may not always follow every generalization and that is totally fine!

WHY DO I WANT TO TALK WITH MY HUSBAND?

Some Not-So-Productive Reasons

If these are the reasons I want to talk with my husband, I need to go to the Lord and deal with any sin or wrong motives in my heart first. Then I can consider talking with my husband when I have taken care of my spiritual issues and I am filled with the Spirit rather than controlled by my flesh.

 

Some Great Reasons

  • I want to bond and connect with words for awhile. But I realize he may not bond this way and I know how much listening and talking he can realistically handle and I respect that.
  • There is important information I need/want to share with him.
  • I am looking to him for his wisdom and advice about an issue I am having.
  • I want to brainstorm with him about some plans.
  • I want to hear about things that are important to him.
  • I want to learn more about his perspective, masculine world, and mindset.
  • I have some legitimate concerns to share respectfully with him.
  • I want to humbly, respectfully, prayerfully confront him about his sin.
  • I want to ask him respectfully for something.
  • I want to talk with him to process my feelings and thoughts about something.
  • I feel lonely and want to feel closer to him – but I know that my primary security and contentment is in the Lord.
  • I want to build him up, bless, affirm, respect, and honor him.
  • I want to connect with him spiritually – if he is open and receptive to that, but if he is not, I can handle that graciously.
  • I want to enjoy his company and be his friend.

A FEW MORE THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

  1. When I want to talk to someone, I need to remember my audience.
  • Avoid topics he doesn’t really like.
  • Respect his preferences if he doesn’t want to talk about the news or something that is upsetting to him.
  • Focus more on things he enjoys.

2. Everyone has different preferences about how much they like to talk and listen.

  • If he is an introvert, you may want to keep conversations brief. He may actually enjoy some silence.
  • If he is an extrovert, he may enjoy longer talks, especially about things he likes.

3. There are times when it may be better not to have a deep, emotional, intense discussion.

  • One or both of you is sick, very hungry, or in significant pain – the flesh is weak.
  • You are hormonal.
  • It is late at night.
  • One or both of you is completely exhausted.
  • There is a very stressful situation.
  • He is watching his favorite football team.
  • He is working on a plumbing problem and trying to concentrate.
  • He doesn’t seem receptive.
  • You are in “flesh mode.”

4. Men sometimes associate talking with painful things like:

  • “There is a problem.”
  • “You are the problem.”

Not with:

  • “We are connecting and bonding.”

If you can make talking with you a pleasant, friendly thing, he may enjoy it more. 😉

5. If you just want him to listen, not to solve any problems, let him know that up front.

Give him a respectful heads up about that he is helping you by just listening for 10 minutes while you process your thoughts verbally. Most guys (not all, but most, in my understanding) don’t have this need and will feel like they need to fix things if we are sad or upset. If they know that just listening does help us feel better, and we show that we feel better after they listen, that can encourage them to want to listen more often.

6. A lot of men don’t really enjoy hearing every detail about our hobbies, friends, family, shopping experiences, etc…

We can sometimes easily overload them with a lot of minutia that may not be particularly engaging to them.

7. Men and women tend to talk differently.

  • Women tend to bond by talking face-to-face with words.
  • Men tend to bond by doing things together shoulder-to-shoulder, not face-to-face.

Face-to-face can feel rather emotionally intimidating to men at times. If you are watching them constantly, it can make them feel emotionally “naked” or extra vulnerable. They tend to bond just by being together and having shared experiences, or they may love to bond through sex with their wives. Just because he doesn’t bond in the same way doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to bond with you. Try to do some things that help you feel bonded and some things that help him bond his way.

For details about the research behind these tips, check out Shaunti Feldhahn’s best-selling book, “For Women Only.”

SCRIPTURE:

Verses about talking too much

Verses about the wisdom of silence

COMING UP:

I hope to share on these topics in the next few weeks:

  • What to do when you really need another outlet for talking.
  • How to tell if you are too quiet with your husband.

 

SHARE:

What wisdom has God given you about this topic that may be a blessing to other wives? What struggles do you have in this area?

 

Much love!

RELATED:

Being Married to a Man Who Doesn’t Talk Much

Being Married to a Man Who Is Emotionally/Spiritually Shut Down

“We Need to Talk!”

Husbands and Emotions – multiple post links

A Silent Husband Shares His Heart

I Wish My Husband Would Pray with Me More

When Your Husband Needs Space

A Fellow Wife Thinks about Giving Space

How to Ask Your Man for Things Respectfully

How to Be a Safe Place for Your Husband Emotionally

 

“My Husband Wants Me to Be Home but I Want to Work.”

What is a godly wife to do when she is the one who wants to work more outside of the home, but her husband wants her to be home and not work?
(NOTE – If you have the opposite situation, I have a post for wives who have to work but want to be home here.)
GOD’S AUTHORITY STRUCTURE IN OUR LIVES
Definitions:
  • The world defines authority as – tyranny, abuse, selfishness, lording power over others.
  • God defines authority as – shepherding, bringing order to society, nurturing others, providing for them according to God’s will, loving them, taking good care of them in a humble, selfless, sacrificial Christlike way.
  • The world defines submission as – slavery, being a second class citizen, having less value as a person, being a doormat.
  • God defines submission as – a voluntary willingness to recognize God’s ways and His wisdom and to accomplish His will by cooperating with His directives.
  • Positional authority – a person in a position of authority, like king, president, manager, husband, parent, or pastor.
  • Influential authority – a person who may influence the person in the position of authority like an advisor to a king, a deacon board to a pastor, an assistant manager to a manager, or a wife to a husband.

The way God works out His will in our lives is that He uses people in positions of “delegated authority” to help accomplish His purposes. He is the “direct authority.” But He gives His authority to certain people to help accomplish His plan. There are people like this in leadership positions in every area of our lives – at work, in the government, at church, and in the family (husbands and parents).

By God’s design, He chooses to lead us through imperfect people in positions of leadership.
 
If we are seeking the Lord’s will and yielded to His Lordship, part of what we will do is submit to human delegated authorities in our lives (unless they are clearly trying to lead us to violate God’s Word and principles).
 
God’s design for marriage is that the husband is in the position of “leader.” He is in the driver’s seat. Not because he is more important, more talented, smarter, or more valuable. Just because this is God’s design and His appointment to accomplish the picture He wants to accomplish in marriage.
  • The husband is supposed to represent Christ and His selfless, unconditional love, sacrifice, humility, wisdom, and servant hearted leadership.
  • The wife is supposed to represent the church in its relationship to Jesus in the way the wife honors, respects, and follows the leadership of her husband.
  • This portrays the gospel to the world  – and to our children. (Eph. 5:22-33)
If we usurp our husband or rebel against his leadership (unless he is asking us to rebel against the Lord), we malign the gospel of Christ. (Titus 2:3-5) This is a weighty matter – of infinitely more significance than whether I work outside of the home or not right now.
Also, our children learn how to submit to authorities in their lives, including ourselves and our husbands, by watching our example of how we honor their dad’s authority.
WHAT CAN A GODLY WIFE DO?
Here are my suggestions for a wife who wants to work but her husband desires her to be home (these principles apply whenever we don’t agree with our husband on an important decision):
 
1. Submit first to the Lordship of Christ Jesus.
Be completely yielded to Him, His will, His purposes, and His glory being accomplished in your life. Trust Him fully to lead you. Be willing to lay down your greatest dreams, desires, and fears before Him. Trust Him with them all and allow Him to do what He believes is best in your life. Seek His will far above your own will. This is “dying to self” or “taking up your cross.” Be willing to be content in Christ whether you work outside the home or not.
 
Give all of yourself – your body, your gifts, your abilities, your talents, your intelligence, your health, your time, your money, your resources completely to the Lord. Consecrate yourself and your life to Him. Commit to doing whatever He desires you to do with all your heart in service to Him alone. When you have such an attitude, He will open doors that you can’t begin to imagine. Doors to opportunities and plans that are infinitely better than your personal plans and dreams.
 
2. Submit second to the God-given leadership of your husband.
Your trust is ultimately in the Lord to lead you through this man, even though your husband is not perfect and he may not even be close to the Lord at this time. (If you are not yet married, please only marry a man who is truly seeking to live for Christ as Lord. That is a command God gives to believers, that we only marry someone who is “in the Lord.”) God is able to lead us in His will for us as we honor the leadership of those He has placed in our lives.
 
You cannot accomplish God’s will for your life if you rebel against your husband – or any other God-given leader in your life.
 
God chooses to work through the leaders in our lives and to lead us through them. He chose to lead Israel in the wilderness through Moses. The people could not get to the Promised Land any other way than to follow and honor Moses’ leadership. It is the same with us. God chooses to lead us through our husbands and other leaders. So – seek to honor your husband’s request for you not to work in order to honor the Lord. You can share your heart on the matter and say something like:
 
  • “Honey, I would really love to work. It means a lot to me that I can have this job. But I know that you are the head of our home by God’s design and I will honor your desire for me not to work if you believe that is best for us.”

You can also respectfully ask for things you believe you need. You may also respectfully suggest that your husband consider the idea of you having a part-time job that may be a better balance for your family.

 
3. Pray.
Invite the Lord to work. Ask for His will. Ask for Him to open doors and change your husband’s heart if it is His will for you to work at a certain job. Invite Him to change the circumstances. Invite Him to change your heart and perspective. Ask Him to help you see and appreciate your husband’s concerns and perspective.
 
4. Embrace the opportunity to be home.
Thank God for having a husband who wants to provide for your family and who wants to give you this gift of being a homemaker and maybe you have children and can be home with them. That is a priceless treasure. If this is the Lord’s will and He is leading you through your husband to be here – own it. Decide that you are going to make the absolute most of this opportunity. Invite God into your home. Invite Him to help you make this a place of sanctuary, peace, welcome, hospitality, warmth, joy, and blessing.
 
Allow the Lord to lead you in opportunities to use your gifts and talents. Perhaps there are ministries you can do – with your husband’s blessing. Or maybe there are friends you can encourage. Or possibly there is time for you to read and study more about God’s Word or other topics, maybe even related to your education – with your husband’s blessing.
 
Determine to use this time to seek the Lord wholeheartedly and to develop a much stronger walk with Him. Invite Him to show you what He wants to do in your life in this time and what He wants to teach you. Listen to sermons, podcasts, and praise music while you work around the house. Take the time you need to exercise. Enjoy having balance in your life and living at a slower, more healthy pace. Focus on relationships. Practice ministering to your husband and children by keeping the house neat and organized. Run your home like you would an office – and let your motives be love, honor, respect, and grace.
 
Teach your children God’s ways. Mentor younger wives. Maybe you would enjoy cooking more meals from scratch to bless your family. Use this time to really seek God’s will and His glory for yourself and your family. Be available to be an instrument in God’s hand to bless your family richly.
 
5. Avoid harboring jealousy, bitterness, or a critical spirit.
It is easy to focus on women who “get to” work outside of the home. Or to focus on feeling resentful and bitter at your husband or God that you don’t have the situation you wanted. That is unproductive and toxic. Focus on being thankful for the situation the Lord has given you and on what He is calling you to do at this time.
And, as a reader mentioned, let’s also avoid judging other women who make different decisions. All of us get criticized no matter what choices we make in this area. That is hurtful. Let’s love, encourage, and seek to bless one another. Being a wife and mom is hard. Let’s not assume we know every mom’s motives or what is best for each family’s situation. We each answer to the Lord for these decisions, not to each other.
6. Remember that the dream of working outside of the home can easily become an idol.
Any dream or desire can become more important to us than our love for the Lord if we are not careful. Be sure to seek Christ first. Let Jesus lead you. Be content in whatever place He decides is best. Working outside of the home can be fulfilling. If it is God’s will. But being home can also be fulfilling. Whether we are fulfilled or not is not really about our circumstances. It is mostly a matter of our attitude, our faith in God, our willingness to develop a heart of thanksgiving, and whether we are walking in God’s will for us or not. (Phil. 4:4-8, 12-13)
 
Sometimes life is hard and there aren’t any easy answers.
It is in those moments that God often tests and grows our faith the most. We don’t know all that the Lord knows. We don’t know what He may be sparing us and our families from when He leads us in a particular way. We don’t know all of the blessings He has in store as we yield to His will. Our job is not to understand it all ahead of time but to trust Him completely to do what is ultimately best for our families, ourselves, and God’s kingdom in light of eternity.
 
Much love!
SHARE
What has God shown you that may be a blessing to other wives struggling in this area? Or if you are struggling, you are welcome to share and we can hash through the tough issues together here.
RELATED

Spiritual Authority – by a minister at my church

A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage – by a minister at my church

The Life Ready Woman by Shaunti Feldhahn helps women focus on the things that God desires most for us and how to align our priorities with Him.
Radical Womanhood by Carolyn McCulley is an explanation of how much feminism has saturated our culture and how it has affected our understanding of femininity and masculinity. If your husband wants you to stay home, this book may open your eyes to a lot of great reasons why this may be a blessing.
 

“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.”

valentina-locatelli-130318

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.

SHARE

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!

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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.”

Does My Husband Have to Have a Long Range Plan to Lead Our Family?

I used to think that my husband had to lead in a certain way in order for God to lead me through him. His personality should be a lot more like mine, of course, for him to lead “properly.” I believed we needed a long list of things I thought were great ideas – lots of formal meetings, written goals, written/verbal feedback on how we were both doing (kind of like a report card), specific plans way in advance in many areas of life, etc…

Somehow, God put me with a man who thinks in a way that is totally unlike my way.  I used to think that meant Greg wouldn’t lead me or that he couldn’t lead me.

Wow, was I wrong!

God absolutely can lead me through Greg. Even without him having the leadership style I might think I would have if I were in charge. All of those things I wanted could be fine things. They may work for some couples, particularly if those things were part of the husband’s personality and leadership style. But, I think God knew that if I got to have all of those things, I might start putting more of my faith in our written plans and meetings than in Him. God has shown me that I can absolutely be content without big human plans, meetings, tons of feedback, etc…

The Lord has also shown me that as I trust Him to lead me through Greg, He knows how to prompt Greg at just the right time and how to inspire him and move his heart to accomplish His will for me. It isn’t all big and flashy. It took quite awhile for us to get to the place where we are now and I am sure we will both continue to grow in Christ and things will continue to change over time.

Most of the time, the way God leads me through Greg is softly, gently, and quietly:

  • When I have another one of my awesome new big ideas – where I want to radically change a lot of things for our family all at once. Greg quietly researches and prays about things. Then, after a few days/weeks, many times, he brings up important issues I hadn’t considered.
  • He tends to slow me down so I don’t rush into a hasty, and regrettable, decision.
  • He shares what he believes is best about various ideas and now I know that he has a lot of valuable wisdom that will benefit me if I will listen.
  • He gently offers suggestions.
  • He comes up with ideas that he believes God may desire me to do – like write a blog, write a book, teach a class, have a conference, etc… – and he shares them with me without any pressure. Then I pray about things.
  • He gives me counsel about how to handle difficult situations and people in my life – again with no pressure that I have to do things his way, but I know he has my best interests at heart and that I can trust him.
  • He lets me know when he feels I might be about to make a mistake.

God uses Greg to bring a lot of balance and wisdom to my life. I am SO thankful for his leadership now! Even though it is not what I originally thought I wanted and needed. And the truth is, human plans don’t always amount to much. We can’t see what is coming in the future. God has a way of being able to change our well-made plans.

It is not wrong to prayerfully make certain plans as we seek to do God’s will. But it is wise for us all to be very flexible and ready to change whenever God moves in our lives in ways we can’t predict.

FOLLOWING CHRIST IS A LOT LIKE FOLLOWING A TRUSTWORTHY GPS

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

I think it is easy for us to tend to want to know the WHOLE plan way ahead of time. We want God and/or our husbands – or SOMEONE – to reveal everything that will happen to us right now. It is hard to be at peace in uncertainty and in the whole not knowing thing. On our own, we can’t be at peace in times of uncertainty and trials, but in Christ, we absolutely can be!

I don’t have to know about the mountains I may face 2,000 miles from now. I don’t need to know about the detour I will need to take 5,000 miles from now. What I need to know right now is simply, “Lord, what step do I take next today?”

As I trust God to lead me, He will get the information to me when I need to know it. And He will lead me through my husband in His way and His timing to accomplish His purposes. He will orchestrate the events of my life according to His will. He will use all of the difficulties I face to help me grow and to prune and refine me so that I can grow stronger in my faith and so that He can conform me more to the image of Christ.

What does Jesus have to say about knowing the future?

Quite honestly, we couldn’t handle knowing all of the future right now.

It is a blessing in many ways that God doesn’t give us the ability to see that far ahead. For all we know, there could be a nuclear war tomorrow, or our electric grid might collapse, there might be a massive terrorist strike, the economy might finally collapse, or there may be a huge earthquake or some natural disaster. Or Jesus might return later today. Or perhaps nothing terrible might happen and things may continue on as usual. Maybe something incredibly good might happen that alters the course of our lives. We might try to make plans but our plans are pretty worthless because we don’t know the future. Only God knows.

My prayer is that we might trust the One who actually knows what is going to happen and that we might follow Him and humbly yield to His wisdom. Let’s walk by faith each moment. As we do that, and as we desire to be in the center of the Lord’s will, He knows how to direct our steps and how to lead us in His will.

 

RELATED:

How God Led Me Through Greg to Write a Book

Why Won’t My Husband Lead?

Ways Husbands Lead That Wives Often Don’t Notice

My Husband Isn’t Being a Good Enough Spiritual Leader

 

Twenty-Five Ways to Be a Safe Place for Your Husband Emotionally

We as women understand the desire to feel safe with our men. We want to feel safe and secure physically, financially, emotionally, spiritually – and in every way – in our marriages. That is one of our greatest needs as wives. Husbands want to feel safe in every way with us, too.

Men have certain legitimate needs that need to be met before they can be open to emotional/spiritual intimacy as men – all of us do.

Our men are wired by God for adventure, for purpose, to fulfill His calling, to portray the strength, love, grace, and wisdom of Christ to the world. They seem so big and strong. And they are in many ways. But they have feelings and emotions, too, which we may sometimes discount if they don’t express them the way we do.

Our attitudes, words, and actions can hurt them. Even if they don’t show it in the same way we would. Even if they don’t complain about it or confront us. So let’s make sure that we seek to provide a safe haven from this harsh world for our men when they are with us. A place where they feel welcome, where they can relax, and where they know we have good motives toward them.

WAYS I CAN BE A SAFE PLACE FOR MY HUSBAND (with the power of the Holy Spirit, of course)

  1. Get rid of anything that is emotionally scary on my end of the relationship (more detail below).morgan-sessions-17278
  2. Smile my beautiful smile often.
  3. Use a pleasant, friendly tone of voice whenever possible.
  4. Watch my body language, let it speak warmth, love, and respect.
  5. Be kind, gentle, and polite.
  6. Share my needs and feelings with humility, authenticity, and vulnerability in direct ways.
  7. Don’t share the private things he shares with me with other people – be trustworthy.*
  8. Honor his God-given leadership in the family as appropriate.
  9. Use my influence authority wisely.
  10. Honor his authority as a dad.
  11. Give him space respectfully when he needs it.
  12. Seek to understand his unique masculine world, celebrating that men are different from women in some ways and that is part of God’s good design.
  13. Take my thoughts captive for Christ first before having a negative emotional conversation.
  14. Be aware of PMS, hormone issues, exhaustion, illness, etc… where the body is weak – and consider whether it is a good time to try to emotionally connect or to talk about negative things.
  15. Be content and peaceful in Christ. My genuine peace and joy are huge gifts to him.
  16. Be filled up to overflowing with Christ – that is the only way to have that beautiful gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to hysterical fear.
  17. Reward him when he shares with me emotionally and make it enjoyable for him.
  18. Limit the amount of time I ask for emotional connection if that is tiring for him or he is stressed/exhausted, etc…
  19. Receive good things from him – compliments, gifts, time, attention, affection, attraction, sex, etc… – graciously and joyfully.
  20. Have a spirit of gratitude toward him.
  21. Be willing to extend grace, mercy, and forgiveness in a healthy, godly way.
  22. Be responsible with financial decisions.
  23. Be interested and open to his wisdom and ideas.
  24. Give him my full attention when he is talking whenever possible.
  25. Enjoy him and rest in his love.

Yes, most people would appreciate most of these things in relationships – wives certainly would like many of these things. 🙂

 

WHAT KINDS OF THINGS CAN BE EMOTIONALLY SCARY TO OUR MEN?

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What are some ways you have discovered you can encourage your husband to feel safe with you?

FOR MORE HELP

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

I Was SURE I Would Never Make My Husband into an Idol 

Should I Seek to Please and Keep My Husband at ANY Cost?

I Must Avoid Conflict at All Costs

What Is Disrespect in Marriage?

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected

What Is Respect in Marriage?

Closeness in Marriage Looks Different from What I Expected

IF THINGS ARE VERY TENSE IN YOUR MARRIAGE:

Please understand, if you have an extremely emotionally/spiritually wounded husband – he probably can’t do much to meet your deep spiritual and emotional needs right now. Even if you are also deeply wounded and need a lot of help, too. He may need to be in a spiritual/emotional ICU for a bit. Give him some time and space to heal as you focus on finding the healing Jesus has for you in your soul. Find all of your contentment, joy, fulfillment, security, and peace in Christ alone. Thankfully, you can find all of our deepest needs met in Christ no matter what your husband may or may not do. Seek to bless your husband. You may have to refrain from asking him for emotional support until he is stronger and the marriage is healing up more.

  • This post does a good job explaining an approach that may be helpful for those whose husbands act like or say they are done with the marriage.
  • This post may be a blessing for those who are in the trenches.

If you are struggling in your walk with the Lord or in your marriage – reach out to God. Reach out for godly counsel one-on-one if you need it. There is private counseling available at www.focusonthefamily.com. Also, KLUV, a Christian radio station, has pastors and Christian counselors you can speak to.

 

*(If there are serious issues going on, we can privately reach out to appropriate authorities and counselors who can help.)

 

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

 

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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

 

 

 

My Primary Goal As a Wife Has to Be This One Thing

Reminder – I have a conference in Eaton, Ohio February 25th and a conference in Columbia, South Carolina March 24th-25th. You are most welcome to come!

Marriage meets many needs and fulfills a number of purposes in our lives, in our families, the church, and in society. A healthy marriage:

  • Brings stability to society.
  • Teaches the next generation how to have healthy relationships.
  • Is to be a safe place to raise children and for them to learn what love is.
  • Can meet both spouse’s needs for companionship.
  • Can be a place of wonderful friendship.
  • Is the only place where God condones and celebrates sex.
  • Can be a place of romance and fun.
  • Can provide financial stability and resources.

But there is an even greater purpose for marriage that I can’t ever forget.

God’s greatest purpose in marriage is that marriage is supposed to display the gospel of Christ and it is to bring great glory and honor to Him.

My marriage is about so much more than just me. It is about much more than just my husband or just our children. It is ultimately about something infinitely higher.

  • Marriage is to be a living parable demonstrating the relationship between Christ and the church where the husband is to portray the love, humility, selflessness, and sacrificial leadership of Christ. The wife is to portray the honor, respect, and submission of the church for Christ. (Eph. 5:22-33)
  • When we as wives focus on our role and what God calls us to do – the gospel is exalted – and the same is true when husbands focus on the role God gives to them and walking in submission to Christ as Lord.
  • If we choose to disrespect our husbands and dishonor God’s design for us as wives and for marriage, we malign the gospel of Christ. (Titus 2:3-5)

This is a very lofty goal, my precious sisters. Marriage is no longer about me being happy,  me having my way all the time, or me having control. It is not about my husband being the most important thing or about me seeking to please him at any cost. It is about me completely yielding my heart, my mind, my life, all that I am, all that I desire, all of my fears, all of my purposes, my marriage, and my family to God to accomplish His purposes. Whatever He sees fit. My eyes have to be on eternity and God’s kingdom now – not just today or this lifetime.

Now my heart’s cry is:

Not my will, but Yours be done! Luke 22:42

As an individual believer in Christ, my purpose in life is similar.

  • I am to bring glory to God far above anything else. (1 Cor. 10:31)
  • I am to seek His will far above my own. (Luke 22:42)
  • I am to count myself dead to sin and this world and alive to God through Christ. (Romans 6:11)
  • I am to take up my cross daily. (Luke 9:23)
  • I am to be completely at God’s disposal, His trusted, faithful servant, willing to do anything He may ask of me. (John 14:22-24)
  • I am to view suffering as God’s tool to refine me and to grow my faith. (Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2-8, 1 Peter 4:12-19)

This changes everything about how I relate to my husband (and everyone else, but we will focus on marriage in this post).

Now I don’t need to ask questions like:

The funny thing is, when I asked questions like this and my heart was not wholeheartedly yielded to God’s, I actually sabotaged my marriage. I kept God out because I didn’t trust Him. Then I was upset because my marriage was a mess. What a confused girl I was!

The scariest place in the world to me now is to trust self and to not trust God. When I yield everything to God and I am in fellowship with Him and His Spirit fills me, He also pours His healing and the spiritual treasures of heaven into my life and through me into my family and those around me. He withholds no good thing from those who belong to Him.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Psalm 84:11

Note  – the only way my walk can be blameless is when I allow God’s Spirit to live in and through me to empower me to obey Him.

Now I ask questions like:

Real peace comes as I know and love Christ wholeheartedly and as I trust Him completely with everything.

God’s Spirit can give us the power to stay when we may not feel like staying because we can look with an eternal perspective rather than an earthly one when we are abiding in Christ. He can give us the ability to love when maybe our husbands don’t deserve it. He can give us the power to treat our men with honor, dignity, and genuine respect – not because our husbands deserve it – but because Jesus deserves our utmost reverence and we want to submit to His Lordship completely.

When I am willing to obey God and I am filled to overflowing with His Spirit, His wisdom, and His power – there is no stopping God! He loves to do miracles and move mountains for those who fully trust Him. But I don’t love Him so that He will do what I want Him to do. I love Him and trust Him to do what He knows is best. I can ask Him to change my desires to match His.

His wisdom is infinitely greater than mine. I can rest in Him and His love and sovereignty no matter what my situation. I can trust His promises to me and anticipate how He is going to bring great good from even the most awful situations because He promised to do just that for those who love Him in Romans 8:28-29.

RELATED:

Verses on Suffering

Verses on the Lordship of Christ

Verses on Taking Up Our Cross

How to Stay Filled with the Spirit

Spiritual Authority

A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage

How to Have a Relationship with Christ

 

What about wives who truly are in danger?

For those who are in very dangerous situations, the goal is still God’s greatest glory. His Word still applies. You still have His love. You are not beyond God’s reach! I pray that you will seek godly counsel and wisdom one-on-one from a trusted Christian counselor or pastor. Pray, seek to hear and obey God’s prompting for you.

I don’t know exactly what God desires every wife to do in every situation. But God has the wisdom each one needs. I don’t want to see anyone hurt or killed. I hate abuse and God sure hates abuse. There should not be hatred, rage, or violence in our relationships as believers.

God’s Word does provide for separation when something very serious is going on that can’t be resolved – in 1 Cor. 7:10-16 – but it is not to be entered into flippantly or without significant reason. This is not God’s primary plan and design for marriage. If we take such a step, as believing wives, we want to be SURE that we are doing so because it is necessary not just that we are unhappy, feeling unloved, or that things are just really hard. Marriage is a covenant between God, my husband, and myself. I want to keep my end of it until death do us part – may God help me to do so!

 

 

For a Wife with a Critical, Perfectionistic Husband – by Radiant

My primary issue in my marriage was that I didn’t know how to respect my husband – I had no problem standing up for myself – although I personally had a lot of pride to deal with before I could do this in a godly way. I was the overly critical, perfectionistic one who thought everything should be done my way. 🙁 Yikes!

Other wives have the opposite issue. They work so hard to respect their husbands (maybe to an unhealthy degree where a husband’s approval is more important than God’s), sometimes they disrespect themselves. Maybe the husband is the more controlling one and the wife is the more passive one. There has to be a delicate balance where we reverence God above all else, and we think rightly about ourselves (respect ourselves) and respect our husbands appropriately. But we don’t have to respect sin. We can confront sin appropriately if we are being sinned against. And we can acknowledge that we have human limitations.

Radiant responds to a wife’s situation whose husband is constantly critical, degrading, negative, and perfectionistic, who expects his wife to do much more than is humanly possible and who is unloving because she “never measures up” in his eyes. This post is primarily about how she can think in her own heart. It is just barely scraping the surface of this issue and is not a comprehensive article on this topic. For more – please check out the resources at the bottom of the post.

I would say she needs to imagine Jesus as a sleeping bag or bubble all zipped around her, completely enfolding her – because He is – and to not absorb or receive any negative words aimed at her – but let Jesus absorb them.

She needs to only absorb what Jesus says about her.

She could respond with, “I am sorry you feel that way” if her husband complains about things about her. But I don’t think she needs to try to give excuses, try to work herself to death, or go to extremes to please him by overdoing things. She can do what is reasonable and that is all she can do that day.

And Jesus is enough. Jesus can give her the wisdom to figure out what is her responsibility that day and what she can’t manage alone.

She can only do one person’s worth of work without breaking down her spirit/heart/mind/body. If she can’t do something – she can politely say, “I will do my best with the time I have, and I will do y and z, but I just won’t be able to get to ‘x’ task today.”
She is not doing her husband good, or herself or kids or God good, if she wears herself out doing more than possible. She is not responsible to change or make her husband happy. Only the Spirit can do that. She can’t meet the deepest needs of her husband’s heart that only God can meet.

She can work on receiving everything God has for her and claiming His promises. She can declare out loud over her home the things God wants for their home:

  • Thank You God that You want our marriage to reflect Christ and the Church.
  • Thank You that Christ is the head of my husband and the priest of our home and He will lay down his life for His Bride and will not provoke his children to wrath.
  • Thank You that he will be a servant leader like Christ.
  • Thank You that the Spirit will reign in peace and unity over our home.
  • Thank You that I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
  • Thank You that I have the whole armor of God and the protection of Jesus and His angels over me.
  • Thank You Jesus that You are with me, you are mighty to save, You take great delight in me, You comfort me with Your love, You rejoice over me with singing!
  • Thank You Jesus that You are my perfect Bridegroom, I am already perfectly loved and I don’t have to live in fear. I cast out fear from myself and this house and receive Your perfect love in the Name of Jesus.
    (and soooo many more! so many good ones!)

Psalm 67 is for her.

  • Thank You, Jesus that You are all good and love and holy. If Jesus’ love for us looked like human love (critical, condescending, selfish, etc…) – we would have zero hope.
  • Thank You Jesus that You pursued us and died while we deserved nothing but wrath. That You laid down Your beautiful life for Your Bride. That You rise to be gracious to us. You love to put us in a place where You can lavish Your love on us!! You meet our every need and You love to give.

I see such a parallel between the Western Church and how she thinks of God and this particular marriage dynamic. We tend to believe God thinks of us the way this husband thinks of his wife, and we accept it as true about us and God. But it’s not true of Christ and the Church.

That is not who Jesus is. I know He wants her to find rest in Himself and His love and protection. In who she is in Christ. In her new identity – that she is one with Christ. He is her shield, refuge, strength, joy and protector. He is her dear Friend, Comforter, and Counselor. He is with her always. When she feels like a failure – or is told directly that she is – she can keep on that breastplate of His righteousness. Jesus lived the perfect life for her to set her free from the law. She is no longer under law but under grace.

Old Self died with Jesus on the Cross. New Self is alive together with Christ – resurrected in power! And yay for her husband being able to see good things of her with Christ! That is all that is good about any of us. We have nothing good in ourselves. She can completely put off everything about her old way of thinking/living/reacting/fear/anger/hurt and doing. And put on Christ – His heart, His mind, His words, His wisdom, His peace, His life, His breath, His hope.

She can completely reject the lies of the enemy (the real voice behind these words she is being told) that she is useless and there is nothing good about her. That is not from God – so she needs to not receive that at all.

Test and see what the source is behind your thoughts. If it is not love/peace/power/hope/the Gospel and all about the beauty of Jesus – it is not of God. In which case it is of the world and the enemy. We stand against the enemy’s ideas and plans and strongholds and lies in this marriage, these hearts and this home.

PRAYER FOR THOSE WIVES WHO ARE STRUGGLING IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS:
In the Name of Jesus – we speak Jesus’ kingdom come, and His will be done in this precious wife, her husband, her home and children as it is in heaven and in all of those who are reading this post. We place Your shield about her and her children and her husband. In Jesus Name we put on the Armor of God (Eph 6). Our sister in Christ does not have to stay locked in prison and darkness. She is set free by all Jesus did for her on the Cross and resurrection, and she can live in life, freedom, hope and peace and healing.

We receive Your Truth and freedom for her today. We resist the enemy and he has to flee in the Name of Jesus. We pray for reconciliation, healing and peace and love in this home for the honor and glory of Jesus. Set these hearts free and implant Your infinite love in their hearts. Take all Satan has stolen and destroyed and meant for evil – and turn it on its head for good, glory and celebrating Christ! Turn these hearts and this home into a Lighthouse of peace and love and power in the Spirit. Let what is hidden and in bondage be brought into the light and revealed and healed in Jesus’ all-powerful Name and by His blood.
Thank You Jesus that You are at work. We receive Your answers and provision. We will praise You today even before we feel or see any answers – knowing You are at work here to bring beauty from ashes and life from dead bones. Yes these bones can live! The One who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. And the armies of heaven that surround us are greater than the enemies attacking us! Jesus’ yoke is easy and His burden is light. We receive His power to do His priorities. We can’t possibly do every possible thing every day. But we can do what Jesus wants us to do today by His power. Jesus didn’t go all over the whole world and heal every single person either. We receive Your boundaries on this wife’s roles and responsibilities and ask for You to open her husband’s eyes to You and Truth and grace for himself first and then for his family.

RELATED (remember – always compare anything any human author says to scripture and do what you know God desires you to do):

How to Calm Down an Angry Husband – by Nina Roesner

How to Deal with Critical People – by Nina Roesner

Cinderella and the Gospel – by Radiant about receiving good things from God

I Can’t Have Needs, Desires, or Emotions. I Can’t Ask for Things – by Radiant

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

Posts about idolizing our husbands

The Real Motives Behind Perfectionism and People Pleasing

Responding to Criticisms, Rebukes, and Insults

Posts about Insecurity

My Identity and Security Must Be in Christ Alone!

25 Ways to Respect Myself – to think rightly about myself and my new identity in Christ – the goal is to reverence God above all, and then to respect our husbands and ourselves all at the same time

Is It Possible to Disrespect Myself?

In His Grip Talks about Not Shutting Down Emotionally

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

Nina Roesner has an e-course for wives in very difficult, emotionally abusive marriages that may be a huge blessing, “Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity.”

Sacred Influence – by Gary Thomas (about being a godly wife and using our influence in powerful ways in marriage. He has some chapters about dealing with angry husbands)

 

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