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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are these the thoughts of God or of the Enemy?

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

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

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

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

Don’t let the Enemy keep gloating over you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings!!!

SCRIPTURAL SUPPORT:

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

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

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

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

OTHER POSTS BY RADIANT:

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

For a Wife with a Critical, Perfectionistic Husband

Cinderella and the Gospel

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

RELATED:

How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ

Let Your Yes Mean Yes and Your No Mean No

Being Vulnerable and Direct Feels Wrong

Is It Possible to Disrespect Myself?

25 Ways to Respect Myself (Think Rightly about Myself)

Dying to Self

Dying to Self Can Be Dangerously Misunderstood

Minimalism or Frugality Can Be Idols, Too

I have had times when I idolized things, luxury, and comfort. I wanted a really beautiful home where everything was perfect and looked like it came out of HGTV. And I have also been tempted to idolize minimalism/frugality in recent years. It’s funny how easily we can make almost anything more important than it should be in our hearts and minds.

I have to guard my heart and mind and make sure Jesus is on the throne. Not anything else. Not lots of lovely things. Not getting rid of everything. Nothing can come above the Lord in my heart. Nothing can get before my love for Him and my love for others and His Spirit filling me and empowering me to walk in holiness. In everything in the Christian walk, there must be proper balance and Christ must be at the center of it all.

It may sound weird that minimalism and wanting to get rid of stuff could be sinful. Here are some ways I could take minimalism too far…

I could:

  • Obsess so much about giving stuff away and selling things that it is all I care about – no matter if it upsets my husband and children or not.
  • Find my security and identity in having as few possessions as possible.
  • Judge others for “owning too much” in my view and for materialism.
  • Get angry with my family if they want to keep things that are not sinful to keep.
  • Be prideful and self-righteous about how few possessions I own and how “good” and “generous” I am.
  • Try to impose my personal convictions on everyone in my family even if they are not ready to take such a big step.
  • Become the “stuff Nazi” and condemn other people for having possessions as if things, in and of themselves, are evil.
  • Be bitter and resentful at my husband or family if I can’t give away or sell most of our things.
  • Focus only on this one thing and ignore all of the other things scripture commands for me to do as a believer – like loving the Lord wholeheartedly and loving others deeply.
  • Become resentful or upset about receiving gifts from other people who are expressing their love to me.
  • Make getting rid of things more important than loving Christ and loving and respecting my husband and family.
  • Disrespectfully and un-lovingly get rid of things that are important to my husband and older children without their permission.
  • Push my husband to do things that he is not yet ready to do and refuse to follow his leadership unless he agrees with me rather than waiting on the Lord to work powerfully in his heart.
  • Demand to sell the house and downsize greatly when that is not something my husband believes the Lord desires us to do yet.
  • Be discontent if I have to have more things than I want to have in my home.

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Phil. 4:11-13

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1 Cor. 13:3

RELATED:

Do I Love the Things of This World Too Much?

SHARE:

What has the Lord shown you about this issue? How have you learned to be content in plenty or in need?

Do I Love the Things of This World Too Much?

Our Western culture is inundated with materialism. Every ad beckons us with promises that if only we bought that product, had enough stuff, and enough money, we would be beautiful, happy, and fulfilled in this life.

 

How Can I Tell if I Am Struggling with Materialism?

Here are a few questions I might ask myself to do a heart check:

  • Do I base my value on my possessions?
  • If I suddenly lost everything I owned in a fire and had to live in a small apartment with sparse and inexpensive furnishings for a while, would my security be gone?
  • Do I base other people’s value on their possessions?
  • Do I believe that people who don’t have certain things aren’t “good enough” to be my friends?
  • Would I be extremely embarrassed, maybe even devastated, if I could only buy my clothes from Wal-Mart, the flea market, or from thrift shops?
  • If my husband wanted to downsize our lifestyle and sell our home so we could buy a smaller, much less expensive home and change our lifestyle so that we wouldn’t have any mortgage debt, what would my thoughts be?
  • Could I be just as content to eat a thrifty meal at home or at a picnic in a local park with my husband for a “date night” as I would be to spend $100 on a night on the town?
  • Could I be confident in myself as a woman of Christ if I had to face the world without makeup and without going to a salon for a year?
  • If our budget was really tight because of a job loss or a major economic downturn, how would I react? Can I think of things I could give up and ways I could still be content in such a situation?
  • Do I feel I have to have a certain level of luxury and convenience? If so, why?
  • Would I be able to be content without jewelry except for a plain wedding band if necessary?
  • Am I willing to stick to a realistic budget and not spend more than we earn? Does that thought give me anxiety?
  • Can I imagine losing, giving away, or selling all of my possessions and being able to be content without them? What would be the hardest things for me to give up?
  • Could I be just as content driving an old reliable car with no car payments as I could be driving a new car?
  • Do I believe my money belongs the Lord or to myself?
  • Is there anything in my possessions or money that I want to hold back from God?
  • Do I find my security in things and feel anxious or afraid if I had to give up or lose certain things?
  • What are my beliefs about debt? How much debt do I have and why?
  • Do I seek God’s will and His glory in how I spend money?

God’s concept of finances and everything we have in our lives is about stewardship. He ultimately owns everything and I am simply a steward, or manager, of what He owns. He is to be LORD of every area of my life. I am to use what He gives me for His purposes, His kingdom, and His glory.

His ways lead to such freedom, peace, and joy!

What Does the Bible Say about Debt?

  • The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives… Ps. 37:21
  • The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. Prov. 22:7
  • Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. Rom. 13:7-8

What Does the Bible Say about Greed?

  • A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched. Prov. 28:25
  • You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. James 4:3
  • For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous/greedy (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Eph. 5:5

What Does the Bible Say about Materialism?

  • He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. Eccl. 5:10
  • “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt. 6:19-21
  • “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matt. 6:24
  • And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15
  • Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:33-34
  • But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 1 Tim. 6:9-10
  • As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. 1 Tim. 6:17-19
  • Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Heb. 13:5
  • Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17

SHARE

Is there anything that really hits you today that the Lord may be speaking to you? You are welcome to share in the comments. How has God empowered you to have victory over materialism and our debt-driven culture? If you have godly wisdom to share, we’d also love to hear that.

Much love!

RELATED:

What Does the Bible Say about Debt? by www.gotquestions.org

What Does the Bible Say about materialism? by www.gotquestions.org

 

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

 

Facing Uncertainty and Trials with Joy

Every believer faces tests where we crash up against suffering, trials, and the unknown. We don’t like that! We want to feel like we know what is going to happen. We want guarantees. Timelines. Promises. We want to feel like we have control. Sometimes, we would rather even push for a bad outcome if only we can just “get closure” and not have to bob around in an ocean of not-knowing any longer.

It is often the waiting and not knowing one way or the other that seems like such torture.

This issue is not confined to uncertainty in our marriages, it covers everything in our lives.

How can I possibly rest in the peace and sovereignty of God when there is constant uncertainty and no way for me to know what will happen?

GOD’S WORD ABOUT TRIALS AND SUFFERING FOR BELIEVERS IN CHRIST

  • 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. Prov. 3:5-6
  • I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
  • We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance. Rom. 5:3
  • For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Rom. 8:18
  • Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Rom. 12:12
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7
  • Endure suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? Heb. 12:7
  • 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
  • Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
  • Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 1 Pet. 4:12

I believe that if we can understand that God has purpose behind the suffering we experience and behind the times we have to wait in uncertainty, we can embrace the good things He wants to accomplish in our lives during those times.

These trials are often gifts and blessings from Him in disguise IF we are willing to trust Him completely and receive all that He has for us in them.

GOD HAS MUCH GREATER GOALS IN MIND

We tend to think primarily about our current comfort level, health, and happiness. We focus on our human wisdom and what seems best to us in the moment.

God focuses on:

  • Conforming us, our husbands, children, and others in our lives to the image of Christ over the long term.
  • His Kingdom and how He wants it to grow and how He wants to use our situations in our lives to help accomplish bringing more of His beloved children to Christ.

This kind of spiritual growth doesn’t happen when we get everything we want and have smooth sailing.

We tend to grow the most when we get really stretched by difficulties.

It is similar to the way that if we don’t use our muscles, they will atrophy and get weak. Our faith is like that. In order for our faith to grow, it has to face resistance. When we have times of difficulty and times where we don’t know what will happen, we are forced to learn to depend on the Lord in ways that we just wouldn’t if things were going well.

This takes much spiritual wrestling sometimes. And that is okay! Times of waiting and suffering are hard. But they often produce great results when they are in the right hands:

  • If land never has rain or storms, it becomes a barren desert.
  • If gold is not refined, it contains many impurities that weaken it and make it much less valuable.
  • If a farmer will not wait for his crops to grow, he will never get to enjoy the harvest.
  • If a fruit tree is not properly pruned, the branches grow in crazy ways that cause the limbs of the tree to break as the fruit begins to get heavy. The tree can’t produce as much fruit and the fruit is not nearly as sweet for an unpruned tree. It also looks terrible – broken branches everywhere and no pleasing shape.

God knows what our souls need to grow and to become very valuable in His sight. If we are able to trust God’s heart for us, we can know that whatever pain or time of waiting and uncertainty we face, He absolutely can and will use it for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory. That is a promise to those who are in Christ – Romans 8:28-29!

PRAYER WHEN WE ARE FACING THE UNKNOWN, TRIALS, AND SUFFERING:

Lord,

You alone are God. There is no other. You reign in majesty and splendor from the throne room of the highest heaven over all of the universe. You are sovereign. You are good. You are love. You have all wisdom. You have all truth. You can’t have evil motives toward me. You are an Expert at turning disasters and tragedies into beautiful things for Your glory. You are the Healer. You are my Strength and my Shield, a very present Help in trouble. You are my Very Great Reward. There is no greater treasure in the universe than You. You spared nothing to provide for my salvation when I was still Your enemy. You sent Jesus to live and die in my place. Now His holiness, goodness, power, peace, joy, and right-standing with You are mine. His life, death, and resurrection belong to me. I am seated with Him in the heavenlies already!

You are intimately aware of all of my fears, my suffering, my needs, and my concerns. I thank You for that. You walk this road with me, living in me, empowering me with Your Spirit. I lay down every single fear and all of my desires and dreams. Here are the things I desire…

But – more than any of these things, I desire You. I want to know You and love You more. I want to give You total access and freedom in my life  to conform me to the image of Christ in whatever ways You know are best. I want Your glory. I want others to be drawn to Christ. I want Your kingdom to come into this situation and many to come to Jesus. I want to receive all the spiritual treasures You have for me to learn. I don’t want to waste a moment of this trial – but have my eyes open to all You have in store – for the adventure that awaits.

I praise and thank You now for all You are doing and all You will do through this very situation for Your good purposes in my life and in my husband’s life and in our family. I entrust it all to Your strong, capable hands. I know You will never fail me. I know You will never leave me or forsake me. I cling to Your Word and Your promises. I will sing praises to You even in the storm, knowing You will cause this storm to bear much fruit in my life.

Amen!

SHARE:

How have you learned to approach trials and suffering with joy, anticipation, and faith?

 

 

Does God Call Women to Be Weak?


First of all, we need to understand that the world’s definitions of strength and weakness are very different from God’s.

In the world:

  • Power means having the ability to do whatever I want to do.
  • Weakness means not being able to do exactly what I want to do all the time.

So power means I have total control to do what I think is best. It is all about self being on the throne of my life.

In God’s kingdom:

  • Power is about having the ability (totally from the Holy Spirit) to obey God and walk in holiness.
  • Weakness is about trusting self, living in sin, having a lack of faith in God, living apart from fellowship with God, and using human wisdom and strength.

God calls all believers to crucify our old sinful selves. There is no help for my sinful self. I can’t make it “better” enough in God’s sight. He doesn’t have plans to make my old self better, either. It is impossible. I don’t just need washing or sprucing up. I am not an old house that just needs a bit of renovations. In God’s eyes, nothing from my old self is salvageable. It is only fit for crucifixion. Time to bring in the bulldozers and completely raze the old house. My old self is fit only for condemnation and death.

God doesn’t call me to be weak. He calls me to be dead.

Dead to this world. Dead to sin. Dead to fleshly pleasure. Dead to human wisdom. Dead to my own efforts. Dead to my desires and my will. Dead to my pride that there could be any good in me or that I could possibly please the Lord on my own.

Every part of my old self must go to the cross to die with Jesus. I can’t keep my strengths, weaknesses, or anything else. All must be laid on the altar. All must be completely sacrificed and burned to ashes.

Of course, He calls men to do the same.

  • Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

(For more on this, please read Romans 6.)

Thankfully, God doesn’t just call me to be dead. 🙂 He also calls me to live a new life in Christ.

This is where many of us don’t understand ahead of time. How could we, really, if we haven’t experienced it yet? It would be as difficult for us to understand in advance as it would be for a caterpillar to imagine being a butterfly one day, wouldn’t it?

Sometimes we see that we are called to die to self. We see that we give up our will, our desires, and our dreams. We have to wrap ourselves in that dreaded cocoon. All we see is misery, confinement, and death. It seems awful to have to completely surrender self to God. That seems too great a sacrifice from our perspective before self has been crucified.

What we don’t realize yet is that when we yield to God in this way, when we give ALL of ourselves to Him in total surrender, obedience, and trust, He gives ALL of Himself to us. What we gave up was trash. What Jesus gives to us in return is great treasure – Himself! Because I am “in Christ” – His death belongs to me. But also His Life belongs to me. Everything He has and all that He is becomes mine because we are one in Spirit now. He is the head and I am part of His body – the church. His death was my death. His resurrection is my resurrection. I come out on the other side of the cross with new wings and a new body, just like that beautiful butterfly.

But I didn’t cause myself to sprout my own wings. It is not because of my efforts, goodness, or abilities that I am now a butterfly. It is because of God’s power, alone.

Now I can receive all of Jesus’:sean-stratton-60953

  • Spiritual power.
  • Victory over sin.
  • Holiness.
  • Obedience to God.
  • Goodness.
  • Perfect thinking.
  • Desires.
  • Will.
  • Spiritual treasures.
  • Spiritual authority to accomplish His will on earth.
  • Fellowship with God.
  • Wisdom.
  • Plans for me.

A butterfly has no resemblance to the caterpillar she once was. Her old life is over. Her mouth is very different. Her legs are very different. Her body is completely different. Her diet is totally different. A butterfly no longer wants the food she used to eat as a caterpillar! She needs a new food. Her mode of transportation and habitat are different. She has a brand new purpose and incredible beauty.

So it is when we die to our earthly self and begin to experience the life of Christ in us. We are completely different.

We have a new Spirit and a new purpose. A new diet. A new habitat. God calls us to soar on wings like eagles as we live in His power (Isa. 40:31).

God’s ways are always totally opposite of the world’s ways. God calls me to do things as a believer and woman like:

  • Honor my husband’s leadership.
  • Respect my husband.
  • Forgive those who sin against me.
  • Love my enemies.
  • Humble myself before Him and before others.
  • Repay evil with good.
  • Seek fulfillment in Him alone, not in anyone or anything else.
  • Trust His wisdom more than my own.
  • Humble myself so that He will raise me up to a place of glory.

God’s wisdom is never about weakness.

The world may view God’s ways as weakness – because the old sinful self doesn’t get anything. It is dead in a tomb!

But in God’s kingdom, things that seem foolish to the world are wise and powerful. When God’s will is done, everyone is blessed and His kingdom grows by leaps and bounds here on earth and in heaven!

When I give up the world’s wisdom and its ways, the only thing I lose is my ability to destroy my relationships and myself. I gain the power of heaven to experience all of the blessings and spiritual riches of Jesus Christ. Not just in heaven, but now!

When I am fully yielded in submission to Christ as my Lord, I am not weak. I have the very power of God to accomplish God’s will and His purposes. Not because I am good. But because Jesus is good and He is living in and through me.

There is a principle in scripture that the weaker I am, and as I reckon myself dead to this world and self, the stronger Christ is in me! (Romans 6:11, 2 Cor. 12:9) Now I come into relationships from a position of great strength and victory in Christ. Victory over sin. Victory over death. Victory over the flesh. Now I have God’s ability to pour healing, goodness, and Life into my relationships. I am like a big wide-open pipe that is now able to let God’s Spirit gush through me into the lives of everyone around me. My only strength is found in Jesus! I long for everyone to get to experience this new life!

  • God’s version of femininity and masculinity are so much stronger than anything we could experience in this world.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Cor. 5:17

 

RELATED:

Godly Femininity

Dying to Self

Dying to Self Can Be Dangerously Misunderstood

The Offense of the Cross – Austin Sparks

The Blessing of Knowing about Hell

How to Have a Relationship with Christ

 

If you want to talk about how you can become a follower of Christ, please leave me a comment. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Do I Respect My Husband without Idolizing Him?

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

Do I want his approval more than anything?

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

If I idolize my husband’s approval:

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

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

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

Note:

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

Related:

 

 

FreeinChrist Stands for Something Way Bigger Than Her Marriage

Note – for a post about resetting our Valentine’s Day expectations, please click on this link.

I’m so thankful for this wife’s willingness to share her story. It is not all neatly tied up in a bow. Things are not good in her marriage, to say the least. But – check out what God has done in this dear sister’s heart! It is glorious! 

And we ALL have access to this kind of healing in Jesus. Her experience is not unique. What God has done and is doing in this wife’s heart is what a “normal” Christian walk should look like. 🙂 I long for each of us to experience Christ like this for ourselves – no matter what may happen with our marriages and our husbands. He is Real Life and Real Love!

———–

The Lord has been leading me to study Elijah for the past couple of months. Another thing He’s been speaking to me about is that something is about to happen in my marriage situation – telling me to “get ready” and that He makes “all things new.” The signs have been nothing short of miraculous, even though I don’t have any specifics, or a timeframe.

When my husband first left me and started pursuing divorce in 2015, the Lord told me to stand in the gap for my husband to come home to Him, Daddy – God, first and foremost. God showed me that my husband was a prodigal, and we all know how that story turns out – the Father showed unconditional love and forgiveness, and there was eventual reconciliation!

Having a reconciled marriage is way on down the list though, after my husband’s salvation and reconciliation to his Heavenly Father – so this “stand” is about something way bigger than my marriage!!

It’s not easy to stay encouraged when you see things that look opposite to what God told you… A facebook friend called me to tell me that she saw pictures of my husband with another woman on social media.

NOTE – Let me interject a quick note right here and say that this is not something that I recommend doing- at all! People who are separated, and praying for marriage reconciliation, don’t need things like this pointed out because it’s just plain hurtful and discouraging. *It is NOT too big for God to handle, so why be the bearer of bad news? Take it to the Lord and let Him reveal whatever He wants that person to know.

I was quite upset to receive this information b/c I’d been fighting so hard for my marriage, praying against adultery, and I honestly thought that the relationship my husband entered into right after he left had ended months prior. It felt crushing, and then it quickly became obvious that this was a test of my faith.

WHAT NOW, LORD?

So I asked God what He wanted me to believe, and what I should do now?

 

I went to church. My prayer was still, “What do I do now – it looks so hopeless? Should I still believe what You’ve told me Lord – that You want to restore things and that ‘something’s’ about to happen soon? Do I give up now, or keep standing firm?” I wondered if it was a test from God – to see if I’d believe what He’d spoken to me for weeks, IN SPITE OF what my eyes were now seeing. Hmmm.

  • It felt like Father was saying “do you still believe Me now that what you see looks THIS bad?”

He’s constantly told me to walk by faith and not by sight, but it’s hard to do when you see things in the natural realm that look so hopeless. I’m working on learning to believe what I see in the Spiritual, over what I see in the natural.

Our worship leader stopped in the middle of the song (which just happened to be THE song that The Lord has used most powerfully in my life this past year – Resurrecting by Elevation Worship) and he pulled out his Bible – said he wanted to share a story that we needed to hear.

It was the story of when Elijah prayed for rain but there was no cloud in sight [1 Kings 18:41-45] He said something to the effect of “there are a lot of people who have been praying for something for a long time but you don’t see anything happening. You need to know today that your prayers have been heard. God will do what He promised, but you must persevere and wait to see it. Get ready b/c it’s about to rain!!!”

Yes, Jesus! He used Elijah again – He knew that I’d pay attention b/c He’d already spoken to me about Elijah. Praise God!! I have symbolically pulled out my umbrella, rain coat, and wellies!! I’m ready for a downpour, Father!!

  • p_hya_t-1wu-david-marcuTHEN another breakthrough happened at the end of the sermon. The pastor asked, “What’s the one thing in your life that is so important to you that you feel you’d just fall apart if it was taken from you?”

A year ago I would’ve said “my husband/marriage.” And now that my dad may literally need a new heart (b/c his has become too weak to sustain him adequately) I’ve also felt that I couldn’t bear it if he was taken away from me anytime soon. “Please Lord, not my husband AND my Daddy!”

But in that moment when the pastor was asking that significant question,

I realized that the ONLY thing I can’t bear to lose is Jesus! It was a beautiful and freeing realization. AND I’m never going to have to worry about losing Him anyway! Amen?!!

It doesn’t mean I’ll never struggle again as I continue to walk this path – I’m sure I’ll be asking for prayers and encouragement again soon, as they help me endure. But at least now…

I’m absolutely sure that I’ll survive, and THRIVE, no matter what happens!

Praise the Lord for the mighty work He’s done in my heart and life these past 19 months since my husband left! Can’t wait to see what God does next! Please keep my husband and I in your prayers as this story continues to play out. It’s not over yet – praise the Lord!!

Yesterday as I was praying in my kitchen I had the realization that this is the first time in my entire life when I’ve truly loved myself and accepted myself as I am. I feel more freedom than I’ve ever felt before! I am someone that I would actually want to be friends with, and hang out with, and have in my inner circle. I am someone who is worthy of love (because God created me).

I have spent so much of my life with an oppressive Spirit over me, and agreeing with the lies of the enemy.

I was in so much bondage but I didn’t even know it until the Lord opened my eyes and then He set me free! Now I can’t imagine going back to the way that I was living before. Everything is not “perfect” and my husband is still a captive of the enemy – my marriage still looks deader than dead.

But God has transformed ME and changed my life!!

I feel a sense of peace and joy that I’ve never known before. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m going to be fine – even great – no matter what happens with my marriage, or any other situation I face.

I finally know (and BELIEVE) that I am who God says I am – loved, chosen, blessed, worthy, accepted, free, precious, priceless- a daughter of the King!! Praise the Lord!

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

THIS is exactly my prayer for each of us! That we might know God like this and know who we are in Christ like this! 🙂

RELATED:

A Divorce and Reconciliation Story by The Restored Wife

Kirsten’s Story – a Peaceful Separated Wife

A Separated Wife Finally Begins to Experience God’s Peace in Her Life

My Two Year Anniversary As a Separated Wife

Should a Christian Wife Consider Separation?

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

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)

 

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

ADMIN NOTE:

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

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

————-

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

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

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

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

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

The Bible also says some things about judging others:

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

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

STEP BACK AND SEE WHAT YOU ARE BEING BLAMED FOR

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

If my husband is blaming me for:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

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

RELATED:

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

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

Approaching My Husband’s Sin Issues – by LMSdaily

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

25 Ways to Show Real Respect for Your Husband

25 Ways to Reverence God

How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ

Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced

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