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"My Husband Wanted a Divorce" – by LMS

 

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

Isaiah 40:27-31

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

MY CHILDHOOD

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

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

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

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

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

MY “ROCK BOTTOM” ALMOST A YEAR AGO

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

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

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

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

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

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

MY BABY STEPS

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

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

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

RELATED:

When Your Husband Says, “I’m Done”

PS FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

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

My Husband Said, “You Worry Too Much!”

Me with our son many years ago

April in 2002 – a few months after our first baby was born

I can’t remember Greg confronting most of my sin earlier in our marriage. But one thing I do remember him saying fairly often was, “You worry too much.”

I knew that was true and I couldn’t argue with his observation. But in my mind at the time, worry meant that I cared about something or someone.

Telling me, “April, don’t worry,” was no help. I didn’t have any other way to think. I had no idea that I was worrying because (in my case) I wasn’t really trusting God and didn’t grasp His sovereignty. I thought I did trust God. I said I trusted Him. I convinced myself I trusted Him. I did acknowledge Him with my mind and words but I did not fully trust Him with my heart.

In my understanding at the time, the only way I could think of to not worry was “to not care.” I certainly couldn’t do that! So I continued on in my worry, fear, and anxiety. Such a miserable way to live! But God, in His great love and mercy, did not leave me in that prison of the enemy! How I thank and praise Him for waking me up in December of 2008!

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April in 2003

We must all guard against worry and fear each day. I know I will always need to! That is why it is so important to take my thoughts captive for Christ and to shoot down ungodly or unscriptural thoughts. Even then, sometimes I have blind spots. I’m thankful for my accountability partners who are willing to lovingly let me know if they see me begin to slip into fear/worry so I can repent and refocus on trusting God – like they did for me just this past month.

If we are not careful we can create a belief system where we give SELF and human will more power than God and His sovereignty. A minister I deeply respect at our church recently said that this kind of theology can create a “spirit of independence” from God in the people who hear it. That is what I had.

I believed that people and situations depended greatly on me and my powers and that God was rather small and wimpy.

It is also possible to give God’s sovereignty too much emphasis over human free-will. This can be taken to the point where we believe that people become robots with no real choices or accountability. When people go to extremes with this idea, they may adopt a fatalistic approach and decide it “doesn’t matter” what we do as people, because God is ultimately deciding outcomes without any input from us  When we focus only on God’s sovereignty and negate the concept that God has given us a choice to obey Him or not is destructive and unbiblical as well.

The reality of what Scripture describes is somewhere in between – and is a bit of a mystery to our finite minds. God is totally sovereign AND we have free will. There is no conflict!

Scripture presents both of these concepts as being true. That is often how God works – in His wisdom – He puts things in a delicate balance. Love and justice. Grace and wrath. Omnipotence and gentleness. Healing and Suffering. Mercy and Holiness. Generosity and discipline. When we lack balance in our understanding too far one way or the other, we end up with a warped view of God and ourselves.

  • We are responsible for our own choices, obedience, and sin. All adults have God-given free will to make their own decisions. I can influence people, but then I must trust God to work in their lives and allow the person to make his/her own decisions.
  • God is sovereign ultimately over all things in ways that I will never fully grasp while I am on this earth.

There is freedom and peace in understanding where our responsibility ends. I will answer to Him alone. Other people will also answer to God ultimately. God will handle people and situations. He took that heavy load of the world off of my shoulders.

Combatting worry:

  • I think of myself laying my burdens down at the feet of God in the throne room of heaven in prayer. Then I don’t carry the spiritual and emotional weight anymore.
  • I love to turn on praise music and sing at the top of my lungs. It is truly impossible to worry and praise God at the same time!

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

Verses about worry

Verses about God’s Sovereignty

Verses about Free Will

Posts about Worry on Peacefulwife

Fear Fuels Our Need to Control

Experiencing God’s Victory over Fear

MORE RESOURCES:

Please check out the things John Piper, David Platt, and Wayne Grudem have to say about God’s sovereignty, His character, His attributes, people’s free will, and election.

 

Can You Pray Too Much for Your Marriage?

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I think a common temptation when we are struggling in our marriages is for us to focus so much on praying for our husbands and our marriages – those things are almost all we pray about. However, I don’t think this is going to be a healthy, productive approach long term.

Scripture does admonish us to “pray without ceasing” 1 Thes. 5:17. And Jesus encourages us to pray with perseverance in the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8). But I think it is interesting that in the “Model Prayer” Jesus gives us, He prays for each thing once. He also mentioned before His example prayer that pagans think they will be heard because of their many words and vain repetitions (He calls it, “babbling”), and that we are not to be like them, because our Father knows what we need before we ask (Matthew 6:5-16).

Of course, it is important to pray for our husbands – IF we are in a place of being filled with God’s Spirit and we have right motives.

But there is so much more to our relationship with Christ than this one issue! I have seen a lot of wives who spend almost every waking moment praying fervently for their husbands to come to Christ or praying for their marriage to be restored. And while these things are good to pray – I think there needs to be a balance.

Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

When we are praying in deep faith, full of God’s Spirit – we will experience God’s peace. We may have fervency and urgency. But we will also have God’s peace as we trust Him.

Obsession Is Different from Fervent Prayer:

What if someone you love dearly kept asking you for something he really wants over and over. What if that is the ONLY thing he ever talks about with you? What if every single time you see your child or husband, he says, “I REALLY want to go to the zoo! I want to go today! Please take me right now!”

Obviously, going to the zoo could be a wonderful thing. It could enrich everyone’s life and be a pleasurable experience and a bonding experience. But – how would you feel about that being the only conversation he ever has with you? Wouldn’t you appreciate your loved one talking with you about other things, asking how you are, enjoying supper together, and doing lots of other things together, too? There is much more to a close relationship than one person constantly asking the other for something.

Here is something that may be shocking – but I have noticed it in my own life:

If there is something I REALLY want and I constantly want to pray about it and nothing else – that may be a sign that this particular thing may be more important to me than Christ is. If I am more obsessed with God fixing my marriage than my knowing God more – this thing may be an idol.

It is possible to make healing our marriage, having a godly marriage, our husband’s salvation, feeling loved by our husbands, our happiness, romance, or anything else into an idol. Sometimes we pray constantly about something because we want it more than anything in the world and we are terrified to face the idea of not having what we want. Faith is about seeking God’s will far above our own and “dying to” our own will. That is what Jesus means about that those who want to be His disciples “take up their cross daily and follow” Him (Luke 9:23).

We can and should pray for the good things we desire. But at the same time – we need to be able to hold everything in this life very loosely and cling to Christ alone. Prayer is primarily about real relationship with Christ – it is not mostly about us asking for what we want or getting what we want. Are we able to be content in Jesus – even if we don’t get this thing that we want so much? Are we willing to trust God’s love, sovereignty, goodness, timing, and wisdom? Will we rest in Him rather than constantly battle and try to tell Him what to do as we are filled with worry and fear? Praying out of worry and fear rather than faith is not real praying because we are not really trusting God. We are trusting our praying and ourselves.

Everything that does not come from faith is sin. Romans 14:23b

Am I really looking to God and seeking His will far above my own, or are my motives only to get what I want and what I think is best? If I realize my prayers are more about obsession and worry or fueled by fear – I may want to ask someone else, a strong prayer warrior that I know – to pray for my husband and I may want to take a break for a bit in order to ask God to help me purify my motives. I may need to focus on the rest of my relationship with God for awhile.

Am I Nagging God?

I think another way we could describe “worry praying” would be “nagging.”

  • “God, be sure you do this!”
  • “God, don’t forget. You need to do this for me.”
  • “Lord, You haven’t done this thing for me yet. Why aren’t you doing what I want you to do? It needs to be done right now!”

It is similar, I think, to when we nag our husbands. We don’t nag out of faith, do we? We nag because we DON’T believe they will take care of something, not because we DO believe the will take care of it. We ask once, usually, if we truly do believe they will take care of the issue.

We can pray persistently – every day for many years if necessary – in a way that honors God and is from faith. To do this, we must watch our motives and be sure we are really putting our faith in God and nothing we are doing and that we trust Him fully.

Praying in Faith:

God is sovereign, I can lay my husband and my marriage at His feet and He will work in those areas. I don’t have to pray every waking moment about a particular issue. If my motives are impure, selfish, fearful, or unbelieving – my prayer is  not going to be very effective anyway. If I am cherishing any sin in my heart, and not walking in obedience to God by His Spirit empowering me – my prayer will also not be very effective. The question is, do I really trust God to handle this, or do I trust myself? Do I think I have to pray a certain number of times or things will not work out right? Do I think this is all about trusting something I can do, or am I fully trusting God’s sovereignty and provision?

We will have emotions. We may cry out to God with sadness, grief, and sorrow over the situations we face. We may start to feel fear – and then give that to God and determine to trust Him. But as we trust Him – His perfect love will cast out all of our fear (1 John 4:18). We will not have to be overcome with negative emotions – but can lay them before God and then rest in His peace and even in His joy in the midst of trials.

My Journey:

I know that for me, at the beginning of my journey, I had to stop praying for God’ to change Greg for awhile. I had been demanding for years that God change him. So, for a long time, the only things I would pray for Greg were prayers of thanksgiving for the good things about Greg and for God to bless him and accomplish His will in Greg’s life. I stopped praying for what I wanted and began to pray for God’s will.

God may have a different approach for you – so it is important to be sensitive to His voice. It is possible that it could be wise to limit your prayer time for your husband to 15 minutes per day if you tend to obsess or “worry pray” where you are really just worrying, not trusting God. Part of praying is that we lay down the weight of the burden at God’s feet and we don’t carry it ourselves. He does the heavy lifting. We can’t carry that kind of weight on our shoulders.

Prayer is the most incredible privilege we have as children of God in Christ! Prayer can and should include:

  • Praise to God!!!!
  • Thanksgiving for all of the blessings we have
  • Confession of all known sin every day or as soon as we notice the sinful thoughts, motives, words, or actions
  • Praying for ourselves to grow in Christ, to mature and deepen in our faith, for God to show us any wrong thinking, for His Spirit to regenerate our hearts and transform us by His power, for greater faith, for greater trust in Christ, claiming the promises of God’s Word, desiring obedience and greater holiness
  • Praying for others – not just our husbands, but our children, our extended families, our church, our state, our nation, our government leaders, the church around the world, persecuted believers, the poor, the oppressed, the orphans/widows, for unbelievers to come to Christ, for healing for people we know who are ill, for the world, for God’s kingdom to come, etc…

We also desperately need lots of time to feast on God’s Word, to digest His truth and love, to sit as His feet, to get to know Him more, to listen to His voice, to absorb His goodness, and to allow Him to restore our souls. We can’t pray from a position of power if we are depleted. We can’t pray effectively if we are not filled with the Spirit. We MUST nurture a full and vibrant relationship with Christ. He must be the top priority. Then our prayers will be powerful and effective as He gives us the ability to live in obedience and to trust Him by faith.

RELATED:

My Secret Idol – My Husband’s Salvation

Praying for Your Husband So That God Will Hear

Submission (to Christ) Means Holding the Things of This World Loosely

How to Stay Filled with the Holy Spirit

There Must Be More to This Journey Than Just Prayer!

Posts about How to Pray

 

When Your Husband Is Not Physically Attracted to You

 

WARNING, LADIES: This post is a big-time trigger alert for some of you. If the thought of issue causes too much distress, and you are not emotionally/spiritually ready to read about it – please, please just skip it for now and focus on your identity in Christ and spiritual healing for yourself. 

I am going to share one wife’s story and how she believes God has led her to handle this painful issue. This may be a blessing to you if you are in a similar situation AND if you are emotionally and spiritually strong enough in Christ to face this thing head on. God may show you a different way to approach this issue and that is totally fine. 🙂 My prayer is that each wife will be sensitive to how God may desire her to handle her own marriage issues for His glory by His Spirit’s power. But the main point is that there is hope in Christ and that He can give us the power to face the fiery trials in our lives.

Sometimes women just have a lot of insecurities about themselves, their body image, and their husbands – and can’t receive the truth that their husbands truly ARE attracted to them. That is a difficult, painful, and frustrating situation for husbands and wives in that situation that is addressed in more detail by a husband here.

Other times husbands just feel so disrespected and controlled, that they lose their attraction to their wives because of this. This happens quite often, from what I can tell. Eventually, when a wife begins to learn to respect and honor her husband, the attraction often comes back in time.

Sometimes husbands face their own issues of medical problems with impotence, side effects from medications, stress, depression, shame (for some things that may be sinful and some that may not be sinful), porn addiction, or  other things that impact their libido that don’t have much to do with their wives. Or maybe they just have a naturally low libido. There are men who only desire sex once a week or even every 2 weeks or so – and it isn’t because they don’t desire their wives, they just have a low appetite.

But some husbands truly are no longer attracted to their wives physically and there aren’t any other issues going on. What an incredibly painful situation that is for both husband and wife. No wife ever wants to feel that her husband has no desire for her body. I am sure that most husbands feel awful about this, as well – and, if they are remotely good-willed, which many husbands are.

  • I think this may be one of the top fears many wives have in marriage. What can we do if we find ourselves in this situation? What would please God? What would bless our marriages? How do we maintain our own spiritual strength?

I’m thankful that a friend of mine is willing to share the wisdom God has given to her as she has had to navigate this issue in recent years in her own marriage. Perhaps it may provide some encouragement for other wives, as well.

FROM A DEAR 50-SOMETHING SISTER IN CHRIST

There is nothing like knowing that your husband is not physically attracted to you.

Maybe it’s because you don’t fit into the “dream girl” vision he has in his mind or maybe it’s because you have let yourself go. In other words, there are some things that are in your control and others that are not. Right or wrong, this is where he is at and if you want to be a blessing to him, there are things you can do to help the situation.

I felt like I had failed my husband as a wife because I was not able to provide the “eye candy” so many men crave.

I spent some time mourning when I realized I would never receive that look from him that says, “you’re beautiful.” I also experienced feelings of defeat when I realized I cannot compare with pretty women he encounters personally on a daily basis and via the media. Included with that was an apprehension to “woo” him, as I didn’t feel I had the ability to do so successfully.

My natural inclination is to want to withdraw from my husband because it seemingly appears to be a safe way to handle the issue. I constantly strive to fight against this attitude because it is not in the best interest of our relationship and would only serve to doom the marriage.

1 Corinthians 7:5 says I am not to deprive myself from my husband so I choose to focus on being open to providing opportunities to be with him as often as the need arises.

The Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

  • What you can control – weight, clothing, hygiene, your attitude, your spiritual growth, your obedience to God
  • What you cannot control – certain physical features, his perception, his sin, his obedience to God

Regarding the things you can control:

  • Are you overweight? Create new eating habits. Work out.
  • Do you tend to lounge around the house in your pajamas with unbrushed hair and teeth, no deodorant and unshaved legs? Get dressed every day. Use general hygiene. Shave those legs.
  • Hey, even consider putting on a little makeup to accentuate your features.

For those things you cannot control:

  •  You need to accept that and not own his attitude. This is between him and the Lord and is no reflection on you as a person.
  • A bad attitude toward him will only increase the distance that is already there.
  • This doesn’t give you license to pull away from him.

It is natural to feel ill will toward him and to withdraw from him. I know you feel hurt, but you need to fight any urges to build animosity with him or to pull away from him. You need to continue to pursue a close relationship with him. This is what you are called to do as a wife. It is part of being his “helpmeet”.

It is important for you to continue to engage with him.

  • Flirt (if he is receptive)
  •  Smile
  •  Offer kisses
  •  Seek to be around him
  • Respect the good in him and the fact that he is your husband
  • Honor him

Keep in mind that all this has to occur without any level of expectation, though, on your part. The goal is to bless him, not coerce him into acting lovingly towards you.

I suppose I am in a healthy spot, spiritually, so dealing with this hasn’t been as hard as it may be if I wasn’t in a good place spiritually – probably because I do find my security, acceptance, and fulfillment in Christ. We all have things we deal with in life and this is where I’m at. But the main point is that I have been able to look at things through the eyes of Christ – which has given me the wisdom and power I need to attempt to handle my husband’s current feelings with grace.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I think it can be a good thing to try to look attractive for your husband – within reason, of course. The best reason for us to seek to be healthy and to take good care of our bodies, in my view, is so that we are being good stewards of the bodies God has given to us. (It is possible to make our appearance, being thin, beauty, etc… into idols – so we do have to be careful not to make external beauty the most important thing.)

We can cut out sugar, junk food, fried things, and unhealthy foods – exchanging those things for water, fresh fruits and veggies, healthy fats, whole grains, and lean meats so that we are taking the best care of our bodies. We can focus on exercising 30 minutes/day or so. If you don’t have time to exercise – your husband may be willing for you to cut back your work hours or he may be willing to watch the children so that you can have some time to do this. He may even enjoy working out with you. Might be fun! If you have medical issues that are impacting your weight or your ability to lose weight, please speak to your doctor.

If food is an idol for you, and you turn to it for comfort – that is something to deal with before God. Christ is our greatest source of comfort, fulfillment, purpose, and identity – not food, not marriage, our husband, or anything or anyone else.

Something I did was grow my hair back out because Greg loves it long. I had cut it so short earlier in our marriage in total disregard for his preferences. But as I began to walk this road to become a godly wife, I realized that I needed to be be willing to consider my husband’s feelings, too, about how he liked my hair, how I dressed, etc… and not just my own preferences.

We can own our own attitude and be open, safe, calm, peaceful, respectful, warm, and even fun. 🙂 We can  get rid of any sin in our own lives and develop that feminine beauty that God cherishes so much – that gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to fear. We can study godly femininity and seek to become the women God calls us to be.

 

BEAUTIFUL FOR ME:

RELATED:

For wives in very difficult, painful marriages, checkout Nina Roesner’s e-course, “Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity”

She Has the Stronger Sex Drive – Shaunti Feldman’s site, a 3 part series

When You Are Feeling Deprived in Your Marriage

The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage

25 Ways to Respect Myself

Is It Possible to Disrespect Myself?

I May Never Have Worldly Beauty

Roots of Insecurity, Sinful Jealousy, a Desire to Control, and Low Self-Esteem

Our Security Is in Christ Alone!

Finding Victory Over Feelings of Insecurity

My Identity in Christ

Godly Femininity

The story of Leah in the Old Testament – Jacob was not attracted to her, and yet, God noticed her situation and richly blessed her.

Don’t Wait!!

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A wife – who had become a widow very unexpectedly that week – wrote to me awhile back, thanking me for my blog. She was so thankful for the two months she had where she had learned to change how she treated her husband and that he died knowing she respected and honored him.

Many other wives have contacted me – more than I can count – saying, “My husband just told me that he wants a divorce. What can I do?!!?”  Now these wives are more than willing to change their ways. There are women with many tearful regrets who wish they had been willing to do the things God called them to do much earlier. (Of course, many husbands find themselves in this boat, too. This is not just a wife thing.)

Yes, a wife CAN begin to repent to God and seek to be right with Him and ask Him to help her change to become a godly wife when a husband leaves. And yes, the marriage might be able to be saved. I have seen it happen. It is a slow, excruciating process when things get to this level of destruction – but it is possible for healing to happen after things have gotten that bad.

My heart’s desire is that wives might take advantage of opportunities to change BEFORE it gets to that point!

Why wait before you come to God humbly and ask Him to change you and make you the woman and wife He desires you to be? Why not begin to walk this journey with Christ today? The longer we wait, the more damage we do, and the more difficult the healing process will be. Besides, we don’t know how much time God will allow us to have to make things right with other people.

More importantly, we are not guaranteed that we will live another day ourselves – and we need to be sure we are right with God right now and prepared to face him today if He should require our lives of us. “Today is the day of salvation” 2 Cor. 6:2.

If we truly belong to Jesus, we will hear His voice and we will want to obey Him more than anything in this world. John 10:1-18

“WHERE DO I START?”

Here are, in my view, the most important places for a wife to begin to change (whether her husband is still there or not):

  1. Decide to put Jesus on the throne of your life – not yourself, your husband, your marriage, romance, happiness, being in control, money, children, or anything else. Tear out the idols in your heart and decide you are going to fully surrender all of yourself and your life to Christ, not just as Savior, but as LORD. Pray to Him and give all of yourself to Him and receive all that Jesus has to give to you.
  2. Stop the hemorrhaging by stopping intentional and unintentional sin and disrespect toward you husband.
  3. Apologize to your husband as God leads you to. But first, please read this post.
  4. Begin to learn what respect looks like in your relationship to God and also in your marriage.
  5. A.) If you have been overbearing, controlling, a Type-A personality – stop trying to control God, your husband, other people, and things over which you actually do not have responsibility and control. Learn where your responsibilities end and how to honor other people’s God-given free-will.    B.) If you have been too passive, too submissive, and allowed your husband to control you – begin to discover your God-given free-will, your influence authority in your marriage, your worth and power in Christ, your voice, and God’s will for you to live in His peace – with  freedom from fear. Find healing from your insecurity. Learn to seek to please God ultimately.
  6. Face the fear that may be driving your desire to control or your desire to put self or other people/things above God in your heart.
  7. Look to Christ to meet your deepest needs and be responsible for your own spiritual growth and emotions – rather than expecting your husband to make you happy or meet all of your deepest God-sized needs.
  8. Examine your expectations to see if there are some you may need to lay down.
  9. Stay in God’s Word and fervent prayer daily – seek Him far above all else in this life. Seek to be filled with His Spirit. Spend serious time alone with God and in His Word begging Him to change you.
  10. Let God expose any sin in your life, any lies you have believed, any wrong motives, bitterness, all of the wounds from your past – turn completely from those things – and allow Him to help you tear those toxic things out of your life and rebuild on Christ and His Truth alone.
  11. Get to know who you are in Christ. Discover your worth, identity, and security in Jesus so that you are unshakable.

Lord,

Draw women (and men) to Yourself today. Let them hear Your voice calling them home. Let them trust You and Your death on the cross on their behalf. Let them receive the free gift of Your payment for all they have done to offend God. Let them surrender their lives to You as both Savior and LORD of all in their lives. Let them determine to allow You to be in control now and let them long to obey You in all things and to know You and love You more than anything else. Let these precious ones You love so dearly experience Your truth, Your presence, Your love, and the abundant spiritual Life You want to give them. Open spiritual eyes today. Bring many lost and confused souls into Your kingdom.

In the Name and power of Christ,

Amen!

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When Your Husband Says, “I’m Done.”

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Stages of This Journey

Learning to Respect and Give Up Control Is a Process – Nina Roesner

PS:

If you have very serious issues in your marriage – uncontrolled mental health issues, unrepentant infidelity, active drug/alcohol/gambling addictions, or abuse, please seek appropriate one-on-one counsel from someone you can trust. I am not able to address these kinds of issues in general posts on a blog.

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

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A reminder – please always check anything anyone (including myself) says against Scripture and remember that ultimately we must each seek to do what we believe God desires us to do and we are each responsible for our own decisions.

 

From a dear sister in Christ whose marriage is facing many extreme difficulties right now:

It’s funny how God works.

Circumstances, test and trials send us fleeing to the Father’s feet for help (usually to tell on and get Him to “fix” someone else for what they did or are doing to us). Such was the case for me. And, while my case is quite legitimate and my need dire, He still has managed to take my focus more and more OFF my dire and legitimate need/case. As I looked up through teary eyes–with every intention of seeing the sympathy and pity in My Father’s eyes, I so desperately needed–I saw myself…MY SELF…broken, yes, but in my true state…as a sinner.

He’s been a mirror to me; and is showing me some things about myself that I just didn’t even know existed. I’m sitting here–having put away (for the time being) every print out and book on marriage, relationships, winning my husband over, etc. It’s not that those aren’t of interest. On the contrary. They are medicine to my aching heart, and aid to my searching soul.

However, the Lord showed me one shocking thing yesterday. The reason I had thoughts of killing myself over this whole thing is because…my husband is my IDOL!

I couldn’t believe it, when God told me. I’m sitting there like “umm…no, Sir!! Thank YOU very much. I don’t even do that!!” Soo… (and don’t laugh), to prove myself right (since I just couldn’t bring myself to even think I was going to prove God wrong) *smh*, I googled “tear down the idols in my life.” That search yielded, among other things, one of your posts “The Biggest Problem in Our Marriages and Our Spiritual Lives” and a few questionnaires.

I printed your post, and glimpsed one of the questionnaires entitled “How Do You Identify Your Idols”. One of the lines in the post is “Are you ready for some painful examples?” I thought, “Ha! I’m ready, because I KNOW, I’m not going to fit into any of these scenario questions!” Imagine my surprise when I saw questions like

  • “What are you most afraid of?”
  • “What do you long for most passionately?”
  • “Where do you run for comfort?”
  • Here’s the one that kicked me in the rear… “What do you complain about most?”
  • “What do I want to have more than anything else?”
  • The one that brought tears to my eyes is “What do you make the biggest sacrifices for?” That one got me at my core, because I knew the answer was NOT “Jesus.”

The answer to all of those questions is – “my husband.”

*Silent awe.*

I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t even realized this is what I’ve come to.

Before my husband and I reunited, I was SOOO close to God. He was my everything!! It was me and Him all the way. I’d look forward to our time together at the end of the day. He’d be the last thing on my mind, and I’d truly rest in Him every night and wake up to/with Him each day. When my husband came along, none of that changed. As a matter of fact, I drew closer to God, because I was so grateful for the blessing of my husband. I remember seeking God for our son, when everything said having him was almost impossible. God blessed us abundantly!

But then… somewhere along the line …I took my eyes off of Jesus and placed them SOLELY on my husband. Instead of God being the one I rested in and the last voice I heard, it was hubby. When God woke me up in the mornings, hubby (and what he was or wasn’t doing) was already playing through my mind, as if somehow there was a movie that never got turned off. Instead of running to the Word (like I used to…even sleeping with it like a teddy bear in my arms), I’d reach for the cell phone to see what text my “heart” sent for me.

…*sigh*…

I’m sharing this with you now; but it’s really humbling and heart breaking to see all the damage I’ve done to my ONE…my Savior…my FATHER…my Friend…my true LOVE. I left Jesus for my husband; and propped that man up on God’s throne in my heart (like it was mine to give). Then, I ached literally (almost) to death, because hubby wasn’t doing/being/giving all the things that role requires. I just didn’t realize what I was doing…what I’d done, until God showed me.

So, while I am still praying and waiting for The Lord to redeem me and my husband (and restore our marriage), I am donning my yellow rubber gloves and doing some soul cleaning with God. I need to truly be transformed (from glory to glory) by the renewing of my mind–becoming more and more like Christ each day.

RELATED:

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"I Don't Think My Husband Loves Me – How Can I Become a Godly Woman and Wife?"

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I am not sure if I have made this really important point clear enough:

The path on this journey with your relationship with God to become a godly woman and wife will be basically the same whether your husband loves you or whether he doesn’t at the moment.

Let’s just stop to look at our purpose here:

The entire point of this journey is for you to draw close to Jesus, to love God, to know God, and to be right with God. The purpose is for you to be filled with His Spirit and to abide in Him and to experience His spiritual riches in your every day life and for you to be obedient to Him, increasing in holiness, and pleasing to Him. The purpose is to bring glory to God.

Like David Platt says, “We don’t come to Jesus to get stuff (from God), we come to Jesus to get God.”

The main goal on this journey is not to fix our marriages, to feel more loved by our husbands, to change our husbands, or to be happy. Ironically, though, if we make those things our most important goals – we will never have what we desire. God may heal our marriage along the way but the goal in following Christ is for us to have God and to be transformed by Him ourselves. We trust Him with the results in our circumstances, whatever they may be. As we yield our desires and dreams to God – He will change our desires to match His desire – and then He will give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4).

What your husband does is primarily between himself and God. You can trust God to deal with him if he doesn’t love you. (Yes, if there is major unrepentant sin in your husband’s life, you may need to respectfully confront him – you may even need to separate from him as you continue to pray fervently for his repentance and for healing for the marriage.)

GOD IS SOVEREIGN:

Here is the awesome thing about having a sovereign God –

God can change your husband’s heart, He can change your heart, and He can change your circumstances. No big deal.

God can change any of these things according to His purposes, His will, and His timing. We have freewill as people – and at the very same time, God is sovereign. I know it is tempting to get really caught up in your husband’s lack of response, seeming indifference, unloving behavior, or his lack of willingness to spend time with you. It is easy to look at this one snapshot in time and think that this is our destiny rather than looking ahead with eyes of faith to what God desires to do and being content in Christ whatever our current circumstances may be – resting peacefully in God’s sovereignty.

If you are getting stuck on this journey – and caught up in all the things your husband is not doing for you and how disappointed you feel – let’s forget about your husband for a bit. (Unless you are not safe or have really serious issues and need to get out and get somewhere safe.) Let’s forget about whether he loves you or not. Let’s forget about his apparent motives. Let’s forget about what you can get from your husband and marriage and what he should do for you. Keep your eyes on Jesus, my dear sister! Listen to Him, follow Him, and obey Him!

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4

Other people’s feelings and motives are not that important on this journey. They are changeable and they are not the source of absolute truth. God is the source of absolute truth and His is ultimately in control. He can even use the evil intentions of others to accomplish His good purposes in our lives (see the story of Joseph beginning in Genesis 37). Thankfully, you are not dependent on your husband’s thoughts, words, or actions for you to become a godly wife. Your husband may be the source of some tests of your character. But he cannot keep you from becoming a godly woman or withhold God’s purposes from your life. He can’t stop God’s good plans for you or thwart God’s sovereignty in your life.  Your husband is not sovereign. Feelings are not sovereign. Circumstances are not sovereign. God is sovereign! No one can take you out of God’s loving hands or separate you from His love for you!

This journey you are on is not really about your husband at all. Yes, he may be a beneficiary as God heals you. And yes, part of your obeying God will be to bless him – but this is all about your relationship with God and whether your sinful nature is in control or the Holy Spirit is in control of your life.

Your husband has his own journey to make. He will be accountable for every motive, every careless word, every thought, every deed. He will be accountable for his obedience to God’s Word for him as a man and as a husband. And we will be accountable for all of these things to God, as women and wives. (** See the bottom of the post for more about this.)

MUTUALITY

It is not wrong for a wife to desire for her husband to truly love her. It is not wrong for a husband to long for his wife to truly respect him. There is an expectation for reciprocity in the marriage covenant. Marriage should be a mutual effort and a beautiful interchange between two people who love and respect one another.

I don’t intend to say that wives should not want their husbands to love them. We should want this! Mutuality is a good thing.

My concern is that – it is easy for us to desire our husband’s love so much that we can desire it more than we desire Christ or we can desire it to the point that we are willing to sin to try to get what we want from our husbands. That is where I want us to be very cautious. It’s not that we don’t or shouldn’t want our husband’s love, but that we need to be careful where this desire is in our priorities. I hope that makes sense.
GOD’S PRIORITIES:

God wants you to have a strong marriage – He loves marriage!! But hear this closely:

Much more than you having a strong marriage, God wants you to desire Him, to know Him, and to look to Him alone to meet your needs. He wants your life to glorify Him.

God is never going to allow us to put our marriages, our husbands, our feelings, or anything or anyone else above Himself in our hearts. That is idolatry. If His having you go through a painful trial results in you growing in your faith and you making Him THE priority in your life and putting everything else WAY below Him – then this trial was worth it in God’s eyes. One day, it will be worth it in your eyes, too, my dear sister! You know the pain you have when your husband doesn’t want to spend time with you? That is a similar pain that God experiences when you brush Him off and don’t want to spend time with Him – except that His pain is much deeper.

If you are content in Christ – you are blessed and you get to have His overflowing peace and joy no matter what your husband does. He can give you the power and wisdom to be the woman and wife He wants you to be in every circumstance for His glory. Jesus truly is MORE than enough and more than sufficient for each of us. He will bring each of us through various trials where we get to learn this first hand.

Interestingly, when a wife is filled up with Christ and walking in obedience to God, God often uses this to draw her husband closer to Christ. This often eventually leads to healing for the marriage. BUT – even if it doesn’t, it is still more than worth it for each of us to be right with God.

I INVITE YOU TO PRAY WITH ME:

Lord,

Open our eyes to the greatest purposes You have for our existence – to love You with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, and to love others with Your love. Help us remember that following Christ is about taking up our cross, dying to our will and our wants, and living for Your will and Your glory. Help us focus on becoming the women You call us to be rather than what we can get out of our marriages. Draw us to Yourself. Greatly increase our faith. Make us women of fervent prayer! Fill us with Your Spirit. Cleanse us from all sin. Let us abide in You and be overflowing with Your Spirit. Regenerate our hearts. Renew our minds with Your Word. Cause us to rise to become a holy generation of women who are the salt and light of this world for Your glory! Use us mightily in Your kingdom, Father!

In the Name and power of Christ Jesus,

Amen!

WE WILL STAND ACCOUNTABLE BEFORE GOD FOR OUR OWN LIVES:

When you stand before God and He judges the work you have done for His kingdom – you will stand there alone. Your husband won’t be there beside you.

This is not a group grade. We will have no excuses – we will be accountable to Him for our walk and our character. For believers, our work will be tested by fire. We will not go to hell for our sins, because Jesus died to pay for our sin and we received that gift, making Him Lord of our lives. When God looks at our “bank account” instead of the billions of sin dollars of debt we used to have, now we have Jesus’ perfectly holy and righteous account. But God will burn our works, the things we did for Him and how we lived – and if we built wisely, we will be rewarded for whatever survives the fire. If we did not build wisely, what we did will be burned up and we won’t have any rewards – we will narrowly escape with our lives (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).

The point of all that I write about on this blog is to focus on your own journey, your spiritual growth, and your relationship with Christ. My goal is for Him to say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” to you when you stand before Him when this short life is over. This is all about you and God.

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“I Won’t Give up My Bitterness!”

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We Have All Been Hurt by Others:

Sin against us HURTS. Deeply.  Sin is always wrong. God always hates sin. He hates every sin people commit against us – whether it is in thought, motive, word, or deed. He hates the sin people commit against Him. He hates our sin, too – even the ones we think are “trivial” or that we justify to ourselves. God is absolutely holy and cannot tolerate any sin at all. (Verses about God’s holiness)

We all have reasons to be bitter – reasons not to forgive – that the world would say are “justified.” The more mistreatment we have endured, the more “right” we have to cherish our bitterness. We may even (wrongly) think we have the right to be bitter against God if He allowed something awful to happen and didn’t stop it, or He didn’t answer our prayers the way we thought He should have.

  • The problem with this worldly wisdom is that our bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness is major sin against God. 

God Commands Us to Let Go of Our Bitterness:

If you want to see where bitterness leads – observe someone who has been holding on to bitterness for many decades. Unrestrained bitterness leads to hatred, contempt, malice, a desire for revenge, and a desire to hurt or even kill another person. It completely consumes a person’s life and becomes their sole idol, many times.

There are few things that can kill a relationship as effectively as bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. In fact, God can and does often heal marriages from infidelity, pornography addictions, alcoholism, and drug addictions when people repent from these sins and allow Him to change their lives. But unrepentant bitterness causes a marriage to be unable to be healed. I held on to bitterness myself for many years, until God showed me that I had to choose – Jesus or my bitterness. I could not have both.

We may think that if we forsake our bitterness, we are saying that another person’s sins were okay, or that it didn’t hurt us. But that is a lie! God never glosses over sin – and yet He forgives, though He is perfect. We are certainly not above God. We can affirm that someone’s sin against us was very wrong, hurtful, and destructive and that it was not at all okay. And then, in God’s power, we can forgive. If we don’t forgive, we open a door for the enemy to enter and conquer our souls.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27

A wife wrote to me a few years ago, “Don’t take away my bitterness! It’s all I have left!”

Bitterness Is a Deadly Poison to Us:

Bitterness must be quickly tended to as soon as it sprouts. It is evil – and it grows rapidly. The longer we allow it to grow and the longer we water, feed, and nurture it – the more painful it is to tear it out later.

Bitterness is a terrible trap, my dear sisters (and brothers)! It is a device of our enemy to attempt steal the gifts Jesus has provided for us through His death. Bitterness grieves the very Spirit of God and we lose His power in our lives – then our sinful nature has more and more control, not God. Bitterness hardens our hearts until we can no longer even hear God’s still small voice.

God commands us to forgive and to let go of bitterness – not because the person who sinned against us deserves to be let off the hook, but to bless US so that we can stay in close fellowship with Him and experience all the fruit of His Spirit and abundant spiritual life (Gal. 5:22-23).

We forgive because God forgives us. It is a decision of the will – not the emotions. We forgive because we love God and want to obey Him in everything. We forgive because we need to be forgiven by God. We forgive because forgiveness sets us free from Satan’s snare! Our goal MUST be to get rid of every trace of bitterness so that we can experience the power of God’s Spirit working in and through us to enable us to live holy, godly lives.

In releasing those who have hurt us and what they have done, and in deciding not to make them pay us for their sin – we can have God’s peace in our hearts. God says that it is His place to take revenge, not ours. (This doesn’t mean we trust unrepentant sinners or stay if we are not safe or the other person is not willing to rebuild trust.)

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse… Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:14, 17-21

  • Either those who sin against us will turn to Christ and Jesus will pay for their sins against us with His innocent, perfect, holy blood – and He will change their hearts and they will grieve over their sin.
  • Or those who sin against us will pay for their sins themselves in hell forever.

There will be justice, ultimately, for the wrongs we have suffered. And there will be justice for the wrongs others have suffered at our hands, as well. God never ignores sin or sweeps it under the rug. He is just. He is righteous. He is holy. 

Replacing Bitter Thoughts with Godly, Holy Thoughts

We must take each thought captive for Christ. Every time I realize I am thinking a bitter thought, I must repent, turn away from it, confess it to God, and replace it with the truth of the Bible.

ie:

Bitter thoughts: “My husband doesn’t really love me. He hasn’t done X for me in years! If he loved me, he would know I want him to do X. I’ll show him! I’m going to give him the cold shoulder for the next 3 months. Let’s see how he likes that!”

Holy thoughts: “Let me write down the ways my husband has shown love to me lately. (If he is in unrepentant sin and has truly not been loving, I may need to write down that he is ensnared in sin and that he needs deliverance and needs me to pray for him. I may need to pray about confronting my husband about his sin if he has not repented. It is not a godly thing to pretend that sin doesn’t exist.) I can also write down what God says about me and my identity in Jesus. I can focus on all of the good things God has done for me. I can sing praises to God. I can write about my pain. I can pray about my pain and ask God for healing. I can ask God to show me how He might want me to bless my husband and how He might give me the power to overcome evil with good. I can ask God to help me better understand my husband if I am misunderstanding his masculine perspective. And I can seek ways to do good to him just to please Christ.”

When we realize just how much God has forgiven us and the great price for which He paid for our sins – Jesus’ death – we cannot help but respond with humility, true repentance, and gratitude. And when we have received the mercy, grace, and forgiveness of God for our billions of dollars worth of sin debt – we cannot help but respond with mercy, grace, and forgiveness toward those who sin against us (Matthew 18:21-35 – the Parable of the Wicked Servant).

God Uses a Believer’s Forgiveness for His Glory!

What an incredible witness for Christ it is when believers extend mercy, grace, and forgiveness, rather than hatred and bitterness. Think about the example of the church in Charleston, SC a few months ago. What a glorious testimony to Jesus that these believers forgave the man who murdered their loved ones. That didn’t mean that what he did was okay with them at all. What he did was awful – the very epitome of evil! But what they did was supernatural. Because of their beautiful example, the gospel was proclaimed and exalted around the world on secular news stations!!??!? Are we ready to allow God to use us to shine for Him, too?

What miracles might God have in store in our lives and for His kingdom and to bring the lost to Himself if we are willing to obey Him and not hold on to bitterness?

SHARE:

Is bitterness ever attractive to others?

How have you been tempted by the enemy to cling to bitterness, hatred, resentment, or unforgiveness?

Was it worth it?

Can we possibly bless others with the Gospel and love of Christ if we are consumed by bitterness?

How has God empowered you to experience His victory over bitterness, if you have experienced His deliverance? We’d love to hear your story!

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When You Feel Deprived in Your Marriage

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Whether you are feeling deprived of attention, love, affection, sex (and yes, a lot of women desire sex more than their husbands do), or anything else – I believe there are some steps godly wives can take to move forward in a productive direction. (If there are severe issues in your marriage, please see the disclaimer at the bottom of the post.)

The power to overcome feelings of disappointment in our husbands is in our thought lives as we choose to align ourselves with God’s wisdom and His ways.

We have two main choices.

  1. We can focus on how unfulfilled, how deprived, how upset, how victimized, and how empty we are feeling at the moment in our marriages. We can focus on all that is wrong and on what we don’t have. We can blame our husbands, expect them to fix all of the problems, and change to meet our needs. We can nurture our bitterness/resentment and dwell on how much our husbands have failed us. We can be irritable, angry, cold, and harsh. We can choose to lash out at our husbands and punish them for disappointing us. That will teach them!
  2. We can focus on Christ and how in Him, we possess every spiritual blessing from heaven that exists in the universe (Ephesians 1:3). We can focus on all that we DO have in Him. We can change the channel from our desire/disappointment to Christ. We can take up our cross daily, placing all of ourselves on the altar before God, living as though we are dead to self and to our own will, following Jesus and finding true, abundant Life in Him. We can choose to see that He is more than sufficient to meet our needs. We can choose to shoot down sinful thoughts immediately and nurture our faith in Christ, our love for Christ, and our desire to bless our husbands. We can choose to be loving, warm, accepting, gracious, joyful, peaceful, and content.

Each of these paths has a very different outcome – spiritual  death or spiritual life.

We do have legitimate needs and desires. It is important for us to respectfully share our feelings, needs, goals, desires, concerns, and perspectives with our husbands. That is part of our responsibility as believing wives. Husbands and wives should all seek to meet their spouse’s needs selflessly, lovingly, and with respect.

But if our husbands cannot or will not meet our needs or do what we believe is best – then where does that leave us? Are we going to try to force our men (or anyone else) to do what we want even if we have to sin to do it? Or will we respect their God-given free will and choose to turn to God in faith with our needs?

Sometimes there will be trials and times of testing in our Christian faith.

God gives us tests to help us see where we are weak in our faith, to bring sin to the surface of our lives as He refines us, and so that sin can be skimmed off. He uses tests, trials, and suffering to cause us to grow in spiritual maturity to completion (verses about suffering). Many times that painful trial of us feeling rejected, abandoned, or alone in our marriage will be the very thing that God will use to draw us to Himself in ways we have never experienced before. Sometimes He will help us see that our husbands are only human and can’t meet our deepest spiritual and emotional needs. Only God can do that! If we are willing, God will use the pain in our lives to chisel and shape us, to teach us treasures and wonderful things about Himself, and to grow and prune us.

How we respond is the key.

Instead of meditating on resentment, bitterness, or disappointment all day long, let’s focus on Philippians 4:8 things:

  • My husband has a lot of traits that I really admire. I’m going to start a list and really think about his good qualities today.
  • My husband likely has good intentions toward me.
  • God has good intentions toward me.
  • God is sovereign over my husband, over my life, and over this frustrating, painful situation. What good might God desire to do through this? What might He have for me to learn? What an adventure it will be to find out His plans!
  •  I can lay my needs and concerns at the feet of Christ and trust Him with them. I don’t have to freak out even if I don’t get what I want or need. If He wants me to have my desires and needs met, He will provide a way for this to happen that brings honor to Himself. If my needs are not met right now in the ways that I want them to be, I will use this experience to practice living for God’s will far above my own. “Not my will but Yours be done, Lord!”
  • By God’s power, I will contribute to unity, harmony, healing, respect, honor, and agape love in our marriage.
  • I have so many gifts from God – I’m going to start a list of all of the things God has done for me and meditate on being thankful for each of these blessings.
  • I am going to focus on allowing God to change me to become the wife and woman  God desires me to be.
  • I am going to sing praises to God for His goodness!
  • I am going to meditate on Scripture and the promises of God.
  • I am going to put my energy to use in fervent prayer to know God more deeply and to grow in my faith.
  • I can focus on NOT feeding my desires for sexual intimacy for this time – by avoiding suggestive books, music, movies, and also by redirecting my thoughts to God and other things when I begin to feel overwhelmed. I can choose to fill my mind with thoughts of things I do have and things I am thankful for rather than ruminating on what I don’t have right now. That is a way that I can “turn down” my libido to some degree if necessary for a time.

If my husband does not meet my needs – I will be okay. If I have Jesus, I have everything that matters!

If I only have Him, His Spirit, and His Word, I have the greatest Treasures of the universe. I will find all of my personhood, worth, acceptance, love, peace, security, safety, hope, faith, joy, strength, and contentment in Christ alone – no matter what my husband does or does not do. My hope is ultimately in Christ Jesus alone, not in my husband. My husband may fail me at times, but God never will fail me or forsake me! Jesus is my Rock, my Strong Tower, my Refuge, my Mighty Fortress, my Comforter, my Great Physician, and my Prince of Peace. He has made me right with God.

I give all of myself to Him and He gives me all of Himself in return! I am a daughter of the King of kings and Lord of lords. I have all of the spiritual treasures of heaven at my disposal to accomplish God’s will. I am not deprived at all. I possess all of the promises of God’s Word, all of His love, all of His support, all of His power, care, and provision. My God can change my husband’s heart. But even if he does not, I will trust in Him completely!

This is how we take our thoughts captive for Christ, my dear sisters!

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

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. Philippians 4:11b-13

Disclaimer:

If either your husband or yourself is involved in serious unrepentant sin, infidelity, abuse, active drug/alcohol addictions, or have uncontrolled mental health problems – please seek appropriate, trustworthy, qualified help for yourself and your marriage. I am not addressing serious issues in this post, although, some things about our walk with Christ will still apply. But you may need outside help in severe situations. If you or your children are not safe, please try to get out and get somewhere safe! Or if you are a danger to your husband or children, please get yourself some help and separate yourself from your family until you can be together safely. I don’t condone abuse or sin against anyone!

PS – a Note about Mutuality:

It is not wrong for a wife to desire for her husband to truly love her. It is not wrong for a husband to long for his wife to truly respect him. There is an expectation for reciprocity in the marriage covenant. Marriage should be a mutual effort and a beautiful interchange between two people who love and respect one another.

I don’t intend to say that wives should not want their husbands to love them. We should want this! Mutuality is a good thing.

My concern is that – it is easy for us to desire our husband’s love so much that we can desire it more than we desire Christ or we can desire it to the point that we are willing to sin to try to get what we want from our husbands. That is where I want us to be very cautious. It’s not that we don’t or shouldn’t want our husband’s love, but that we need to be careful where this desire is in our priorities. I hope that makes sense.
God designed marriage to involve two people who are both contributing to the marriage and both seeking Him. That is the goal!
If you feel that your husband does not love you as he should, that is a very painful place to be.
My prayer for my hurting sisters in this situation is that they might continue on being faithful to God, to their marriage covenant, and to their husband – allowing God to empower them, seeking to please Him, and seeking to bless their husband. We will trust God together to work in your husband’s heart to draw Him to Himself first, and also back to the marriage.
But no matter what our husbands ultimately do, my prayer is that we might walk in holiness, obedience, faithfulness, and by the power of God’s Spirit working in us – that Christ might be greatly pleased with us.

RELATED:

The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage

She Has the Stronger Sex Drive – Shaunti Feldhahn’s site

Are Particular Sexual Activities Wrong in Marriage?

Placing My Higher Sexual Drive Under God’s Control

My Husband Is Not Attracted to Me

25 Ways to Be a Safe Place for Your Husband Emotionally

Healthy Vs Unhealthy Relationships

What Speaks Disrespect to Husbands?

God Changes a Wife’s Heart During a Financial Crisis

 

Photo Credit -freeimages.com Bob Smith
Photo Credit -freeimages.com Bob Smith

From a precious sister in Christ – the same one God is taking from major fear to strong faith:

I am writing to you again to share one more incident that took place yesterday and through which God spoke to me. I am excited when there is even a very small progress in the way I think or behave, so I am sharing it with you once more 🙂

We believe God led us for me to quit my job when I had my first daughter so that I become a stay at home mom and raise her myself. Since then our finances have been very tight and in many instances we saw God provide in very unexpected ways, to find ourselves now, two years later, with a second baby and lacking nothing, though facing various challenges financially.

One of the ways God has provided for us was through state funding. This year, too, we were to apply for this aid that was to help us cover some expenses that have been gathering. It was my husband’s “job” to do this. Yesterday though when I asked him, he realized he had been busy and stressed with work and had forgotten to apply and we had missed the applications date. It is now too late.

I had been planning in my mind which bills we could finally pay off with this fund (this is “my job”). I was shocked and couldn’t believe that he missed something so important for us. He told me he was taking care of it but in the end he missed it, although it should have been a priority in his “to do” list.

So, my first reaction was: “You are kidding me, right? You didn’t apply???”

This could be considered a “usual” response from me, though I wish it not to be such. I felt so greatly disappointed, I felt that he failed to take care of our family in a way that was his responsibility…that I trusted him to take care of this and he failed me. This is my basic trust issue that is causing me to be controlling (as I have described you in the past). I just felt so greatly let down and didn’t know what to do about it.

However, within a few moments, the Holy Spirit started a discussion with me that changed the course of my thoughts.

I started thinking:

  1. My husband is responsible and always trying to take care of us, but he is also just human. That means that he WILL fail me at times, and I should not be so surprised. I am supposed to be gracious, because I also am human, and under the same circumstances, it is possible that I could have failed the same way.
  2. This is to show me where I really put my trust for our family’s provision. Am I focusing too much on the state aid and on us doing everything “right” to receive as much help as possible? Or am I really trusting God to provide for us, with or without the state aid, and despite us not doing everything right? This was the time for me to decide where I was going to put my trust.
  3. Here lies an opportunity that is far more precious than the money. It is the opportunity for me to react as God wants me to react. It is the opportunity for me to change – the opportunity to love my husband and trust God. I really felt in my heart that this is really precious, in a way that it may actually have been better that we lost this fund, if that means that I could be gaining spiritually through this. I really felt that I wanted to grasp this opportunity! This helped me pass the disappointment and hurt to feel joy and peace. It helped me let go of this fund in my heart and rejoice for what God is doing instead.
  4. I felt that this is the opportunity for me to stay committed to my husband and marriage. I married my husband for better or for worse, for when in health or sickness, for richer or poorer. I also married him for when he makes everything right or for when he doesn’t. I married him also for the times that he makes mistakes. There doesn’t need to be a divorce to break this promise. I can still break it in my heart, though still remaining married to him, by not staying connected in my heart to him, not being supportive and not sticking with him through this journey of life, even when he fails. In the end, he is far more important than money.

I think that the marriage vows should also contain a promise that goes something like, “for when my spouse does everything right or for when my spouse makes mistakes and fails”.

After this, I called my husband and told him that it just doesn’t matter that he forgot to apply, that I could have forgotten it too and that God can still provide for us in other ways. Of course, I wish my first reaction was different! I can’t take that back! But still, the whole turn out was absolutely amazing, totally a Holy Spirit work that reminds nothing of my usual attitude, which I hope I can soon refer to as “old and past.” It is exciting, it makes me feel thrilled and it brings tears to my eyes.

The way God changes me – for me, that is the greatest proof that He is alive and present!

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