He may be hurting too much in the marriage to be able to focus on your pain, feelings, or concerns.
He may be feeling really disrespected which makes him feel unloved and demoralized. He may be reacting to his perception of your attitude toward him. He may not realize that you don’t understand that his masculine need for respect is just as strong as your feminine need for love. He may find it impossible to believe that you don’t know what feels disrespectful to him.
He may be sick, tired, stressed, irritable, or grumpy so he may act like he doesn’t care. But this is not truly how he means and wants to act. His flesh may be weak and he may be struggling to act like the man he wants to be.
He may feel that “he can’t win” no matter what he does. If he tries really hard to please you, and you are still usually upset or critical, he may decide it’s just impossible to try to make you happy.
3. He may not be capable of caring right now.
He may be so spiritually wounded (or spiritually dead – meaning he doesn’t have a saving relationship with Christ) that he is not capable of loving and caring as he should, even if he wants to.
He may have a mental/spiritual illness like depression, anxiety, or there may be spiritual warfare going on.
He may be addicted to something and it may be the addiction running his life, not the real man you know.
He may be crushed under the weight of shame due to wrong thinking, fear of failure, or a sin that he is struggling to overcome.
He may be crushed under the toxic messages of our culture. He may feel that he is evil just for being a man. That he doesn’t matter. That he has no voice. He may not understand God’s beautiful and good purposes for him and for masculinity.
4. He may have chosen not to care.
There may be significant sin in his life, and/or severe emotional/spiritual pain that may entice him to purposely choose not to care about your feelings. He may be acting in the worst part of his sinful nature. He may believe the voice of the enemy.
He may have tried and tried to show love and has burned out. Perhaps he has come to a breaking point where he feels things are hopeless. A switch flipped and now, he doesn’t want to be who he was anymore. He has decided he is “done.”
The best approach for you to take depends on the root cause of the problem.
If your husband really does care but you don’t see it, he may be very frustrated that he can’t open your eyes to see his love for you. He may have tried everything he knows to do to reach you, but he can’t give you the spiritual awakening you need.
The amazing thing is – God CAN do this for you! If you are willing, God can and will absolutely heal your mind and soul.
If your husband doesn’t feel safe with you, thinks things are hopeless or he is not doing very well, himself, your feelings may not be at the top of his priority list.
His own pain may be the only thing he can see right now.
In fact, your words may actually repel your husband from you and from the Lord, especially if he feels you are trying to control him, mother him, nag at him, preach at him, or look down on him.
In the next post
I plan to share how you can approach your husband depending on which category y’all are in from this post.
What general principles have you learned about this topic that may be a blessing to other wives here?
Let’s not get into the details of a husband’s sin in a public forum like this out of respect for the Lord, our husbands, and our marriages, please. But let’s definitely encourage each other with stories of God’s provision, wisdom, and the power of prayer. <3
Do you need prayer, encouragement, or more resources? Please let us know!
Of course, breaking contact completely is a pretty extreme response and should be reserved for certain situations as a last resort. It shouldn’t be our go-to response for most issues as it can cause a lot of unnecessary damage if we use it when it is not needed.
But what if it the scenario is reversed?
If you believe that a situation is harmful to your husband, the marriage, yourself, your children, or your family, you do have the ability (and sometimes the responsibility) to share your concerns with your husband.
We do have an incredible ability as wives to influence our husbands for good or for evil.
It’s a good thing for us to share our hearts and minds with our husbands in healthy ways. Ideally, a wife would be a trusted advisor to her husband.
Even our children can and should share concerns if they don’t feel safe or comfortable around someone, or they don’t feel comfortable with us being around a certain person.
Everyone deserves to have a voice to say if something is upsetting or toxic to them or to someone they love.
This doesn’t necessarily mean things will definitely change. But people in positions of God-given leadership should be very willing to hear the concerns of those in their care whether it is at home, at work, at church, at school, or anywhere else. And if the concern is legitimate, the leader will agree to take some appropriate course of action.
The key is that we share respectfully and with right motives.
It would be very tempting to react in the flesh and try to force your husband to cut people off by acting in the following ways:
– Cry, beg and plead with your husband to cut them off.
– Make angry and insistent demands that he cuts off the relationship.
– Give your husband an ultimatum.
– Lecture your husband about his choices and how they affect you and your children.
– Complain about your husband’s friends to anyone who would listen.
– Criticize your husband’s friends behind their backs.
– Insult your husband’s friends to their faces.
– Go directly to his friends and tell them to stay away from him.
– Rant about your husband’s poor decisions on social media.
– Go directly to your husband’s relatives or your pastor to complain about your husband’s choices.
– Try to force your husband to be friends with men you think he should be friends with.
If we resort to these destructive tactics, we would repel our husbands. Our husbands would likely feel protective of their friends and defensive about their decisions. Our husbands would likely react in destructive ways and may even eventually form closer bonds with the friends we disapprove of.
I can’t force my way, but I can make requests and suggestions.
If my husband knows that I love and respect him highly, and he also has great love and respect for me, he will likely care about my feelings and concerns. He will prayerfully weigh my words, if he is a believer.
Even if he is not a believer, if we have some level of mutual love and respect going on, he will probably be concerned if something is causing an alarm bell for me.
All I have to do is present my concern briefly and calmly. Usually just once. Then I can generally simply wait and pray.
However, there are many different possible scenarios. This approach may not be exactly what you need in every situation.
We need the wisdom, power, and discernment of the Spirit to know exactly how to approach our husband, especially if things are not going well, at the time.
NOTE – If it is a really dangerous situation, there are times we have a responsibility to call the police or reach out for help. This post is not intended to be a resource for life-threatening situations. Please involve all of the proper authorities immediately if you believe someone is truly in danger or being threatened.I am also assuming in this post that your husband is in his right mind. That he is not high, drunk, dealing with significant uncontrolled mental illness, or involved in serious unrepentant sin.
A Time to Speak
If you believe it is a time to speak up, some options may be to prayerfully consider saying things like:
I have a bad feeling about this person.
My “Spidey senses” are tingling about her. She seems like trouble to me.
I would like it if we both have X, Y, Z boundaries on our marriage to guard our hearts and help us avoid temptation. What boundaries do you believe we should have to protect our marriage?
May I have your permission to speak into your life? (If he says, “yes,” then I can gently share what I see that I believe the Lord desires me to share.)
I feel like that friend is disrespectful of our marriage/you/me/the kids.
I love that you are such a great friend to X. Sometimes, though, I would really love it if we could have more time with you.
I’m afraid you may be getting taken advantage of here and that makes me feel sad.
This situation makes me nervous.
It seems to me that this person undermines our authority as parents to our children. That’s not okay.
I feel like this person is trying to hurt our marriage/family/you/me.
I really don’t want us to be around him again unless he is willing to apologize for what he did and make some real changes.
I don’t feel safe around her because of X. I don’t want our kids to be near her.
These days, a man really can’t afford to be alone with a woman, even if he does nothing wrong. It just doesn’t seem worth it to me. I think Billy Graham’s standard was very wise for men and for women.
I don’t like this situation at all.
What this person is teaching doesn’t seem to align with scripture. What do you think?
I don’t trust this person.
**Remember to use a friendly tone of voice and body language!
Most of the time, simply, respectfully sharing your concern like this is enough.
He will get the picture and he’ll mull over what he wants to do with this new information. Even if he doesn’t talk about his thoughts, he will think about it. I promise!
Constructive ways to handle this:
“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Rom. 14:13
A godly path to deal with such a situation would be to do the following:
1. Take your concerns to God.
“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
Ask God to remove unhealthy influences from your husband’s life and fully trust that He will find a way to do it. Don’t give in to despair. Understand that God is in control. Keep giving thanks to God for his sovereignty. Let God’s peace rule in your heart.
2. Speak the truth in love.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, Eph. 4:15
Gently and lovingly express your concern about your husband’s associates to him, without insisting that he cuts off ties with them.
3. Pray for your husband’s associates.
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.Luke 6:27-28
Your focus should always be on the state of your husband’s soul and his associates’ souls.
If your concern is about a friend who is a heavy drinker, drug addict, adulterer, or caught in significant sin, pray for that person to see the light and change his ways or to simply cut off ties with your husband.
Pray that God will open your husband’s eyes to that person’s influence on him. Even after that person stops contacting your husband, continue to pray for his salvation.
If your concern is about a woman who is trying to tempt your husband into an affair, it’s only natural that you may feel really hurt, angry and threatened by her intentions to ruin your marriage. However, God wants us to pray for those who hurt us and treat us badly.
We can pray for salvation, for their eyes to be opened, for conviction of sin and godly sorrow and true repentance. We can pray for spiritual healing and regeneration in Christ. We can pray the power of Scripture over the people who are toxic and over our husbands, children, and ourselves.
4. Focus on your husband’s good qualities
Think about his strengths and the many wise and loving decisions your husband has made. You would not have married your husband if you didn’t see a lot of good in him. Rather than focusing on his few poor choices, focus on all the things that made you fall in love with him. It would be wise to start making a list of his good qualities and good choices to add to it daily.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil. 4:8
What if he still doesn’t break contact with the other person?
If you have shared your feelings about a situation respectfully, and he continues on in contact with someone you feel is too toxic, there are several things that could be going on:
He may have a different perspective.
He may try to minimize contact, but he may feel he can’t completely break contact, depending on the situation.
He may feel the person is not as toxic as you believe he/she is.
He may believe that to completely break contact would create a lot of unnecessary drama and he may think there is a better solution.
He may have different personal convictions – not that one of you is wrong – you may just have different definitions of how exactly to guard your heart or marriage.
The Lord may be leading him in a different direction that you don’t know about yet.
It may take some time for him to decide how to address the situation. Sometimes, you may just need to be patient, depending on the issue at hand.
He may decide to confront the person directly rather than just break contact. He may feel it is a Matthew 18:15-17 situation.
He may know something you don’t know that changes what the best approach might be.
It may take him a bit more time to see the danger you see.
It is possible that he has a more accurate view of what is happening than you do. All of us can be wrong at times.
Sometimes, husbands mess up, too. Sometimes they make poor choices or even sinful choices. They have free will, just like we do. It is a gift, but it can bring a lot of pain. You can’t control him, but you can decide how the Lord desires you to respond even if he doesn’t make the best decisions. There are times we need to confront sin.
Or, this may simply be an issue for you to take to the Lord in prayer.
Depending on the situation and on the Lord’s leading, there may be a time to address the issue again, eventually. Or God may direct you to simply pray and wait and let Him work. God can change a husband’s heart, our perspective, or He may even change the circumstances and other people.
My next post covers the issue of a husband who doesn’t seem tocare what his wife says, feels, or thinks.That situation is going to require some adjustments in our approach depending on the root causes.
NOTE – If you realize that you expect your husband to break all ties with all of his family members, all of his friends, all of his coworkers, everyone at church, and everyone in every area of his life, then we are dealing with an entirely different issue. Please check out these posts.
REAL LIFE EXAMPLES
The Las Vegas Story
One of my favorite stories is from a reader of mine whose unbelieving husband wanted to go to Las Vegas with his single friend. The wife respectfully let her husband know she didn’t think the trip was a good idea. He went on with his plans. She and I prayed. The Lord intervened in a mind-blowing way. It was amazing!
The wife whose husband’s friends drank:
My husband has had friends who drank heavily and my husband started drinking heavily as well. Even driving drunk and getting into minor accidents. Me getting angry, crying, and complaining about his drinking and his irresponsible friends didn’t help matters at all.
I started praying that God would remove these people from my husband’s life and each time, God did!
One day each of those friends inexplicably stopped calling my husband. I was extremely relieved and happily told my husband “Jesus took care of it!”
My husband no longer drinks heavily and I always joke with him that if he ever makes friends who drink heavily again, I’ll just pray them away.
My husband now has great respect for my prayers for him. When I ask him what he wants me to pray for, he always says “I know that you always want the best for me so pray for me however you want”.
The wife whose husband’s friend was using him:
My husband has also had friends who consumed his time and constantly bombarded him with requests for favors and loans. I told him several times “A friend who always wants something from you is not a true friend. He’s just using you.” My husband never took my advice and would keep defending his friends and insisting that they care about him.
I gave up and stopped talking about it. I just took the issue to God.
Shortly after, my husband realized that he was being used and distanced himself from them. That “friend” actually moved out of the country without saying goodbye and made no effort to keep in touch. I was very relieved because I hate to see my husband being used by anyone.
We have tremendous power in praying for our husbands once we approach the issue from a place of prayer and trust in God’s power over all situations.
Examples with No Immediate Happy Ending
Examples where things didn’t go the way the believer in Christ hoped, at least at first, but God was still very much at work:
If you would like to share some godly wisdom you have learned in ways that will honor the Lord and your husband and anyone else who was involved, we’d love to hear about it. (Let’s not share specific details of wrongs others committed, though, please. Thanks!)
This post is one I have been working on for awhile. I had some questions about this last week, as well. It is one of my least favorite topics ever! But it is important.
Breaking contact with people is something I do NOT enjoy doing.
Like – I REALLY, REALLY do not like having to do this. It’s painful. It’s heartbreaking. I want to just be able to work through things with others. I try to assume the best about others and try to be willing to reconcile. Most of the time, we can pray through conflicts and work through them successfully with others.
Sadly, breaking (or minimizing) contact with people in certain situations is necessary in this fallen world.
I have learned (the hard way – many, many times) that if I don’t stop communication with someone when I really should, I end up paying a steep price. Sometimes, my marriage and children also pay a high price. My ministry to other people suffers. And often, the person I wanted so much to help is harmed, as well.
This is exactly why I need God’s wisdom.
There is a delicate balance here. We are to love people with God’s unconditional love. We are to be kind, forgiving, gentle, gracious, merciful, and patient.
In life, some conflict is inevitable in following Christ and in human relationships. Just because there is conflict or I am sinned against doesn’t usually mean I should stop talking with someone. Most of the time, we can work things out, thankfully.
Of course, if there are things I can do on my end to repent of any sin in my life, I need to do that first (Matt. 5:23-24, Matt. 7:1-5).
But in certain situations – we just cannot have real peace with some people – unless something dramatic changes first on their end.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Rom. 12:18
Sometimes the situation doesn’t depend on me. Sometimes there is nothing I can do to correct the problem on my end.
If God gives me instructions about avoiding someone with a certain kind of spirit or behavior, I would do well to obey and trust God with the outcome.
Yes, even if I don’t like what He is asking me to do. It is for my own good – and, just as importantly, the good of everyone else involved.
Let’s see what Scripture has to say.
Here are six scenarios when we may need to break or minimize contact with others:
When a professing believer refuses to repent of significant sin.
Major unrepentant sin for a professing believer sets that person under God’s discipline. It hurts our witness to continue in fellowship with such a one. Those who belong to Christ should not be able to be content in sin.
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matt. 18:15-17
But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. 1 Cor. 5:11
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. 2 Thess. 3:6
When someone is trying to tempt us into sin.
We don’t play with temptation. We flee from it. Especially from idolatry and sexual immorality.
Let not your heart turn aside to (the adulteress’) ways; do not stray into her paths, for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. Prov. 7:25-26 (Same is true for women, we should avoid men who are adulterers.)
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.1 Cor. 6:18
Flee from idolatry. 1 Cor. 10:14
Flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Tim. 2:22
When our husband asks us not to have contact with someone.
A husband generally does this to try to protect his wife, children, and marriage from situations like:
Men who are flirting or acting in inappropriate ways.
People who consume too much of his wife’s or family’s time.
People who are stressing his wife/children/himself out.
People who are toxic to be around.
People who can’t be reasoned with.
People who are very emotionally or verbally abusive.
People who make threats against someone in the family.
Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Col. 3:18-19
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord… Let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Eph. 5:22,33
Of course, sometimes we may see these issues ourselves and decide we need to break contact before our husband says anything.
Please search my blog for the word “submit” and “submission” to see many posts about what that means and what it doesn’t mean. It does not mean slavery, abuse, or Fifty Shades of Gray! It does not mean BDSM or CDD.
It is about a wife honoring her husband’s God-given leadership unless he asks her to clearly sin because God intends to lead, protect, and provide for her through him in certain ways. (See this post for times I would not submit to my husband.)
An exception to honoring your husband’s request not to talk with others would be if he is abusive and he is trying to isolate you and harm you. In a situation like that, or if he is not in his right mind, he’s drunk, high, or otherwise dangerous, please reach out for appropriate, qualified, trustworthy help. Talk with the police, check out resources at your church, talk with a trusted, experienced counselor, or contact The Hotline if it is safe for you to do so.
With a foolish, divisive, or hot-tempered person, a gossip, or a slanderer.
These sins are contagious and poisonous. We must choose our friends, mentors, and influences wisely.
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Prov. 13:20
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler. Prov. 20:19
Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare. Prov. 22:24-25
I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our LORD Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.Rom. 16:17-18
Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. Titus 3:10
Sheep should not try to have discussions with wolves. The only sane thing for a sheep is to run away to the protection of the Good Shepherd.
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them… A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Matt. 7:15-20
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Matt. 24:24
I know that… fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Acts 20:29-30
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Col. 2:8
If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 1 Tim. 6:3-5
Guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. 1 Tim. 6:20-21
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 Pet. 2:1
I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work. 1 John 1:7-11
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 1 John 4:1-3
With those who refuse the gospel, “dogs,” or “swine.”
There is a time to share the Gospel and the love and power of God. Our goal is to share it with every living soul on the planet. But there is also a time to stop when someone is hostile or unreceptive and move on.
“Jesus uses dogs and pigs as representative of those who would ridicule, reject, and blaspheme the gospel once it is presented to them.”
And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town. Matt. 10:14-15
And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” Mark 6:11
Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Matt. 7:6-7
In the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 1 Tim. 3:1-5
Should we never have contact with any of these people in these six scenarios again?
Sometimes we need to break contact just temporarily, until the other person repents and rebuilds trust on his/her side. Sometimes we must wait until they come to Christ and the Spirit opens their eyes. Sometimes our husbands change their minds about people. Of course, there are also times, unfortunately, when people do not change.
Our prayer is always for them to be reconciled to God, to the Body of Christ, and to us.
It’s important for me to remember that Jesus is the Savior and the Holy Spirit opens people’s eyes. I am not the savior of humanity. And I can’t even open my own eyes. If I stay and try to force someone to understand rather than relying on the Spirit, I will cause harm.
When I do obey the Lord and don’t allow certain very toxic people into my life, I get to enjoy a whole lot more peace, I am less distracted by drama, temptation, false teaching, and snares from the enemy, and I can focus much more on Christ and all that He calls me to do.
We need the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, God’s Word, prayer, and sometimes wise counsel from our husband or an appropriate godly mentor. These situations can get dicey quickly. So we want to lean on God not our own understanding.
Is this topic difficult for you, too? What general godly wisdom have you learned that you would like to share?
AN IMPORTANT REQUEST
Let’s not share specific situations here.
A public forum like this is not an appropriate place to spill a lot of details about how someone mistreated us. Let’s go to the Lord, our own husbands, or other trusted counselors, in private, if we aren’t sure what to do.
If you need private counseling, please check out these resources:
Focus on the Family offers a one time free counseling consultation and counselor’s referral service.
Thanks so much! <3
Sometimes we are in a very close relationship with someone and it may not be possible to completely break contact. This is all going to require God’s wisdom and His leading for us in specific situations. I don’t know what every person should do in every possible scenario. But God does.
We need His discernment, His mind, His power, His Spirit, and His heart. Sometimes, we may have to speak to people out of necessity. We can be respectful. We can have loving motives toward them. But we may have to set firm limits as the Word of God and the Spirit lead us.
May the Lord grant each of us the wisdom, love, and discernment we need.
Part of a mural Greg painted when I was pregnant with our son.
I invite you to think back to some of the sweetest things your husband has ever done for you. Big things and small things. Write them down somewhere special. Then think about your husband’s strengths and anything you can imagine to be thankful for about concerning him.
It’s easy to get hung up on the little annoying things. The enemy would love for us to take that wide path to discontentment. But we will have much more joy, peace, and contentment as we focus on the blessings we have. As the saying goes, “Whatever you focus on grows.”
Maybe you’d even like to start a list in your prayer journal or in your phone. And every time you think of another good thing, you may want to add it.
Everyone will have different things. That’s okay! We don’t need to compare husbands with each other. But let’s commit to focusing on the good things we see in our own men as we seek to develop grateful hearts.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil. 4:8
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thess. 5:18
We are at our best spiritually when we focus primarily on positive, good things about our husbands, our children, God, our homes, our bodies, ourselves, life, etc…
How do you like to cultivate a spirit of thanksgiving in your life and marriage? <3
When I was pregnant with our son, who is now a rising high school senior, my husband painted a beautiful mural of our town. We no longer live in that house. It was so hard to leave it! But I can still think back and appreciate the projects my husband did to show his love.
A guest post by Nneka Simone. I appreciate her vulnerability and willingness to share her story on this incredibly important topic. May we all be reminded of the sanctity and value of every human life, no matter how small:
God designed the beautiful act of sex to unite husbands and wives and to bring forth children. Having been raised in my faith, I knew that sex before marriage was a sin and I was passionately determined to avoid it at all costs. I read loads of books about purity and chastity, distributed chastity material to teenagers in my church, and even gave chastity talks.
However, one night, my boyfriend and I fell down the slippery slope of temptation and I got pregnant that very first time.
As a well-known woman in my church community, I was ashamed of the pregnancy and knew that I looked like a liar and a hypocrite. Some people lost respect for me and stopped speaking to me. More importantly, I felt ashamed before God because I knew that I had grieved his heart. I humbly turned to my loving Saviour and genuinely repented of my sin and willingly received His compassion and forgiveness.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
From the moment I discovered that I was pregnant, I did everything I could do to protect, love, and care for my child. I never gave abortion a thought. I knew it was a violent act of murder to a helpless, vulnerable, and precious child of God.
A picture of the Nneka Simone’s sweet baby boy!
Motherhood Has Been a Blessing
My son is a wonderful, loving, and delightful child who enjoys every moment of his life. God has blessed me with a loving heart to nurture him and the financial means to provide for him. God also nurtured my relationship with my child’s father and we had a beautiful and simple wedding when our son was 6 months old.
Although motherhood is challenging and demanding in many ways, my son is a wonderful gift from God. I’m sharing my story in this post as an act of thanksgiving to God for his generous mercy and for the life of my son. I pray that it will be instrumental in helping women to appreciate their fertility and value their children.
Satan’s Evil Agenda for Women
Satan has had an agenda to deceive, manipulate and mislead women from the beginning of time. Satan went after Eve in the garden because he knows the power and influence women have over men, children, families, and society.
Today, women are being encouraged to:
See our own babies as burdens and inconveniences, rather than blessings and gifts from God.
Seek satisfaction only in our academic and career accomplishments, rather than in raising children and caring for a family.
View duties related to marriage and family life as oppressive, rather than loving acts of sacrifice that bring glory to God.
See sexual activity as something that is solely for our personal pleasure (apart from marriage or childbearing), rather than a gift from God that fosters emotional bonds in marriage and brings forth children.
See our ability to conceive as a burden and a curse, rather than a gift and a blessing.
Render ourselves infertile through contraception, rather than appreciating and valuing our ability to nurture life.
See abortion as a right that gives women freedom and happiness, rather than an act of violence, cruelty, and murder.
See our bodies as our own, rather than as belonging to the Lord.
See a child in our womb as our property that we can dispose of if we wish, rather than as a precious child of God created in His image for incredible and eternal purposes.
Be proud of our past abortions, rather than acknowledge that abortion is a terrible sin from which we must repent and seek God’s forgiveness and healing.
Believe that God only wants to judge and condemn us for our sins rather than forgive us and show us His love.
Now that we are clear on Satan’s anti-life, anti-family, and anti-motherhood agenda, let’s explore God’s perspective on fertility, children, and motherhood.
God Loves and Cherishes Men, Women, and Children
God sees fertility as a blessing. In fact, his first command to Adam and Eve was that they multiply:
“And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fertile and multiply.’” Genesis 1:28
God sees motherhood as a blessing.
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Proverbs 31:28
God compares His love for us to a mother’s love. This shows how highly He values women and motherhood.
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” Psalm 49:15
God creates each child in the womb.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.” Psalm 139: 14-15
God sees children as a heritage, a reward, and a blessing.
“Lo, sons are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.” Psalm 127:3-5
God establishes an important plan for each child before he or she is born. (This includes children conceived in adultery and sexual assault.) God loves each of us and has a plan for us no matter how we were conceived.
“But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace.” Galatians 1:15
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139: 16
God is the author of life and wants us to live fully.
“The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy but I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
“I am the way, the truth and the life.” John 14:6
Children belong to God from the womb.
“But you are He who took me out of the womb; you made me trust while on my mother’s breasts.” Psalm 22:9
“From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.” Psalm 22:10
God owns our bodies and our children’s bodies. We don’t.
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s”. 2 Cor 6: 19-20
As we see the pro-death abortion laws gaining ground, it may be tempting to get disheartened and give in to despair about the direction our culture is heading, but there is no need to do so. As Christians, we are people of HOPE and God has given us a clear roadmap to heal our land.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
This verse tells us that Christians are responsible for the direction of their countries. As Christian women, we need to humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways. Then God will heal our land and conquer this satanic agenda.
Things You Can Do to Make a Difference
Here are some actions we can all employ to foster God-honouring lifestyle in which all children are valued.
Meditate on the Word of God day and night. (Psalm 1:2)
Wash your mind daily with the Word of God. (Ephesians 5:26)
Read the Bible to your children. (Deuteronomy 11:19)
Teach Sunday School at your church if you believe God is calling you to do so.
Pray about starting a women’s Bible study in your neighbourhood.
Pray the Word of God over yourself and your family.
Recognise that everyone is a precious child of God and treat everyone with love and respect.
Since all life is valuable, do good works to help vulnerable members of society: eg. the homeless, illiterate adults, underprivileged children, the elderly, and those with debilitating diseases. (Matt 25:31-46)
Tell your children every day that they, and all children in the world, are gifts and blessings from God. (Psalm 127:3-5 and Proverbs 17:6)
Treat single mothers and unmarried pregnant woman with kindness, compassion, and respect. Seek to humbly, gently help to restore them to fellowship with the Lord and the Body of Christ or share the gospel that they may come to know the salvation Jesus offers to them and their children. (Gal. 6:1)
Express godly kindness and compassion to women who have had abortions and encourage them to pray, repent, and seek forgiveness and salvation/restoration. (James 5:16)
Humbly and fully repent of any sin in your own life and invite God to empower you to live a holy life.
If you have had an abortion in the past, acknowledge it as a sin, repent before God and trust that he has forgiven you. Seek godly counselling to help you to heal emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. (1 John 1:9)
Ask God to cleanse you of inadvertent sin (Psalm 19:12) and allow the fruit of the Holy Spirit to grow in your heart. We can only point people to Christ and His love of God for children if we are filled with the Holy Spirit and demonstrate love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).
When single, make every effort to save sex for marriage. Avoid being alone with your boyfriend so that you would not fall into temptation.
When married, make every effort to protect your sexual purity. Avoid being alone with other men. Avoid private conversations and emotional/spiritual intimacy with other men.
Value and cherish motherhood and children.
Understand that motherhood is far more sacred and special than your education or your career. Submit all areas of your life to the Lordship of Christ including motherhood, your education, your career, and your ministry. Invite God to use them all for His glory!
If you do become pregnant out-of-wedlock, protect the precious life in your womb no matter how your family and your church community react. You are not alone. God has created many pro-life organizations that help women in your situation.
When married, prayerfully consider choosing Natural Family Planning methods (eg. Daysy, Lady-Comp, the Billings Ovulation Method) rather than contraception. Be open to life and believe that God will help you to provide for your children. Don’t let fear keep you from having another child. (Gen 1:28)
If you are a victim of sexual assault, understand that the child is still precious and loved by God. An abortion would not erase the trauma of the assault. Either commit to raising that child or give it up for adoption to a loving couple. Adoption is a beautiful option.
Prayerfully get involved.
Educate yourself on pro-life issues and get involved in the pro-life movement in your community. (Matthew 5:10).
Focus on becoming biblically-correct, not politically-correct, and full of God’s love for others regardless of what persecution you may face. (Matthew 5:10)
Pray about becoming a foster parent, an adoptive parent, or youth mentor so you can be instrumental in protecting children in vulnerable situations.
With God’s wisdom, love, and power, we can be like the Proverbs 31:25 woman who laughs at the days to come and daughters of Sarah who do what is right and do not give in to fear (1 Peter 3:6).
Books Recommended by Simone about a Christian missionary who adoped 14 children:
For a long time in the first 2 years, I didn’t talk much. If I did talk, it was something that had to do with our immediate life like what was for dinner, what was going on with my son, or stuff like that. I stopped talking and started mostly just listening to what he told me in terms of his own life struggles, etc…
I stopped giving him advice and telling him what was wrong with him and his life, basically.
If my husband asked me questions about myself or anything, I shared then, but usually only then. Sometimes, he would go a week without much verbal connection.
Sure enough, three years later, he does ask me what I think about certain things and situations that he is in or that we might be putting ourselves in. He does want to know my opinion sometimes about work stuff, about if we should move again, or what I think about certain things. So things have definitely improved in that way for sure.
I have become very close with a trusted girlfriend, so when I have tough emotions or just want to talk to someone supportive in life, I talk to her, not my husband. Not because he won’t support me, per se, but because I’ve learned to talk to a woman because ultimately, only a woman can understand how I feel sometimes!
If you tend to be too quiet, you may need to move in the opposite direction. You may need to start speaking up more often. The key is that we seek to find God’s healthy balance. That we use our words to speak life and use our words for good, not to destroy our husbands.
I need to allow the Holy Spirit to control my tongue. I need God’s help so I seek to avoid sinning verbally against my husband. I want to stop criticizing, speaking negatively, bossing him around, giving unsolicited advice, insulting him, etc… This is not so that I will “have no power” in the relationship, but simply so that I honor the Lord and stop tearing my husband down.
This doesn’t mean I should never share my feelings. I DO need to share my feelings, thoughts, and concerns at appropriate times. Thankfully, I can learn to do this in respectful ways. I want to be thoughtful and prayerful about what is helpful to share and what would not be helpful. In time, as my husband heals and feels safer with me, most likely, he will begin to care a lot more about my feelings when he sees that I respect his feelings.
Greg and I experienced this same kind of healing in our relationship as I allowed God to help me stop hurtful words and learned to give him more space, too.
A NEW CHAPTER FOR US
Over the past year things changed completely and have been steadily getting better and better. The thing that helped me over the past year was again me realizing that my purpose is to be my husband’s helpmeet, not to try to lead him or our family.
This perspective launched our family into new territory and brought so many blessings. My husband had been wanting to move closer to where his work has been over the past 4 years, and I always objected to moving because I liked our house and town.
But last year, I saw that it was not my place to make that final decision, so I followed my husband’s lead and we moved to a new state, a new town, and a new house that is so much more spacious and better meets our needs. My husband also encouraged me to take a leap of faith and pull my son back out of public school, take him off his ADHD meds, and let him learn in a natural way and in our natural environment.
It has been the best year of our lives!
A SOURCE OF MUCH OF MY DIFFICULTY
After SO MANY years of struggling, heartbreak, and me feeling like things were hopeless, I discovered the most amazing thing to help me better cope with life and my emotions —- SLEEP!
For years I would set my alarm to wake up at 4:00am and stay continually sleep-deprived. Last year, I finally decided this was hurting me, so I let my body adjust into it’s natural sleep cycle and I wake up whenever my body wakes me up. (Now that my son is not in public school, we are free to do this.) I have never felt more alive and well balanced in my life! I had been putting so many unnecessary expectations on myself for so long, and finally, when I let nature have it’s way, I found out that I was missing out on so many things.
I now have full energy every day, and I have been able to re-engage with all of my interests that I put aside for lack of energy over those years. I got into a regular exercise routine and have even been getting back into touch with my creative side by doing art classes at the library and making scrap books. I regret wasting so much time focusing on minor issues and problems that seemed unsolvable, all while letting my life pass me by while I sat in a state of utter misery!
THINGS I HAVE BEEN LEARNING
My husband has had a porn addiction since he was a young teenager. I didn’t know how to deal with this, and it has been a major battle in our marriage. But almost a year ago, I came across a FREE and amazing program for wives** who are married to porn addicts, that helps women learn how to understand the addiction, how to support their husbands in recovery, and how to take care of themselves in the meantime.
I learned so many amazing things:
My worth doesn’t come from my husbands actions, but rather, I have worth simply because God made me and I am His child.
To separate my husband’s (and other people’s) actions from my self-worth and in turn have been so much happier. Things that used to send me off an emotional cliff now have little power over me.
To focus on my own well-being and my own actions instead of looking to my husband to make me feel any kind of way.
I studied the brain science behind all of that, and have found significant evidence that what we think about truly impacts how we feel, and it all stems back to the brain chemicals that our body releases when we think a thought.
When we have good thoughts, we feel good.
When we have bad ones, we feel bad.
It is simple, yet life changing when you apply the information.
So this is where I am! I am happy, thankful, blessed. I am healthy and living life to the fullest with my husband and son.
MY HUSBAND HAS BEEN CHANGING, TOO!
Many wives will wonder—has my husband changed at all over these three years?
My husband has learned to get a grip on his own emotions and has learned to hear my point of view. He now gives me the freedom to be who I really am. We hardly argue anymore (and it’s been over a year so I know it’s not just for a short amount of time). My husband has been able to relax more in my presence, and open up about his own struggles and frustrations in life.
We have had many good memories over the past year. He is more willing to spend his free time with my son and me and has showered me with little gifts and things to show his love and appreciation for me.
But has his basic personality changed?
Not really. He is still very quiet, to himself, introverted, not needing much affection or even attention.
But I changed by learning to accept who he is, and finding my own ways to get my own needs met. I stay engaged in my own activities, and focus on my responsibilities, and do things that I enjoy in life. Then I feel fulfilled whether he is meeting my needs or not.
Once I let go of trying to make things be the way I thought they should be, and instead focused on the things I could change (my own habits, time management, choices, etc.), things have only been getting better.
I feel balanced emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I rest in the fact that Jesus died for me, and that He has been working in me all these years for good. I have nothing to worry about. I am blessed. I am thankful.
I pray this update blesses you, and maybe many others! 🙂 Sending love your way!
**Curethecraving.comhas a page for wives. You sign up with your email and start receiving a weekly recorded call that you can listen to from your phone or computer, and it takes you through so many amazing steps to find healing and balance in your own life! I owe all these good changes to this program. The couple who do the program are Christians as well.
(From Peaceful Wife – Note, I have not personally completely examined this resource. Please use prayerful discernment with any teaching material and test to be sure it is biblically sound. Thank you!)
The world equates the word “authority” with abuse, selfishness, narcissism, and tyranny. And the world equates the word “submission” with slavery or a Fifty Shades kind of scenario. This post is not about our culture’s ideas of these words. So let’s leave all of our preconceived notions at the door and see what God really wants to communicate to us.
Note – Please check everything I say against Scripture. My opinions and wisdom mean nothing. Only God’s wisdom and His truth matter.
A Whole New Way of Thinking
As we think about what God means by authority and submission, we can’t forget God’s commands for us all to love Him with all our hearts and to love others selflessly with God’s agape love (the 2 greatest commandments Matt. 22:36-40). We must keep in mind the backdrop of the entire Bible, especially the New Testament and the Gospel.
God’s concepts of authority and submission can’t exist properly in a vacuum apart from the rest of God’s wisdom and Scripture.
Some people act as if the only verses that matter in all of the Bible are the ones about how wives are to honor, respect, and submit to their husbands. They ignore all the verses about how all believers are to relate to God and to all other people with honor and love. They cut out the verses about husbands honoring (1 Pet. 3:7) and cherishing their wives and about how husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her (Eph. 5:25-32). They forget the rest of Scripture and twist the Word of God to suit their selfish, ungodly desires and to abuse and to truly oppress women. This is not heart of the Lord! God hates abuse of all kinds!
Where God’s Concepts of Authority and Submission originated
Authority and submission have always existed in the Godhead and spring from the purest possible love, honor, and mutual respect. God the Father has the position of authority in the relationship. Jesus, the Son, submits to the Father in great humility and love. Then the Father glorifies the Son. Both are God. Both are equal as part of the Godhead but there is no power struggle. There is total unity, cooperation, and oneness.
We are to submit to God in love, faith, obedience, and trust as we follow the example of Jesus as He submitted fully to the will of God for His life.
And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matt. 26:39
This is exactly our calling, to say to Jesus, “Yet not as I will, but as You will.” We can know that He understands what it is like to submit to the authority of God the Father. He is not asking us to do anything He has not done, Himself. And He is willing to give us the power of the Holy Spirit to help us so we can obey, if we belong to Him.
Absolute Authority Belongs to Only One
There is only one Being in the universe who has absolute authority over us as humankind. That is Almighty God.
He is the Creator. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. We owe Him all worship, obedience, trust, faith, and submission. But He is not a tyrant. He doesn’t demand our obedience and submission. He wants people to love Him voluntarily because He knows that forced love is not love at all and forced submission is slavery, not real reverence and devotion.
He gives us free will to choose to love and submit to Him or to rebel.
He isn’t capable of evil or selfishness. He is completely loving, kind, and good. He has all wisdom, knowledge, and power. And He is holy, perfect, sinless, and just. He must punish sin. He can’t tolerate any sin in His presence at all.
If we choose to love, honor, and obey the Lord, we benefit in countless ways. If we choose to rebel against the Lord, we will suffer. But He doesn’t force us to love Him. He doesn’t force us to submit. There is no coercion or abuse on His part toward us. Submission must be voluntary. Yes, it is a command, but we choose it out of love and reverence for God.
In God’s economy, all people are called to a life of submission to His authority because He, alone, is LORD.
Absolute submission to the Lordship of God is His command and His will for each of us. No human, who is able to understand, is exempt. There is no discrimination. We are each to live a life of willing submission to Christ. That is what Christianity is! We receive the free gift of salvation Jesus offers to us by His finished work on the cross and through the resurrection on our behalf. And we acknowledge that Christ is LORD. Our Lord.
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9-10
If Christ is LORD, we must submit to Him!
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?“ Luke 6:46
There will be a day in the future when the time for us to willingly submit is over. On that day “every knee will bow” and “every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” Phil. 2:10-11.
It is critical to remember that no human is worthy of our complete and total obedience and submission, only God is. And Jesus is God in the flesh.
Types of Authority
All legitimate authority originates with God because He created all things. We submit ourselves to God-given authority because of our reverence for, love for, gratitude, and obedience to the Lord.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. Rom. 13:1-2
Direct authority – This is the most powerful authority there is.
Indirect/delegated/positional authority – These are people God has placed in positions of leadership. Their authority is limited to the scope defined by God and their authority is supposed to accomplish only the will of God. People can choose to use these positions for good or evil. The goal is that there should be other authorities who can hold someone accountable should someone abuse such a position.
Influential Authority – This is the kind of power a trusted advisor has with a king or ruler. It, too, can be used for much good or much evil. It is God’s will for us to pray for all those in positions of leadership that His will might be done. 1 Tim. 2:1-4
Citizens of a nation – People can vote or voice complaints and concerns. We can make requests and petitions. We can refuse to follow a king or president into sin and we may protest. 1 Kings 12:15
Children – Even children can choose to set a godly example for their unbelieving parents, if that is the situation. By their respect and obedience to their parents, they can witness for Christ to them. Eph. 6:1-2,1 Tim. 4:12
A person with influential authority has the power to influence leaders by words, actions, and especially, by his or her godly, Spirit-filled example.
However, people never have equal authority with God.
There was one angelic being who decided he wanted equal authority with God. His name was Lucifer originally. He was the highest ranking angel in heaven. Now we know him as Satan. His great sin, pride and a desire to be God or to have equality with God, got him cast out of heaven and doomed to eternal punishment.
If someone claims to have equal authority with God, run!
People in positions of delegated authority are to do God’s will, not theirs. They answer to God for what they do. They have no authority to lead people to rebel against God or to sin.
Jesus answered him (Pilate), “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above.” John 19:11
We never put a person’s authority above the authority of God and His Word. Ultimately, we must obey God and seek to please Him.
Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Gal. 1:10
We all have various people in positions of God-given authority in every area of our lives. Different positions of authority affect different areas of my life. A president doesn’t have the same kind of authority over my life that my husband does. And a police officer doesn’t have the same kind of authority that a judge or boss has. Each person in a position of authority has a certain sphere of authority and limits to his/her authority. And if someone abuses his/her position, there are other authorities I can go to for help.
I have authority over my own life, too
I have the authority and responsiblity to choose to love God and obey Him or to rebel against Him and disobey Him. My choices belong to me and I am responsible to God for every thought, word, and deed.
So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Rom. 14:12
And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15
The Biblical Concept of Authority
Check out the definition Jesus uses for authority:
But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matt. 20:25-28
Scripture teaches that godly leaders are to be gentle:
Not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 1 Pet. 5:3
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Col. 3:19
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Eph. 6:4
And masters (or we might say, bosses/managers/supervisors), do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. Eph. 6:9
Jesus announced that those who want to lead and have authority in His kingdom must humble themselves and serve others, loving them, and looking out for what is best for other people. In fact, the entire reason God places people in positions of delegated authority in our lives to protect, shepherd, and provide for us. He gives us leaders to create order and prevent chaos and harm because He loves and cares for us.
People may abuse their positions of God-given leadership. But that is never God’s will.
They answer to Him and He will hold them accountable and responsible for what they do with their authority. And any leader who abuses his/her position of authority should be held accountable by someone in a position of authority here on earth, as well. That is why we have police, government, church leaders, and business leaders.
He lived the perfect life we could not live. He died to pay the massive price for our sins to provide salvation to the world and to give us the chance to be right with God. He used His great strength to rescue us in our weakness. John 17:1-3
He gave His authority to His followers to bring many more people into the family and kingdom of God. Matt. 28:17-19
He overcame Satan, sin, and death on our behalf. He reversed the curse. He opened the doors to heaven for us. He defeated Satan and his demons in an eternal victory on the cross and through the resurrection. 1 Cor. 15:23-25
Jesus set the example for us about how anyone in His kingdom should use the authority He gives them to love and serve others selflessly and humbly. There is no room for pride in Jesus’ kingdom. Pride and self have to die!
The New Testament Greek word is hupotasso, which means “to put under or arrange under.” It is a military word that refers to lower-ranking soldiers arranging themselves under the orders of higher officers.Submission, then, comes from an acknowledgment of proper order and authority.
The military uses the chain of command to streamline their power and to accomplish their mission quickly and efficiently to protect the nation, defeat the enemy, and help the people. The chain of command in the Christian kingdom does the same thing!
Submission in the military and in Christ’s kingdom don’t make individuals weak. They make the kingdom strong!
God generally accomplishes His purposes and His will by leading us through established human authority just as He did with Israel and the leadership of Moses, Joshua, David, and others. In the New Testament, He led His people through Scripture, the Holy Spirit, and the Apostles and church leaders. If we truly desire to live in the center of God’s will, we need to honor His methods.
As believers in Christ, we are to submit to the Lord but not ever to sin or to Satan. We have been set free from slavery to sin and to the enemy of our souls! We are to submit to people in positions of God-given leadership in our lives, but we are never to follow leaders, or even our own hearts, into sin or rebellion against God.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
If a leader does ask us to clearly sin against God, we must respectfully refuse to do what the person asks and obey God alone. Some examples in Scripture of people who had to respectfully not follow a human leader’s sinful instruction include: Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Jeremiah, the apostles, and others.
Submission is not just for Christian wives. It is for all of us in every sphere of our lives.
We are all to seek to honor and cooperate with people in positions of delegated authority in our lives out of reverence for the authority of God as we yield in absolute submission to Christ as LORD of all.
Through submission to the Lord and His ways, we work together with Him to accomplish His purposes, bring people to Christ, make disciples, bring glory to His Name, and further His kingdom on earth!
Vacations are supposed to be a fun time of relaxation with our families, a time when we make beautiful memories to cherish forever. Unfortunately, it’s easy for a vacation to become stressful and anything but peaceful.
How is it that a wonderful trip together can often bring out our worst?
Thankfully, as women who know Jesus, we have access to the Holy Spirit and the spiritual abundance of Christ all the time.
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus. Col. 3:17 NLT
Here are some tips I have learned about vacation issues to help you build up your marriage and family. (They may even come in handy at home, too!)
10 Peaceful Wife Vacation Tips
Share what you would like to do with your husband in a friendly, polite, non-pressuring way.
Keep in mind that the way you approach your husband is your powerful example to your children of how you want them to approach you, your husband, and other people in positions of authority in their lives.
If you have to sin in order to get what you want, whatever you wanted is not going to be worth it in the end. (Gal. 5:16)
Don’t let the vacation become more important to you than pleasing Christ or more important than your marriage or family relationships. Even a vacation can become an idol if we are not careful (something that we desire more than we desire Jesus).
Treat your husband with honor and respect because this honors the Lord. (Rom. 12:10, Eph. 5:33)
This may end up being your favorite trip, ever! Who knows? If you have an adventurous spirit and are open to receiving the experience he wants to share, it could bless your marriage and family.
If he asks you to do something you are seriously unable to do or that completely terrifies you, it is important to respectfully share your fears and concerns. If he wants to go to an amusement park he thinks the kids will enjoy, but you get motion sickness, you don’t have to ride the rides. You could say something like, “I can’t ride anything, but I am happy to go with you and enjoy watching you and the kids have fun.”
(Note – if you or your children are not safe in your marriage, please get experienced, trusted help ASAP! And if your husband or children are not safe with you, please get help for yourself ASAP!)
Keep things in perspective.
Each person’s desires, ideas, and preferences about a trip are important. Both spouses want and need to feel heard and to know that they each have a voice.
But it’s critical to remember that the marriage covenant and how you treat each other is much more important in God’s eyes than where you go and what you do for a few days. (Matt. 22:46-40, 1 Cor. 13:4-6)
You have tons of influence and power as a wife/mom to make or break the entire trip because you are the precious heart of the family. You are like the thermostat and you generally get to set the emotional temperature for everyone.
The way we treat others, including our family members, is the litmus test God uses for our love for Him. We treat others with love because God loves us and we love Him. (Matt. 25:40, 1 John 4:19-21)
Pray for yourself, your family, and those around you.
Don’t take a vacation from a strong prayer life or from time with the Lord and His Word when you are on a trip. Write in your prayer journal. Set aside some time, even when you are waiting in lines to pray God’s blessing, favor, and promises over your husband, your children, those around you, the city (and state and country) where you are visiting, and yourself. (1 Thess. 5:17) Meditate on Scripture. Set your mind on praising and thanking God. Confess any sins right away to Him.
Invite God to do miracles and amazing things in your every day life and all around you – at home and away. He is always with you and always ready to accomplish His good purposes in your life. (Heb. 13:5, Rom. 8:28-29)
Things don’t always go as planned. That is just how this life is sometimes. Your response is often more important than the problems that come up. With Jesus, you can choose to respond with grace, understanding, love, kindness, joy, and peace.
If you can’t go on a trip this year, decide to make amazing memories at home. Great family memories don’t have to be expensive! And they don’t have to be out-of-town, even. A trip is a luxury, not a right or necessity.
Be ready to think of the detours and obstacles as an adventure to share together. God may have an amazing blessing to give you through something that seems bad, at first, no matter where you are.
If a really difficult trial arises, turn to the Lord in faith and trust and thank Him that He is with you. Ask Him to be glorified even in the midst of the trial. (James 1:2-4)
Maintain a sense of humor and fun.
If your flight gets delayed, a storm comes, plans change, or someone gets sick or injured (and it is not major), see if you can find some fun even in the problems. It may be that this situation becomes a treasured family story that you will all look back on and enjoy… eventually.
A great sense of humor, especilaly when it is shared together, can smooth over a lot of rough patches.
Going through trials and problems can be really bonding if you have the right attitude.
Ask God to empower you to be a blessing to your husband and kids.
Be aware of moments to share God’s love with your husband, children, and those around you.
As believers in Christ, we are always on mission wherever we go. (Matt. 28:19)
Invite God to show you opportunities to be to share the gospel, share part of your testimony, or to be the mouth, hands, and feet of Christ to strangers around you.
Yes, even in the airport, at a rest stop, in the theme park, or on the street of a major city.
Maybe you can take fresh to-go cups of ice-cold drinks out to some homeless people right outside of the restaurant where you eat lunch, if your husband is on board with it.
Who knows what a blessing you and your family could be?
Also be on the lookout for opportunities to demonstrate God’s love and grace to your husband and family.
Maybe you can use time in a long line to sing a praise song to the Lord, (in a way that is respectful of others around you). Or maybe you can use waiting time to read or listen to God’s Word alone or with your husband or children. Or you can ask everyone to name things they are thankful for or to share their favorite parts of the trip so far. Even the times of waiting can be a blessing if you have a wonderful attitude.
Maybe you and your husband would be excited to do a family mission trip for vacation? There are organizations that can help provide opportunities for this. Imagine the joy of sharing Christ with others together as a family!
If everyone is getting tired or grumpy, invite God to give you and your husband His Spirit for strength, patience, wisdom, and discernment.
Your good attitude may just be contagious.
Try not to over schedule yourselves. Rushing and hurrying adds so much stress! It is impossible to enjoy things when you are in a huge hurry. The bigger the rush, the more tempting it will be to snap at each other and be irritated. No one needs that!
Recognize each family member’s limits and seek to accomodate them wisely.
Ultimately, remember that the people you love are more important than the plans and schedule.
Life is way too short to get upset over little things that ultimately won’t really matter.
Carry a sense of wonder with you.
Notice the little beautiful moments.
The glorious sunset.
The butterfly on a flower nearby.
The laughter of children.
The lightning bugs blinking in synchronization in the apple orchard at night.
The grandeur of the mountains.
The vastness of the ocean and the rhythm of the waves.
The creativity of an architect, artist, or designer and what a gift God has given each of us to be able to be creative as a reflection of His ability to create.
A theme in a story or show that conveys biblical truth.
Think and talk about how amazing the Creator of the universe is. (Gen. 1:1)
Appreciate your senses, your husband, your family, and each experience.
Stay in the moment. Put the phone away sometimes. Savor this time together. Be fully present and with your husband and children.
Enjoy each moment to the fullest, even if it is not perfect.
Be open to the spiritual treasures the Lord may want to share with you each day wherever you may be.
What tips do you have to help other wives and moms be peaceful on vacation? We’d love to hear the wisdom God has shown you!
Today Greg and I celebrate 25 years of being Mr. and Mrs. Greg Cassidy!
We had dated for almost 6 years from the time I was 15 and Greg was 16. I thought we were SO ready to be a godly husband and wife. In fact, I thought we were much better prepared than just about anyone else ever had been. We weren’t going to have conflict or problems like all those other people. Marriage wasn’t going to be hard for us at all!
The wedding went off without a hitch. It was perfect! Greg’s dad was our officiating pastor. My sister was my maid of honor. Greg’s brother was his best man. We each had six other attendants. The music was beautiful. The food was amazing at the reception. Three hundred-fifty people packed into the church to celebrate with us on that hot and humid South Carolina afternoon. Everything was like a fairy tale.
The first three days of our marriage were glorious. The honeymoon was everything I had hoped and imagined it would be!
But you know what the Bible says about pride, right?
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Prov. 16:18
Yep. It took all of about one week of marriage before things began to get really hard. I was completely unprepared and shocked. I didn’t understand the primary purpose of marriage in those early years. And I didn’t have many tools to help me deal with so many problems and difficulties. I thought I trusted the Lord. I had received Christ as my Savior at the age of five. I knew tons of verses by memory. I only listened to Christian music. But I didn’t know how to live out my faith in real life. I was operating in my own strength, not God’s.
Today, I am grateful for everything. The good times and the hard times.
It was through the problems we experienced in the first 14 years of our marriage that God opened my eyes to my profound need for Him in ways I had never appreciated or understood before. I am forever in the Lord’s debt for this!
He showed me that the real test of my faith was the fruit of my life. He opened my eyes to see that the fruit of my life was not the fruit of His Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. I wanted to be all of those things and to have all of those things but I was lonely, miserable, and frustrated. I didn’t know how to get where I wanted to be. I assumed it was all Greg’s fault and that he needed to fix it. He needed to make me happy and do everything I wanted him to do. Then my life would be wonderful.
We were in a big old mess. If the Lord didn’t intervene 10 and 1/2 years ago, we would not be where we are today. I have no doubt, without God’s help, we would be in a much bigger mess by now, and our children, too. The road we were travelling down was destructive and toxic for all of us.
He opened my eyes first and pulled me out of that nasty pit. For the first time ever, I saw the enormity of my own sin (the ways I fell short of God’s holy standard of perfection – Rom. 3:23). I mourned over my spiritual condition in mortification and horror (Matt. 5:4). Then I stopped demanding that God change my husband and began begging Him to change me.
He set me free from the lies, messed-up thinking, and chains that were choking me. Slowly, the Lord began to heal me first. Then, over the years, He worked in Greg and started to heal our marriage. How can I ever give Jesus enough praise and glory for these miracles?! 🎉
I am thankful today.
Thankful for God’s grace for us.
Thankful for Him illuminating His wisdom for us in our marriage.
Thankful for His Word.
Thankful for His Spirit.
Thankful for His promises.
Thankful for His faithfulness.
Thankful for His beautiful design for men, women, marriage, and families.
Thankful that, in Christ, we don’t have to continue on and on living as slaves to habitual sin.
I want everyone to get to experience the salvation, healing, and abundant spiritual life Jesus provides! That is the greatest desire of my heart! He is the only source of real peace, joy, fulfillment, and contentment. Not a husband. Not marriage. Not children. Not romance. Not earthly happiness. Not religious rules or rituals. Some of these things are good things. But without the Prince of Peace, Jesus, being on the throne of my heart, they will all leave me empty.
When we are walking and living in right relationship with Him, He transforms our hearts, minds, and souls. He pours His healing power through us and changes our desires, thinking, and the way we interact with others so that we can become more and more of a blessing to everyone around us. Not because of our own wisdom, strength, or goodness, but because of His Spirit and His Word working in us.
We will still have to deal with the sinful nature as long as we are on this earth, but in the power of Jesus, He can help us to crucify our old self and we have the ablity to choose each moment to yield to Him so that He can help us live in the power of our new nature, the Holy Spirit. As long as we live on earth, the Lord will continue to refine, prune, and purify us. He will humble us and help us grow spiritually as we trust Him, love Him, and seek Him wholeheartedly. Then, one day in heaven, we will be glorified with Him and completely set free from any influence from our sinful nature and temptation. What a wonderful day that will be!
Jesus is truly the key!
Anything good in me is totally from Him.
I am amazed that 25 years have sped by so quickly already. My prayer is,
“May God be greatly glorified in each of our lives, in our marriage, and in our children’s lives! May our marriage point people to the Gospel and to Christ Jesus!”
I pray the same for each of you, precious sisters and friends!
Good news, we finally finished working on Greg’s parents’ house to get it ready to sell and just put it on the market this past week! We praise God for this! My prayer is that this home might be a wonderful blessing to a new family and that they will make many memories to cherish there for many years to come.
I’m still enjoying my new job with my brother and my parents. They are thrilled I am there. I am ecstatic to be there. I know I am where I need to be. I still have a LOT to learn, of course. But hopefully I will grow to be more and more useful. I want to be a blessing to them, my coworkers, and our customers.
I am adjusting to my new schedule and increase in work hours pretty well. The kids and I have a new balance for the chores and priorities at home. They are taking on additional responsibilities as they are definitely old enough to do so and very capable.
Our son, our daughter, and myself are each experiencing several medical issues. Some could involve potential surgery. So we are praying for wisdom in dealing with these things.
We have had some additional trials recently about which I can’t elaborate right now. Thankfully, they have been much smaller than the issues we faced last year. The bigger trials really put the smaller ones in proper perspective!
I continue to pray and seek the Lord for His direction and vision for me for ministry moving forward. Things have been rather crazy. I’m hoping it will be calming down a bit now with one house from the estate finished. I know God will show me His path for me as I wait on Him.
I have needed some extra time to allow the Lord to restore my soul and to help me tend to my family in this season. Thank you for your patience, love, encouragement, and support!
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
More Good Things to Come
We have so much more to learn, and we will keep learning every day as long as we are on this earth. I’m excited to see the adventure that is to come.
Can’t wait to see all that the Lord has in store for each of us as we continue this journey together!
This past year has been the most difficult and painful of our lives.But God is STILL VERY GOOD! He is with us and He is able to take all of the good and bad and use it for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory (Rom. 8:28-29), in fact, that is His promise to us as believers in Christ. Check out the principles we have learned from Scripture to help us in the midst of problems and difficulty.
A guest post by one of my readers, Cheryl. I’m so thankful she is willing to share some of the things she has learned on the tough road she and her husband and family have shared. Honestly, they are pearls of wisdom for all of us!
As we sat in our car in the medical parking lot, somewhat numb and in shock, we wondered what God was doing. We had just been told our 7 month-old son had Lissencephaly. We had no idea what to expect. Married just under 3 years, we had already experienced the birth of our first-born son, the still-born birth of his twin brother, and numerous hospital stays – all before our first anniversary.
Now what was God doing? Didn’t He know we couldn’t do this?
What about our hopes, our dreams? What now? So many questions and no answers, except to trust the One who knew them. We had vowed we would stay together and persevere, no matter what life brought our way. It is this commitment and a gracious, merciful and faithful God that has carried us through.
Fast forward five years and our family now consisted of four boys; our youngest, also diagnosed with Lissencephaly. Our lives revolved around therapies, IEP’s, school and government paperwork, doctor’s appointments and seizure management – along with work, school and church activities. We did our best to keep up, to be the best parents we could be to all our sons. And, life went on.
Our marriage often took a back seat.
Although we did attend a few marriage conferences and took a few weekend getaways and short vacations, bitterness, anger and isolation was creeping in, unseen, ignored and left to grow. What I started realizing around 23 years of marriage, was that I had baggage that needed to be addressed. I had bitterness. I had attitudes that needed adjusting and a heart that needed to be changed. A lot of pain and subsequent consequences could’ve been avoided had I chosen to heed the early warning signs.
With this in mind, may I share with you some of the lessons God has been teaching me the past couple of years while in His loving refining room?
Abiding in Christ: Growth, peace and contentment in my personal life and marriage begins and ends with abiding in Christ. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. This means staying close to my Shepherd, getting to know Him, loving Him, trusting Him, obeying Him.
Obedience: I am learning that my obedience and yielding to Christ, or lack there-of, affects not only my ability to know Him, to hear His voice, to see His work in my life and to be used by Him, but also affects my relationships, my marriage, my attitudes, my peace of mind and my heart. In the midst of all the demands and responsibilities that come along with being a mom of boys with special needs, I oftentimes put obeying God on the back burner. I neglected my time with Him. I didn’t guard my heart, my words, my thoughts, or my actions – especially in my marriage. I took my marriage and husband for granted, failing to realize the gradual erosion taking place.
Address Issues Early: Looking back, I wish my husband and I would’ve worked through our baggage, couple issues, and differences in the early years of our marriage. Although, it would’ve been difficult finding childcare (as is often the case due to high medical needs and challenges), and expensive to see a counselor, we probably would’ve avoided pain and pitfalls down the road.
Thankfulness: God is teaching me that a thankful heart and attitude keeps bitterness and a sour attitude from nesting in my heart. If I keep fixated on what my boys can’t do, what they are missing out on, and what my husband and I are missing out on, then, not only do I grow bitter, but, I can become depressed and lose hope. Finding reasons to thank God each day helps me keep an eternal perspective, see God’s blessings in our lives and helps keep me abiding in Him.
Mentors:This can be a lonely and isolating life. I’ve learned that the Christian life isn’t meant to be either. We need Christian mentors in our lives; older, wiser women as well as older, more experienced couples. It’s hard to reach out and invest the time and energy necessary for close friendships amid all the on-going responsibilities that come with the special needs territory, but it is well worth it! Years ago, God brought an older, wiser woman of God into my life who has walked with me through many seasons, mountaintops and valleys, joys and sorrows. She offers encouragement, a listening ear, wisdom, truth and perspective. My husband and I are also in a couple’s small group Bible study. Getting there isn’t always easy or convenient and requires sacrifice on our part; but, we receive encouragement and accountability in our marriage, and the opportunity to encourage and minister to other couples.
Reaching Out in Ministry: God is helping me to reach out and use my gifts to help others. This is a toughie as we SN (special needs) moms just don’t have a lot of extra time to devote to long-term, even short-term ministry. For many years, I was involved in music ministry. It worked well as it was flexible and allowed me the opportunities to use my gifts and talents for the kingdom. God has changed my direction somewhat the past few years, stretching me in undeveloped areas and giving me many smaller opportunities to serve others. I’m learning to look for these opportunities daily and though they are often small acts, others are encouraged and blessed, and so am I.
God’s Word/Hope: God’s Word, His truths and promises, sustain me and help keep my eyes on Him. Meditating on and memorizing Scripture is not an easy discipline for me, but the verses I’ve learned are readily available when I need them the most. Lately, these two verses on hope have really encouraged me.
“[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it–a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil.” Hebrews 6:19 AMPC
“Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!” Romans 15:13 TPT
We praise You as Creator. You formed us and knit us together just the way You wanted. We are fearfully and wonderfully made! Forgive us for our impatience, selfishness and reluctance to trust You. We pray for strength and stamina through sleepless nights and long days. Give us friends who can encourage us and give us relief when our nerves are frayed. And, give us hope when everything seems dark. We look forward to the great reward of someday seeing our special children, specially perfect!
What struggles and trials have you gone through in your marriage, family, career, or life that has brought about a harvest of godly wisdom you feel led to share with us?
Or do you simply need some encouragement and prayer today to help you in the midst of your current trial? Let us know so we can pray with you.
Also, if you have a testimony you’d like to share for a post on any topic, I’d love to read it. I’m looking for women’s stories about things God has taught them and how God has changed and healed them through Christ. I prefer articles about 1000-1500 words in length. You may send them to me on my contact page. I’d love to have some guest posts to share especially for the month of April.