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A Season of Spring Cleaning

Photo by Ethan Robertson on Unsplash

mohammad-amiri-239522-unsplashNOTE – The ebook version of The Peaceful Wife is FREE – today only (4-2-18) – at GooglePlay! 🙂

Spring is one of my favorite seasons. A time when all that was dead – or appeared to be dead – begins to awaken. Temperatures grow warmer. Buds and flowers begin to burst forth. Spring seems to be a celebration of resurrection!

It’s also such a wonderful time to do a thorough house-cleaning. When those junky, hidden places have been thoroughly dealt with – everything else is infinitely easier to keep clean, neat, and organized.

To me, a clean, tidy house brings a sense of peace, beauty, and sanctuary.

SOMETIMES SPRING CLEANING BRINGS NASTY SURPRISES

I had noticed a few little oval shaped black bugs on the floor at the bottom of the fridge sometimes for a number of months. Greg and I looked on top of the fridge, behind the fridge, and in the cabinet above the fridge and didn’t see anything a few months ago. So, I didn’t think much about it. I just swept up the little bodies when I saw some on the floor each week. Last week, I was doing a huge purge of the kitchen cabinets and major organizing. As I pulled things out of that cabinet above the refrigerator, I began to see the scope of the real problem.

We had an infestation of tiny bugs – warehouse beetles – apparently. Thousands of them, I would guess. They had made a nest in some dry cat food bags up there! It wasn’t until I really slowed down and began to thoroughly examine things – in the hidden, dark places – that I saw how significant the issue was and where the hidden source was. I threw out every bag of cat food and thoroughly cleaned that cabinet. YUCK!

Spring cleaning is also exactly what God wanted to do in my life over the past two months.

SPIRITUAL SPRING CLEANING IN MY LIFE

First, I had to really slow down. And, WOW, was that hard for me! I tend to want to go 100 mph. I tend to be awful at being still and resting. I felt like I was a freight train trying to come to a sudden stop. It took a good week or so into my break before I really could just be still before God. (Honestly, the Parkland, FL shooting happening on my first day of seeking to rest in the Lord caused me to have to do a lot of spiritual wrestling with fear, probably like a lot of moms of children in public high schools, before I could begin to do the other soul work God had for me.)

For over a week, I sensed:

So I yielded to Him and tried to just rest. No spiritual warfare for anyone – not even myself. No relationship advice-giving to anyone. As God helped me to finally slow way, way down – He gently, lovingly let me know it was time for some serious spring cleaning in my heart.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

He began to show me some yucky stuff that I didn’t realize was thriving in some hidden, dark places in my heart and mind behind closed cabinet doors. Maybe I had seen a few dead bugs at the bottom of the refrigerator, but I hadn’t seen the entire extent and source of the problems before. He showed me that I had been so busy I had developed a:

  • Sense of self-importance, self-effort, and self-reliance – that’s nasty pride.
  • Spirit of hurry and rushing ahead.
  • Tendency to take on more than He was really calling me to carry rather than letting Him do all the heavy lifting.
  • Habit of not having a Sabbath rest from ministry – too much doing and not enough resting.
  • Lack of healthy balance in my priorities.

These things had to go!

I wanted to grow spiritually more than anything. I had asked God to show me what was blocking His Spirit from doing more in my life – and He did! Thank You, Lord! Whew, some parts of the past 7 weeks have been PAINFUL!!!! Like – really painful. But good. And necessary. The kind of pain that leads to healing.

  • I began to praise and thank Him more, longing to yield fully to Him, however and wherever He may lead, holding everything in my life loosely in my hands.
  • I studied more about His holiness in The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges. I was convicted of just how holy God is and how much I want to share in His holiness.
  • I focused on receiving His love, provision, truth, healing, and blessing.
  • I focused on keeping a much slower pace.
  • I spent a lot more time with my family.
  • I went on more walks.
  • I spent more time with God, in prayer, in His Word, and reading/listening to books to feed my soul.
  • I also found I had to replicate a number of steps I had taken early on in my journey as I prayerfully tried to discern the proper balance in various areas in my life. Thankfully, they are coming a bit easier this time. But it still takes some spiritual wrestling, at times, as we are in a spiritual growth spurt and facing new challenges.

God has given me a deeper sense than I have ever experienced before of a number of things like: His peace, His leading, His holiness, His majesty. He has helped me humble myself as I begged him to break anything in me that was not of Him and as I begged Him to refine me and cleanse me to make me holy and pleasing in His sight. He is continuing to help me receive more of Himself, His love, His power, and His transformation in my life. I plan to make some lasting changes to help me keep my own life and spirit more rested and balanced.

I plan to take things slowly and make sure I am following the Lord’s leading and Greg’s leading. I’m excited about what I believe God wants to do here and on my other sites. Please pray with me for God to give me (and Greg) the wisdom we need so that I can do things 100% God’s way and bring Him the most possible glory!

There is always so much to learn and so many blessings to be cherished from our amazing God. What a gift that we can share this road together with each other and the Lord.

CHANGES

My new vision and mission here, along with changes you can expect going forward.

My new commenting policy.

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I have MISSED y’all!!! Thank you for your patience. I’d love to hear what the Lord has been teaching you in the past month or two. Have you been undergoing any spiritual spring-cleaning yourself? I’m working extra today and tomorrow, but I can’t wait to hear all about what God has been doing in your life.

<3

Much love!

Secret Sin Does Not Stay Secret

In God’s mercy and grace, He will often allow it to be exposed eventually if we do not expose it ourselves and repent.

We may think that secret sin doesn’t hurt anyone. But it does. And it will hurt even more people once it is exposed if we try to keep it hidden.

Sin is never worth it!

It will cause us to lose everything that is truly most important.

  • Idolatry (loving, desiring, worshipping, and trusting something or some one else more than God – self, marriage, spouse, children, perfection, beauty, money, romance, control, etc…)
  • pride, self-righteousness, selfishness, self-reliance, self-exaltation, self-importance, false-humility
  • lust, porn use, sexual immorality, sexual abuse
  • drug/alcohol abuse/gluttony/addiction of any kind
  • physical abuse of other people/animals/self
  • emotional/spiritual/verbal abuse of other people, screaming at people, calling them names, insulting them
  • people pleasing, loving with strings attached, being codependent, being needy/clingy
  • giving up personhood, being passive, being a doormat, stuffing negative feelings
  • believing lies about God, others, and/or ourselves
  • lack of self-control, impatience
  • dishonesty
  • stealing, bribery
  • injustice
  • not believing God’s Word, not obeying God’s Word, rebelling against Him, saying the Bible is a bunch of myths or is not true, rejecting the Bible, rejecting the gospel
  • false religion, false teaching
  • abortion, murder, violence
  • hatred, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, rage, malice, racism, prejudice, favoritism
  • disrespect, control
  • rejecting God’s order for government and leadership in the nation, church, business world, and family
  • gossip, slander, betrayal
  • a critical, judgmental spirit
  • a divisive spirit
  • greed, love for money
  • unbelief in God
  • fear, worry, anxiety

It all has to go. Every bit of it.

Sin grieves God’s heart. It destroys other people and our relationships. It destroys us and, left unchecked, always leads to death on multiple levels. This is why God hates sin so much. He loves us and wants us to live abundant spiritual lives in Christ.

If there is some sin you think you have been hiding – from God or from other people – it is time to turn completely away from it to Christ! ASAP! It may be time to confess it to other people, too. Maybe to some strong believers in Christ who can help you figure out what the next step needs to be.

The enemy loves for us to keep dark things hidden away thinking they are secret. It is only when we allow all of the darkest places of our souls to be exposed to God’s blazing Light that we can truly heal in Christ.

Yes, this is super painful, just like scraping a wound that is full of gangrene is excruciating. But – just like debriding that wound to keep the whole body from becoming septic and dying – true repentance is equally necessary and life-saving.

Repenting of all sin is one of the first steps to living in the peace of Christ.

Before we can have a sweeping new Great Awakening in our land, we, the people of God, must be willing to humbly turn away from all of our own sin. It starts with us! Let’s embrace this critical time of purification so that we can begin to pray with power for God’s Spirit to move in miraculous, mighty ways in our nation.

and my people, who bear my name, humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

 

RELATED:

How Does My Personal, Private Sin Affect Others? – www.gotquestions.org

Leave Your Secret Sin Behind Today – www.desiringgod.org

 

The Cure for My Compulsion to Control – Part 2

We are continuing a series that started earlier this month:

Once I see that God is God and I am not and I begin to rebuild my thinking on His Word and truth alone, I am ready to begin the next phase of healing from my controlling ways.

GOD’S TRUTH WILL SET ME FREE IN EVERY AREA

I allow God’s Light and Truth into the the deepest foundations of my spiritual beliefs about every topic. I invite Him to help me completely tear out my old foundations and fixed beliefs that I have cherished for so long. Then I invite the Lord to help me begin to build on Jesus Christ and His Word alone.

  • Anything that is not from Him has no place in my life and has to be trashed. It is poison.
  • Anything that is from Him, I must embrace wholeheartedly even if I don’t understand it or like it at first.

I have to be ruthless about this. And yes, it is painful. But extremely necessary.

This is the path to peace and miraculous spiritual healing and deliverance. If I don’t do this, I will suffer a lot more pain in the long run. This is not a one-time-and-done thing – it is the path I will continue to take for the rest of my life. There are layers that God will reveal to me and I deal with each one as I see it. It is part of the refining and pruning process.

I have to be willing to question the things I have believed – maybe things I have thought were true since I was very young. I need to question the things I learned and absorbed growing up and even as an adult. Just because I have thought something was true for a long time, doesn’t mean it is true. Just because it feels familiar and feels safe, doesn’t mean I can keep it.

It is ALL about Him from now on and about what He says and how He sees me and everyone and everything.

I read my Bible with new eyes, inviting God to:

  • Teach me!
  • Change me!
  • Heal me!
  • Show me Your wisdom!
  • Empower me to obey whatever You ask of me!

I commit that I will obey God and do things His way from now on – with any passage I can clearly understand. And if I don’t understand something in scripture, I will seek to understand and obey. I commit to learning sound doctrine and to handle scripture rightly. Whatever God asks me to do, I know it will be the best thing for me, for my marriage, for my family, for the kingdom, and for His glory. Bringing Him glory is my highest purpose!

For me, the next step in healing was to see God’s design for authority for His people.

GOD DESIGNED A SPECIFIC AUTHORITY STRUCTURE FOR ALL BELIEVERS

Authority

When Christ is Lord, I also yield to His structure of authority in my life according to 1 Cor. 11:3, Rom. 13:1-3, and other scriptures. I don’t buy the world’s messages or trust my own human reasoning.

God chooses to lead me (and all believers) through His Spirit, His Word, prayer, circumstances, and also through people in places of designated authority in my life: church leaders, government leaders, police officers, managers at work, my husband at home, and parents for underaged children. He provides people in leadership positions to protect, provide for, bless, lead, and create order for His people.

Of great importance – in God’s design, positions of authority/roles have nothing to do with a person’s value. This is the opposite of the world’s system where greater authority = greater value.

Every person has equal value in His eyes. Each of us are made in His image (Gen. 1:27). Men, women, different races of people, older people, young people, and babies are all precious and dearly loved by the Lord. We are all co-heirs with Christ (Gal. 3:28). If anything, God has a special place in His heart for those with the least amount of authority – children, babies, the unborn, orphans, widows, refugees, migrants, and the poor. The purpose, in God’s kingdom, for this authority structure is that those who have the most strength and power are supposed to use their gifts to bless, provide for, nurture, and protect those under their care. And those who are in positions to lead are held to higher standards by the Lord.

For more on the concept of God’s structure for authority in every area of our lives, please check out these foundational posts:

I need to know who has the God-given proper authority in various areas of my life.

I know that God has ultimate authority and sovereignty over the universe. Then when I understand what humans are in places of God-given authority and what their responsibilities are vs. what my responsibilities are – I learn to stay within my healthy boundaries and I don’t try to take on authority/decisions that don’t belong to me. If I usurp someone else’s position of God-given authority and try to do someone else’s God-given job or if I disrespect those in positions of God-given authority, I will bring judgment on myself according to Romans 13:1-3.

When I honor God’s design in any area of my life, including this one, it leads to so much weight being taken off of my shoulders and leads to His peace as I trust Him, honor His will for me, and don’t try to control things that are not mine to control. Then I am cooperating with and submitting to God rather than fighting Him. I can’t please Him if I am opposing His methods.

God leads His people through human leaders to teach us to trust Him and to increase our faith. He did it with Moses. Some men rebelled against the authority of Moses during the exodus – and they paid a hefty price (Korah’s rebellion) because:

God counts rebellion against people in positions of God-given authority as rebellion against Himself.

God also led His people in the New Testament through the apostles and then through elders, deacons, pastors, prophets, and teachers. He accomplishes His will through kings, queens, presidents, and governors. He works through our managers and bosses at work. He works through our police officers and military leaders. He works through our husbands – even unbelieving ones – to lead us into His will. And He works through our parents and teachers when we are children.

God always has a clear authority structure for us to follow. It is His choice and part of His wisdom to lead us in this way “through cords of human kindness” (Hosea 11:4). If a person in a position of God-given authority abuses that position or asks us to defy God or His Word, then we must choose to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). We don’t blindly follow people. We must use discernment. We don’t follow people into sin or away from God. God is the only one we can trust absolutely.

God uses our willingness to honor human God-given authorities to help us learn humility – which is one of the most important virtues in His sight – and to grow spiritually. Until we learn to properly submit to a person in authority, we can’t act as a person in authority in godly ways.

Note – I don’t want to allow people to abuse authority in my life and I don’t want to allow other people to take over the decisions and responsibilities that belong to me. If someone in a position of God-given authority is abusing his/her position, there should be other authorities over that person to whom we can respectfully appeal.

BEING IN A POSITION OF GOD-GIVEN AUTHORITY

When I have a position of God-given authority – I am a boss, a government official, a police officer, a teacher, or a parent of underage children – I must humbly always keep in mind that the purpose of God giving me such a position is always to accomplish His will and His purposes. It is not about me. It is about taking proper care of His beloved people and about doing His will. It is about dying to self, not becoming a tyrant.

Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Matt. 20:25-27

 

 

Note – I have a whole chapter in my new book, The Peaceful Mom, that is releasing March 27, 2018 that may be a blessing. It is all about how we develop skewed thinking and how to correct it. There is a very helpful chart with a large number of lies we may be tempted to believe, the truth of the Bible, and scripture references to support those truths.

RELATED

Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced

 

The Cure for My Compulsion to Control – Part 1

Photo by Ashton Mullins on Unsplash

Last week I shared about how we can develop a compulsion to control other people, situations, and the Lord in this post. I thought I “had to try to control” other people and situations. I truly believed it was my responsibility and that everything would be a disaster if I didn’t make sure it all worked out right.

When I try to be in charge of things that are out of my control, I am trying to carry a very heavy weight that I was not designed by God to carry. This leads to extreme stress, frustration, depression, discouragement, anxiety, and a feeling of being completely overwhelmed. It is not the path to peace.

THE CURE FOR MY COMPULSION TO CONTROL IS VERY SIMPLE

meinchargeI need to have proper thinking about God, events, other people, and myself. I need truth.

In my old way of looking at things – subconsciously – I saw myself as very big and God and other people as rather small and mostly within my sphere of control. I would never have articulated it like that – because it sounds audacious. But this is how I lived. You could see it in the fruit of my life.

I am not saying it is painless or necessarily “easy” to give up control – but it IS simple when I see the differences between:

  • God’s responsibilities
  • Other people’s responsibilities
  • My responsibilities

Here is reality:

Goddiagram

 

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Ps. 8:3-4

When I understand who God is and the place of people in the universe, then I can begin to properly relate to God, people, and myself.

THE TRUTH

  • God alone is God, I am definitely not God. Not even close.
  • God sent Jesus, His Son, to be the only Savior people need. I am not a savior.
  • God’s Spirit is the only one who can open blind eyes and convict people of sin. Not me.
  • God sits on the throne in the highest heavens. Every knee will bow to Him alone.
  • God has put all authority under Jesus’ feet.
  • Angels bow down to God, even the demons believe and tremble.
  • God alone is worthy of worship. I am not.
  • God reigns over the universe. I do not.
  • God has all power and all wisdom. I do not.
  • God loves me, and all people, very dearly because He IS love.
  • I have value because God loves me and I am created in His image.
  • My purpose is to love and obey God and bring Him glory – and to love others with God’s love pouring through me.

I can influence God, people, and circumstances to a degree, for bad, or for good (if I allow God to work through me). But I can only control myself – my attitude, my motives, my sin, my responses to others, my words, and my actions. And even then, I can only control myself in a healthy way with the power of the Spirit.

Just to recap, my actual responsibilities are to:

  • Control myself with God’s power.
  • Love, obey, and worship God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength – which brings glory to Him.
  • Love others with God’s love.

God3

 

I can be set free from my illusion of control. And that is definitely all it was – an illusion.

God’s truth truly does set me free! I can repent from my pride – my huge pride – thinking I was so big and important. And humbly receive God’s truth. What freedom!!!! I seek only to control the things that are truly mine and I trust God with circumstances and other people.

GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AND WILL

Within God’s sovereignty is His permissive will and His perfect will. God’s permissive will is larger and accounts for people’s free will, their sin, the effects/consequences of sin, and Satan and his influence. But all of these things operate in the confines of God’s sovereignty and only what He allows can happen. And He uses all that does happen ultimately for His glory and for the ultimate good of those who love Him – to help conform us to the image of Christ.

He doesn’t make choices for us or violate our free-will. That is a good reminder for me that it is not my place to violate other people’s free-will either. God wants us, more than anything, to have the choice to voluntarily love Him or to reject Him. People need that choice in their relationships with me, too. The price of our free-will is very high. For us and for God. We experience earthly and eternal consequences of our choices. But we can never fall outside of His sovereignty and even Satan can never do anything without God’s permission. 

freewill3Godsperfectwill

This is how, in Christ, His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He does the heavy lifting. He takes responsibility for the big stuff.

THE FIRST STEP ON THE PATH TOWARD PEACE

I can step down off of the throne of my life and invite Jesus to reign as Lord over every part of my life.

This means total, humble, absolute surrender to Him, His will, and His control. I hold nothing back from Him.

This feels pretty terrifying at first because I have only really trusted myself before. But as I taste and see that God is good, I begin to realize He is much better at being deity than I ever could be and He is trustworthy. Infinitely more trustworthy than I am! He is the only one who is truly worthy of all of my faith, obedience, and submission. I also begin to realize that trusting Him is wise and safe and trusting myself is the most dangerous place to be.

NOTE – Don’t just take my word for anything. Dig into the Bible yourself. Find out what God’s Word has to say about these important issues and choose to build your life on Christ and the Solid Rock of His Word!

RELATED

How to Have a Relationship with Christ

The Spiritual Healing That Is Available to Each of Us in Christ – by Radiant

7 Keys to Finding Real Peace

Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced

The Pain That Pushes Us to Control

Surrendering the Burden of Controlling My Husband – by Shannon Popkin

 

RESOURCES ABOUT GOD, HIS CHARACTER, PEOPLE, AND FREE WILL

The Attributes of God – by www.gotquestions.org

“Who Is God?” – Secret Church series by David Platt

In the Image of God – by John Piper

A Beginner’s Guide to Free-Will – by John Piper

 

RELATING PROPERLY TO GOD

Humility – by Andrew Murray

Absolute Surrender – by Andrew Murray (free download or audio version)

 

A Young Wife Seeks to Honor Her Husband, Not Prosecute Him

Photo by andrew welch on Unsplash

A guest post from a young, Christian wife in response to last week’s post:

I have had a major problem with (acting like my husband’s prosecuting attorney) and continue to if I am not careful. I’ve been married only three short years and I’ve followed this blog very closely. It was, and continues to be, a blessing as I continue to walk with my husband in our very early stages of marriage. As I’ve continued on in this journey there are a couple of things that I’ve found to be helpful that I would like to share in case it helps anyone else.

TWO KEYS I HAVE FOUND

What I’ve found to be extremely helpful is studying and memorizing the specific scriptures about what God wills for wives in relation to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-33) and then asking God to do two things:

1) To allow me to understand in a practical way what these particular scriptures mean and how they can be applied to my life in a practical way, for day to day living. I pray in faith and believe that He will guide me, even in the midst of a situation. The Bible states:

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. (James 1:5-8)

2) That GOD work a respectful, submissive attitude into my heart. Though we may DESIRE to respect our husbands, we cannot walk this out in our own flesh! This is a biggie. We can do nothing apart from Christ (John 15:5). It will take His spirit to actually complete His will. Romans 7:21-25 states:

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

DEALING WITH DEFEAT

I know we may have times in which we gave the Devil a little more of a foothold than we ought have (Ephesians 4:26). I have beaten myself up and often given up because I’ve felt so defeated.

When I dwell in my sin I feel more and more defeated and wonder why I even try.

But most recently, I’ve tried simply asking God for forgiveness and asking Him to show me how to handle it more respectfully the next time. When the next time rolls around (sometimes within the same our, or even within seconds!) I wait expectantly for the Lord, remembering His commands and trusting He will give me the strength to carry out His will:

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me. (Philippians 4:13)

A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON RESPECT

One more thing. I am an elementary school teacher. I thought about my authoritative role as a teacher and how utterly disrespected I’d feel if one of my students said or acted towards me the way I often act towards my husband. It would be completely untolerated and it would be inappropriate.

In the same way, I thought about my own boss (the principal). Would I walk up to my boss and say and behave the way I behave with my own husband with him/her? Of course not! I’d know I’d be fired and it would be completely disrespectful to behave that way in the first place.

It’s interesting that regardless of our understanding on how to respect parents, teachers, bosses, etc… we fail to see the importance of giving our husbands the exact same respect and to follow their leadership. We will behave respectfully towards our bosses and others we see as authoritative (as we should) but our husbands we disrespect right in the face of God.

It stings as I write this, because I am so guilty of all of this. But it’s still something I wanted to share as God continues His work in my life.

FROM PEACEFUL WIFE

Honestly, even if I had treated my co-workers or patients the way I treated my husband in the past, it would have been totally inappropriate and disrespectful. As believers, we are to treat all people with dignity, respect, and honor. And all the more so when it is someone in a position of God-given leadership in our lives.

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What kinds of things has the Lord shown you on this journey to become a peaceful wife? Are there areas where you are struggling and you would like to talk about things?

Much love!

RELATED

The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord – There is a chapter on disrespect, one on respect, one about submission to Christ as Lord, a chapter on God’s design for submission in marriage (what it is and what it is not), dealing with conflict, asking for things respectfully, etc… This was the book I needed desperately 9 years ago when I first began this journey.

Spiritual Authority Basics – for all believers in Christ relating to how we treat those in positions of God-given leadership

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected and Unloved

What Is Disrespectful to Husbands?

Posts about what biblical submission is and is not

What Is Respect in Marriage?

23 Signs Your Husband Is Beginning to Trust You Again

25 Ways to Be a Safe Place for Your Husband Emotionally

Do You Think Women Are Always to Blame for Marriage Problems?

Why Do I Have to Change First?

Am I Too Quiet with My Husband?

The past two Mondays, we have examined the topics, “Am I Too Chatty with My Husband?” and “What Do I Do with My Desire for More Verbal/Emotional Connection?” For some of us, we struggle with talking too much. Others of us struggle with not wanting to talk to the point that our silence is deafening and not healthy for our marriages. Some of us try to correct one imbalance and overshoot  and end up on the other side of the pendulum for awhile and just keep swinging back and forth between the two. I have done that.

Today, let’s tackle the issue of times when we may be too quiet and examine the heart issues that may be going on behind the scenes. It’s helpful to do a motive-check with the help of the Light of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Prov. 8:21

WHY DO I WANT TO BE QUIET?

Some Not-So-Productive Reasons to Be Quiet

If these issues are going on, I may want to spend some time with the Lord to deal with my spiritual issues so that I am not hiding from God or from my husband. If things are severe, I may need to reach out to a trusted godly counselor or female mentor.

Some Reasons That Require Godly Discernment – talking may be wise, or being silent may be wise

Some Good Reasons to Be Quiet

  • Talking a lot is exhausting for me – it is just my personality.
  • I want to avoid talking too much out of humility and a desire to honor the Lord with using my words carefully to only speak Life.
  • My husband is not a believer (or is far from the Lord) so I want to focus on 1 Peter 3:1-6 to “win him without a word” and not preach, lecture, nag, or explain too much about spiritual things but set a godly example by my attitude and actions.
  • I am seeking to give him the gift of respectful space that I know he would appreciate.
  • He doesn’t want me to talk too much or he is in a bad place spiritually and unreceptive right now.
  • I am thinking carefully about what I want to say so that I say it wisely.
  • I want to pray over what I want to say first so that I respond in the Spirit and I don’t just blurt something out in my flesh.
  • I am focusing on thanksgiving and praise in my heart to the Lord.
  • I want to just be available to listen to him for awhile if he wants to talk.
  • I am silently praying in my heart.
  • We enjoy being together without talking sometimes.

RELATED VERSES:

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. Prov. 17:28

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. Ps. 62:5

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Eph. 4:29

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. Matt. 5:37

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Prov. 12:18

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Matt 12:36-37

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Ps. 19:14

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. Eph. 5:4

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Prov. 25:11

SHARE:

What are some reasons you find yourself being really quiet? When is talking and speaking up a struggle for you? Is there any wisdom you would like to share on this topic?

Much love!

April

RESOURCES:

If you have a very difficult marriage, please check out the healing you can find in Christ for yourself (and maybe your marriage) in Nina Roesner’s eCourse Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity.

Approaching My Husband’s Sin Issues – by LMSdaily

Is It Possible to Disrespect Myself?

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

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

The Spiritual Healing Available to Each of  Us in Christ – by Radiant

I Can’t As for Things. I Shouldn’t Have Needs, Desires, or Emotions – By Radiant

Cinderella and the Gospel – by Radiant (about how many of us reject the love of Christ instead of graciously receiving His amazing gift)

Healthy VS. Unhealthy Relationships

17 Tips to Ask for What You Desire Respectfully

Handling Political Disagreements Respectfully

Responding to Insults, Criticisms, and Rebukes

Overlooking Insults

Am I His Prosecuting Attorney?

Me in 2003 – 5 years before the Lord opened my eyes

MY OLD WAYS

Ugh. This describes me for so long in our marriage. I would often decide we had an issue. I would think nonstop about it all day – determining all the questions I would ask Greg so I could verbally nail him to the wall. I was completely sure I knew all kinds of evil motives he must have had toward me. I spent hours carefully gathering my evidence against him so I  could prove to him how wrong he was with all of my strong arguments.

When he would get home – there was no happy welcome or smile from me on those days. I lit right into him. I was in “prosecuting attorney mode”  – determined to get him to admit how wrong he was and how right I was about any and every little issue as I cross-examined him under a microscope. That was all that mattered to me at the time – being right. I had no idea what I was doing to Greg or our relationship.

Of course, if he dared to address an issue in my life, even the smallest thing, I would all-out viciously verbally attack him. I was the only one allowed to do the questioning. I was the only one allowed to confront. Not him. I could disagree with him. But he best not disagree with me or he would suffer my wrath.

I was dumbfounded that I would ask all of my carefully crafted questions and he refused to say anything. Oh, that made me so mad! Fighting mad. I escalated my volume and vitriol when that happened, thinking he would surely answer me if I increased the intensity of my attack. I would make him answer! I thought he didn’t say anything because he knew I was right and he had no ability to defend himself against my superior reasoning abilities and character. I thought he was quiet because he was guilty of all of my accusations against him.

Many years later, after God opened my eyes to all of the sin to which I had been so blind for over 14 years in our marriage – I was able to finally see. Almost nothing about my husband matched up with what I had wrongly assumed for so many years.

Greg didn’t answer me because I put him in a no-win situation.

I had misunderstood his heart, thoughts, words, and actions completely. I was determined that I knew the truth and was right and that he was wrong. That was the only paradigm I would accept all of those years. And how could he even have started trying to explain anything – even if he wanted to – when my vision of him was so distorted?

It turns out, I didn’t know his heart at all. I didn’t know his motives. I was completely in another book – not just on another page.

What I thought was true all that time – really wasn’t. I had deceived myself. I was emotionally and spiritually completely exhausting to be around. I was verbally abusive. I didn’t call him names, generally. And I never cussed at all. I just took many verbal shots at him to undermine him, to label him, to condemn him, to blame him, to attack him, to show him how everything was his fault, etc… Then I resented him for being emotionally unavailable to me. He should love me more!

God! You need to change this man and change him RIGHT NOW! He is hurting me by not loving me the way I want him to. How could he be so cruel to me to unplug from me like this?

I don’t know if I could have understood back then if Greg did try to explain even if I had been willing to try to listen. I had no idea how different Greg’s perspective and mindset was. Usually, if he started saying something, I cut him off. I was convinced I completely understood the situation without ever hearing his side of things. I thought I already knew what he was thinking and what he would say. How I wish I had stopped attacking him and tried to listen.

To answer before listening– that is folly and shame. Prov. 18:13

GREG’S DILEMMA

So his choices at the time were:

  1. Try to explain himself, knowing I would refute anything he said that didn’t match my pre-conceived (and extremely inaccurate) notions.
  2. Fight me verbally.
  3. Say nothing to defend himself and just let me rant on by myself and continue thinking and assuming the absolute worst lies about him.

He knew it was futile to explain himself to me. He didn’t want to fight me. So he often chose #3 – which seemed like the lesser of all of the evils. He withdrew from me. He shut down. He became a shell of the man he was when we got married.

Turns out – husbands don’t really like to feel like they are coming home to a verbal firing squad or to an interrogation. Really, no remotely emotionally healthy person enjoys that. No one revels in the stress of feeling like a criminal defendant who is being cross-examined by a prosecuting attorney who has already judged him/her to be guilty. Most husbands want to have peace, harmony, joy, and contentment at home. They want to feel safe with their wives emotionally. Isn’t that honestly what we all want in our relationships?

WHOSE INSTRUMENT AM I?

How might we come across as if we are cross-examining a witness at a trial?

It is often our tone, our facial expressions, our emotional intensity, and our constant barrage of pointed, accusing questions.

It is extremely hurtful and frustrating to be utterly misunderstood, vilified, falsely accused, and wrongly condemned by someone who doesn’t actually know your heart and who isn’t even interested in trying to understand the truth or in trying to heal the relationship.

Ultimately, we long most for our husbands to share their hearts with us, to emotionally connect with us, to cherish us, love us, and adore us. So – let me just mention, my precious sisters – this “prosecutor” approach repels our men (and anyone else). It causes them to shut down their hearts to us. It does not make them want to open up to us and be vulnerable. They know they are not safe with us when we act like this because they are not safe.

It was sobering for me to realize that I was not acting in the power of God’s Spirit when I acted like a prosecuting attorney, like an accuser. In fact, I was acting like Satan and cooperating with him. “The accuser of the brethren.” I had actually allowed the devil to get a huge stronghold in my life. I didn’t realize it. I was blind to my sin back then.

I unwittingly invited him to set up a base camp in my heart and mind by holding on to pride, resentment, unforgiveness, etc… And I gave him free access to my thoughts, heart, mind, mouth, and body. I thought I was living for Jesus. My words often said I was. But the Holy Spirit was not in control. The fruit of my life was the fruit of the flesh not the fruit of the Spirit. I had allowed myself and my mouth to be an instrument in the hands of the devil to try to destroy my husband.

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own
hands the foolish one tears hers down. Prov. 14:1

How I NEVER want to go back to that awful place again! I had a lot of repenting to do – to the Lord, to Greg, and to other people in my life, too.

 

Thankfully, there is so much hope for all of us in Jesus! We don’t have to stay in this awful toxic place where we destroy ourselves and our husbands and other people. Jesus can set us free from this snare. We can turn away from our sin and turn to Him to let Him cleanse and heal us by His work on our behalf on the cross! The Lord graciously healed me, and in time, He eventually also healed Greg and our marriage. How can I ever thank Him enough?

That same healing is available to you. You can have peace with God and you can live in peace, as far as it depends on you, in your relationships with people. The key is to know the Prince of Peace and to allow Him to be the Lord and Savior of your life. He has to power to change us as we yield to Him in faith, trust, humility, and obedience.

I have so many posts that may be a blessing to you if you find yourself in this place where I was years ago. If you are ready to stop cooperating with Satan’s plans to steal, kill, and destroy in your marriage and you are ready to cooperate with God’s good plans for your life and marriage, check out some of these resources. He can set you free from Satan’s prison just like He set me free almost 9 years ago.

RELATED VERSES:

A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious woman are alike; he who would restrain her restrains the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand. Prov. 27:15-16

Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. Prov. 21:19

 

NOTE – This post is not designed for women who are truly in danger with abusive husbands.

RESOURCES:

How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ

Posts about husbands being our idols – being enmeshed with them, expecting them to meet our deepest spiritual needs that only Jesus can really meet.

Posts about being enmeshed

Posts about being a controlling wife

A Fellow Wife’s posts

23 Signs Your Husband Is Beginning to Trust You Again

Posts about fear – which is often the real motive behind my control

Posts about bitterness

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

25 Ways to Be a Safe Place for Your Husband Emotionally

What Is Disrespectful to Husbands?

What Is Respect in Marriage?

How to Stay Filled with the Holy Spirit

If you have a very difficult husband, please check out Nina Roesner’s Strength and Dignity eCourse, or seek one-on-one private counseling with a trusted, godly counselor.

 

Finding Contentment in Christ Alone in Painful Trials

Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

Three strong believers share about finding contentment in Christ alone even in very painful, difficult, lonely situations where worldly peace and contentment are completely impossible. I pray their words and stories might bless you and your walk with the Lord richly!

From Sister in Christ #1 

I had to hit rock bottom and surrender everything to the Lord before I found that peace and trust in Him. I had to get to the point where I truly realized that my husband and my marriage had been an idol – that I had been depending on my husband to meet my needs, instead of God. So truthfully, the main reason I was so afraid of losing my husband (in the beginning) was because he was the one that I had been looking to – to take care of me, provide for me, love me, and fill me. I knew the Lord, but I had not been fully relying on God for these things – and I didn’t even realize that until after my husband left!

It took my husband leaving me for me to come to the end of myself and surrender to the Lord. And it took many months (actually over a year) before I FULLY trusted God with my life, my husband, and marriage.

I can assure wives that if they will press into the Lord and give Him total control, that they will get to a place of complete trust and have a peace that passes our human understanding! I’m sure there may be other problems on our spouse’s end, too. But the Lord wants to work on our hearts individually. The change has to start with us! There may be a totally different timetable for what God does in a husband’s heart and in the marriage, but the only time table that we have any control over is what we allow God to do in our hearts right now, even through painful, lonely situations.

I remember people telling me things like that and I would just get angry because I didn’t want to hear that I had no control over anybody but myself.

Control issues are rooted in fear – what do we truly believe about God?

  • Are there false beliefs about God that needed to be uprooted?
  • Do we see Him as being totally sovereign, 100% trustworthy, and that He is exactly who the Bible says He is – and that He can do exactly what the Bible says He can do?

That was another thing that I discovered in this journey, that I had false beliefs about God – I didn’t truly believe He had only the best plans for my life. I had to ask the Father to break many strongholds, and to renew my mind by His word.

I had to start speaking out scripture, and hear myself declare it, until I truly believed it.

 

From Sister in Christ #2

You know what? It would be wonderful to have Christ-centered human companionship always, but so often in life, only the Lord stands with us. For example, in 2 Timothy 4

  • “. . .At my first defense, no one stood with me, but everyone deserted me. . . . But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me. . . . So I was delivered. . .

Ultimately, it is just us and the Lord who have to cross the “Jordan Rivers” of our lives.

God makes all His best people in loneliness. That is so demonstrable. You study the great souls in the Bible, those great souls – they walked alone — alone with God. Just like great eagles that soar, they fly alone.

That loneliness is hard to endure, and impossible to enjoy unless God is really within you. But that’s how you can tell He is really living in your heart. You will enjoy it!

God makes us His, alone. He takes us out to be alone to make us Holy. And Holiness is real Happiness. I believe it is because He knows how dangerous co-dependency is. Faith in Jesus combined with action is the only thing that will bring you contentment. I have to be alone very often because of my work and travel schedule. I was so worried when it all started, now, I can’t wait to get alone with the Lord. That’s how I fully refuel.

My goal is GOD HIMSELF. Not joy, not peace, not even blessing – but HIMSELF. . .my GOD.

I lived for the praise, acceptance, and expectations of those around me. Now, I have an audience of ONE. Also, He is now the only One who gets a vote on my worth and value. Jesus had an audience of ONE, His Father. Only God knows why He takes us along these paths. All we can do is keep seeking God in Christ and let Him direct us. He loves you, you have the greatest value. He gave His life for all your worth!

From a Brother in Christ

Two weeks before our 10th anniversary my spouse walked out of the family home with my two children after engaging in multiple acts of adultery with multiple different people. I am now divorced (not my decision), I have sold that family home, split our assets, moved to a different town and have walked a LONG way through the valley of pain since that day.

When a person whom you believed would meet your emotional needs and create fulfillment within you fails to meet those needs, it creates a deep hole within.

We begin to question so many things!! We feel upset, angry, and fearful. For me fear was the overriding emotion.

  • What will this do to me?
  • What will this do to my children?
  • How will I ever heal from this?

At the point of my anniversary I had NO idea what to do or how to heal. But I came to a place where I genuinely surrendered the situation and the outcome of my life to God.

I did NOT have peace or joy when I surrendered it to God, I still felt the pain and fear but I had made a conscious decision to trust God with the process. It was a time of great trial.

Fast forward to nearly 7 months later and I was still grappling with the separation and pain, but still surrendered to God’s will and plan. At this point I was focused on a Christian book that used Isaiah as a springboard to talk about the healing that we can find in Christ. It talked about the fact that Jesus used these prophetic words to illustrate that He was the one who would bind up our wounds, heal our hearts and set us free. And I wanted that far more than anything else!

God graciously opened my eyes and heart to see that in Christ I was loved and accepted without reservation! That the only one who had any right to reject me actually chose to give His life for me!!!

As I saw this, my heart was set free from needing approval or acceptance from my spouse and I knew SO much joy. I knew that if I never had my spouse again I would be more than ok.

And, I am more than ok.

Nearly 2.5 years after my spouse requested a divorce, I AM divorced and all that I feared DID happen, plus more. The trials were so severe that I could not have imagined them. But I am 100% ok and I am thriving in all aspects of life. I enjoy companionship and the love and presence of God in a tangible, incredible way that I did not think possible before I experienced it. I have experienced answers to prayer, fulfillment, and joy that I had no idea was possible. Truly the treasures of heaven are found in Christ.

God has met my needs emotionally, spiritually and physically in every way I needed.

Interestingly, my prayers for a reconciliation were not answered and I realise now that those prayers were made because I wanted to find my identity in my spouse. God could not allow that, my identity must be in Him. Now, I do not pray for a reconciliation, in fact I am reluctant to consider a reconciliation given the history between us. Now I pray for my ex-spouse’s salvation and for my ex-spouse to experience God’s love, as that is of primary importance.

When we try to find our identity in another person we find ourselves in bondage to that person.

When we receive validation, we feel ok. When we do not receive validation, we feel awful. But, when we receive all that God has for us in Christ we can feel ok whether we receive validation from our spouse or not! The words and actions that our spouse gives can be received as a gift when they are positive, recognised as coming from a wounded heart when they are not positive or used as a springboard for prayerful, personal evaluation if they are suggesting things about an area that we may need to grow in.

I pray that you will be able to see again, or maybe for the first time, just what you are worth to Christ. He gave ALL that He was to purchase you, to have you for His own, He ADORES you and wants to know you and love you in a way that you can not imagine. I pray that you are able to release your fear and hurt to God and enjoy this day with Him.

SHARE:

If you want to share a bit about your story and how you are learning to find contentment in Christ alone, you are welcome to share. If you are struggling in this area and want to talk about it, you are also welcome to share.

Much love!

RELATED:

If you are dealing with a very difficult marriage, please check out the healing that is available to you in Christ at Nina Roesner’s eCourse Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity. There are lessons to read and watch. And there is a private forum there for women to heal and encourage each other.

A Big Lightbulb about True Contentment

Roots of  Insecurity

Finding God’s Victory over Fear

My Security Is in Christ Alone

A Lightbulb Moment about Loneliness

The Spiritual Healing Available to Each of Us in Christ – by Radiant

A guest post by a Christian wife and mom who is in her mid forties now. She had received Christ as a 5 year old child and was raised in a Christian home. Her personality and marriage dynamics were rather the opposite of Greg’s and mine. In addition, Radiant was severely spiritually oppressed and physically chronically ill for many years until the Lord miraculously healed her spirit and body about 3 years ago. Her physical illness was so bad that she was almost an invalid many days and couldn’t take care of her children. Sometimes she couldn’t think, walk, or talk. She had severe “brain fog,” confusion, and depression. And then some strong prayer warriors who knew Jesus and His love and power surrounded her and prayed over her. She began to renounce the horrible lies she had believed about herself and God and began to receive good things from God, His Word, His creation, food, and her family. May this post be a great blessing to you today:

Dear friends,

As we come to Jesus today, we come wounded. The vast majority of us have been beaten up and robbed on this battlefield of life. Our joy and peace have been stolen. The crucial truths about Who He is and who we are in Him – stolen, plundered and destroyed in most of the Church for centuries and left in ruins.

Our true identity has been stolen – and much like Edmund when the White Witch tempted him with becoming a prince of Narnia through obedience to her – we have believed lies of the enemy, and slipped into a frozen, dark prison. Bound in fear. Starving for nourishment. Always thirsting. Unable to breathe. Hearts racing. Bearing heavy loads. Harassed and helpless, like sheep without a Shepherd. Thinking we walk in the light (we have the Word!) as we walk in darkness and despair. Expecting ourselves to meet every standard of God’s law in our own strength, and living in constant defeat and condemnation when we don’t.

If you are like I was for so many years, you might be angry at anyone who suggests there could be real hope.

We believe we have tried. We have prayed. We have had elders and family and our church pray. We have done everything possible that we know to do and been to every doctor and tried every oil and diet, researching things to death – and yet we are…

Still stuck.

Still sick.

Still alone.

We have felt like victims. Victims of others’ abuse, of marriage, of politics, of the medical community, of the school system, of the food supply, of the Church. Of our culture. Sometimes we feel like victims of God. We start to believe the best we could get for is for someone to understand our pain – that we have been abandoned by God, the Church, and hope.

But, what was Jesus’ response to the sick, beat up, paralyzed, blind, hungry, poor and dead? If you are ready – let’s start looking at what Jesus really said and did, rather than filtering His healing or deliverance through sermons we have heard, experiences we have or haven’t had, or our current theology.

  • Can we dare to ask Him to open our hearts to Him – the Lover of our souls?
  • Can we invite Him in to heal and free our bodies, minds, spirits, relationships, and hearts?

Our Jesus told of a man who was beat up, robbed, and left for dead on the road; and the Christ-like response was Someone who picked him up, wrapped His own clothes around the wounded man, bound up his wounds, poured salve on his cuts, carried him to a safe place of rest and healing. All paid for by the Christ-like one out of love and compassion.

  • The One whose Cleanness was so contagious, He could touch lepers and they would be made clean.
  • The One whose compassion always moved Him to heal every sick, lame blind, possessed or oppressed person who was brought to Him. Every. Single. One.
  • The One who sings over us and made us His beautiful Bride. He seated us in heavenly places with Him – and He holds us close to His heart.

He draws us into the Throne Room to dance with Him as galaxies spin around Him. He whispers to His shy Bride, “In My throne room, we dance!” He moves His Bride from the shadows of condemnation, to the Light of His love and grace. This is the One who loves us with all of His heart.

We were blind –but He wants us to see. We were dead, but He raised us with His resurrection power in Him. He has moved us from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light with Him. He has made us royalty with Him. He placed His Spirit inside us. We have His DNA! He gave us His name. He wants us to proclaim and declare His truth and good news and power over creation – that His Kingdom come and His will be done in every heart, home, marriage, child, neighborhood, church, dark place and nation as it is in heaven.

As we speak out His truth and promises in faith – He accomplishes it!

He and His angel armies are on the edge of their seats, waiting and watching for those of us who will dare to praise Jesus in our trials and speak His will and power and authority into the dark places. The power of life and blessing is in our tongues! He loves to answer!!

He is our Supply. He is our portion. Our inheritance. He is the Initiator who whispers His promises, love, and joy into our hearts – that we get to echo back to Him in faith. He is Good. He fights for us. And He loves us with a pure, holy and infinite love at all times. He does not leave us but holds us close.

No, I don’t understand everything about how suffering, sickness, disease and injuries work.

But as a former ICU and recovery room nurse who has been healed by Jesus of things man couldn’t touch – I see that things are not as clear-cut as I once believed. I can’t neatly divide the body into the digestive system or the nervous system as the obvious root of a problem.

  • I can’t divide life into merely physical versus merely spiritual.

There is no such division as secular or sacred. There are truly emotional, mental, spiritual and physical aspects tied up together in much of life. Things connect. People connect. There are root causes of things that sometimes go back into our history. Words and actions have power for blessing or cursing, for life or death. Jesus says “Choose Life!” “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”

Jesus has shaken up my worldview. And I am so glad He has!! I see Him calling out to His Bride (His Church), who has been sick, frail, in tremendous pain, weak, wounded, plundered and left for dead.

He says over us, “Dead bones – (your own life, dead families, dead churches) – come together. Be joined and built together.” And there is a rattling sound happening now. Now. Today!

“Bones, be put back into a body with every connection and organ and cell in place working properly. Body of My Bride – be brought together and be made whole.” And the Bride is coming together, being healed and being united. She is being given the strength to stand on the Truth with Jesus.

“Breath of the Spirit – fill my Bride with Life! It is time. Now is the time for her to Live. Arise My Love! The grave no longer has a hold on you! It’s time to dance!! Sing to me as I sing over you, My beautiful one. Praise me and see what I am about to do! The bells of Freedom are ringing over you!”

Holy Spirit,

We invite You in. Open our cold and hard hearts and spirits to You. Help our unbelief. We invite You into our bodies, minds and hearts. Strengthen our spirits to be able to receive revelation of who You really are and Your great love for us.

Open the dusty drawers, dig up old rotting things in our closets. Cleanse, purge, prune us of all that is not of You. Reveal to us the places we are full of unbelief or pride, fear or doubt, anger or bitterness. Root it all out, Jesus. Plow up our hearts to be ready with good soil for all the seeds of Your Word You want to plant in us. Fruitful, beautiful things from You that need dead rotting things to be cast out.

Help us take up the weapons, tools and authority You have given us to take every thought captive for Christ. To reject all that is not of You. To receive everything that is of You, even if it is very different from how we are used to thinking. To the praise of Your glorious grace!

Amen.

You are loved!
Radiant

OTHER POSTS BY RADIANT

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

Being a Trophy Wife Is Not the Goal

Cinderella and the Gospel – about receiving the love and gift of Jesus for us with joy rather than rejecting Him with cynicism

Isn’t Loving or Respecting Myself Wrong and Selfish?

For a Wife with a Critical, Perfectionistic Husband

 

How to Avoid Being a “Busybody”

What is a “busybody”? Here is the definition from Strong’s Concordance:

Definition: one who meddles in things alien to his calling or in matters belonging to others; factious.

Essentially, if I am a busybody, I am inserting myself into other people’s lives and problems in a way that is unproductive and even harmful. My involvement does not bring healing, but rather, division. I am involving myself in the affairs of other people that are not my business. I am, undoubtedly, acting in the flesh not in the power of the Spirit of God. And generally, if I am a busybody, my advice is unwanted, unsolicited, and unappreciated.

As women, we love to help others. I think we are wired that way! Helping people is a good thing – when we are genuinely helping.

But there are limits to what is helpful. I can easily cross the line. Sometimes, I might think I know best for others, but I might really just be pushing my own personal opinions, agenda, and human wisdom. I can so easily deceive myself that my wisdom = God’s wisdom. People don’t need my opinions and wisdom. They need God.

When I try to help people in my own human strength, I speak death to the situation instead of God’s Life. That is not a blessing to anyone. Also, when I share God’s wisdom, if people are not receptive, they can’t and won’t hear me. I can’t make people hear or open their eyes. I have to accept my limits and remember I am not sovereign and I am not the Holy Spirit, God is.

What’s Wrong with Trying to Help People Who Don’t Want My Help?

If people come to me for advice or are open to what I share AND my heart is right with God, awesome! But most people won’t take advice that is unsolicited, even if it is really good advice. If people want help, they will generally ask for help. If I just keep blurting out lots of advice when others don’t want it, they will feel I am lecturing to them or preaching at them. They will resent me. People may feel I am looking down on them. I need to be sensitive to the way people respond to the wisdom I share with them.

The Bible has some wisdom to share with us about giving advice and sharing God’s truth:

  • The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. Prov. 12:15
  • If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words (about the gospel), leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Matt. 10:14
  • On the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak. Matt. 12:36
  • Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. Luke 8:37
  • The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor. 2:14
  • Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Eph. 4:29
  • And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. He must gently reprove those who oppose him, in the hope that God may grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth. 2 Tim. 2:24-25
  • If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. James 1:26

A few take-aways from scripture:

  • It is a person’s choice to listen to wise advice or to reject it. I can’t force wisdom on anyone. My job is to share the truth in love, what others do with what I share is between them and God.
  • Those who don’t know the Lord and are spiritually blind can’t see spiritual things yet no matter how much I explain them. This should not surprise or frustrate me. If they are ensnared by Satan, it will take the power of God’s Spirit to set them free.
  • My response to opposition must be kindness, gentleness, and patience. If people oppose God’s wisdom that I share, they are opposing Him, not me. I can lay them before the Lord in prayer.
  • When sharing the gospel or godly advice, if my words are not welcome, I don’t need to stay and argue, I can respectfully leave and ask God’s Spirit to work in the person’s heart.
  • Jesus didn’t stay where people didn’t want His help, healing, and wisdom. He is a Gentleman, and He only stays and shares His miracles, truth, healing, and wisdom when He is invited and welcome.
  • If I am not sure what God says or thinks about someone’s situation, it may be best for me to simply pray for them and not try to address something if I don’t really know for sure what scripture would say. Only God’s wisdom is needed, not my own thoughts. Perhaps I can also direct that person to resources and wise, experienced, counsel. I won’t have all of the answers myself for every situation.
  • If I am helping someone else, I want to be very careful about sharing private information with anyone else in order to avoid gossip.

NOTE:

There can be some exceptions about helping someone who doesn’t want my help. When people are involved in very serious unrepentant sin, self-harm, active drug/alcohol addictions, there can be times when the most loving thing to do is to try to intervene even when the person doesn’t want help. This will usually mean I will be getting that person to someone who is experienced in helping people who are ensnared in these traps who can help them. Also, sometimes our children or employees don’t ask for our advice or counsel, but we need to give it respectfully anyway – when they are under our authority.

 

What Does God’s Word Say about Being a Busybody?

  • Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. 1 Tim. 5:13
  • And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 1 Thess. 4:11
  • For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 2 Thess. 3:11
  • But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 1 Pet. 4:15
  • 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

How Can I Avoid Being a Busybody?

When I am a busybody, I am a lot more concerned about the sins and issues of others (things for which I am not responsible) than about my own sins and the things for which I really am responsible. That is a big problem. First, I must be willing to allow the Lord to examine my own heart and deal with all of the sin in my own life before I could begin to see clearly to address “the speck in my brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:1-5). Then I can have the power of God’s Spirit and His wisdom filling me. Then I can also have proper humility to approach others with godly love.

I don’t get to:

If I have been doing things like this, if I realize I have been overly involved in other people’s lives in hurtful ways, I can repent of anything I have done that offended God and yield myself to His Lordship.

If I am really helping people in a godly way, I would want to:

  • See others experience the healing and freedom Jesus offers to them.
  • Pray fervently for them for God’s will and for Him to open their eyes.
  • See God’s greatest glory in their lives.
  • Humbly remember that I have no goodness in me apart from Jesus.
  • Remember that God’s wisdom is what is most urgently needed, not my wisdom or opinions.
  • Respect a person’s decision if she doesn’t want my help and pray for God to reach them in another way.
  • Be sure God is calling me to speak and that I know what He wants me to say so that I am obeying His prompting, not running ahead.
  • Only talk to the Lord, and possibly to my husband, or a godly mentor about the situation.
  • Watch my motives for sin and to repent as soon as I see any sinful thoughts in my own heart.
  • Watch for me getting overly involved  (enmeshed) or reacting in the flesh. I must act in the Spirit, not my own strength or wisdom.
  • Look for burnout, frustration, resentment, bitterness, anxiety, or negativity on my side of the relationship  – these are flags that I may be overstepping my bounds or not acting in the power of the Spirit.
  • Not just be a sounding board for someone to “vent” to. Venting is toxic. If it becomes obvious that a friend really doesn’t want to change and grow in Christ, I may have to stop attempting to help until she is serious about asking God to change her own heart and mind.
  • Encourage a Spirit of unity in the body of Christ – never division, resentment, rumors, gossip, hatred, or bitterness.
  • Speak Life rather than death to others.

It is a most serious thing to give advice to someone about spiritual matters or relationship matters.

If I give unbiblical advice or my understanding of God’s Word or His will is not correct, I could mislead someone into sin or error. If my own heart is not right, I can repel someone from the Lord and from a godly course of action. We are each responsible for our own decisions and for our own sin. But how I never want to be responsible for setting a stumbling block in someone’s way.

If I am acting as “an authority” in that person’s life, like I am a mentor, supervisor, mother, or teacher, I have even greater accountability before the Lord. How humble I must be if God has given me a position of authority so that I do not misrepresent God in someone’s life. If something seems to be more than I can handle or I am not sure, I may need to refer people with really serious issues to experienced, godly counselors and authorities who can best help those in need.

How Can I Tell If I Am a Busybody?

www.gotquestions.org has a really helpful list of questions we can ask ourselves to determine if we have become busybodies.

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