Not a "Successful Marriage Story"… Yet

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Check out my 35 minute interview from last Tuesday with Charlie and Keith at KLFC Radio in Branson, Missouri!

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A guest post:

This is my first time posting but I have followed your blog and been on the respectful wife journey now for about 3 years of my almost 7 year marriage. My husband is a “command man” and has quite a dominant personality he is always “right” and has little tolerance for people doing things that don’t make sense or are wrong to him.

I have struggled a lot to not shut down and become a doormat to avoid conflict and protect myself.

Over the years I have learned to “read” him a bit better.

  • I try to hear his underlying problem rather than just get defensive at the way he talks to me when he has an issue.
  • I try and apologise quickly for my fault and then drop the matter.
  • This (past) time I didn’t take his attack personally, I kept calm and said my piece quietly but stood my ground.

Anyway, fast forward a couple of months and I was feeling like I had learned and changed so much that I was nearly at the end of needing to read this blog and working on our marriage as I thought I was turning into a pretty agreeable wife (not saying that things were perfect or that I didn’t still struggle with sin still, but I had put in so much work into being respectful). We were having a conversation and I said something about how I had changed in our marriage, he knew I read your blog but we never really had conversations about what I was learning.

He said to me, “What do you mean changed?”

It came out that he hadn’t even noticed how hard I had tried over the last couple of years, he had seen no change in me from when we were first married.

I must admit I was gobsmacked and it was totally disheartening.

Up until a week ago I was just numb and devastated about our marriage, and wanted to give up and just shut him out. During this time I have refined my motives, I am now doing this out of obedience to God, my relationship with Him has grown so much since that moment. Without that time I would have continued in my own strength trying to make a good marriage.

God didn’t let me take any short cuts.

While I was being outwardly respectful to my husband in my mind I would be thinking, “You are so mean,” and call him names silently. There was so much hidden sin and filth in my heart that had to go. I have pretty much 0% chance of things improving for me. If he hasn’t noticed a change in me then I can’t hope that he will respond in turn. I am okay with that now, I can’t be responsible for his poor reactions to situations, I was enmeshed with him and overly sensitive to his moods. I have now accepted him for who he is.

However, now instead of just feeling sorry for myself and keeping my hurt hidden I have committed to respectfully saying, “That was hurtful,” and then moving on. I am excited about my new relationship with Christ and that is my primary focus now. Being a wife is only part of who I am and whilst I will continue on my journey it will be with a different heart. It’s not a successful marriage story, but praise God for he has been faithful to me.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

This wife may feel that hers is not a “successful marriage story” – but it already is a “successful discipleship story!” That is the most important thing! She saw that her motives and attitudes were still not right and needed to be refined. God often uses our spouses (and others) to be the “sandpaper” that helps to refine us and smooth us to be more and more the women He calls us to be. She is open to allowing God to use these difficult times and trials to mold her more into the image of Christ and to refine and mature her faith.

If we have struggles and we have times of pain, but God uses it for our growth and His ultimate glory – and He uses it to draw us much closer to Himself, that is success in His sight!

My prayer is that we might each be able to see that anything that draws us closer to Him, refines, and purifies us IS something that is accomplishing God’s good purposes in us! Let’s also pray for each hurting person here… that God might heal each spouse individually and then bring healing to each marriage for His glory!

QUOTE FROM ANDREW MURRAY’S BOOK, HUMILITY (chapter 11):

Every Christian virtually passes through these two stages in his pursuit of humility. In the first he fears and flees and seeks deliverance from all that can humble him. He has not yet learnt to seek humility at any cost. He has accepted the command to be humble, and seeks to obey it, though only to find how utterly he fails. He prays for humility, at times very earnestly; but in his secret heart he prays more, if not in word, then in wish, to be kept from the very things that will make him humble. He is not yet so in love with humility as the beauty of the Lamb of God, and the joy of heaven, that he would sell all to procure it. In his pursuit of it, and his prayer for it, there is still somewhat of a sense of burden and of bondage; to humble himself has not yet become the spontaneous expression of a life and a nature that is essentially humble. It has not yet become his joy and only pleasure. He cannot yet say, “Most gladly do I glory in weakness, I take pleasure in whatever humbles me.”

But can we hope to reach the stage in which this will be the case? Undoubtedly. And what will it be that brings us there? That which brought Paul there – a new revelation of the Lord Jesus. Nothing but the presence of God can reveal and expel self. A clearer insight was to be given to Paul into the deep truth that the presence of Jesus will banish every desire to seek anything in ourselves, and will make us delight in every humiliation that prepares us for His fuller manifestation. Our humiliations lead us, in the experience of the presence and power of Jesus, to choose humility as our highest blessing.

 

RELATED:

Why Do I Want to Change? – Peaceful Wife VIDEO (Youtube channel, April Cassidy)

Posts about Conflict

Posts about Being Enmeshed

Link to free download of Andrew Murray’s book Humility

Resource for emotionally abusive relationships www.leslievernick.com

Passive Aggressive Husband? – by Nina Roesner (author of The Respect Dare)

Encouragement for Those Who Are "in the Trenches"

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1. SPIRITUAL HEALING TAKES TIME

This journey is a process. There are stages. If there is major woundedness in an individual or in a marriage, it often takes a long time to heal. Expect that it will be many months or maybe even a year or years before anything close to “total healing” takes place.

I think of this healing process as if a couple crashed their marriage “car” down in a steep ravine. The further off course they went, the longer it takes to tow it back up to the road and the worse the spiritual injuries they sustain. There may be a time when one or both spouses are in the “spiritual ICU.” At that point, making demands – or even requests – of the other person could be rather pointless. If my husband had been in a physical wreck and was in the ICU in a coma on a ventilator – I would not resent him because he was not helping me even if I had a broken leg and a broken arm. I would extend grace and understanding knowing that he CAN’T get up and help me right now.

People who are severely spiritually wounded or who don’t know Christ and are spiritually dead can’t act like Christ toward us. They are incapable of loving God or others as they should. They need to be raised to new life by Jesus or they need spiritual healing from God. Nothing we can do will make them be able to give us what we want when they are that injured. They need major healing themselves.

There are things we can do to encourage spiritual healing for our husbands. But then we are going to have to be REALLY patient. More patient than we have ever been in our lives as we wait for God to work.

God wants to use this time of waiting to strengthen my flabby faith muscles and to get me to focus on Him and allowing Him to transform my own soul, mind, and life by His power. This will involve me learning to savor the journey and even the waiting.

2. FOCUS ON TODAY

  • Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
  • Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. James 4:13-16

My sisters, let’s not allow ourselves to get caught up in the enemy’s snare of what “might happen” weeks, months, or years from now. We tend to take one situation and zoom ahead with it in our minds to all of the “what-ifs” that may happen and try to plan what we are going to do in all of the worse case scenarios. Our plans may all come to nothing. God’s plans are what matter. When we get stuck in “what-if land” we usually don’t count God’s influence and power in our worrying scenarios.

Jesus was so good to tell us not to worry about tomorrow because each day has enough trouble of its own. None of us know what will happen in the next 5 minutes. The rapture could happen for all we know. Or a national disaster. Or a major miracle. Or a series of small miracles. We don’t know what is coming in the future. But God is already there – totally unlimited by time. He knows the way. He has your hand if you are following Christ.

3. A PERSON’S CURRENT FEELINGS,  SINS, WORDS, OR PLANS DO NOT DICTATE WHAT THE FUTURE WILL BRING

A husband’s feelings are important – so are a wife’s feelings.  But let’s keep the big perspective in mind. If he says he doesn’t love you, he wants a divorce, or he wants to separate, we are looking at a snapshot in time – kind of like one Instagram picture. This is not the whole story. It is not the last page of the book. There is more to be written! While we can respect what our husbands say, and how they are feeling – and while we can respectfully, graciously let them go (spiritually, emotionally, or physically) if they insist on leaving – we can also remember that ultimately our trust is in God and that He is able to change hearts, circumstances, mindsets, desires, and plans.

  • In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

Because we trust in Christ completely, we are not at the mercy of other people’s plans or changeable feelings. We are not at the mercy of their emotions and decisions. We are not at the mercy of our own feelings or fears. We are in the hands of a sovereign Lord. Yes, people make decisions with their free will. But then, at the same time, God is sovereign and He will use all things to accomplish His good purposes in our lives and for His kingdom as we love and trust Him. So we can’t lose.

We can’t lose, my dear sisters (and brothers)!

  • If something bad happens, I know God will use it for my ultimate good, to strengthen my faith, to draw me closer to Him, to make me more like Jesus, and to accomplish His good purposes.
  • If something good happens, I know God will use it for my ultimate good and to accomplish His good purposes in the end, as well.

I can always stand on my spiritual tiptoes and look beyond the current circumstances in eager anticipation to see all that God will accomplish. I can expect Him to move mountains, change situations, transform my own heart/mind/soul, change others in His timing, and work constantly for His glory and His will to be done. I can wait patiently knowing that God is in control and His timing and wisdom is much higher than my own.

I can hurt when my husband is distant or if he is talking about divorce or if he leaves. I can grieve over that. But then, I can also look to Christ for help and hope, that He will use even this ultimately for good as I trust Him completely. I can focus on Philippians 4:8 kinds of good things. I can focus on praising God and on thanksgiving. I can face my emotions and feel them. Emotions are a gift from God but I am also responsible for how I handle them and I can learn – in the power of the Holy Spirit – to handle them rightly and without sin. I can allow myself to experience hurt, sadness, anger, fear… but then I can hash through my difficult emotions and lay them before God and entrust them to Him. I don’t have to be ruled by my emotions. My marriage is not to be built on my emotions, but on Christ and His truth. I am not a slave to feelings. I can take my thoughts captive as I process my emotions and feelings. I can even experience God’s supernatural peace and joy as I trust everything to Him and focus on God’s goodness, sovereignty, love, and Lordship in my life! Even in the trials.

4. GOD WILL USE THIS TRIAL ON A GRAND SCALE

God has something much bigger in mind than just to work good in your own life from the bad things that happen and the trials and suffering you endure as a believer in Christ. Yes, He will use it ultimately for your good and His glory in your life if you are living for Him and you love Him and you are yielding to Christ as Lord. But He also will use it to bless the Body of Christ and His kingdom. There is a much larger picture going on than we can possibly realize in the midst of our trials.

I had no idea that God would use my most painful trials to reach thousands of people around the world for Christ. But as we walk through these times of testing and suffering, and as God refines our faith and causes us to grow strong in our walk with Him – He uses our stories and our testimony to build the faith of others, to encourage others, and to teach others – and set an example.

What you are experiencing now that is so painful – may well be the very thing that convinces many people in the future to trust in Christ in the midst of their painful trials – because they see that your faith was tested and that God was victorious. God may use your story to inspire many others to walk in obedience and faith, trusting Him and yielding fully to Him as Lord.

What a joy!

 

 

7 Basic Needs of a Husband and 7 Basic Needs of a Wife – Rev. Weaver

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Usually today is prayer day. But my schedule has been suddenly disrupted this week – which is fine. God is certainly sovereign over that.

I have been wanting to share this post and am so excited to get to share it today with you.

From Rev. Harold Weaver’s marriage class, posted with permission. (Rev and Mrs. Weaver celebrated their 50th anniversary about a year ago.)

Ladies,

Please focus primarily on the needs of husbands. 🙂 If we allow ourselves to get too caught up in our own needs, it can often lead us to spiral into sin – particularly for wives who have tended to be controlling/disrespectful. I know it can for me! If things are not going well and you are feeling very discouraged or unsatisfied in your marriage, I encourage you to skip the needs of a wife and go directly to the needs of the husband – if you have already shared your needs many times, in particular. It is entirely possible to turn these legitimate needs into idols (things we put above Christ and seek to fulfill in illegitimate ways) if we are not careful to find all of our contentment, identity, security, peace, joy, purpose, acceptance, strength and hope in Christ alone. I have linked the class notes for each of the husbands’ needs so you can find out much more detail about each of the points about husbands.

Each of the basic needs of a husband has a link to the class notes on that heading that may be very helpful, as well. Enjoy!

7 BASIC NEEDS OF A WIFE

1. A wife needs the stability and direction of a husband who is functioning as the spiritual leader of his family.

2. A wife needs to know that she is meeting vital needs in her husband’s life and work that no other woman can meet.

3. A wife needs to see and hear that her husband cherishes her and that he delights in her as a person.

4. A wife needs to know that her husband understands her by protecting her in areas of her limitations.

5. A wife needs to know that her husband enjoys setting aside quality time for intimate conversation with her.

6. A wife needs to know that her husband is aware of her presence even when his mind is on other matters.

7. A wife needs to see that her husband is making investments in her life that will expand and fulfill her world.

7 BASIC NEEDS OF A HUSBAND

1. A husband needs a wife who respects him as a man.

2. A husband needs a wife who accepts him as a leader and believes in his God-given responsibilities.

3. A husband needs a wife who will continue to develop inward and outward beauty.

4. A husband needs a wife who can lovingly appeal to him when he is going beyond his limitations and wisely respond to those who question his ideas, goals or motives.

5. A husband needs quality time to be alone with himself and with the Lord.

6. A husband needs a wife who is grateful for all he has done and is doing for her.

7. A husband needs a wife who will be praised by other people for her character and her good works.

 

 

“What Would We Talk about If I Emailed You?”

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My precious sisters in Christ, I have so enjoyed getting to know many of you – hundreds and hundreds of you – by email and here on the blog over the past 2 years. I now count many of you as close friends. What I am going to share with you today is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY hard for me to share!  It brings me to tears, actually.  I SO DO NOT WANT TO GIVE UP MY EMAIL MINISTRY, because it is one of my favorite parts of this ministry God has given to me. It is where the real nitty gritty disciple-making process often happens.

Unfortunately, I cannot continue to spend 3-6 hours per day responding to emails. 🙁 That doesn’t count the other time spent on my blogs or writing a book.  This is creating way too much imbalance in my own life and I have got to take steps to make sure I am spending the time with God and my own family that I need to and that my life isn’t completely consumed by emails. I WANT SO MUCH to help every woman personally and individually – but I just am not able to. It’s probably way past time for me to acknowledge my limitations here. Even though I don’t want to have to do this, I know that I need to – but it makes me SO SAD!!!!!!

  • It’s TOTALLY fine for you to leave comments, updates (I LOVE those!) and questions on the blog and on the FB page. PLEASE DO!!!!!! I am thrilled to hear from you! I also love it when wives encourage and share with each other and form a supportive community together. 🙂 Y’all are GREAT at doing that! THANK YOU!

(If you have been emailing me recently, you may reply to my recent emails and we will finish the conversations we started. :))

The needs are very great. I don’t want to let any women slip through the cracks and not get help they need. And yet, I just cannot personally counsel every wife.  So – I have been praying and seeking God’s face and wisdom about this issue fervently.

RESOURCES:

HERE IS SOMETHING I BELIEVE GOD DESIRES ME TO DO:

Let’s all walk together through a typical conversation I would have when wives have emailed me in the past. I have seen God heal hundreds of women through the email ministry and the blogs. But, the most important thing is that women need Christ Jesus, not me. They need His wisdom, His power, His Spirit, His truth – not me. There is no room for any pride in my heart about this. Jesus must greatly INCREASE and I must greatly decrease. I am just the pipe through which the power of God flows. Our greatest need – for all of us – is Jesus, Himself. I am concerned that sometimes, the more I counsel wives, the more they may depend on me instead of God. That is not good. And, I am also concerned that maybe I might tend to give too much “advice” when I should be doing more pointing to Christ and the Biblical Principles of His Word. I still have TONS of things to learn here, myself! I have a lot of room to grow as a believer in Christ, as a wife, as a mentor… Please pray that God would empower us all to be faithful to Him and for His greatest glory in all of our lives, as well!

When I first “meet” a wife, I listen to her story, sympathize deeply with her pain and struggles (I have certainly been there, too!) and then I usually ask a series of questions, something like this:

1. What is your relationship like with Jesus?

2. Does your husband have a relationship with Jesus?

3. What was your parents’ marriage like?

4. What was your husband’s parents’ marriage like?

5. What is it that you believe you must have to be happy?

6. What are your greatest fears?

7. What sins, if any, are you cherishing in your heart that may be more important to you than Jesus?

8. Are there goals and priorities in your life that come above Christ?

The wife sends me her responses. Here is my thought process that I walk through with each wife:

1. If her relationship with Jesus is nonexistent or extremely weak, I know that this is the problem. I know this is where her focus has got to be. This journey to become godly wives and women is ALL about our walk with Christ. It has almost nothing to do with our husbands. Here are the two primary commandments God gives to all of us. If we don’t have these things at the top of our priorities and concerns, we are not going to have anything right with God or other people in our lives.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

2. If her husband is far from God (whether he claims to be a believer or not) – God’s command for this wife in this situation is very clear:

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. I Peter 3:1-6

Talking with WORDS about spiritual things, sin, God and what a husband “should do” is not going to be an effective approach for a godly wife. It is not our words that will lead our husbands to Christ and to ourselves, in fact, lots of words about these things to a husband who is far from God will actually REPEL him from us and from God. The key is for us to verbally get out of God’s way and stop talking about these things and stop trying to verbally drag our husbands to God. This leaves room for our husbands to hear God’s voice. It gets us out of God’s way. In the meantime, our job is to live in the power of God’s Spirit and to show honor and real respect to our husbands. THIS is how we influence our husbands to come towards Christ and towards us. Ultimately, God must open our husbands’ eyes. But we can cooperate with God and walk in faith and obedience and the power of His Spirit. That is how God desires us to “win our husbands without a word.”

3./4. The answers to these questions tell me what each spouse believes is “normal.” This tells me how the husband and wife were “programmed” to believe marriage should be when they were growing up. The farther their parents’ relationship was from God’s design, wisdom, truth and power – the more correction will need to be done now.

All parents are imperfect, wretched sinners. All people on the planet are, according to God’s Word. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.  There are some things that parents have done, all parents, that were not godly examples to their children. And, of course, we have also been greatly influenced by the ungodly and worldly culture around us, as well, even in the church. So, it is time to evaluate our marriages by the standard of God’s Word instead of clinging to the imperfect examples of our parents. We must all throw out anything in our understanding of God, ourselves, life, masculinity, femininity, family and marriage that does not match up with Scripture. So we dig all the way down till we get to Christ in our hearts, the Rock. And we build our understanding from scratch on God’s Word for all of these things.

If there are SERIOUS problems in the marriage – real abuse (current or in the past), infidelity, uncontrolled mental disorders or active addictions, I refer people to find experienced, godly, biblical spiritual help and sometimes also medical help or any help that they may need in their situation. I am not qualified to counsel on these severe issues. God’s Word is always true and God is able to heal. But people may need more resources than I can personally offer about these issues.

Some of the commands God gives us in His Word for how we are to build our lives and marriages are found here:

Ephesians 4 and 5

I Thessalonians 5

I Corinthians 13:4-8

I Corinthians 11:3

Titus 2:3-5

Galatians 5:19-26

Romans 12:9-21

The Bible and Divorce (at the bottom of this post are ALL of the scriptures there are in the Bible about marriage and divorce)

5.-8. These question helps to reveal idols. We ALL have idols. Unless we have consciously dug them out and torn them out by the roots, “the human heart is an idol factory,” and there are things that we believe we MUST have to be happy that are not Jesus. But God will never allow us to find contentment in anything but Himself. So, as long as we are pursuing idols, and putting other things above Jesus, we are going to continue being miserable, afraid, worried, discontent and lonely. Our greatest fears are often the opposite of whatever our idols are.

If we are trying to find our happiness in being in control, SELF, our husbands, marriage, money, health, beauty, career, children… those things cannot satisfy us. They cannot fill the gaping hole that only Jesus can fill in our hearts. We have got to be willing to part with and crucify all the sin in our lives in order to come to Christ. He is more than willing and able to forgive us of our sins. But first, we must confess our sins and agree that what we are doing is sin, then He is faithful and just and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)

The main sins I see over and over are (and these were my own sins, too!):

  • UNBELIEF – I don’t think God is trustworthy. I don’t think He is who He says He is in the Bible. I don’t think I can stop trusting myself and trust Him instead. I’m afraid He will take away my family and all the things that matter most to me if I were to trust Him. I think He is actually “bad” and that He doesn’t REALLY have loving motives and good motives towards me. I can’t let go of control. If I do, my world will fall apart. I live as if I am sovereign, not God. I live as if everything depends on me, not God. I am completely consumed by fear. I don’t know God. I don’t know His love. I don’t believe His Word. I may think I believe His Word, but I don’t live like I believe His Word because my actions show my true priorities and where my ultimate trust is – and it is in myself.
  • IDOLATRY

– I depend on other things or my husband or myself to find contentment in life. My greatest goal is my own happiness. If I am not happy, I am justified to sin in any way I want to in order to find happiness. I will be happy no matter what it costs me or anyone else. I expect my husband to be responsible for my happiness. I do not take responsibility for my own happiness. If I am unhappy, he needs to fix it. I don’t look to Christ to find contentment, peace and joy. I expect my husband to meet needs that only Jesus can meet in my soul.

– I depend on myself to find contentment. If I can just be in control and be in charge of everything, it will all work out “right.” I live as if I am sovereign, not God. I trust myself, not God. I may say I trust God. I may think I trust Christ. But my life is full of worry, defeat, fear, anxiety and a desperate struggle to try to MAKE everything happen the way I think it should. I don’t realize that trying to have control is actually an illusion. I don’t control very much at all. And I don’t realize that trusting God is so much better than trusting myself. He actually IS God and He IS sovereign. I am not God. And I am not sovereign. And if I try to live as if I am God and I am sovereign, I will be one miserable person. God will NEVER let me find contentment in trusting SELF.

– There are many other idols, too: children, beauty, health, money, power, fame, the media, attention, youth, our husband’s love, our husband’s behavior, our husband’s salvation, our husband’s pure thought life… we can make almost anything into an idol that we cherish above God.

Because we are cherishing sin in our hearts, we are not full of the Holy Spirit. This is often why we don’t have God’s peace, joy and power in our lives!

Here is a test to see, are we full of God’s Spirit or not? Do I have ANY of the qualities in verses 19-21 in my life? If so, I am cherishing sin in my  heart and living in the power of the sinful nature, not the power of God’s Spirit. If God’s Spirit lives in me, I will crucify the sinful nature and it will be buried with Christ and I will put on my new nature in Christ and have the fruit of His Spirit (verses 22-23) in my life in increasing measure. I may stumble every once in awhile, but I immediately get up and repent and return to Christ. I cannot bear to continue on in sin. If I am living in sin and I am happy living in sin, I have a MAJOR problem.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:19-25

My prayer is that we would all repent of every trace of sin and submit our lives fully to Christ as our Savior AND our LORD. I ask every wife to focus on HERSELF, not her husband. This is ALL about her relationship with Jesus. Here is something amazing I have learned:

My degree of respect and biblical submission to my husband is a tangible indicator of my degree of reverence for and submission to Christ.

Jesus clearly says, “If anyone loves Me, he will obey Me…. anyone who does not obey Me does not love Me.” John 14:22,24

The only motives God wants to see in our hearts are:

1. We love God with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength and want to please and obey Him.

2. We want to love and bless others with no thought for getting anything in return.

God will use our marriages to refine our motives until our faith becomes beautiful and pure and we become holy in His sight!

I pray that this post might help give you a boost if you need it to seek Christ with all your heart and to begin down the narrow path that leads to Jesus and His Life, peace and joy. You are welcome to leave comments! 🙂

RELATED:

Stages of This Journey

The Biggest Problem in Our Marriages and in Our Spiritual Lives – idolatry

How to Stop Idolatry and Truly Live for  Christ

Contentment Comes from Having Jesus as Lord

Things that Fuel a Spirit of Discontentment in Me

Roots of Insecurity

My Security is in Christ. He is my identity!

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

I’ll MAKE Him Love me!

But I’m Right!

FAQs  – why do I have to change first?

What is Respect to Husbands?

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected

Spiritual Authority – Building a Firm Foundation

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

Are Women Spiritually and Morally Superior to Men?

Biblical Submission

Biblical Submission Does Not = A Husband Is Always Right

Biblical Submission is a Huge Key to Peace

The Place We Must Start – being willing to consecrate our lives to Jesus

Praying for My Husband So That God Will Hear

Praying with Humility

Praying from an Obedient Life

Dying to Self

I Want to Feel Loved!

Breaking the Romance Addiction (idolatry of romance)

The Fantasy of Romance (idolatry of romance)

Expectations – idolatry of our own expectations

JAMES 4:

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:1-7

 

 

A Wife Analyzes Her Journey

Mongolian Gold being refined to 99.99% purity.   http://www.mgs.mn/refining.html
Mongolian Gold being refined to 99.99% purity. http://www.mgs.mn/refining.html

An email I received from a Fellow Wife in Nov of 2013..  Her words are in black, mine are in blue.  She was taking an inventory of her heart and soul and her progress on this journey over the past 13 months, and asking some questions. This journey of becoming a godly woman is a life-long process of sanctification. It is how we work together with God to allow His Spirit to refine our hearts and make us more and more holy and Christlike and set apart for His diving purposes (and please check out her latest update in September of 2014): 

1)  I want to get your opinion.  I am going to rely on the fact that you understand men MUCH more than I do right now.  I *feel* like you don’t see this the way I do at all- and that is perfectly okay.  🙂  I *feel* like you can see dh’s love for me at all times and see that he makes me very much a priority and that there is never a question of his feelings.  Are those assumptions correct?  Perhaps a large part of this is my misunderstanding of him.  There have been other times when I was wrong in what I thought he was thinking.
I am not an “expert” about any of this. I still have so much to learn and so many areas where I want to understand God, marriage, femininity and masculinity more fully. I think I have just been studying these things a bit longer than you have, so I do see your husband’s actions and behavior in a very different way than you do many times. There are times when you focus on “I’m not the highest priority to him” that you and I see the picture of your marriage VERY, VERY differently, yes.
 
Yes, I can see your husband’s strong love for you all the time  – sometimes, I think he is frustrated by your negative assumptions, hormones and attempts to control him.  But yes – you have one EXTREMELY loving man who is very committed to you.  I have no doubt of that.
 
I can also see ways that he makes you a HUGE priority in his life.  He doesn’t always do things exactly the way you want him to.  There may have been a couple of exceptions where he was selfish.  But – overall, I believe he makes you his biggest priority and I believe it exhausts and frustrates him to have it thrown in his face that he is not making you his priority when he actually usually IS making you his priority.
 
I don’t think you understand his heart and mind and motives well yet.  I think if you did, you would be shocked by how wrong some of your assumptions have possibly been.
 
Are there men who don’t make their wife a high enough priority?  YES.
Is your husband one of those?  Not usually.
 
2) I do know this man loves me.  That is not in question at all.  He works hard to provide for us every day.  He is kind and caring.  He tells me he loves me multiple times a day.  I could count on one hand the number of times he has called me by my name.  It is honey, baby, babe, baby doll and a number of other endearments.  He loves my children- who are not his biological children- beyond words.  He could not possibly love them more or do more for them if they were his biological children.  He adopted them.  A man does not do that if he does not love his wife!  And her children!
That is a lot of VERY strong evidence that he does love you and your children and is a very committed, devoted husband and father.  There is also much evidence of his love for you in many of his actions that you have shared with me in the past year.
3) Let’s flip this.  Holding onto this past hurt is not fair.  I have done countless things toward my husband that were wrong in our marriage and he very easily could have held them against me and to my knowledge, does not.
Yes, he could hold hundreds of things against you – but he does not.  He has been extremely forgiving, merciful, patient and gracious with you even when you have been very unlovable.
 
4) I can go long stretches in peace before this thing rears it’s head.  Right now I need to run everything through a hormonal weakness filter.  Yesterday was a terrible hormonal day.  I finally went to bed early because I knew it was the healthiest thing I could do.
Hormones make these temptations SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT. It is infinitely easier to assume our husbands have evil motives towards us when we are hormonal, exhausted, sick or in pain.
 
I’m glad you went to bed early.  Smart girl!
 
5) There is no one time of dealing with this and it is done.  I falsely believed that.  There will be times the idol of “wanting to be my husband’s first priority” or “wanting control” or “thinking I know best” springs back up and I have to deal with it again and again, but it does not have to grow to the HUGE thing it was before.  This is a daily decision to not bite the bait.
Right.  There will be many times of temptation and times you will want to resurrect those idols.  This is a daily decision – it gets easier over time with practice and with God’s Spirit’s power! 🙂 But apart from God, if we are not abiding in Him and full of His Spirit, we cannot do this on our own. If I stray from God, I will crash and burn.
 
6) I have made HUGE progress!  I am doing wonderful.  Just because the temptation raises up to accept this idol back at times does NOT mean I have to accept it or that I haven’t come far.  I do not want to feel defeated by not doing this perfectly.  I CAN and AM doing this.  🙂
You are absolutely right!  God is giving you the power to do this.  You have come VERY, VERY far.  It doesn’t mean you are back to step one if you trip and stumble.  You just get up and keep going. 🙂
7) Truth: a lot of this is that *I* have a problem with setting too high expectations- for myself and my husband.  Last night, before I put myself to bed, I was fussing that I was so upset I had not got more done yesterday (although I HAD cleaned the stove, cleaned the microwave, fixed a time consuming supper, read my bible, did floors in the whole house, tv screens, mirrors, 2 loads of dishes in the dishwasher, multiple loads of laundry, ironed or today and tonight, went to a dr apt and did other errands, helped our son study for a test, etc) and he said, “Babe, you expect too much of yourself!” I was still stressing I did not get my grocery list made and unload the final load of dishes.  I am a perfectionist and I expect perfection from my husband at times.  Not a healthy habit.
Your husband is so right.  You do expect too much of yourself. 🙂
 
Perfectionism is a form of idolatry, too.  Been there, done that myself. I have to be very careful, I can easily pile up all kinds of expectations on myself that are not actually of God and then drown in my expectations. We must ALL constantly watch our thoughts and motives and expectations and lay them at the feet of Christ.
 
God doesn’t expect perfection.  He desires increasing holiness and Christlikeness.  And He doesn’t expect us to do this on our own. He expects us to do it in the power of His Spirit. Let’s use seeking to please God as the goal – not our own human standard of “perfection.”  
 
 
8) Changing internal dialogue might take awhile… I need to give it time to become a habit… when I ‘catch’ a negative thought with an evil assumption, I will have to just replace it with a better one.  Habits take time to form and that is okay.
Yes.  Habits do take time to change and to form.  It is important to have healthy and true statements and scripture at the ready to replace the evil assumptions and the lies that we repeat over and over to ourselves so that we can take those sinful thoughts captive.  This whole process of sanctification takes a lifetime. 🙂
 
9) This came to my mind last night from a book I read several years ago, Having A Mary Heart In A Martha World, which is a very good book by the way.  Anyways, I learned in that book that the devil has three basic weapons.  Doubt, Deceit and Distraction.  Anything that he throws at you can be pretty much traced back to that.  The thought, “I am not a priority to my husband”- doubt & deceit.  “He doesn’t care about me that deeply.”- doubt & deceit.  Just examples.  Taking every thought captive is very, very hard work.
Yes!  that is awesome!  When you can recognize what the enemy is doing – that is a huge part of claiming victory – just to see it so that you can combat it with God’s power is VERY important!
 
Any time you hear yourself accusing your husband of not loving you or having evil motives – please examine the source. Are you actually basing those thoughts on real fact, or on fleeting emotions and assumptions? Negative emotions and assumptions are NOT a solid basis for making accusations against our husbands. When we do that, we are not showing the love of God.
  • ie: He’s not sitting with me right now, so he must not love me. I must not be a priority to him. He obviously doesn’t care about me at all!
Thoughts like that are not based on fact. These are the kinds of thoughts we must take captive. Let’s assume the best about our husbands instead of the worst. Yes.  It is very hard work to take every thought captive instead of luxuriating in the toxic mire of resentment and bitterness and pain. We can also ask for what we want and need in a respectful, kind, pleasant way instead of assuming our husbands can and should read our minds. 
  • i.e.: “Honey, I’m feeling lonely. I’d love it if you could sit and cuddle with me sometime tonight!” (with pleasant tone of voice and a smile, but no pressure, then allow him to decide what he wants to do and accept his “Yes” or “No.” If he doesn’t choose to sit with you, that is ok. And it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. He may have something on his mind he needs to do. We can still find peace and joy in Christ no matter what our husbands do or do not do.)
 
Of course, wallowing in those sins is destructive ultimately.  Taking thoughts captive and shooting down the lies empowers us to allow Christ to renew our hearts and minds with His truth and His wisdom and His Word, and allows God’s Spirit to be in control, not our old sinful nature.
10) There is probably an explanation for my husband’s behavior at the times I don’t understand… and then there are times I really believe are just selfishness… but that is between him and God.  That is his journey.
Yes, I think there may be explanations at times for his behavior that you don’t understand sometimes. He thinks very differently from the way you do. He will also need room to mess up and sin and make mistakes.  He will not be perfect.  His needs are just like your needs – mercy, grace, forgiveness, unconditional love, unconditional respect. 🙂
 
When you condemn him as being selfish, you are setting yourself up as his judge.  You (and I) are not qualified to judge him accurately.  Jesus will be His judge – and Jesus will be righteous about His judgements.  You don’t know his heart.  You don’t know his motives and you cannot accurately judge him.  That is God’s job.  You are not God.
11) I really need to just relax and enjoy where I am.  It is okay I am not doing this perfectly…. I am moving forward, that is the main thing.  And I need to keep practicing letting go and it will all be okay.  Some days are more perfect than others.

Yes, some days will be better than others.  DEFINITELY ENJOY where you are and relax. 🙂 Rest in God’s love and in your husband’s love for  you.

12) Why hurt myself with negative assumptions?  I really DON’T know how he thinks.  Why not assume the best?  Although I am sure the temptation will come again to assume evil motives.
True.  You don’t know how he thinks and you don’t know his motives – although he has given you many clues. 🙂   God’s love assumes the best about others, not the worst. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
 
13) I seriously cannot let my guard down one single minute.  The devil is furious that our marriage is getting healthier.  He has taken some large hits from us lately.  I need to pray for God’s protection and help at all times.
True. True. True.
How is that from your analytical friend?  LOL!
RELATED POSTS FROM A FELLOW WIFE:
BY KAYLA:
BY PEACEFULWIFE:
PMS – part 1
PMS – part 2

Let’s Be VERY Careful with Respect, Ladies! MOTIVES COUNT!

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If we are not careful, we may just add respect to our arsenal of ways to attempt to control our men. 🙁

Yes, God wants me to treat my husband with respect and honor. But –

If I am just respecting him to make him change or to get my needs met – that is manipulation – not real respect.  And it is sin.

The only motives that please God are if I am showing respect because:
– I want to please and obey God (Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:3-5, I Corinthians 11:3)
– I want to bless my husband

No strings attached.

No matter what the outcome.  I am not tied to a particular “result”or “what’s in it for me” but rather – I want to do this because Jesus is my Lord. That is enough for me. He wants me to do it. I want to find favor in His sight and hear Him say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant” when this life is over.

I cannot do this “godly wife thing” in order to feed the idol of me wanting to feel loved, or my having control or me getting my way. If those are my goals – I am not acting in the love of Christ – I am sinning against God and my husband.

(Reminder – I write primarily for women who tend to be controlling. My blog may not be as helpful for women who are abused or who are “too submissive” – please seek godly counsel if you have severe issues in your marriage.)

RG’s COMMENTS  (a single Christian man) ON YESTERDAY’S POST on www.peacefulsinglegirl.wordpress.com from a young Christian woman who is just now beginning to learn to respect a new man in her life for the first time:

“I joined an online dating site and “met” an incredible guy (haven’t met him in person yet). He is my practice material for me to apply everything I’ve learned so far in the Bible and your site and I need to say, things are going awesome!!!!”

Please be very careful, not for yourself, but for him .

There is nothing wrong with the actions of “practice,” but the motivations for that “practice” need to be right.

  • Don’t “practice” to obtain any of the outcomes you desire. That is very manipulative and painful for men. (And I’m not suggesting that you are.)

Become a trustworthy, open, honest book – no secrets, no games. Put all of your cards on the table (with wisdom), and let him decide what he wants without you resorting to using these new tools of “respect” as a means to control him.

  • Only do respectful things to honor him and God, not to win points.  Any positive outcomes are the SIDE-EFFECT of your respect, not the intended purpose to be respectful. Your purpose is to honor him and God.

Always remember, if you do want to become married, and you think this could be your potential husband, then your goal is not just to become married; your goal is to become a biblical wife and to honor, respect, trust, encourage, and cooperate with both him and God for the rest of your life.

You should know that most single Christian women don’t do these nice, respectful things (at least not intentionally) for the men they date. He will probably find it VERY different from any other dating experience he may have had in the past.

Dating from our perspective is pretty much always “give, give, give, without any expectations to receive anything in return, and women often have things they want from us, but only do nice things for us a small fraction of the time (or at least the things (actions) that register as “love” (respect) to men.)

Dating is a slow process of dying on the cross for us. Imagine a magician laying down on a “bed of nails” – that is what dating/marriage is like for Christian men. It is a very difficult, painful, and slow process at times, and requires the correct wisdom, timing, forethought, precision, and patience to execute well. Now compare that with Christian women who are often impatient and want their desired results NOW. They are, in effect, figuratively, using all of their weight and muscle to press and push him farther down onto that “bed of nails” before he is ready (before it is wise or even safe for him to do so), and they really do hurt the men they say they love. Christian women sometimes don’t think about or even realize the pain and damage they are causing men, because they are usually too focused on their own desires and outcomes – their wedding rings and dresses, the flower arrangements, or the joy of receiving so much personal praise from other women on their wedding days. His “slowness”, then, is seen only as a obstacle to her “happiness,” but her “happiness,” indeed, comes at the price of his “death.”

Please try to remember, respect, and appreciate this process in the men you date.

I believe that if some men here are willing to share valuable VULNERABLE information with you ladies about how to understand and meet our needs/desires as men, then women should take note of this OPEN, TRANSPARENT, HONESTY, and TAKE THEIR OWN STEPS to appreciate all that men take to make ourselves more TRUSTWORTHY to women.

And I REALLY DO HOPE that women here might HONOR THE OPPORTUNITY/RESPONSIBILITY given to them to respect men by never taking advantage of our willingness to become vulnerable or trustworthy to you. Please always be trustworthy yourselves.

“I realized that respecting him gives me self esteem and a sense of security, and it certainly takes a lot of pressure off of me.”

Women should be thankful for the new freedoms and reduced stresses they experience when becoming godly, respectful women. They should enjoy those things! But EVEN MORE, they should direct that thankfulness to God and their men. All of those burdens and stresses they had in life didn’t just disappear, they were transferred to the shoulders of God and your men. When Christian men date and marry women, we also take on many of the increased burdens and stresses that allow women to become more free and at peace. There is always a weight and a measure; there is always a personal cost.

We don’t do this for nothing or without reason! We do it because we love you! We want you to enjoy new peace and freedom. We want you to be happy – not for a mere moment, but for the rest of your life! But your peace and freedom comes at a significant personal cost to us as well. We pay a great price – for love – for you! And we don’t want that price to become worthless – meaningless. We only have one life to give! So, we NEED to know on a deep personal level that it (our one life/our investment into you and your life) has real worth to you! Not just because it makes you happy for the moment, but because we pay such a huge sacrificial price for love – for you – for your well-being – and for your life – and it must not count for nothing. It must not come to a mere breath of laughter. We want to see happy smiles on your faces because it shows us that our lifetime of sacrifices for you are not in vain. You mean that much to us!

I guess, to be fair, this realization/sentiment (quoted above), is very encouraging to men as well. We love hearing these types of comments from the women we date/marry, because we do genuinely want what is best for them. Hearing this comment of hers is wonderful, not just because those are all good things in her life now, but because it shows that she is learning to trust and submit to something that we already knew would be very good for her, and likely that only her unbelief in God/men was preventing her from choosing and accepting before.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE TO THE GENTLEMEN:

Just like we can’t know who God is unless He reveals Himself to us, we can’t know who men (in general) are or who our husbands are (specifically) unless they reveal themselves to us. We have absorbed so many lies about men (and women) by our culture and upbringing. We make many inaccurate assumptions. We as women need the input of godly men and our husbands to help us understand and know your hearts.

Most Christian women I know WANT VERY MUCH to understand men and WANT to be able to meet our husbands’ needs. Most of us are willing to change if only we knew what to change. We just don’t know what we don’t know.

When Christian women have the chance to understand  our men, we are able to learn and grow. We are able to begin to understand and learn to appreciate real masculinity and we love learning about your world. It is such a surprise to most of us that this whole foreign world of masculinity exists right under our noses, and we never knew about it.

God is able to change us. I am SO THANKFUL!

Thank you for being patient with us as we try to break through all the wrong thinking and poison of our culture and our own sinful natures. This is a long journey that we must make to become the women you need us to be and to become the women God wants us to be. Women who are embarking on this journey today are pioneers in many ways. This is all brand new territory to us. We don’t understand your language – but we want to! It takes time for us to become “fluent” in respect and biblical submission. I know it is hard to wait as we struggle to figure things out. We need the godly leadership, wisdom and perspective of our loving husbands and Christian brothers.  Thank you for sharing your hearts with us. I pray we will be godly stewards of the treasures you are entrusting to us.

The Respect Dare, Day 31 – “Watch Me!”

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Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.  Proverbs 21:9

YIKES!

I don’t think that any of us want to be labelled a “quarrelsome wife”  – but I have to admit that I sure was one at times in those first 15 years of our marriage.

I was quick to anger, quick to speak and slow to listen, unfortunately. 🙁

I was so task-oriented, that I didn’t just slow down and enjoy my husband or savor the journey.  Now I know, that is NOT at all how I want to live my one chance at life!

HOW MEN BOND

Do you know that men enjoy having peace in their lives?  Sometimes quiet is just the thing they need to recharge their souls.   Men do not usually emotionally bond with words or by talking face-to-face like women tend to do.

One of the ways men like to bond most is to do “shoulder to shoulder” activities (Shaunti Feldhahn “For Women Only” and Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ “Love and Respect”).   They often like to bond just by being together doing stuff.

Try just sitting quietly in the same room or out in the garage or in the driveway a few feet away from your guy as he works on a project sometime this week.  Don’t try to initiate conversation.  Just enjoy being with him.  Get him something if he asks for it.  Or surprise him with a cold glass of tea and a snack.  Sit on a stool or in a chair and just savor being with him, enjoying watching him work.  Smile at him if he looks at you.  Know that you are feeding his soul and nourishing your marriage.

RESPECT DARE #31

1. What can you do to be more relationship focused and to enjoy your husband more?

2. Think about what your husband loves to do – maybe he has invited you to go and you have always turned him down.  Do something he enjoys with him this week if at all possible.  Fishing, basketball, watch him work on a project, help him with a project (if he suggests it), go with him to a game or race.

3. How can you show your husband that you are “his number one fan” as Nina Roesner suggests in The Respect Dare?

4. How are you doing with not being a nagging, quarrelsome, contentious wife?  What do you believe God would have you to do about this if you have room for improvement?

SHARE:

You are welcome to share your ideas of things to do with your husband, or how to show your husband you are on his team.   How do you plan to turn down the negativity, arguing, complaining, nagging, criticism and negativity.

The Respect Dare, Day 31 – "Watch Me!"

260864_3541-2

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.  Proverbs 21:9

YIKES!

I don’t think that any of us want to be labelled a “quarrelsome wife”  – but I have to admit that I sure was one at times in those first 15 years of our marriage.

I was quick to anger, quick to speak and slow to listen, unfortunately. 🙁

I was so task-oriented, that I didn’t just slow down and enjoy my husband or savor the journey.  Now I know, that is NOT at all how I want to live my one chance at life!

HOW MEN BOND

Do you know that men enjoy having peace in their lives?  Sometimes quiet is just the thing they need to recharge their souls.   Men do not usually emotionally bond with words or by talking face-to-face like women tend to do.

One of the ways men like to bond most is to do “shoulder to shoulder” activities (Shaunti Feldhahn “For Women Only” and Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ “Love and Respect”).   They often like to bond just by being together doing stuff.

Try just sitting quietly in the same room or out in the garage or in the driveway a few feet away from your guy as he works on a project sometime this week.  Don’t try to initiate conversation.  Just enjoy being with him.  Get him something if he asks for it.  Or surprise him with a cold glass of tea and a snack.  Sit on a stool or in a chair and just savor being with him, enjoying watching him work.  Smile at him if he looks at you.  Know that you are feeding his soul and nourishing your marriage.

RESPECT DARE #31

1. What can you do to be more relationship focused and to enjoy your husband more?

2. Think about what your husband loves to do – maybe he has invited you to go and you have always turned him down.  Do something he enjoys with him this week if at all possible.  Fishing, basketball, watch him work on a project, help him with a project (if he suggests it), go with him to a game or race.

3. How can you show your husband that you are “his number one fan” as Nina Roesner suggests in The Respect Dare?

4. How are you doing with not being a nagging, quarrelsome, contentious wife?  What do you believe God would have you to do about this if you have room for improvement?

SHARE:

You are welcome to share your ideas of things to do with your husband, or how to show your husband you are on his team.   How do you plan to turn down the negativity, arguing, complaining, nagging, criticism and negativity.

A Wife Battles Pride

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Here is an email from a wife that I think many other wives will relate to!  Thank you to this wife for sharing your heart!  This is part of how this journey looks as God shows us our sin and we hash through these issues, seeking to learn all we can and to humble ourselves and allow God to change us.  She read some of my posts about how I used to act towards my husband:
One  (post I read) was your incident with the A/C guy and “cleaning the garage”. WOW, did THAT speak to my heart. I praise God for putting you in my life. It’s like we speak the same language (pride). If God changed you I BELIEVE He can change me. You give me hope and encouragement.

I got mad at my hubby AGAIN today. Yes, the root was pride. It took a while for God to expose it, I just kept hanging on TO WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE. I kept hearing, “Do you want to be right or be happy?”. “I want to be right!” was my response.

You see, that’s one of my big problems. I think I’m right all the time. Being like that makes it IMPOSSIBLE to have peace with others.  (From Peacefulwife – that was me, too!) You’re in a dark room BUT insist that you see clearly and everyone else is unable to see. Now that God is showing me how deceived I’ve been (in my own pride and need to be right), I realize the battle is within.  It’s like I’ve been conning myself all these years, the flesh, you know?

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. The truth about me is a very freeing thing, but sometimes this flesh doesn’t want me to see or know the truth. It convinces me I am the victim and I DESERVE better. Or, it makes me think that “if only he saw it my way” everything would be good. He’s wrong, and when I show him how wrong he is then we can be okay again.

I get hung up on his role…..this is a very bad habit of mine. Thinking how he ought to be as a husband.

I kinda know I’m being disrespectful, but I’m so blinded by my own desires I can’t see straight.

It took the Holy Spirit about 20 min or more to finally convict me of why I was so upset.  It’s weird because I see God CHANGING ME FOR GOOD, but He just keeps digging deeper, showing MORE AND MORE sin.  God will not settle for second best. He wants the very best for me and He will keep chipping away….burning off that dross so I will reflect Jesus.

Why do we have SO MANY LAYERS OF PRIDE????

I talked it out with my husband (sadly we were both yelling at FIRST). Then I apologized and admitted my struggle. I shared where it was coming from, but I also confessed that I have a problem wanting HIM TO MEET MY NEED. I want him to value me (like Christ tells us a husband to). I just let it all hang out 🙁   My hubby was so sweet and kind, just listening.  I gave him a big hug and told him I knew we both loved God and that we are going through a LOT, the house being under construction, my mother in-law moving into our home and his work being unsteady. There are so many uncertainties in our life right now. God/Jesus really is our Rock and we have been standing on Him and it IS NOT HOPELESS. We might fail, but God is there lifting us up and changing us.

April, I used to get so DISCOURAGED and believe it was hopeless. I just wanted to throw in the towel. We are in 8 and 6’s on the drama scale. God keeps them to a 2, but every once in a while the heat turns up and it feels like a 10. I find myself falling on my face, needing His grace….

I also read your blog about not complaining…OKAY that is a HUGE problem for me. It kinda comes and goes?

I will try for 2 weeks to not complain, even to God. With the Chronic Fatigue and stuff, I will need to use discretion on when to say something? Because even there, not everyone wants to hear I’m tired or hurting. So, God can help me with that too.

How Long before He Feels the Effects of the Changes?

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This is a post my friend, Kayla, wrote when she was just starting to learn about respect and biblical submission.  I totally relate to how she was feeling at this time.  She was kind enough tonight to answer her own questions at the bottom now that it has been about 5 months! Thanks for sharing, Kayla!

It is such a weird place to be when you’re really working on something in your marriage, and the main person who hopefully should be the first person to notice is your spouse, and they are the one person it is most awkward or maybe even inappropriate to talk to about it.

I tell my husband everything.  Inside out and upside down, he’s my GO TO MAN.  And I like it that way. But right now, there is nothing to “go to” him with that would make any sense at all.

My house has not been quiet for the last several days.  Yet at the same time, it has been full or a totally different kind of communication.  And I wonder how much time will actually have to pass before the “change” really comes full circle.

On so many different occasions this weekend I literally had to bite my tongue.  Not because I had to say anything but because I’m used to saying things. I never offered up my two cents to intentionally be disrespectful- in fact I didn’t really have any idea that it could be seen that way or might feel like that.  None-the-less, I always offered it up.

It isn’t like I can say to my husband “Hey, did you notice I didn’t say anything there?” or “You know, I really wanted to say XXX but I didn’t because I respect you and I want to follow you.”  That’d kinda kill what I’m ultimately trying to accomplish.

He knows that I’ve been challenged in my respect of him, and he knows I’m working on some changes.  However, knowing that and actually feeling and seeing the effects of it are two different things.

So I’m wondering today, how long will it take before he really notices the changes on his own, without my trying to point everything out.

And since I can’t talk to him… anyone out there care to offer up some communication?

~Have you ever made a change that you didn’t want to “talk” to your husband about? Yes!  It was really weird to stop “nagging” him.  I would think about repeating something, and stop myself, and then find myself struggling not to say “I just kept myself from nagging you there…. did you notice?”

~Did he ever notice and how long did it take? He has noticed numerous changes, but honestly, I don’t think he’s noticed everything.  Maybe I feel that way because a lot of what I have changed is how I look at him, how I feel about him, what I allow myself to think about, and what I choose to say.  These thing all happened in my mind and heart, so while I think he can see changes…. I don’t believe he can fully grasp the full change because he was never inside my mind in the first place.

~How has your marriage been since making the changes? We’re growing.  I see less spats and arguments.  I see some instances where there is more concern for my feelings.  I see times when he’s more willing to talk or help out.  I feel we have some distance to cover, but we lived 10 years together in pretty disrespectful & unloving conditions, so I don’t expect the results to be instantaneous. 

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I saw some changes the first week.  But then many more changes within the next month or two, and then gradually, many more changes over the next several years.

My husband DEFINITELY noticed!  He wrote a post about his perspective – check it out here.

It took a good 2 years for things to become “normal” and “natural” for me to be a godly wife.  But we both feel like we have the marriage of our dreams now and you couldn’t pay me money to make me think, say and do the things I used to do in my marriage when I was controlling, disrespectful, far from God, worried, stressed, afraid and lonely.

Now I feel cherished, loved, protected, well-provided for, peaceful, joyful, powerful, feminine, alive, and incredibly blessed in my relationship with God and my husband!

How about you?

 

I POSTED THIS ON FACEBOOK TODAY

THE LOVE TEST

Happy Valentine’s Day! I know this is a day where we often think about how loved we FEEL. I’d like to put a different spin on things. Let’s look at God’s love for us, His beautiful definition of love in I Corinthians 13:4-8. And let’s see how WE are doing with loving our husbands. I want you to put YOUR name where the word, “love” would usually go – and I took the liberty of modifying things a bit to fit with marriage. How loving are you?

________ is patient with her husband, even when he takes a long time answering her or she doesn’t get her way.
________ is kind to her husband, even if he is not in a good mood, is not talking with her, or answered her harshly.
She does not envy or begrudge him time with his hobbies/work/friends,
she does not boast and brag about how she is such a better spouse than he is, or about all she has to do to take care of him and what a burden he is,
she is not proud, she does not think she is always right and he is always wrong.
She is not rude to her husband, even if she thinks he deserves it,
she is not self-seeking, she looks out for what is best for him above herself,
she is not easily angered even when she has PMS,
she keeps no record of wrongs and doesn’t throw past sins in her husband’s face but truly forgives him the way Christ has forgiven her.
________ does not delight in evil, in bringing harm to her husband, she doesn’t want him to be in pain or to suffer,
but she rejoices when the truth wins.
She always protects her husband, always wants to trust him, always hopes in him, always perseveres in the marriage.
If you see some areas that need work, pray and ask God to forgive you of your sins and ask Him to fill you with His Spirit (if you are a believer – if not, message me and I will be glad to tell you how to have a relationship with Jesus!). He can empower you to love this way!

I pray we will all love our husbands and families and those around us with God’s love like this by His power and for His greatest glory. Let us be known by our LOVE for one another! That is how the world will know we belong to Him.