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“I Need to Change! I Can’t Go on Like This!”

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This wife read a post for the first time on my blog – and has graciously allowed me to share her comment. I think a lot of us may be able to relate to this sister in Christ:

This post – “A Fellow Wife Begins a New Challenge – I’m Actually Going to Believe My Husband” – was very helpful for me as I was searching the web trying to fix my controlling behavior, and understand the negative behavior I practice daily with my husband and as a result, I believe with God, too.

I am not sure why, but I am very controlling, very questioning, slow to trust, doubtful that what my husband is telling me is true, and very snoopy.

I have recently reached out for help because I believe this behavior needs to stop ASAP but i am not sure where it comes from. My husband is generally a very trustworthy man.

I constantly:
– ask him who’s calling/why he doesn’t answer/why they are calling.
– ask him where he was if he was late.
– ask him why he does everything he does.
– check his Facebook and search history.
– act like a private investigator to his life, checking every search, every phone call, checking bank account every hour to see where he spends and then call and ask why he spent that.
– try to keep him from doing anything harmful, no matter what the cost – fighting, yelling, and screaming.
– FEAR him dying from lung cancer, or having wrinkles or bad teeth from smoking.
– give him a disgusting dirty look if he says a bad word.
– pout when he doesn’t spend time with me.
– drive by his friend’s house to see if he is where he said he would be.
– FEAR he finds another woman more attractive than me.
– ask him why he looked at every person he looked at.
– accuse him of staring at a girl too long.
– get very upset and not speak to him the whole night if I believe he looked at another woman.
– question him about everything!!

You get the point. It is a painful way to live. I do not want to live this way. I say I trust the Lord, but do I? Do I even trust him with my own husband who is a believer and loves the Lord?  My husband is His – so why do I try so hard to make him who I want him to be?

When I was with my last boyfriend, I did the same type of stuff compulsively. And I believe I have carried it into my marriage.

I am worried and want this to stop. I started thinking that since my husband is not jealous, and since he doesn’t try to look at all my stuff and since he clearly doesn’t obsess about what I am doing, or question me about anything – he must not love me as much or the same way I do him, for some reason I am associating jealous and unhealthy behavior to mean love. But then I meditated on these verses…

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Corinthians 13:4-7

Every single thing in this passage describes my husband. It describes my God. It does not describe me.

I even started to wonder suspiciously why my husband forgives me so easily and so quickly?  Has he done something that if I find out about in the future he will need to make sure he stores up enough forgiveness toward me to make sure I forgive him? He must be doing something terrible or already done something (this is how awful my brain works…) I still can’t say that I fully believe that is a crazy statement and that its not true.

I believe I need to repent, and rely on God and pray He change me, but I feel I have done that before and nothing changes. Is there anything else I can do besides read blogs, books, and pray? I try to change so badly but what am I doing wrong 🙁 ?

I just hope someone can help me. I truly want to change. I really am hurting.

God bless you all.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I believe this wife is in the right place. I think of my online sites as a spiritual “ER” where the hurting, sick, and wounded can come to find healing in the arms of Christ and in the truth of His Word. There are TONS of posts here that I believe God can and will use to bless women – drawing them to Himself. If you are just beginning your journey, the posts at the top of my home page may be a good place to start. You may also search my home page for topics or search by category on the right hand column of my home page. 

I also have a Youtube channel, “April Cassidy,” with dozens of videos about topics related to living for Christ, becoming a godly woman, and becoming a godly wife/girlfriend.

If you need more detailed help or a more organized approach to this journey, my first book is releasing officially on January 27th! Amazon.com is already shipping it: The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord.  

I believe that this book is the closest thing to me personally mentoring wives. It might even be better, in some ways! The thing I love about books is that you can read and reread over and over again, take notes, stop and cry, stop and pray, and highlight things.  I personally had to re-read some books over and over – every day for months – earlier in my journey to really learn to let go of my old toxic ways of thinking and to embrace and solidify God’s truth in my heart.

take my readers through the beginning steps of this road and build the framework for God’s design for godly femininity, living for Christ, and becoming a godly wife. My prayer is that God might use me somehow to “put the dots closer” for those who come behind me than they were for me when I began this journey 7 years ago.

If you are getting frustrated, have questions, or need to talk about something – please comment! I’d love to do all I can to point you to Christ and to the healing available in Him for each of us. I try to be as available as I can here on the blog. My goal is to respond to every comment.

THE MOST IMPORTANT thing we can do is to spend time in God’s Word, at His feet, inviting His Spirit into our hearts and lives to change us. 

If you want to share what God is doing in your life, please comment, as well. 🙂

SHARE:

How did you feel when God first flipped the light switch for you in your heart like this? What helped you the most when God opened your eyes to how much He desired you to change? You are most welcome to share your story. Every woman’s (and man’s) story displays a unique facet of God’s love, power, mercy, and grace. He may use your story to greatly bless someone else and to build up and bless the Body of Christ.

Much love!

"I Need to Change! I Can't Go on Like This!"

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This wife read a post for the first time on my blog – and has graciously allowed me to share her comment. I think a lot of us may be able to relate to this sister in Christ:

This post – “A Fellow Wife Begins a New Challenge – I’m Actually Going to Believe My Husband” – was very helpful for me as I was searching the web trying to fix my controlling behavior, and understand the negative behavior I practice daily with my husband and as a result, I believe with God, too.

I am not sure why, but I am very controlling, very questioning, slow to trust, doubtful that what my husband is telling me is true, and very snoopy.

I have recently reached out for help because I believe this behavior needs to stop ASAP but i am not sure where it comes from. My husband is generally a very trustworthy man.

I constantly:
– ask him who’s calling/why he doesn’t answer/why they are calling.
– ask him where he was if he was late.
– ask him why he does everything he does.
– check his Facebook and search history.
– act like a private investigator to his life, checking every search, every phone call, checking bank account every hour to see where he spends and then call and ask why he spent that.
– try to keep him from doing anything harmful, no matter what the cost – fighting, yelling, and screaming.
– FEAR him dying from lung cancer, or having wrinkles or bad teeth from smoking.
– give him a disgusting dirty look if he says a bad word.
– pout when he doesn’t spend time with me.
– drive by his friend’s house to see if he is where he said he would be.
– FEAR he finds another woman more attractive than me.
– ask him why he looked at every person he looked at.
– accuse him of staring at a girl too long.
– get very upset and not speak to him the whole night if I believe he looked at another woman.
– question him about everything!!

You get the point. It is a painful way to live. I do not want to live this way. I say I trust the Lord, but do I? Do I even trust him with my own husband who is a believer and loves the Lord?  My husband is His – so why do I try so hard to make him who I want him to be?

When I was with my last boyfriend, I did the same type of stuff compulsively. And I believe I have carried it into my marriage.

I am worried and want this to stop. I started thinking that since my husband is not jealous, and since he doesn’t try to look at all my stuff and since he clearly doesn’t obsess about what I am doing, or question me about anything – he must not love me as much or the same way I do him, for some reason I am associating jealous and unhealthy behavior to mean love. But then I meditated on these verses…

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Corinthians 13:4-7

Every single thing in this passage describes my husband. It describes my God. It does not describe me.

I even started to wonder suspiciously why my husband forgives me so easily and so quickly?  Has he done something that if I find out about in the future he will need to make sure he stores up enough forgiveness toward me to make sure I forgive him? He must be doing something terrible or already done something (this is how awful my brain works…) I still can’t say that I fully believe that is a crazy statement and that its not true.

I believe I need to repent, and rely on God and pray He change me, but I feel I have done that before and nothing changes. Is there anything else I can do besides read blogs, books, and pray? I try to change so badly but what am I doing wrong 🙁 ?

I just hope someone can help me. I truly want to change. I really am hurting.

God bless you all.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I believe this wife is in the right place. I think of my online sites as a spiritual “ER” where the hurting, sick, and wounded can come to find healing in the arms of Christ and in the truth of His Word. There are TONS of posts here that I believe God can and will use to bless women – drawing them to Himself. If you are just beginning your journey, the posts at the top of my home page may be a good place to start. You may also search my home page for topics or search by category on the right hand column of my home page. 

I also have a Youtube channel, “April Cassidy,” with dozens of videos about topics related to living for Christ, becoming a godly woman, and becoming a godly wife/girlfriend.

If you need more detailed help or a more organized approach to this journey, my first book is releasing officially on January 27th! Amazon.com is already shipping it: The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord.  

I believe that this book is the closest thing to me personally mentoring wives. It might even be better, in some ways! The thing I love about books is that you can read and reread over and over again, take notes, stop and cry, stop and pray, and highlight things.  I personally had to re-read some books over and over – every day for months – earlier in my journey to really learn to let go of my old toxic ways of thinking and to embrace and solidify God’s truth in my heart.

take my readers through the beginning steps of this road and build the framework for God’s design for godly femininity, living for Christ, and becoming a godly wife. My prayer is that God might use me somehow to “put the dots closer” for those who come behind me than they were for me when I began this journey 7 years ago.

If you are getting frustrated, have questions, or need to talk about something – please comment! I’d love to do all I can to point you to Christ and to the healing available in Him for each of us. I try to be as available as I can here on the blog. My goal is to respond to every comment.

THE MOST IMPORTANT thing we can do is to spend time in God’s Word, at His feet, inviting His Spirit into our hearts and lives to change us. 

If you want to share what God is doing in your life, please comment, as well. 🙂

SHARE:

How did you feel when God first flipped the light switch for you in your heart like this? What helped you the most when God opened your eyes to how much He desired you to change? You are most welcome to share your story. Every woman’s (and man’s) story displays a unique facet of God’s love, power, mercy, and grace. He may use your story to greatly bless someone else and to build up and bless the Body of Christ.

Much love!

What Does It Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?

Me in 2003 when I was still so blind to my sin.

We are going to look at what godly femininity is. But sometimes, a powerful way to study what something is – is to look at what it is NOT. There may be some women for whom all of these things (about being an ungodly woman) would apply – hopefully not! But if any of these things describe our lives now, that is a problem! I don’t want us to compare ourselves to other sinful people, but to the holy standard of God. This may be a bit painful, my sweet sisters. My hope is that we might approach this list prayerfully, humbly asking God to reveal any issues He has in our lives with a willingness to get rid of anything that offends His holiness.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

I’m estimating that about 60 of the statements below applied to me when God woke me up to my sin in December of 2008. Here is the scary thing – that whole time, I was in church 3 times a week, I read my Bible every day, I prayed sometimes for hours every day. I THOUGHT I was the best Christian wife ever. Yet, my life was overflowing with sin. You can read my story here. PRAISE GOD – HE WOKE ME UP AND CHANGED ME! And He can do the same for each of us! WOOHOO!

Today would be a fantastic day to lay down any sin God convicts us of and to turn completely from our sin in godly sorrow and turn to Christ in faith with a desire to submit fully to Him in trust and to obey Him in all things!

If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9

We are going to go to the Bible for our understanding of what being an ungodly woman looks like.  In our next post, we will look at what Scripture says about godly femininity. Even after we come to Christ, we can choose to have ungodly femininity if we choose to live in our own strength and we choose not to abide in Christ or not to believe His Word or we grieve His Spirit. Not to mention, this is a long process, and there are times, especially in the beginning months and years where we don’t understand and we stumble. But if we are His, we cannot stay in a sinful state for long, because His Spirit will work in us to draw us back to Himself and we will want Him to change us.

The goal is to abide in Him and to be filled with God’s Spirit.

That is the only way to have a godly life. I am not talking about sinless perfection – but I am talking about a generally holy life and a conscience that is deeply grieved by any sin. We can’t do it in our own strength! Only God is good. And only He can produce goodness in us. But praise God He is able to change us and regenerate our souls and transform us to be more and more like Christ! THIS IS SUCH WONDERFUL NEWS! If God empowers us with genuine faith in Himself, He will cause MAJOR and DRAMATIC changes in our lives. We cannot stay the same once we meet Jesus! He changes us. We don’t clean up ourselves. He does all the work. THANK GOD FOR HIS GRACE! There is hope for each of us in Him!

You are welcome to share your thoughts!  (I am very aware that this list is not exhaustive. But – it is already very long!)

UNGODLY WOMANHOOD:

 It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman. Proverbs 21:19

– The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing. Proverbs 9:13

– Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion. Proverbs 11:22

She may:

– do harm to her husband and have hurtful intentions toward him to hurt him spiritually/emotionally/sexually/physically. (Proverbs 31:10-12)

– eat the bread of idleness. (Proverbs 31:27)

allow other people and relationships to be more important than her husband and marriage (parents, friends, children, church, extended family, work). (Matthew 19:5)

allow her husband or other things to be more important than Christ to her. (Matthew 16:24)

– refuse to die to self and to her sinful nature. (Matthew 16:24, Romans 6)

– try to usurp the position of the Holy Spirit in the lives of others as if it is her job to convict people and to make people holy. (John 16:8)

– try to usurp the position of Satan as if it is her job to accuse people and condemn them before God.  (Revelation 12:10)

believe she is good and God is evil. (Luke 18:19, Job 1) She may accuse God of wrongdoing and believe she is right and innocent. (Romans 3:23, Isaiah 64:6)

– not take responsibility for her own sin, but blame others for her sin and expect others to be responsible for her happiness. (Genesis 3)

– think others’ sins are much worse than hers. (Luke 18:11)

– use crude, vulgar language or  cutting sarcasm. (Ephesians 4:29-30, Ephesians 5:4)

– be judgmental, condemning and critical. (Galatians 5:18-21)

– act as if she is sovereign instead of God, as if she is in control over things that really only God can control. (Psalm 103:19)

trust self rather than God. (Psalm 118:8)

– be overcome by fear. (2 Timothy 1:7)

– encourage others to trust her instead of God or to put her or her wisdom above God and His wisdom in their own lives. She may encourage others to sin in order for her and for them to get what they want rather than doing things God’s way and trusting God. (Genesis 3,  Genesis 16:2)

hate her husband or others and deceive herself into thinking that she can love God at the same time (I John 4:20-21)

– focus on her charm and external beauty. (Proverbs 31:30)

– not fear God in a healthy way – knowing she will ultimately answer to Him for every thought, word and deed she has in this lifetime. (Proverbs 31:30)

bring shame to her husband and is like rottenness in his bones. (Proverbs 12:4)

not trust, believe or obey God. (Matthew 22:37-40) She may believe in God. She may even think she is a believer. But she does not live like she truly trusts God and does not rest in His sovereignty and feels she knows best and has to make things work out herself. This results in GREAT stress, worry, fear and anxiety!

not love others with the love of God (Matthew 22:37-40) – because she has not truly experienced the love of God herself. She cannot give what she does not have. She may try to love by controlling others, by being a people pleaser, by being a victim, by being a martyr or by manipulating with guilt.

– use her power and influence in the marriage to try to tear down her husband spiritually, emotionally, mentally, maybe even sexually and physically – maybe because she feels unloved. (Proverbs 14:1). She may think that if he could just hurt as much as she is hurting, he will love her more. But all she does is destroy him and the marriage.

– use her words to cause destruction and death. (Proverbs 18:21)

– harbor hatred, resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness in her heart. (Galatians 5:20) Maybe she wants to forgive – but it just seems impossible. She feels justified to hang on to grudges and resentment. She doesn’t want to let go of bitterness. She cherishes her bitterness.

– stir up contention at home, in the extended family and at work. She sows strife, gossip, dissension, arguments and discord. (Galatians 5:20)

seek to control her husband instead of to help him. (Genesis 3:16)

– demand time, affection, attention and sex from her husband, wanting desperately to be his first priority. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

give up her position of influence, her ideas, her thoughts, her strength in Christ, seeking the approval of her husband above the approval of God (making him an idol), or giving in to fear of her husband. (Galatians 1:10)

think she deserves to be abused or mistreated (which is a lie!)  and not know her worth in Christ. (Romans 8)

– be consumed by false humility, insecurity and self-hatred, (a form of pride), accepting lies of this world and the enemy over the truth of the Bible. She leans on her own understanding instead of fully trusting the wisdom of God. (Proverbs 3:5)

– unable to stop the constant stream of worry and “what ifs” in her mind, consumed by fear and thoughts of bad things that might happen.  (Philippians 4:4-8)

– have no godly wisdom or discretion. (Proverbs 11:22)

refuse to submit herself to Christ as LORD and therefore cannot biblically submit to her husband’s God-given leadership either. She is adamant that she will do things HER way. (I Corinthians 11:3)

– answer harshly and stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

– not honor God’s design for marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:3-5, Colossians 3:18, I Corinthians 11:3) and she may try to usurp authority from her husband and demand that he submit to her and that she should lead or she may become very passive and go to the other end of the spectrum and become too submissive.

– pridefully believe she knows best, she is right all the time and her husband is wrong unless he agrees with her. (Proverbs 11:2)

May of 2005 - Doing things MY way!!
May of 2005 – Doing things MY way!! I was ALWAYS right. I had to be in control. I didn’t even care that Greg loved my hair long. I didn’t take his feelings into consideration at all. 🙁 What mattered to me then was my feelings.

– bring disgrace on herself, God, her husband and family, and may not even realize it, thinking she is so good. (Proverbs 11:2, Titus 2:5) She may smear her husband on social media or to friends/family/coworkers and say the most hateful things about him, trying to hurt him as much as possible, and not even see how she is smearing filth on the Name of Jesus and how awful her sin looks to God and to everyone else.

– may think that being a godly wife is a way to manipulate God and her husband to give her what she wants. (James 4)

– malign the Word of God by refusing to obey God’s commands for her. (Titus 2:5)

– believe she is superior morally/spiritually to her husband. That is pride and self-righteousness (Matthew 7:1-5, Proverbs 16:18).

use lots of words to try to force her husband to do what she wants and to explain herself. She may believe that if she can just explain herself enough, her husband will see that she is right and will do what she wants.  She believes more words are better. And she doesn’t see the damage her words do.  “Where words are many, sin is not lacking.” Proverbs 10:19 (I Peter 3:1-2)

– gladly or unknowingly disrespect her husband. (I Peter 3:1-2, Ephesians 5:22-33) Respect for husbands is something our culture threw out a few generations ago. Many wives have never even seen what real respect and honor for a husband looks like in marriage. This does not help!!!

– be lazy or be a perfectionist. (Proverbs 31, Titus 2:3)

– be foolish, brash, brazen, loud and arrogant. (Proverbs 9:13)

not guard her heart and her marriage inviting flirtation from other men, moving carelessly toward adultery. (Proverbs 2,5-7)

– believe that if she is sinned against, she is justified to sin against her husband or others even though God gives no free passes for sin and God calls us to overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-21)

– be unruly and defiant, with feet that never stay at home. (Proverbs 7:11) Or, she may flirt a lot online or have inappropriate relationships with men at work, church or social media.

dress immodestly – purposely or unintentionally. (Proverbs 7:10)

– have no problem reading and watching sinful things, feeding impure thoughts. (Galatians 5:20) She may be addicted to pornography or the fantasy of romance novels.

– be filled with jealousy and yield to fits of rage. (Galatians 5:20)

– be selfish. (Galatians 5:20)

abuse drugs or alcohol. (Galatians 5:21)

set her heart on many worldly things other than Christ to try to find fulfillment in them – which is idolatry. Friendship with the world is enmity toward God. James 4:4 (Galatians 5:20)

– have a husband who does not feel safe with her spiritually, emotionally, sexually and/or physically. (Proverbs 31:11)

not have dignity or honor. (Proverbs 31)

not be trustworthy. God cannot trust her. Her husband cannot trust her. (Proverbs 31)

not care about her husband’s feelings, needs or desires, placing her own feelings, needs and desires far above his. (I Corinthians 13:4-8, Ephesians 5:22-33)

– be harsh and aggressive. (Proverbs 15:1)

– be filled with anxiety, fear, worry and stress not the power of God’s Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23, I Peter 3:4-6)

– be rude. (I Corinthians 13:5)

– be power-hungry and harbor selfish ambition. (James 3:14, James 4:1-10)

– decide to have an abortion because she is more afraid of the consequences of having a child than she is afraid of God. (Proverbs 1:7) Or because a child is not convenient. Or because she submitted to her husband /boyfriend even though what he asked her to do was clearly sin against God. (Isaiah 57:5, Exodus 20, Psalm 139)

– she may think God cannot forgive her – but He can!!!!! (I John 1:9)

push for divorce against the teaching of Scripture. (Matthew 19:3-12, I Corinthians 7)

gather ungodly counselors to give her the advice she wants to hear. (2 Timothy 4:3)

argue and complain often and have a lot of negative things to say which causes her not to be able to shine for Christ. (Philippians 2:14-16)

– have no grace, mercy or forgiveness to offer to anyone, but she may hold onto grudges, resentment and bitterness. (I John 2, James 2:13)

– constantly dwell on all the things people have done to hurt her and keep score of exactly what others, especially her husband, have done to wrong her. (I Corinthians 13:5)

love sin and evil and hate what is good and right in God’s sight. (I Corinthians 13:6) It is often VERY hard, scary even, for a lot of women to give up their bitterness, pride, control, self-righteousness, gossip, idolatry and sin – until we realize that our choice is that we can keep sin or we can have Jesus. But we cannot have both!

– be irreverent and disrespectful toward God, toward her husband and possibly to others, as well, particularly those in positions of God-given authority. (Titus 2:2)

withhold sex from her husband or use sex as a weapon or as a means of bribery. (I Corinthians 7:1-5) Or she may use her husband’s willingness to have sex with her to determine her self worth and make sex an idol.

– set an ungodly example of femininity, marriage and motherhood. (Titus 2:3)

give ungodly relationship advice to others. (Titus 2:3)

– try to set herself up as an authority over her husband and maybe over men in the church which maligns the Word of God. (I Corinthians 11:3-16, Titus 2:5. I Timothy 2:12)

reject her husband’s God-given leadership and God’s leadership. (I Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-33, I Peter 3:1-6, Titus 2:3-5)

despise God’s Word, His wisdom and godly correction. Or she may distort God’s Word, ignore God’s Word, choose parts of God’s Word that she doesn’t agree with or  she may just not be able to see or hear God’s Word. She may bristle if anyone dare rebuke her because, after all, she is always right! (Proverbs 1:7)

– be insecure because her security is not in Christ. She may have idols in her heart – self, romance, happiness, control, having her way, her husband, beauty, thinness, wealth, children, etc… Things that are more important to her than Jesus. She cannot find contentment or joy in these other things. She knows she does not measure up and is not finding enough acceptance or validation in them. She is looking to worldly things and people to meet needs that only Jesus can meet. The results are always going to be anxiety, fear, depression, loneliness, discontentment, insecurity and/or bitterness. (Galatians 5:20)

– be involved in any kind of sinful thoughts, words or behavior.

– not have any prick of conscience about staying in sin. Thinks her sin is “not that bad.” (1 John 4, James 2)

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Romans 6:23

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

PRAISE GOD! THERE IS FORGIVENESS, GRACE HEALING and MERCY available for all of my sin and your sin in Jesus Christ!!!!!!!!! His blood can cover ANY sin! When we turn to Him in faith, He can and will cleanse us from all of our sins and filth and He will give us a new heart, mind and soul. He can give us NEW, ABUNDANT LIFE! He gave all for us, now, we surrender all to Him and make Him our Savior and LORD. To find out about having a relationship and being made right with God, please click here.

Me in May of 2014 - full of the love, joy, peace and presence of God. Living in Him is SO much better than clinging to all my pride, self-righteousness, bitterness, unforgiveness, idolatry of self, idolatry of happiness, anxiety and fear!!!!!
Me in May of 2014 – full of the love, joy, peace and presence of God.  I still have thousands of miles to go on this journey to become a godly woman and wife. I’m not perfect. But I am not at all the same person I was. I can’t wait to see all that I get to learn and all that God has in store. 🙂 Thanks for being on this journey with me!

How Disrespectful Was I?

April as a pharmacist in 1998 (25 years old)
April as a pharmacist in 1998 (25 years old)

I had a talk with Greg this past week and, out of curiosity, asked him if he would rank my level of disrespect earlier in our marriage on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the MOST DISRESPECTFUL wife he had ever seen. He said, “You were probably about a 4 or a 5.” I knew that many women were much more disrespectful to their husbands than I was. I didn’t have eyes to see it if there were women who were more respectful than I was to their husbands. So, I thought I was respecting Greg just fine. He never complained or told me I was not doing a good job. I didn’t know I was disrespectful at all for those first 14+ years of our marriage. I thought I was the best Christian wife, ever! I mean, I didn’t:

  • scream
  • cuss
  • throw things – except for that ONE time that I threw a pair of clean panties at Greg the first summer we were married. They didn’t come anywhere near hitting him. So, that surely doesn’t count, right?
  • threaten divorce
  • call him names
  • purposely disrespect him
  • hit him – although, I really wanted to sometimes
  • cheat on him – but, I did become infatuated with another man early in our marriage, and allowed myself to daydream about what it would be like to be married to him instead of Greg. So dangerous!
  • humiliate him on Facebook – of course, it hadn’t been invented yet!
  • act like the women on Jerry Springer
  • refuse to cooperate with him if he led in a direction I didn’t like. But, I would argue for hours about how right I was and how wrong he was and then when he still insisted on doing something a certain way, I eventually conceded to him. But I made sure he knew I was not happy about it and I held on to bitterness and resentment. I did not joyfully honor his leadership. Most of the time Greg didn’t tell me what he thought if he disagreed with me, because (I found out later) he felt it wasn’t worth trying to fight me on things.
Greg and April, Easter 1998
Greg and April, Easter 1998 – almost married 4 years

Our marriage was not awful. There were some happy times. I remember Greg often saying, “Our marriage is a lot better than most.” He said that especially when I was trying to “improve” things. There were times when I often felt lonely, stressed, worried, afraid and unloved. I wanted our marriage to be the BEST it could be, not just “above average.” Unfortunately, I didn’t see my pride, self-righteousness, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, critical spirit, people pleasing, perfectionism, idolatry, lack of faith in God… I thought I barely sinned at all and that I hardly owed God anything. Wow. Was I wrong! How thankful I am that God opened my blind eyes to my sin.

We both always loved each other.  Divorce was never an option for us. We were committed to each other and to God. I didn’t think Greg loved me at times because he was so unplugged and passive. But looking back, I know now that he did always love me. He just shut down because of my attitude and behavior toward him. I knew I didn’t know what Greg needed, and I knew that he wouldn’t/couldn’t tell me what those things were when I would ask him. I also had very little idea what respect actually meant to a husband and what biblical submission should look like.

Even small to moderate amounts of disrespect on a wife’s part can cause damage to the marriage. That is what sin does, it hurts people, hurts relationships and separates us from God. Any sin is destructive.

MY THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS TOWARD MY HUSBAND ARE  BAROMETERS OF MY LOVE FOR GOD:

Until I am willing to reverence and fully submit to Jesus Christ as my Master and Lord,  I am incapable of being a godly wife. My level of respect and biblical submission for my imperfect husband are just a tangible indicator of my level of reverence for and submission to Jesus. He is the Perfect Bridegroom. Until I am able to relate to Him properly and understand who I really am (a wretched sinner with no good in me) and what I really deserved (hell), and until I understand what Jesus has done for me, the phenomenal price He paid for my sins on the cross and who He truly is and how much He loves me because of who He is – I cannot be a godly wife to my imperfect earthly husband.

If I can’t or won’t respect and trust Jesus, I cannot respect or trust my husband. It is only as I am right with Christ that He empowers me to be able to walk in obedience to His commands for me as a wife. Then, I am able to respect my husband and trust his leadership because my trust is ultimately not in my husband, my trust is ultimately in Christ and His goodness, love, faithfulness and sovereignty to lead me through my imperfect husband. From that position of strength, I can learn to genuinely respect, honor, trust and bless my husband.

Jesus must be the source of my life, power and motives. He must be my greatest desire. Then He enables me to be right with my husband and other people, too. My prayer is that God might show us His beautiful design for us as women and for marriages so that we might learn how to greatly bless our husbands and honor Christ, our Lord.    I pray we will do our husbands good, not evil, all the days of our lives and that the hearts of our husbands might safely trust us. (Prov. 31)

RELATED:

My Story – how God woke me up to my sin and what I had been doing that was disrespectful

Husbands Share What is Disrespectful to Them

What Is Respect in Marriage?

Biblical Submission

Spiritual Authority

Some Things are Unconditional, Some Are Not (Love, Respect, Forgiveness, Trust)

Greg in 1998
Greg in 1998

Ways Husbands Lead that Wives Often Don’t Notice – From the Archives

A REMINDER:

I write from the slant of a wife who was dominating, Type A personality, take-charge, controlling, overly responsible, overly “helpful” and prideful with a passive husband. If you tend to be too quiet or have a very dominant husband, my slant may not be the angle you need because you are going to have to correct from the opposite direction. If your husband is abusive, my blog will probably not be a good fit for you – the things I talk about with respect and biblical submission in a normal marriage may be triggers for abused women.  I don’t want to cause any wife harm! Please seek godly help if you are not safe or if you have severe issues in your marriage. Thanks!

————————

This is a continuation of the post two days ago about how wives tend to have VERY specific and high expectations of exactly what it means to be a spiritual leader – and how many of the things we expect aren’t even biblical.  Not only that – but our expectations can lead to grave sin in our hearts (contempt, bitterness, resentment, disrespect, rebellion against our husbands or God, divisions, factions, fighting, hatred – and ultimately lost unity in our marriages and families).  When our children (and those around us) witness a marriage like this, they are repelled from Christ.

Let’s look at ways that many husbands actually DO try to lead in their families.

There is a good chance that your husband is trying to lead you (or used to try to lead) – but – are you listening?  Are you following?  Do you  acknowledge his attempts at leadership?

In real life, husbands tend to lead in “subtle” ways.  They don’t usually announce – “We will now begin our 6:30pm nightly Bible study time.  Here is an outline of the books of the Bible we will be covering for the next 12 months.  There will be  a test every week and here is a list of all the Bible verses I expect each family member to memorize each week.  You will all be graded. There will be an essay question once a month, with extra credit options.”

I think sometimes we as wives tend to expect our husbands to stand in front of our families like a pastor and preach or like a Sunday School teacher and teach for 1 hour every night.

I would like to suggest, that MOST husbands don’t follow that type of style, but they often DO try to lead their families in many ways, especially if they have a wife who is supportive, cooperative and full of real admiration and faith in them.

EVERY HUSBAND IS UNIQUE

Each husband has his own style, personality, perspective, gifts and strengths.  Each one will have his own particular brand of leadership – and it will change as he grows and matures.  But keep in mind that NO husband arrives to marriage completely spiritually mature and with a total grasp on godly leadership.  Godly maturity and leadership are developed over many years, decades even.  And the more we cooperate and support our husbands’ attempts at godly leadership, the more quickly they will learn and grow and honor God.

Also – remember that for a husband to be a great leader – HE HAS TO HAVE A GREAT FOLLOWER.  If you are trying to lead – you are not following.  If you are busy criticizing, you are not following.  It’s time for us to learn to be supportive, encouraging, godly, loyal and faithful followers! (I Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:5, I Timothy 3:5 – be sure to compare EVERYTHING I or anyone else says against God’s Word!)

MY HUSBAND’S BRAND OF LEADERSHIP

This section is a description of my husband’s particular style and how our marriage works now.  Your marriage WILL look different.  That’s ok.  Follow YOUR husband’s leadership and appreciate his strengths.  Admire and thank him often for what he does for you and your family.

My husband leads first of all by example.  Even when I was so disrespectful and controlling – my husband was often peaceful, forgiving, patient, kind, generous and loving.  Back then, I thought I was so spiritually mature and “above” him because I read my Bible daily, I prayed a LOT (sometimes 4 hours/day), I wrote my prayers in a notebook, I could quote lots of scripture, and I “knew” how things should be.  But I held grudges, didn’t forgive, was very impatient, rude, condescending, holier-than-thou, disrespectful, prideful and was committing constant idolatry –  putting my own self and trying to have control up as idols in my heart.  I also put my husband and our marriage as idols in my soul.  And I didn’t even see it.  Like Eve, I was so blind and deceived, but I thought I knew best.  Imagine the blessings and miracles I missed out on for 15 years because of my disobedience to God’s Word and the sin I cherished for so long in my heart.

My husband leads in more subtle ways that I used to miss:

  • He gives me direction and guidance.  Often what he is saying is really God’s Word to me – if I will but listen and cooperate.  My husband may say, “I think you are spending too much time blogging.  I want you to take a break and spend some time with the family for awhile.”  THAT IS SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP, LADIES!  Or he may say, “I think you need to take a nap today.  You haven’t been getting enough sleep and I can see you are really worn out.”  I am wise when I listen to his suggestions.  The whole family benefits from my husband’s wisdom and leadership.
  • He helps me say no to unhealthy commitments.  He sees where I get out of balance or zealous to do something that might take too much of my energy and leave me drained with nothing but scraps for my family.
  • He disciplines our children.  My husband may be more strict or harsh with our children than I am.  Or sometimes, he may be more relaxed with them than I am.  But his powerful influence on our children is a HUGE way that he leads spiritually in our family.   If I cooperate with him, tell him my feelings and perspective, but trust him to handle situations as he sees best – my children learn real discipline, they learn to have godly character, they see the unity in our marriage and they see my example of how to submit to God-given authority.  My example is the standard upon which  they will base their own future submission to God and God-given authority.
  • He desires physical intimacy with me (especially once he felt genuinely respected by me).  God designed sex to be the glue that holds a married couple together physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Both the husband and wife are bonded to one another during the one flesh relationship with a cocktail of neurotransmitters and endorphins (a natural “high”).  And sex unifies the married couple spiritually in ways we can’t begin to fathom.  It helps to keep divisions away.  It removes tension and helps promote forgiveness.  This needs to be a HUGE priority whenever physically possible in marriage.  And I count this as one of the ways my husband gently leads me and creates a very loving, strong, tight-knit, unified, vibrant, flourishing marriage relationship.  It’s important to stop serving the family and just enjoy and savor each other.  Kind of like our quiet time with God rejuvenates our soul.  Relationship and intimacy is much more important than my to-do list.
  • He handles the salesmen and solicitors.
  • He gently confronts sin in me when he sees it.
  • He tends to see the big picture.  My husband doesn’t get bogged down in every little detail like I tend to do.  Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with all the daily little details and having my husband there to help me step back and look at the bigger picture saves my sanity many times!
  • He takes care of his own spiritual connection with God.  He decides how, when, where he reads the Bible and prays.  He seeks God’s will for his life and our family.  He prefers to pray privately – I support him and don’t try to force him to pray out loud with me like I used to.
  • He doesn’t get swayed by emotions like I do.  There are definitely times when my hormones and emotions completely engulf me and I feel like I am drowning.  My husband is my rock and is able to pull me up onto dry ground.  There are times when I know I can’t rely on my feelings, and during those stormy days, I trust my husband’s words, his love for me, God’s Words and His love for me – and I don’t trust my feelings.  I keep my eyes on Christ and I keep my eyes on my husband and hang on tight, knowing that my feelings will settle down in a few days.  I don’t allow myself to be tossed about by my hormones and feelings.  I trust God and my husband and don’t lean on my own understanding.  My faith in Christ and my man are much greater now than my faith in my own wisdom or my emotions.  My husband can pull me up onto the rock of his steady soul and he is a resting place, a safe place for me.
  • He takes responsibility and is accountable for the ultimate decisions.  It took time for this to happen – over the course of a few years as I let things go and allowed him to lead.  This is a HUGE relief for me!  I couldn’t carry all that weight.  It overwhelmed me before.  Now, I am so FREE!  I can share my perspective, my feelings and desires, but then I trust my husband and God to work out each decision for what is in my best interests.  I can’t always see what is best.  When I try to lead, I take us the wrong way. I feel such weight off my soul since I know HE is the one who will answer to God, not me.  What a blessing!  I feel safe, protected and cherished.
  • He handles the finances now.    I took care of the finances for the first 16 years of our marriage or more.  And that was ok.  But it ended up that I was telling my husband what to do (when my hours were suddenly cut at work) – and that didn’t really work well.  I told my husband, “I can’t handle the finances anymore.  Here are the accounts and passwords.  Thank you for taking over.”  And then I left it with him and never touched it again.  He is saving us money in ways I had never even thought about!  And he feels the full weight of his accountability this way.  So he makes very wise decisions.  Also, he is able to treat me by taking me out to dinner or buying me things and I’m not telling him, “You can’t do that” anymore.  He is MUCH more generous with me AND even more responsible now that he is in charge!
  • He drives when we are together.
  • He gives me the better vehicle.
  • He encourages me to rest and relax – two things I am REALLY AWFUL AT DOING!
  • He researches books on marriage for me and buys me lots of books about respect, biblical submission, godly femininity and godly marriage.  He lets me share what I am learning and he listens and discusses things with me and shares his insights and perspective.
  • He takes time for himself to recharge.  Unlike a lot of us wives, husbands are usually careful to have some down time so that they don’t burn themselves out.  I really admire this about men!  And he encourages me to slow down and just savor cuddling together and being together without running around like a crazy woman all the time.  That has been very healing for my soul!
  • He has fun with me and our children.  This creates a much more healthy balance for all of us than my constant seriousness did.  He definitely brings an amazing balance to our family that I was not able to bring when I tried to be in charge.
  • He stays calm and collected under pressure.  His ability to face difficulties with dignity, poise, strength, courage and self-control helps me be able to have those same qualities, too!
  • He is my compass.  If I am having a particularly difficult time with our children, I will ask my husband if he thinks I am being too hard on them, or unreasonable, or if he thinks I am being too easy on them.  His perspective helps me steer straight and not veer off too far one way or the other like I am prone to do on my own.
  • He makes the final decision.  I am free to suggest anything, to ask for anything, to want anything, to feel any way.  And most of the time, my husband does what I ask since he loves to see me happy.  But if we don’t agree – I willingly and cheerfully cooperate with his call on that issue.  If he made a mistake, I don’t hold it against him.  I trust God to use even his mistakes for our ultimate good.  I thank him for his decisions and for looking out for the best interests of everyone in the family.
  • He is the one I go to first.  Whether it is good news, or a decision that must be made, or awful news – I call/text/email/talk to my husband FIRST about things.  I seek out his opinion and his wisdom before I make decisions.
  • He does a lot of behind the scenes work on my blog. 
  • When I am confused about something – I go to him.  He also is always willing to listen and talk with me about issues that come up and spiritual topics – whether they are things I am writing about or situations people are in or family situations at home.
  • He listens to my desires and concerns but ultimately he decides what church we go to and when we go to church and what classes we attend and how involved we are.
  • He gives me quite a bit of freedom to make many of my own decisions. He doesn’t micromanage me.
  • He decides how to use his time.  He decides what house project he wants to work on and when.  He decides his own priorities.
  • He arranges our vacations and finds great deals on them.
  • He handles all of the gift buying for our children.
  • He says, “no” or “wait” to me when what I want to do looks like it will cause problems down the road.  That is a way that he protects me and our family. The times he has said, “no” – I have almost always been able to see in hindsight that what I wanted to do would have been a big mistake.  I’m so thankful he is willing to stand for his convictions even if I don’t agree at the time.

There are other ways, too.  But maybe this will give you a few things to think about.

1. What are some ways your husband leads you?  You are welcome to share!

2. Gentlemen, what are some ways you try to lead in your marriage and in your families?  What is your definition of spiritual leadership and what do you believe God calls you to do?

RELATED:

A Husband Answers – “Why Won’t My Husband Lead?”

My Husband Won’t Lead in Our Marriage – Part 1

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Administrative Note:

I am taking an email vacation through January 6th.  You are welcome to comment on posts, but please hold emails for me until January 7th.  I appreciate your patience and understanding! 🙂

“I’M THE SPIRITUALLY MATURE ONE, I HAVE TO LEAD”

It is a VERY tough position to be in to want to be close to God, to want to obey God and to feel like you can’t follow your husband.

  • You may long for him to lead a family devotion time, or prayer time.
  • You may want him to be the one to tell the children why it’s important to go to church or to plan out character lessons to teach each child.
  • You may want him to work with the kids on memory verses.
  • You may wish that your husband spent more time with the family and not so much time at work.
  • You may feel like you HAVE to take over the leadership role because it doesn’t seem like he wants it.
  • You might be praying every single day for God to change your husband and cause him to be more like Christ.
  • You may feel like your husband isn’t as close to God as he should be.
  • Maybe you don’t see him praying.
  • Maybe you are in charge of the finances and working full time and keeping the house and taking care of the children and it seems like an unfair majority of the burden is on your shoulders.
  • Maybe you ask your husband to help you, but he just ignores you and keeps watching tv.
  • Maybe you tell him how unhappy you are and what you need and it feels like you are talking to a wall.
  • Maybe you try to draw near to him and tell him about your pain so he will see how much you hurt and fix it, and he gets REALLY angry and lashes out at you and begins talking about your faults.
  • Maybe you ask for your husband’s input or decision-making and he just never answers or says the dreaded, “I don’t know” phrase or he ignores you, or just tells you to do whatever you want and you feel like he doesn’t care and isn’t plugged in to the family and the marriage.

“GOD’S DESIGN WON’T WORK IN MY SITUATION”

If these things sound familiar to you – you are not alone! Many wives feel like this and struggle daily with these same issues. Yes, this situation is extremely discouraging and you may think that your husband just doesn’t love you anymore or that following your husband’s leadership just isn’t possible in your case. You might think he can’t lead the family. You might just write him off as not being able to ever “man-up” and take care of family responsibilities. You might be wondering why God isn’t answering your prayers? Why isn’t your husband changing? You are praying clearly for God’s will – a godly husband who is a strong, Christ-like leader for your family. Why on earth have your prayers gone unanswered for months or years or decades? Why doesn’t God hear?

Precious, beautiful wife, I obviously don’t know your situation. But God does! There is GREAT HOPE in Christ!!!!

There are several very central, CRITICAL truths I have learned as a Christian and as a wife that have changed my life and my marriage that I want to share (with my husband’s whole-hearted approval) with wives who might be in a similar place to where I was years ago:

  • GOD IS SOVEREIGN – EVEN OVER MY MARRIAGE, EVEN OVER MY HUSBAND, AND OVER MY LIFE.
  • I CANNOT CHANGE MY HUSBAND AND MAKE HIM MORE LIKE CHRIST. I can aggravate him, push him away from God, make him want to be far away from me and make us both miserable by trying to change him, make him dread being in the same room with me, but I cannot change him – not for the better! I am not the Holy Spirit!
  • GOD IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN CHANGE MY HUSBAND – HIS WAY AND HIS TIMING IS BEST.
  • MY JOB IS TO OBEY GOD ON MY END AND NOT WORRY ABOUT MY HUSBAND’S SIDE OF THE EQUATION, BUT TRUST GOD AND DO MY PART.
  • WHEN I DO OBEY GOD AS A WIFE, I OPEN THE FLOODGATES OF THE POWERS OF HEAVEN TO WORK IN MYSELF, MY MARRIAGE, MY HUSBAND AND OUR CHILDREN.
  • MY OBEDIENCE CAN REALLY SPEED UP THE PROCESS FOR GOD TO CHANGE MY HUSBAND.
  • MY DISOBEDIENCE CAN KEEP MY HUSBAND FROM HEARING GOD’S VOICE AND CAN PUSH MY HUSBAND AWAY FROM ME AND FROM GOD.
  • I HAVE A FOREST OF TREES IN MY OWN EYE THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED BEFORE I COMPLAIN ABOUT THE SPECK IN MY HUSBAND’S EYE.
  • I CAN DO NOTHING GOOD APART FROM CHRIST AND HIS POWER WORKING IN ME.
  • I AM UTTERLY SINFUL AND WRETCHED ON MY OWN.
  • I NEED TO LIVE IN HUMILITY WITH A VERY REAL AWARENESS OF THE MAGNITUDE OF MY OWN FAULTS AND HOW SMALL AND IMPOTENT I AM AND HOW HUGE, POWERFUL, SOVEREIGN, ALL-KNOWING, WISE, LOVING, MERCIFUL, FORGIVING AND HOLY GOD IS!

SELF EVALUATION TIME

Whew! This stuff is ugly. I don’t really enjoy this part, but unless we open up our own souls and allow God’s Word to shine in there to the darkest corners, we can’t move on to the great stuff.  This is where we learn to “die to self” and live for Christ. I would like for you to consider some things and whether or not these may be possibilities in your heart and in your marriage as we think about the issue of your husband’s leadership in your home. We are only going to look at ourselves as wives in this exercise and how we may be contributing to the success or failure of our husband’s leadership in our marriages. Please stop and pray and ask God to give you insight and wisdom into your own heart and life, as well as conviction wherever it is needed from His perspective. Please meditate and pray about how many of the following may apply to you and your marriage – many applied in mine, but not all –  (if you are dealing with an active addict, someone chronically unfaithful, a hardened criminal, or someone with an uncontrolled mental health disorder – please get godly, experienced help ASAP! Following a husband in these cases could be very dangerous. Safety for you and your children is the priority if you are in a physically abusive situation!!):

  • If I ask my husband to make a decision, and he doesn’t give me a “real” answer within 5-30 minutes, I get angry.
  • I yell at my husband, throw things at him, and call him horrible names.
  • I attack my husband’s character when we argue.
  • If my husband asks me to do something I don’t like or don’t agree with, I refuse to go along with him. I will only follow if he leads where I want to go.
  • If my husband comes up with an idea or plan, I find fault with his thinking and his solutions and tell him that his way won’t work, only my way will.
  • I criticize my husband’s opinions, preferences, tastes, wardrobe, hair style, hobbies, thoughts, suggestions, and plans.
  • I react negatively when my husband tries to help me. He just doesn’t load the dishwasher right, or change the baby’s diaper right, or fold the laundry right.He never hears me praise him and say, “Thank you SO much for the help!” He only hears me say, “I’m going to have to redo it all the RIGHT way!” Or “Why can’t you ever get it right?” or “That is C+ work, not A material.” Or “You’re not doing it right!”
  • If my husband tries to please me, what he does is never enough, I always want more than what he delivered.
  • I frown at my husband a lot.
  • I sound angry, frustrated, impatient, and like I am reprimanding and scolding a naughty little boy many times when I speak to my husband.
  • My facial expressions, my tone of voice, my words sound condemning of my husband often.
  • I act disrespectfully towards my husband to show him that he needs to pull his weight more and love me more and to show him how unhappy I am.
  • I withhold physical intimacy with my husband to punish him.
  • My husband often rejects me physically – it feels like I am pursuing him and it seems like he has lost his attraction for me.
  • My husband tends to ignore me a lot.
  • I feel very lonely, like the whole weight of the entire marriage and family is on my shoulders alone. I feel overwhelmed by all that has to be done.
  • I have to take over leadership because my husband won’t lead.
  • I have very specific ideas about what a husband’s leadership should be and my husband is not meeting my standards.
  • I am always “right” and I make sure my husband knows that he is always wrong. My way is best. I know best what our family and marriage needs.
  • I don’t trust my husband’s ideas.
  • If I let my husband be in charge he’d destroy our lives.
  • I think my husband’s ideas are ridiculous.
  • I don’t think my husband can be an effective leader.
  • I think my husband is an overgrown boy.
  • I have to correct my husband when he is talking with other people or he gets things wrong.
  • I have to tell my husband what to do or he does nothing.
  • I’m very intelligent, strong-willed, perfectionistic, opinionated, and possibly some family members might say I could be “controlling.”
  • Thinking of yielding my control makes me have a panic attack. THE WORLD WILL FALL APART IF I AM NOT IN CHARGE!
  • I am exhausted from trying to take care of everything myself all the time. I don’t relax.
  • I resent my husband for relaxing and taking time for himself to recharge.
  • I cannot or will not forgive my husband for how he has hurt me in the past.

Tomorrow – we will continue this discussion! 🙂

My Husband Won’t Lead in Our Marriage – Part 2

My Husband Won’t Lead in Our Marriage – Part 3

Who Is Calling Us Out for Our Sin as Women?

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Adminitrative note:

I am taking an email vacation through January 6th.  You are welcome to comment on posts, but I would appreciate it if everyone could hold emails for a few weeks, please.  Thanks so much for your patience and understanding!

I don’t know if you realize this, but almost no one in the church is confronting us as Christian women about our sin today – to our great detriment.

That is a HUGE problem.

  • If we don’t even realize we have sin in our lives – we can’t begin to do anything about it.
  • In our culture today, many times we make excuses for our sin, or rename sin to make it sound more palatable.  And – unfortunately – many times we are not taking full responsibility for our own sin.

We have bought the idea that we are somehow morally or spiritually superior to men or to other people.  But that is not what scripture teaches.

Scripture teaches that ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  Romans 3:23.

God makes no distinction between the sins of men vs. women.  We are ALL wretched sinners before a holy God.

ALL sin separates us from God and destroys us spiritually and hurts those around us.  If I cherish any sin in my heart, the sinful nature is in control and I forfeit God’s Spirit working powerfully in me and filling me when I grieve His Spirit.

GOD HATES SIN

 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

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. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.  Galatians 5

  • If I have ANY of the fruit of the flesh going on in my life – I HAVE A BIG PROBLEM!
  • I cannot be godly/righteous on my own at all.  I HAVE to have God’s Spirit flooding my soul to live like God wants me to.
  • If I don’t have all of the fruit of God’s Spirit growing and increasing in my life on a daily basis  – I ALSO have a BIG PROBLEM!  This is not the life God wants for me – He wants me filled with His Spirit and power every moment.  Until we get rid of ALL SIN, we don’t have God’s Spirit filling us.  I remember the shock when I first began to feel God’s peace about 5 years ago.  “Wow!  So THIS is what peace feels like?!?!”  I had been a believer in Christ since I was 5 years old – but I had not experienced much of God’s peace and joy until I laid down all my sin and really began to submit myself FULLY to Him!

My precious sisters in the Lord – we have been so deceived about SO MANY things in our culture to think they are ok when God says they are sin:

  • pride (thinking I’m always right!  I know best!  Everyone needs to do what I say.  This was Satan’s sin, and is a root sin of MANY other sins.  Satan tried to be equal to God.  Unfortunately, I believe I actually set myself ABOVE God in my heart, thinking I knew better than God and I was above having to obey Him in some areas, that I was excused from having to obey certain parts of God’s Word.  My pride was OFF THE CHARTS)
  • self-righteousness (I’m better than my husband.  I’m better than other people.  Jesus had more intolerance for this than just about anything else.  This was the sin of the Pharisees.  He condemned it over and over again.)
  • idolatry of self or trying to be in control ourselves  (Idolatry means something I believe I MUST HAVE to be content and happy that is not Christ.)
  • idolatry of romance  (If I don’t have romance in my marriage, I am justified in doing whatever I want to do and I don’t have to obey God’s Word anymore.)
  • idolatry of happiness (If I am not happy, I am allowed to do anything it takes to make myself happy even if it is sinful.  Happiness is my ultimate goal, not obedience to Christ.)
  • idolatry of beauty/thinness (including eating disorders)
  • idolatry of expectations
  • greed, love of money (idolatry of money)
  • having no FEAR of God, not trembling before Him, not trusting in and understanding His sovereignty.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
  • people pleasing
  • having unhealthy boundaries and trying to control others or allowing them to control us
  • playing the martyr
  • using guilt to manipulate
  • unforgiveness
  • lack of faith in God
  • immodesty  (What Guys Think about the Issue of Modesty)
  • possibly the use of certain types of birth control
  • bitterness
  • lack of godly love for other people
  • materialism
  • losing our temper/yelling/screaming/calling people names/cussing (this is sin even when we have PMS)
  • slander
  • embracing ungodly definitions of femininity, God, ourselves, masculinity, marriage, family or anything else
  • thinking that women are morally/spiritually superior to men
  • encouraging other women to disrespect God or their husbands or to try to control God, their husbands or other people
  • giving unbiblical advice to others
  • not training our children in the nurture, admonition, truth and love of God and His Word
  • nagging, criticizing, humiliating, belittling, making fun of and verbally destroying our husbands
  • encouraging unbiblical divorce for others
  • hatred
  • not apologizing and repenting to God and our husbands (and others) for our sin – or apologizing half-heartedly but then justifying and excusing our sin and not taking full responsibility
  • defending ourselves pridefully instead of listening
  • sex outside of marriage
  • abortion (Psalm 139 – God creates babies in the womb and knows them by name and has plans for their lives.  He does not give us the right to destroy another person’s life.  That is murder.)
  • gossip
  • lust (including emotional lust or sexual lust when we read romantic novels or watch romantic movies or look at porn)
  • resentment
  • gluttony
  • apathy toward the poor
  • lack of sharing the gospel
  • complaining
  • contentiousness
  • disrespect towards our husbands
  • disrespect for any God-given authority
  • usurping our husbands’ God-given authority
  • divorcing our husbands for unbiblical reasons
  • disobedience to God about ANYTHING
  • living in worry and anxiety instead of faith in Christ

If we don’t realize we are sinning, but continue on being deceived, we continue to cause more and more destruction in our own lives and in the lives of those around us and we will grow farther and farther away from Christ.  That is what happened to me for so long earlier in our marriage. How I WISH someone had confronted me about my sin!!!!!  Yes, it would have been painful, but it is always better to be confronted earlier rather than later about sin.

The more I continue in sin, the more my heart becomes hard until I lose all sensitivity to God’s voice

THANK GOD!!!!!

Jesus died for our sins!  His blood is MORE than sufficient to cover any sin we have committed.  That is GOOD NEWS because we are ALL wretched sinners in desperate need of the grace of God.   NONE of us can earn our way to be right with God.    God  laid our sin on His Son’s shoulders and poured out all of His wrath that we deserved onto His perfect Son so that we could receive the gift of forgiveness for every sin and eternal life with God in heaven.  Jesus is the only way to God the Father.    We can have new hearts, minds and spirits in Him.  He is able to give us NEW LIFE.  He can crucify our old sinful nature and we can put on a new man in Christ!!  WOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!

  • We can repent and turn from every sin.
  • We can acknowledge that our sin is wrong in God’s holy eyes.
  • We can begin moving toward Christ and accept His forgiveness and His gift of His death in our place – receiving Him as our SAVIOR.
  • We can commit ourselves to Him as LORD – submitting ourselves fully to His will and to His Lordship and seeking to please and obey Him above all else out of gratitude for all the grace, mercy and forgiveness He has given to us that we did not deserve.
  • He can fill us with His Spirit and we can find TRUE peace, contentment, satisfaction, acceptance, purpose, identity and springs of Living Water in Him!  He can empower us to live lives of obedience to His Word.

ONCE WE KNOW CHRIST JESUS AND HIS SACRIFICE FOR US – WE CANNOT GO ON DELIBERATELY SINNING!

This is a VERY sobering warning from scripture for us all!!!

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[e] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the handsof the living God.  HEBREWS 10

God Begins to Work in a Newlywed Wife’s Heart

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From a precious sister in the Lord (with her permission):

Dear Peacefulwife,

From the bottom of my heart, I just want to say thank you. Three days ago, I came across your site from a specific internet search: “My husband doesn’t care,” because at that time I honestly thought that my husband no longer loved or cared about me anymore. That day was like rock bottom for me. I woke up, and my husband was gone. No note, no text, no call, nothing. I had to go to work that morning, and he took our only car with him. I tried to call him but I got no answer.
You see, I’m a newlywed (been married since June), and my husband and I recently moved to a new city which is thousands of miles away from the majority of my family. I had no one close to rely on for an emergency ride. As a former country girl, I am still scared about being alone and unprotected in a city full of strangers. I was so hurt and frustrated as to why he would disappear on me like this, knowing that I had to go to work, knowing that that car was my only form of transportation. He knew all of this, but chose to ignore it so obviously he doesn’t care of me, right? I cried as I called a cab, and I secretly cried when I got to work. I was thinking why does he have to do this to me, and why do I love him so much? He is such a mean, hateful person and blah, blah, blah…
And this is why I was blindly searching the internet as a way to comfort myself when I found your blog.
At first I was skeptical. “This site is too radical. This isn’t the 1800s anymore. My husband and I run things equally, that’s how it is done nowadays, etc.,” I thought. I’m already submissive (or so I thought). What is this about respecting my husband and such? I already respect him (again so I thought). But thank the Lord I didn’t close the window. I guess your God-given words touched a part of me that knew they were true.
I wanted a way to fix my husband. I wanted to make him stay with me, talk with me, smile, do the things that he used to. I wanted him to love me again because I didn’t feel loved. I felt so discouraged and have been feeling that way for a while. I felt like a failure as a wife.
  • I stopped cooking after my husband seemed to prefer eating out (now it is more like he eats out because I stopped cooking).
  • I have never been a neat person, and he is a neat-freak.
  • I pray to God that He can work in our marriage and develop the solution as this is an ongoing problem even now.
  • I’m a habitual procrastinator.
  • Sometimes I forget things, important things.
  • I beat myself up a lot.
  • I tried to please my husband in everything that I did, and that was my problem. I made being a wife, trying to please my husband, an idol. You can’t please another person all the time, and that is what I tried to do. My relationship with God has always been wishy-washy, but I had put a lot of things in front of God when it should have been vice versa. Thank you for reminding me to put my complete focus on God once again! First God, then my husband!
That first day I read your blog (I read so many entries that day), I repented. I want my marriage to be honorable to God. I want my husband to be happy. We’ve only been married for almost six months (and we both consider divorce not an option), so I didn’t want the rest of our lives to be full of unhappiness and strife. I felt so bad.
I haven’t been respecting my husband at all.
  • I yelled and cursed at him because I felt lonely and I wanted him there, but that of course made him shut down and pull away more. He stopped talking to me. He stopped holding me. My coworker one day was talking so positively about her husband, and when I thought about the unhappiness in my marriage, I wanted to cry.
  • I was (so) bad that I even walked up and pulled the television cord out the wall once because I felt that he was ignoring me while using the TV as a medium. What did that accomplish? Nothing. I was just so angry at the time. I had actually been repeating in my head all the negative things about my husband for a whole week before that happened, and my anger and bitterness just came to a head. Before that, I didn’t even know I had it in me to be so bitter. I don’t blame my husband for not wanting to be with me. It would have been scary to be in the same room with me at that moment.
And now of course after repenting, what do I do now? I suppose I’m in the quiet stage now (and it is only two days in). It is hard.
  • At first I wanted to dump all the hurt I felt on him as soon as I saw him, but I forced myself to stay silent.
  • I am extra careful whenever I am around him to be extra positive.
  • I wrote him a note apologizing for what I’ve done (I can’t trust myself to talk with him yet. I am not yet in complete control of my emotions).
  • I baked a pie. He didn’t eat it.

I didn’t let myself feel bad though because I’m respecting my husband because it honors God in my marriage and not whether he deserves it or not. He can choose not to eat my pies, but I should forever make them available to him. 

I am still reading your blogs (you have so many, thank goodness), but also recognize that I need to start rebuilding my relationship with God. I’ve been so backwards. The Lord God will direct my paths. I am praying that I can continue down on this road for a happier marriage. It’s my second day in giving my husband respect so there hasn’t been much change in him (I’m sure he is waiting to see if this is some sudden phase or not). And we honestly haven’t spoken much in three days. We sleep apart, and we practically live apart, but today we spoke briefly, and it was calm. No animosity at all. This all just gives me hope!
Thank you, Peacefulwife, for being a mouthpiece of God and for showing backwards, sinning wives the truth! I needed the truth. It hurt, but I needed it.
Thank you so much!

Stages of This Journey – Part 1

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Each wife’s story and each marriage is unique.  I write primarily for wives who tend to be dominating, controlling, “overly-helpful,” perfectionistic and disrespectful in their marriages.  Most of us don’t realize that we are doing these things and aren’t purposely doing them.  Many of us start out thinking we HAVE to act the way we do because our husbands “won’t” or “can’t” lead.  That’s what I used to think!

I have walked beside hundreds of women on this journey now, and, of course, I have been walking it myself for almost 5 years now.    It took me over 2 years before I BEGAN to feel like I had any clue what I was doing with respect and biblical submission.  It felt VERY awkward and foreign at first.  And I scrambled trying to learn from many different books but I felt like I was having to reinvent the wheel by myself, trying to learn what godly femininity was, what godly marriage was and what it meant to respect my husband and to honor his leadership.  It took 2 years and 10 months for all of my husband’s walls to come down.

  • My prayer is that God might allow me to put the dots closer together for those coming behind me than they were for me.

There are still some things I have been praying for in my marriage that haven’t happened yet.  That’s ok.  I desire to keep my eyes on Christ.  I want to obey and please Him and I want to bless my husband.  I trust God to work in my husband’s heart and to lead me through my husband.

Let me see if I can describe some stages from my perspective that may be helpful for the wives who are in the trenches early in this journey from being a controlling, disrespectful wife to a godly wife with a peaceful, gentle spirit who respects and honors her husband and does what is right and does not give way to fear.

1. CONVICTION

This is where God opens our eyes to the magnitude of our sin.  We may not immediately see absolutely all of it, but we can see enough that we are mortified, shocked, horrified and terrified to see that we are actually wretched sinners.

For me, this happened when I read Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs in December of 2008.  For the first time, I realized that Greg needed respect the way that I needed love and our whole 14.5 years of marriage passed before my eyes and I realized that if “respect” was the measure of my being a “good wife” – I had fallen far short.  I didn’t have an A+ on my Christian wife report card like I always thought I had.  It was more like a D-.

I finally came face to face with my sin:

  • idolatry of self
  • idolatry of wanting to be in control
  • selfishness
  • PRIDE, PRIDE, PRIDE – thinking I was always right and I knew best
  • rebellion against God’s Word and against God
  • disrespect towards Greg
  • disrespect towards God
  • unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness
  • usurping my husband’s God-given position as leader in the marriage
  • living like I was sovereign instead of God

For many of you – conviction came as you read my blog.

2. REPENTANCE

This is the stage when we mourn over our sin, acknowledge how very sinful we are and how much we have offended God’s holiness and we turn away from the sin and to Christ.

“God,

I am truly a wretched sinner.  I owe you BILLIONS of “sin dollars” that I could never possibly repay.  I have fallen very short of your standard of holiness.  I cannot begin to make things right with You on my own.  I cannot earn my way to heaven.  I cannot impress You with “good works.”  My “good works” are like You described them to be in Isaiah 64 – “filthy, dirty, bloody menstrual rags.”  I need the blood of Christ to cover my sin.  I turn from all my sin and turn in total faith to You, Jesus!  I accept your death on the cross for my sin – that in God’s sight – You took on Yourself all of my sin and all of God’s wrath and punishment against my sin.  You have paid my debt in full.  You have given me Your “bank account” so that when God looks at me, I owe Him nothing.  He just sees You, Jesus.  I receive you GLADLY as my Savior and also as my LORD. I want You to be in charge now, not me.  I owe you EVERYTHING!  Now, I want to obey You in everything You ask me to do out of gratitude for all You have done for me.  There is nothing You could ask me to do that I would not be willing to do.  I am fully Yours.  Make me more and more like You, Jesus!  I surrender my life completely to You.”

We also repent to our husbands – apologizing to them for our disrespect and control and deciding to learn to be the godly wives God calls us to be.

  • Apologizing once is probably sufficient.
  • A brief apology WITHOUT any explanation or justification of our sin is often best.

ie:

“Honey,

I realize now that I have been very disrespectful toward you and very controlling.  I see now how wrong I have been.  I am SO sorry!  I couldn’t even see all of my sin until now.  I apologize for my sinful attitudes and behavior and words.  I want to become the wife God desires me to be and that you need me to be.  I have a lot to learn.  I pray you can be patient with me as I ask God to teach me and change me.  I want to respect you and honor your leadership from this moment on.  I am very new at all of this, so, I may need help.  It is kind of like learning a foreign language to me.  Maybe you can let me know when I am being disrespectful or controlling, please.”

3. WE WANT TO LIVE IN A CAVETHE FRUSTRATING QUIET PHASE

I personally wanted to go live in a cave by myself for the rest of my life for quite awhile after God convicted me and I repented.  I saw my sin.  I knew how sinful I was.  I realized that almost every word out of my mouth was sin.  But I didn’t know how else to talk or think yet.

This is the phase where:

  • we learn to hold back and not say everything that we think in our minds
  • we begin to learn wisdom and discretion by stopping the negative, critical, hateful, prideful, bossy, condescending, judging, cutting sarcastic comments
  • we stop bashing and criticizing our husbands to others
  • at this point, we are still thinking the disrespectful, controlling thoughts, we are just trying not to say the thoughts
  • it can feel like trying to hold back an ocean of negative emotions
  • this phase is not sustainable forever – it can feel like “faking it” or “acting” at first, because we are not voicing our sinful thoughts
  • if we have been very verbal, this can feel extremely awkward and very, very quiet
  • we begin to step down out of the leadership role
  • we begin to allow our husbands to make decisions
  • we lay down all of our expectations of our husbands and of God
  • we recognize the source of many of our thoughts about our husbands – “My Demon
  • we take our emotional and spiritual hands off of our husbands’ necks
  • we may pull back emotionally from others (for me, I pulled back from everyone) in our lives as we try to figure out how to talk to people without sinning with our words
  • we may need to repent to other people (coworkers, friends, extended family) for our disrespect and control as well as our gossip and our negativity.  Usually, if a woman is controlling with her husband, she is also controlling with others as well.  I sure was!
  • this can be lonely, and we may not feel like we have a lot of outside support during this time
  • ideally, we would have a godly mentoring wife to talk with during this time and/or godly girlfriends who will support us on this journey and who are committed to respecting our husbands and holding us accountable for our sin

4. SEEKING GOD FIRST – THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST

We must tear out the idols (video) and dig out all of the sin.  We allow God to reveal to us more and more sin and we shovel it out.  We lay still on the operating table as He does open heart surgery on us and searches the deepest, darkest corners of our souls for every trace of ungodliness and gangrene so that He can remove it.  This is PAINFUL!  This happens many times in layers.  As we continue to go, God reveals deeper and deeper layers of sin.

This is where we “give up on our dreams for our marriage”

This is no quick and easy process.  It is God completely tearing out all of our old sinful nature.  The sinful nature does NOT want to die.  It is a battle. We dig down to the foundation of Christ and get rid of everything else we think we know about God, about ourselves, about being a Christian, about godly femininity, about godly masculinity, about marriage…  And we rebuild on the truth of Christ and His Word alone.  It is a total regeneration of our hearts, souls and minds. The tearing out of the old sinful stuff comes first.  Every idol has to go.

We must identify our idols, things we have been cherishing more than Christ.  Sometimes we can identify them by looking at our deepest fears.  Our idols are often the opposite of our greatest fears.

For me, some of my idols were:

  • SELF and being in control – I trusted myself, not God.  To get rid of this idol felt like I was flinging myself spiritually off of a cliff.  It was terrifying to feel like I was giving up control to God.  Of course, now I know that I didn’t actually have control.  It was all an illusion.  The only power I really had was to destroy my fellowship with Christ and my marriage.  But I had been living as if I was in charge of my life and circumstances and other people’s lives since I was about 5.  I didn’t understand the sovereignty of God.  So it was scary giving control to God at first.
  • feeling loved by Greg – I had to decide to find my contentment in Christ alone, not in my feelings or in Greg
  • Greg – I wanted him to be responsible for my happiness and if I wasn’t happy, it was his fault.  I expected him to meet needs for me that only Jesus could meet.  I drowned him with my neediness.  He could never do enough to satisfy me.  Eventually, he stopped trying.  When I idolize a person, I become a black hole of need to them.  I repel them.  Only God can meet these deepest needs of my soul for purpose, value, identity, acceptance, security, feeling loved and only He can give me real joy, peace and contentment.
  • romance – I personally had to stop reading all romance novels, even Christian rated G ones, and stop watching romantic movies because they created false expectations in me for what I expected Greg to do and they helped to create a spirit of discontentment in me.  (breaking the romance addiction)

Seeking God first requires TIME in God’s Word, study and much prayer.

It also requires us to humble ourselves before Him and open our hearts to everything He wants to show us and say to us.  It requires my willingness to acknowledge that God has wisdom, I do not.

FACING FEAR

To tear out all the idols, we must confront our deepest fears.   I personally had to write down my deepest fears and then wrestle with whether God is really who He says He is in the Bible or not and is He able to handle my fears or not.  And if He is really sovereign, and He were to allow me to go through some of my biggest fears – can I trust Him?  Will I be ok?

  • What if my husband dies?
  • What if one of us got a terminal illness?
  • What if one of our children died or got very sick?
  • What if we lose our jobs?
  • What if the government collapses and the nation is destroyed and we are living in ruins?

Is God big enough and sovereign enough that He can take care of me even if He allows one of these things to happen?

We submit ourselves fully to Christ as Lord.

Stages of this Journey:

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

—————————

RELATED:

Nina Roesner has a great description of her view of the stages wives go through as they walk this journey of becoming godly wives and women here.

How to Pray for Your Husband so that God Will Hear

Avoiding Legalism

SOME TANGIBLE THINGS THAT HELPED ME KEEP MY FOCUS – these are things  that helped me greatly in the beginning of my journey, and they are things I still do.   Could be some things to prayerfully consider, pray about and seek God’s will for your life.  The internal is the primary thing.  If we are doing these things out of a desire to please God and honor Him and to bless our husbands – these can be very good things.

New Stories to Share

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I never get tired of hearing about and sharing what God is doing in people’s lives.  That is the greatest joy I get to experience doing this work for God.  I am so very blessed to have a front row seat to watch Him changing people and bringing glory to Himself in women’s hearts and in their marriages and families.  Sometimes I just want to burst I am so overflowing with joy every day.  A big thank you to these wives for allowing me to share!
***  Administrative note – I am going to have very little computer time for the next week.  I will handle comments and emails as I am able to. 🙂  Thanks for understanding!
WIFE 1 – DEALING WITH A CRITICAL HUSBAND
My dear Sister, Good Morning,
It has been two weeks now and I am doing very good.  All these years I’ve been trying to change my husband and I never submitted myself to God.  Now things have changed drastically and my husband verbally says that he is seeing so much change in me.  Although he brings up his cutting remarks here and there – that doesn’t affect me at all now.
When his words are hurting I ask God to show me where I should change here, maybe he is right.   If God also feels the same way – (I don’t try to justify) myself.  I just keep quiet.
This happened today morning, my husband was telling me about how I should handle better when our little ones fight for toys.  I was quiet even though I had different opinion and can feel the Holy Spirit talking inside me to be quiet and listen since my husband had been right before.   My husband said  he feels like talking to a wall since I am not acknowledging his words, then I realized that I’ve been talking inside me all this time and told him
“Ok, I understand. I’m thinking about your words”.
He was very happy when I said that.  He went to take a shower to get ready for work and came back and told me that while he was taking a shower God spoke to him that I am special and he should be considerate of me.  I was so moved and felt the love of God flooding me and thanked God for speaking for me.
Now I know that my husband can hear God’s voice only when we are silent.  Or only our voice will be ringing in his head.  How true!!
I thank you for making me understand this truth.  I can really enjoy the peace of God nowadays.
Your series of FAQ’s are very good and helpful.
Your ministry is a blessing to me.
FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
There are times when we need to share our feelings, times we need to share when we are hurt, and some times that responding with silence is best when our husbands are critical.  I’d love for us to listen without defending ourselves when our husbands offer criticism, to see if God might have something to tell us through them.  The most important thing is for us to be sensitive to God’s Spirit’s promptings about what to say and what not to say!
WIFE 2 – HOW A WIFE’S SUBMISSION BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN BOTH SPOUSES
April,
I cannot tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading this blog.
Even though I considered myself a woman of wisdom (age 57) who tried hard to apply Christian principles in my life, your articles have shown me I still have many improvements to make, and this has been truly humbling. I never really understood how subjection to my husband would ultimately bring out the best in us both, but I’ve already seen that it works.
We are undergoing more than the usual stress now because we moved and are renovating a building on a very limited budget. A few days ago we discussed whether or not to keep the older carpet in the bedroom; I didn’t want to keep and my husband did. We both presented valid reasons for our opinions. My husband listened to mine, and I listened to his, and afterwards, I said I would trust him to make the decision that was in our best interests, with all the information we had discussed.
He looked at me in surprise and said, “Yes, but I don’t just want you to give in to me but then be miserable every time you look at it, and then it would be all my fault.”
I told him I would truly accept his decision, and that meant I would focus on all the positives of keeping the carpet instead of the negative ones.

This was a turning point, April.

I learned–TRULY–that submission to my husband doesn’t mean I have no voice or influence; it just means that I TRUST my husband to do what’s best for us both, and can CHOOSE to see either the positive or negative side of whatever decision he makes.
When I saw the look on his face at this point, I wanted to cry, because it was suddenly tender. He said he thought we should ask the carpet cleaner–who he had arranged to come and give us an estimate for the cleaning–his opinion, and I agreed. The next morning, he thanked me for entrusting him with the decision, but said that his decision was to ask me if I would talk with the carpet cleaner and make the decision based on his professional advice.
  • If I had kept arguing to do what I firmly believed was best, both of us would have been unhappy.
  • But trusting my husband resulted in both of us feeling respected.

As it is, the carpet is going because that’s what the cleaner recommended. But even if it weren’t, I would be at peace.

Thank you again, April, for bringing such wonderful, godly counsel and reminders into our daily lives.
May God richly bless you!
Elizabeth
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