Facing Uncertainty and Trials with Joy

Every believer faces tests where we crash up against suffering, trials, and the unknown. We don’t like that! We want to feel like we know what is going to happen. We want guarantees. Timelines. Promises. We want to feel like we have control. Sometimes, we would rather even push for a bad outcome if only we can just “get closure” and not have to bob around in an ocean of not-knowing any longer.

It is often the waiting and not knowing one way or the other that seems like such torture.

This issue is not confined to uncertainty in our marriages, it covers everything in our lives.

How can I possibly rest in the peace and sovereignty of God when there is constant uncertainty and no way for me to know what will happen?

GOD’S WORD ABOUT TRIALS AND SUFFERING FOR BELIEVERS IN CHRIST

  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:5-6
  • I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
  • We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance. Rom. 5:3
  • For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Rom. 8:18
  • Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Rom. 12:12
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7
  • Endure suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? Heb. 12:7
  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
  • Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
  • Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 1 Pet. 4:12

I believe that if we can understand that God has purpose behind the suffering we experience and behind the times we have to wait in uncertainty, we can embrace the good things He wants to accomplish in our lives during those times.

These trials are often gifts and blessings from Him in disguise IF we are willing to trust Him completely and receive all that He has for us in them.

GOD HAS MUCH GREATER GOALS IN MIND

We tend to think primarily about our current comfort level, health, and happiness. We focus on our human wisdom and what seems best to us in the moment.

God focuses on:

  • Conforming us, our husbands, children, and others in our lives to the image of Christ over the long term.
  • His Kingdom and how He wants it to grow and how He wants to use our situations in our lives to help accomplish bringing more of His beloved children to Christ.

This kind of spiritual growth doesn’t happen when we get everything we want and have smooth sailing.

We tend to grow the most when we get really stretched by difficulties.

It is similar to the way that if we don’t use our muscles, they will atrophy and get weak. Our faith is like that. In order for our faith to grow, it has to face resistance. When we have times of difficulty and times where we don’t know what will happen, we are forced to learn to depend on the Lord in ways that we just wouldn’t if things were going well.

This takes much spiritual wrestling sometimes. And that is okay! Times of waiting and suffering are hard. But they often produce great results when they are in the right hands:

  • If land never has rain or storms, it becomes a barren desert.
  • If gold is not refined, it contains many impurities that weaken it and make it much less valuable.
  • If a farmer will not wait for his crops to grow, he will never get to enjoy the harvest.
  • If a fruit tree is not properly pruned, the branches grow in crazy ways that cause the limbs of the tree to break as the fruit begins to get heavy. The tree can’t produce as much fruit and the fruit is not nearly as sweet for an unpruned tree. It also looks terrible – broken branches everywhere and no pleasing shape.

God knows what our souls need to grow and to become very valuable in His sight. If we are able to trust God’s heart for us, we can know that whatever pain or time of waiting and uncertainty we face, He absolutely can and will use it for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory. That is a promise to those who are in Christ – Romans 8:28-29!

PRAYER WHEN WE ARE FACING THE UNKNOWN, TRIALS, AND SUFFERING:

Lord,

You alone are God. There is no other. You reign in majesty and splendor from the throne room of the highest heaven over all of the universe. You are sovereign. You are good. You are love. You have all wisdom. You have all truth. You can’t have evil motives toward me. You are an Expert at turning disasters and tragedies into beautiful things for Your glory. You are the Healer. You are my Strength and my Shield, a very present Help in trouble. You are my Very Great Reward. There is no greater treasure in the universe than You. You spared nothing to provide for my salvation when I was still Your enemy. You sent Jesus to live and die in my place. Now His holiness, goodness, power, peace, joy, and right-standing with You are mine. His life, death, and resurrection belong to me. I am seated with Him in the heavenlies already!

You are intimately aware of all of my fears, my suffering, my needs, and my concerns. I thank You for that. You walk this road with me, living in me, empowering me with Your Spirit. I lay down every single fear and all of my desires and dreams. Here are the things I desire…

But – more than any of these things, I desire You. I want to know You and love You more. I want to give You total access and freedom in my life  to conform me to the image of Christ in whatever ways You know are best. I want Your glory. I want others to be drawn to Christ. I want Your kingdom to come into this situation and many to come to Jesus. I want to receive all the spiritual treasures You have for me to learn. I don’t want to waste a moment of this trial – but have my eyes open to all You have in store – for the adventure that awaits.

I praise and thank You now for all You are doing and all You will do through this very situation for Your good purposes in my life and in my husband’s life and in our family. I entrust it all to Your strong, capable hands. I know You will never fail me. I know You will never leave me or forsake me. I cling to Your Word and Your promises. I will sing praises to You even in the storm, knowing You will cause this storm to bear much fruit in my life.

Amen!

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How have you learned to approach trials and suffering with joy, anticipation, and faith?

 

 

Twenty-Five Ways to Be a Safe Place for Your Husband Emotionally

We as women understand the desire to feel safe with our men. We want to feel safe and secure physically, financially, emotionally, spiritually – and in every way – in our marriages. That is one of our greatest needs as wives. Husbands want to feel safe in every way with us, too.

Men have certain legitimate needs that need to be met before they can be open to emotional/spiritual intimacy as men – all of us do.

Our men are wired by God for adventure, for purpose, to fulfill His calling, to portray the strength, love, grace, and wisdom of Christ to the world. They seem so big and strong. And they are in many ways. But they have feelings and emotions, too, which we may sometimes discount if they don’t express them the way we do.

Our attitudes, words, and actions can hurt them. Even if they don’t show it in the same way we would. Even if they don’t complain about it or confront us. So let’s make sure that we seek to provide a safe haven from this harsh world for our men when they are with us. A place where they feel welcome, where they can relax, and where they know we have good motives toward them.

WAYS I CAN BE A SAFE PLACE FOR MY HUSBAND (with the power of the Holy Spirit, of course)

  1. Get rid of anything that is emotionally scary on my end of the relationship (more detail below).morgan-sessions-17278
  2. Smile my beautiful smile often.
  3. Use a pleasant, friendly tone of voice whenever possible.
  4. Watch my body language, let it speak warmth, love, and respect.
  5. Be kind, gentle, and polite.
  6. Share my needs and feelings with humility, authenticity, and vulnerability in direct ways.
  7. Don’t share the private things he shares with me with other people – be trustworthy.*
  8. Honor his God-given leadership in the family as appropriate.
  9. Use my influence authority wisely.
  10. Honor his authority as a dad.
  11. Give him space respectfully when he needs it.
  12. Seek to understand his unique masculine world, celebrating that men are different from women in some ways and that is part of God’s good design.
  13. Take my thoughts captive for Christ first before having a negative emotional conversation.
  14. Be aware of PMS, hormone issues, exhaustion, illness, etc… where the body is weak – and consider whether it is a good time to try to emotionally connect or to talk about negative things.
  15. Be content and peaceful in Christ. My genuine peace and joy are huge gifts to him.
  16. Be filled up to overflowing with Christ – that is the only way to have that beautiful gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to hysterical fear.
  17. Reward him when he shares with me emotionally and make it enjoyable for him.
  18. Limit the amount of time I ask for emotional connection if that is tiring for him or he is stressed/exhausted, etc…
  19. Receive good things from him – compliments, gifts, time, attention, affection, attraction, sex, etc… – graciously and joyfully.
  20. Have a spirit of gratitude toward him.
  21. Be willing to extend grace, mercy, and forgiveness in a healthy, godly way.
  22. Be responsible with financial decisions.
  23. Be interested and open to his wisdom and ideas.
  24. Give him my full attention when he is talking whenever possible.
  25. Enjoy him and rest in his love.

Yes, most people would appreciate most of these things in relationships – wives certainly would like many of these things. 🙂

 

WHAT KINDS OF THINGS CAN BE EMOTIONALLY SCARY TO OUR MEN?

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What are some ways you have discovered you can encourage your husband to feel safe with you?

FOR MORE HELP

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

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

Should I Seek to Please and Keep My Husband at ANY Cost?

I Must Avoid Conflict at All Costs

What Is Disrespect in Marriage?

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected

What Is Respect in Marriage?

Closeness in Marriage Looks Different from What I Expected

IF THINGS ARE VERY TENSE IN YOUR MARRIAGE:

Please understand, if you have an extremely emotionally/spiritually wounded husband – he probably can’t do much to meet your deep spiritual and emotional needs right now. Even if you are also deeply wounded and need a lot of help, too. He may need to be in a spiritual/emotional ICU for a bit. Give him some time and space to heal as you focus on finding the healing Jesus has for you in your soul. Find all of your contentment, joy, fulfillment, security, and peace in Christ alone. Thankfully, you can find all of our deepest needs met in Christ no matter what your husband may or may not do. Seek to bless your husband. You may have to refrain from asking him for emotional support until he is stronger and the marriage is healing up more.

  • This post does a good job explaining an approach that may be helpful for those whose husbands act like or say they are done with the marriage.
  • This post may be a blessing for those who are in the trenches.

If you are struggling in your walk with the Lord or in your marriage – reach out to God. Reach out for godly counsel one-on-one if you need it. There is private counseling available at www.focusonthefamily.com. Also, KLUV, a Christian radio station, has pastors and Christian counselors you can speak to.

 

*(If there are serious issues going on, we can privately reach out to appropriate authorities and counselors who can help.)

 

One of Your Most Powerful Gifts As a Woman

 

A smile costs you nothing, but it is such an incredible blessing to those around you. You may not see your own facial expressions, so it is easy not to think about them much, but those around you definitely notice them.

This week, I’d love to challenge and encourage you to:

  1. Seek to give your brightest, most glorious smile to your husband and children when you first see them.
  2. Every time you walk in the room and one of your family members are there, smile at them.
  3. When your husband or children are talking with you (and it is not something sad or really serious), smile a genuinely friendly smile at them. 

You don’t have to have lipstick or makeup on. You don’t have to have perfectly white or straight teeth to do this. You don’t have to have any special talent and it doesn’t take much time at all.

All you have to do is just share that glorious smile of yours with your family.

As believers in Christ, we have more about which to smile than anyone on the planet. So we don’t have to fake a smile, thankfully. If you aren’t feeling up to smiling much, spend some time singing praises at the top of your voice to the Lord when you are by yourself in the car or at home doing chores. As you focus on God’s character and all of the countless blessings He has given to you, you may realize you have a lot to be thankful for.

Receive God’s radiant smile and love for you. Do you realize that He rejoices over you with singing (Zeph. 3:17)? How beautiful and precious is that!?

If you are feeling overwhelmed on this journey, take a break. Rest in God’s love for you. Receive His goodness, His truth, and His healing for your soul. Focus only on thanksgiving and praise for awhile. Find your joy in Christ Jesus. Think about Philippians 4:8 kinds of things, which is God’s will for all of us as believers:

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

That is the most powerful thing you can do. As you draw near to Him, Your heart and soul will heal and shine. After He has filled up you to overflowing…

Radiate that glorious smile of yours to everyone in your family!

You are the “heart” of the home. You get to have a huge impact on the emotional and spiritual temperature in your family. I want to see you set the atmosphere to warm, safe, welcoming, and loving. Yes… your smile has that much power! And even if there is a lot of tension in your marriage and your husband can’t hear words from you right now, as you smile at him – you are showing him you are a safe place, that you have the joy of Christ in your heart, and that you have good things to give to him when he is ready to receive them.

What a priceless gift this will be to those you love. You may be shocked at what happens as you simply share this beautiful asset of yours with those you love.

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Smile at your family without any expectations of anyone doing anything for you in return. Then let me know what happens as you focus on blessing your husband and children with your beautiful smile this week, my precious sisters. As you think about good things, and as you focus on smiling – does anything change in your walk with Christ, your own feelings, or your relationships?

  • A joyful heart is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22
  • Those who look to him are radiant. Psalm 34:5
  • Rejoice in the Lord always. Philippians 4:4

RELATED:

There are many benefits to you personally when you smile – even a number of health benefits. Check out this article!

My Welcome Home Plan – Peacefulwife VIDEO

Why I Put My Wedding Rings Back On – a Guest Post

By a sister in Christ… I’m so thankful for her willingness to share for the first time in a post. I never get tired of hearing how our amazing God heals broken people and relationships:

Bare fingers fussed around the edges of divorce documents. Time had passed long and hollow since the sparkling bands of diamonds and emeralds had graced the ring finger of the two becoming one. I was ready for divorce. I felt done. Yet, I lacked peace.

When I’d last prayed the still, small voice had spoken into my spirit “six months.” Six months what? I’d thought. Six months until he changes? Six months until this nightmare is over? Six months until I stop crying?

I decided to meet a lawyer just to get the legal facts. I’m certain my jaw dropped when she said,

“It’ll be six months until you’ll even get to court. Maybe you want to think about it some more.”

I had felt God wasn’t working and had been thinking the dry season without visible change was His sign I should divorce. Now, I had a stirring of hope. I apologized for doubting Him and counted six months on the calendar – about the time of our vacation to the ocean. Tired of waiting around for him, I had planned it for the kids and me. I would pray about it until then and make my decision when we returned.

In the meantime, I read the book, “The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord,” and the Peaceful Wife blog. April’s counsel was challenging: turn your eyes to Jesus. Stop making an idol of your husband. My heart was full of unbelief, anger, and unmet needs and hurt. And pride. Other wives felt the same. What sort of crazy road was this? we all wondered? Yet, the women who had gone before us were all singing the same song over our souls: turn to Jesus.

“God is sovereign, not your feelings” April would said. That struck a chord with me.

The time of the vacation arrived. A few days before leaving, we had an argument. Normally I would have been crushed. Angry. Confused. Oh, it hurt. But this time I didn’t give in to the feelings. This time I prayed. And again the still small voice reached out to me through the storm.

Put your rings back on.

When God speaks, the layers of meaning in one sentence, one word, can be endless. I knew immediately the command to put my wedding rings on was a call to fight, to humble myself before Him, to stand strong, to stop being lukewarm about my marriage. I was either all in or I was out. It was time to stop sitting on the fence and crying because things weren’t changing.

I slid the cool metal circles over my ring finger. I felt like an idiot. They were like a sword piercing my pride. He probably doesn’t even know where his ring is – if he even has it anymore. The bitter thought quickly receded, however, when in that one act of obedience I suddenly understood this moment was not about a marriage to a man, but a marriage of a woman to her God. The rings symbolized a vow I had made to my husband, but more than anything else they were an outward sign of a vow I had made to God to stand with Him as a helpmeet to my husband through life.

“I’m so sorry, Lord!” I cried out. As I repented of betraying the commitment I’d made to Him, His Spirit filled me anew. The rings sparkled and danced with life. I’d forgotten how beautiful they were. For a moment the pain of the years lifted and I was a bride once more.

What I noticed next was a prompting of the Holy Spirit to confess out loud that I wanted my marriage to work. This was difficult. Part of me wanted to be free from the hurt and humiliation. I had been encouraged by several friends to file for the divorce and move on. In my heart though, I knew I still loved him and dreamed of having our family together again. I felt ashamed at having this longing in the face of such unlikely odds. The prompting persisted, so alone in the car I would whisper, “I do want our marriage to heal, Lord. I still love him. I love our kids.”

This continued for several weeks. I watched War Room. I made a war room in my laundry room with pictures from my wedding day and each of our children. I posted scriptures and hand written prayers and simple words like Bring him home, Lord.

 I stopped fighting against the guidance of the wives who had gone before me, both in the Peaceful Wife blog and other forums He had sent my way. I let Him make changes in me. I focused on being more sensitive to the Spirit and simply got closer to Jesus. I got out of the way and God moved.

It’s taken some time, but there has been a real softening in my husband’s heart. He has apologized for the years wasted in anger. He listens to me now when I share my heart. He even tells me he loves me and I can hear in the tone of his voice it’s true.

I’ve thrown out the divorce papers and have begun to dream again.

And, yet, more than anything, my heart has the peace of a woman who has put God first, a wife who has learned (and is learning) to die to self in order to be a vessel of His goodness and redemption in another’s life. I thought I knew how to be a good wife. But I never asked Him how to be the wife my husband needed. God didn’t just want my cooperation. He wanted my submission.

Playing at the park today, I saw a woman I hadn’t seen in a long time. She looked at my rings and said “Oh, your rings are so lovely.”

As I pushed my son on the swing, the light of the sun sparkled over them as if imbued with Heavenly majesty. “Thank you.” I smiled. “I think so, too.”

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If you would like to share a struggle you have had for a post idea or how God has been working in your heart and light bulb moments God has shown you – you may leave your story in the comments or submit it to me privately on my Contact page. 🙂

I’D APPRECIATE YOUR HELP:

If you have read my book, I would love for everyone to leave a review on Amazon. If I get 18 more reviews, my publisher, Kregel, will provide more funding for promoting the book. 🙂

RELATED:

The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord by April Cassidy (book link to Amazon)

God Stopped a Wife’s Divorce Plans

The Bible and Divorce

Kristen’s Story – Being a Peaceful Divorced Wife

When Your Husband Says, “I’m Done”

Should You Strive to Keep Your Husband at ANY Cost?

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Transforming Our Thought Lives

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When the flesh is in control, our minds are filled with worldly things like:

  • greed
  • bitterness
  • gossip
  • hatred
  • materialism
  • envy
  • idolatry (desiring other things or people more than we desire God)
  • negativity
  • complaining
  • contention
  • lies
  • pride
  • lust
  • worry
  • fear
  • unbelief
  • self

These things consume our thoughts, fuel our motives, and ultimately determine our words and actions, as well.

When we repent of our sin and come to Christ, yielding to Him as LORD of all in our lives, He transforms our thinking by the power of His Spirit and His Word. So now, we purposely trash everything that is from the sinful nature and the enemy and fill our minds all throughout each day with things like:

  • thanksgiving
  • praises to God
  • contentment in Christ
  • prayer for ourselves, others, the church, the lost, and the world
  • good things about God, others, and this world
  • God’s peace
  • joy
  • God’s Word
  • truth
  • faith in God
  • songs to God
  • love for God
  • love for others
  • things that will benefit others
  • patience
  • kindness
  • grace, mercy, and forgiveness
  • God’s character and nature
  • awe  and reverence for God
  • genuine humility

Whatever we think overflows from our hearts from our facial expressions, our tone of voice, our words, and our behavior. When we are filled to overflowing with the power of the Holy Spirit and the goodness of God, this is what will spill out onto those around us.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil. 4:4-8

Further Study:

Galatians 5:13-26

Ephesians  4:29-32

Taking Our Thoughts Captive for Christ – Peaceful Wife VIDEO

A Heart of Thanksgiving and Praise – Peaceful Wife VIDEO

"I Want to Be Desired by Other Men, Too"

guys looking

A reader and I are tag-teaming together to write about this – in conversation style.  I greatly appreciate her contribution and willingness to share so vulnerably. My prayer is that God might use this post to help many other women break free from these kinds of destructive, toxic thoughts:

Do any of these thoughts sound familiar or tempting?

  • I want other men to notice me and be attracted to me.
  • I want other men to be jealous that they don’t have me.
  • I want other men to lust for me.
  • I want to know that other men find me irresistible or tempting.
  • I want other men to think I am really interesting, beautiful, sexy, and fun to be around.
  • I like for other men to flirt with me to prove that I am a good catch.
  • I like to know that I am still attractive to other men, too.
  • I want to know that other men want to fall in love with me.

FROM A READER:

Yes, you’re one the right track with those, and it goes deeper (for me) as well…

… like a woman’s sense of self-worth or validation comes from her ability to attract a man and have him love her.

I thought as a girl that the “proof” that I was lovable or valuable was having a guy fall in love with me. My operating in this belief not only left several broken hearts behind me as I selfishly looked for the next “project” to build my confidence up, but even now that I’m saved and married, I still feel the desire to know that I still have enough attraction/interest to attract a mate creep up (especially when I feel unappreciated by my husband).

My Dad left us when I was in elementary school, and I took it very personally.

I began to long for the love of a man for personal validation, and developed the idea that perfect happiness would be a marriage where I’m 100% satisfying to my man, and he’s 100% satisfying to me, a sort of mutual worship.

I got saved after being married, and though I see the idolatry of this, I still struggle hugely with wrapping my self-worth and happiness in how I’m loved my by husband. When my husband has an outburst of anger (never violent, but he has a temper), I take it very personally, as though he’s saying I’m unlovable or he hates me (even though he’s never said these words, but that’s how it feels to me).

If I can get “looks” or hints of interest from another man, especially one that seems reasonable and in good-standing, it reassures me that my husband is wrong – I am still lovable, and a man out there might be happy to have me as his wife even if my husband isn’t.

There’s a lot of pain and confusion in trying to write that out, but what stands out to me is the issue of trying to find my satisfaction outside of Christ and my self-worth outside of Christ, as well idolizing romantic love and adultery of the heart.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Whose approval do you really need? What gives you your worth and value? These are critical questions to prayerfully consider.

Check out these posts and see if they might be a blessing, my dear sister:

 

FROM THE SAME READER:

There were definitely some things that stood out like a sore thumb in some of those blog posts, mostly the idea that I will never be enough to make my husband love me perfectly.

This is a huge blow to my pride!

But instead of humbling myself and agreeing that I’m not enough to satisfy my husband perfectly or have him be able to love me perfectly, that I am unworthy to be worshipped or idolized, and then looking to Christ who IS worthy of worship, my heart has secretly sought to find it’s longed-for worship in whatever way it can – if not by my husband, then the easiest/fastest being the cheap idolatry of looks from men or the ability to rouse interest in them.

  • But it is NOT my husband’s job to idolize me or worship me. And when he doesn’t idolize me, I’m not justified in seeking to secure these things in other men, though that’s how my pride feels in the moment.

To be faced with the truth that I’m not enough to make my husband love me perfectly is a humiliating blow to my pride. But rather than trying to cover this humiliation by letting my idol of self loose to get fed any way it can (thus strengthening the idol of my pride), I can let the humiliation have it’s intended work on my heart – to humble myself before Christ, my all-sufficient Saviour, who ALONE is worthy of worship and praise, and who saw the ugly truth of my sin and suffered and died because of it.

It’s not about me. Christ calls me to DENY myself.

That overfed idol of my pride needs to be starved out. So when my idol is hungry for a meal (the adoration of my husband), or a snack (a look from another man), I have a choice.

  • Who will be fed today, my flesh or my spirit?
  • Will I scrounge for worship of self, or worship Him who alone is worthy of worship?

I pray God does in me what only He can do. I pray He teach me to worship and praise Him from a sincere heart.

I feel like we’re getting to the core of the sin, pride and desiring to be idolized by my husband or others. I think the deeper part is that I’m really putting myself before God in my heart. It can be confusing, because sometimes I think my motives for seeking God or trying to become a godly wife are tinged by pride as well, trying to impress others or God by my “godliness.” Sometimes I feel I can’t even discern to true motives of my heart, and feel stuck in the deceptiveness of my own pride.

I’ve been feeling God drawing me to His word daily. I need to renewing of my mind and to trust that He will do it. I can’t get unstuck in the tangles of my pride and sin on my own. I need to truly come to God for this work and stop trying to do it on my own.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I am so glad that you are getting to the core of the issue! That is wonderful!  Pride is the source of all other sins. From it flow all of our arrogance that we know better than God, that we can use God as a means-to-an-end, that we can get people to think highly of us, that we are good in and of ourselves, that we can justify our sin, etc…

Pride is blinding and very deceptive, yes!

I got to read a book last month by Andrew Murray called “Humility.” It was POWERFUL. I would encourage you to check it out for free at this link!

You are right that we do have to watch our motives about seeking God or trying to become a godly wife. We do have to watch for pride and guard against it. All of us. Myself included. We can’t do this on our own. We are in total and desperate need of Jesus and His work on our behalf every moment of every day.

Sinning against Our Husbands, Our Brothers in Christ, and other Men:

Let’s also think about how much of a betrayal it is to our husbands and our marriage covenant if we purposely try to grab the attention of another man. We would never want our husbands to do that to us! I want us to be trustworthy and loyal – always honoring our marriage covenant in our hearts – whether things seem to be going well at the moment or not.

Let’s dress with modesty and act and think with modesty around other men – out of reverence for God and respect for ourselves, our husbands, our marriages, and other men. How wrong it is to purposely put a stumbling block in a brother’s path to try to get him to sin by lusting after us. God will hold us accountable for such motives. We should be encouraging others to live holy, godly lives, not encouraging anyone to stumble into sin because of us.

Godly Beauty:

Thankfully, ALL of us have the ability to have feminine, godly beauty that is of great worth in God’s sight. As we yield fully to Him as LORD of all in our lives and we allow Him to transform us and regenerate our souls and minds – He empowers us to have His overflowing peace, joy, and gentleness. He enables us to receive all that He has for us in Christ and to receive our husbands’ love. He gives us the ability to not freak out, become doormats, or control-freaks –  but to do what is right without giving way to fear. That is the essence of Godly femininity. 🙂

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4

SHARE:

Have you experienced tempting thoughts like this? You are welcome to share your struggles and to share how God has helped you have victory over them, as well, if you feel so led.

Much love to each of you! I am praying for y’all daily!

RELATED:

Godly Femininity

Taking Our Thoughts Captive – Peacefulwife video

Tearing Out the Idols in Our Hearts  – Peacefulwife video

Dying to Self

25 Ways to Respect Myself

WorthyofLove Finally "Gets" Her Husband's Text Messages

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TODAY’S GUEST POST:

Sometimes, our husbands don’t share that they are feeling disrespected or that we are sinning against them and we have no idea we have contributed to the problems in our marriages. But other times, they truly do clearly try to explain that they feel unloved, mistreated, and disrespected – and we just don’t hear what they are saying – until God opens our eyes and ears. One couple has allowed me to share some of a husband’s old text messages to his wife that she has only recently begun to understand. These are the words of a frustrated,  husband who was feeling discouraged, disrespected, and unloved and yet was trying to love and lead his wife in a godly way. His wife, we will call her, WorthyofLove, sees now that she was fighting his attempts to lead and to love her with disrespect and control:

 

———————-

Here we go – some of my husband’s old texts to me:

TEXTS ABOUT BLATANT WAYS HE FELT DISRESPECTED:

From Peacefulwife – This next quote is what happens to a man who feels very put down and disrespected by his wife, notice what begins to happen to his ability to lead and make wise decisions:

Do you realize how many times you reminded me about my mistakes? How else am I supposed to feel except rejected and hurt? It surely didn’t make me feel like a man. I keep second guessing myself.

WAYS HE WAS TRYING TO LEAD ME SPIRITUALLY:

When I read some of these (now) I am like, “Wow he couldn’t have been any more blatant!!!!!”

I honestly did not have a clue what he was trying to say to me. If anything, when he said these things I felt totally wronged and like I was the one trying to work on everything. But looking back, I WAS FOCUSED ON EVERYTHING EXCEPT GOD AND MY HUSBAND!!! I’m glad I can share these in hopes that other women might be able to pick up on anything their men might be trying to say.

I LITERALLY SAID THIS IN A TEXT WHEN I WAS BLIND AND DID NOT UNDERSTAND A SINGLE THING:

“You can’t handle life so you’re dumping your crap all on my shoulders. That’s fine, I’ve had it dumped on me over and over. This is nothing new. Men obviously can’t deal with stuff anymore and women are the only ones who can keep it together while under serious pressure.”

This was my attitude!!! Sadly 🙁

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Ladies,

Let’s slow down. Let’s really listen to what our husbands are trying to share with us. Perhaps they have important things to share that we need to hear. It is possible that God may even be trying to speak through them to us if we will listen. Yes, they have things to work on, too. But so do we. Let’s be willing to humble ourselves and look at any sin issues in our own lives. Let’s take what our husbands say, even if we feel upset about it at first, to God in prayer. Let’s ask God to help us discern, “Is this a legitimate issue? Is it a life-giving rebuke and godly wisdom? If so, help me embrace it. If it is not of You, then help me to not absorb it.”

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

                         – Proverbs 14:1

Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.

                 – Proverbs 9:8

I pray God will give us ears to hear so that we might build up our marriages, our husbands, and our children and not tear them down.

Much love!

I NEED A BIT OF EXTRA HELP THE NEXT FEW DAYS WITH COMMENTS, PLEASE 🙂

I have some extra responsibilities on my plate today through Saturday – so if anyone feels led to reach out and share encouragement and godly wisdom that you have learned with someone who is commenting and may need some love, I would greatly appreciate my Titus 2 ladies reaching out this week. Y’all do an amazing job blessing, encouraging, sharing, praying for each other, and loving each other. I am so honored to get to see how the Spirit of God brings such love, unity, and support to this body of believers that gathers here.

RELATED:

Signs Your Husband Is Feeling Disrespected and Unloved

Husbands Share What Is Disrespectful to Them – note, the things that really can upset husbands are things that often seem “small” or “insignificant” to us, but to them, these are big issues. We want our husbands to care about things that matter deeply to us even if our issues seem “small” in their eyes. Let’s give them the same level of consideration and compassion. And the added bonus, as we ask God to help us work on these things, we are getting rid of sin that God wants us to get rid of anyway. We will become more godly women.

23 Signs Your Husband Is Beginning to Trust You Again

 

When "Submit" Feels Like a Dirty Word – by Shannon Popkin

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Bio

Shannon Popkin is a speaker and writer from Grand Rapids, MI. Shannon enjoys blending her love for humor and storytelling with her passion for God’s Word. Shannon’s first book, Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control From 7 Women in The Bible will be published by Kregel Publications in 2016/2017. Check out Shannon’s blog at www.ShannonPopkin.com, where she shares “Tiny Paragraphs” from everyday life as a wife and mom, which are tucked back into the One True Story of God.

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By: Shannon Popkin

God doesn’t use swear words; I know this full well. But if I’m honest, the word “submit”—which God uses often when He instructs wives—sometimes feels like a dirty word.

Picture this. You’re at the mall, and you see a husband and wife who are obviously having an argument. Their body language is terse and their tone is sharp. The wife looks frustrated and angry, as she folds her arms across her chest and turns her back toward her husband. Should you, at that moment, approach this wife and suggest she submit to her husband?

I know I wouldn’t. But this is exactly what God does in his Word. When I am the angry, terse wife, crossing my arms—convinced that my husband just doesn’t understand, God whispers softly, “submit.” But often, as that word clanks against my iron will, I bristle. It feels degrading and insulting. I’m to submit, simply because I’m a woman? How can that be right?

God’s Curse Word

There’s another word which God did speak as a curse over women: the word “desire”. After Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God told her, “Your desire will be for your husband.” (Gen. 3:15, emphasis mine.) This word always baffled me because I thought it meant a sexual desire. I figured if I had more of that kind of desire, my husband would not consider it a curse.

Then one day, I was painting my laundry room and listening to John Piper preach a sermon on the curse of Genesis 3. He used parallel language from the next chapter in Genesis to explain that this word “desire” was a desire for control[i]. God was telling the woman that she would be cursed with a desire to control her husband. Now that did make sense to me.

With paintbrush in hand, I realized that I, too, as a daughter of Eve, am cursed with the desire to control my husband. For me, this was like finally—after a lifetime of suffering its effects—being diagnosed with a degenerative disease that had been passed on to me from generations back. Suddenly all of my symptoms made sense. I always wondered why I was so testy, obstinate, and even surly toward this man I love so desperately. Now I understood. As a daughter of Eve, I am infected with a desire to control him.

That day that I was painting the laundry room was over a decade ago. I’d love to say that understanding my “condition” has healed my desire for control, but this is not the case. As long as I live under the curse, I will struggle with a desire to get my hooks into the people I love. I have, however, gotten better at recognizing my desire for control.

 

Recognizing my Desire for Control

Recently, my husband and I were driving to our daughter’s swim meet. In the back seat was our angry tween, who was wishing he could be at a birthday party with his friends. This privilege had been revoked because of his attitude (which wasn’t improving).

I’ve noticed that my desire for control seeps beyond the bounds of marriage and into all of my relationships—especially parenting. And especially when my child is being rebellious and rude. As we drove down the highway, I felt the desire for control rising up in me. “His insolence is going to destroy his life,” I said to myself. “I’ve got to stop him. I’ve got to do something right now!”

And so I did. My swelling desire for control erupted in the form of white-hot, spewing words. My voice was loud and commanding. My words had manipulative undercurrents and harsh overstatements. I lectured. I shamed. I warned. I demanded. I gave full vent to my desire for control.

And how did my son respond? He recoiled. He folded his arms in anger and said he didn’t care. There was stubbornness, not remorse, in his tone.

Just as I began to launch round two of my lecture, my husband cut in. “Shannon, stop.”

Stop? I couldn’t stop. I shouldn’t stop! I ignored him and kept going.

“Shannon, stop.” Quietly, but forcefully, my husband put his hand on mine. “Stop. It. You’re making it worse,” he said quietly.

“No, I’m not! He needs to hear this!” I said in a loud whisper. But my husband wouldn’t back down. He calmly assured me that he would handle it. For the rest of the drive, he wanted me to be quiet. Then when we arrived, he wanted me to get out of the car and let him deal with the situation. Alone. Without me.

Well that pretty much felt like a total loss of control, especially for a Control Girl like me. My arguments were burning a hole in my heart. My son needed my correction. He needed it right now! From my dark corner in the passenger seat of our car, I cried out silently to God. Was He seeing this?

Just then, the word “submit” flashed through my conscience. It’s in moments like these that this word feels like a swear word to me. It seems degrading for God to ask me to defer to my husband. Especially when I know I’m right!

Yet I’ve learned that it rarely feels like I’m living out the curse in the moment I’m doing so. Taking control often seems right and good. And submitting to my husband feels quite wrong.

A Moment of Choice

Oh how I wanted to overrule my husband and continue my lecture. My heart was screaming with the desire for control. But rather than giving in to myself, I gave in to God.

I always picture yielding to God as a quiet, peaceful experience; yet it is some of the most grueling, challenging work of my Christian life. Yes, I was sitting quietly on my side of the car that night, but inside I was doing battle with my flesh! Stepping from that car and deferring to my husband was my way of passionately yielding to God—trusting that His ways are better than mine.

Fifteen minutes later, as I sat in the bleachers overlooking the pool, I saw what I couldn’t see back in the car. My husband was right. I had been making it worse. My heart had deceived me again. My words had been like a harsh, driving wind, causing my son to hold tighter to his pride and belligerence.

Just as a tear of remorse trickled down my cheek, my son slid onto the bleacher seat beside me. He put his arm around my shoulders and gave me a warm squeeze, saying, “I’m sorry, mom. I was so wrong. I see that now. Will you forgive me?”

Ladies First

Have you ever noticed that the wife’s instructions to respectfully submit to her husband come before her husband’s instructions in the Bible? Since he is named the leader, I would expect his instructions to come first, but it’s the opposite. (Eph. 5:22-25, Col. 3:18-19, I Pet. 3:1-7). Why is that?

I think it’s because my husband can’t lead me if I’m not willing to submit. Ken can shut down my lecture, yes. But he can’t make me submit to him. He can only invite me to. But when I do, God blesses me. Sometimes I even get the warm squeeze and apology that I was hoping for in the first place. And even when my husband doesn’t handle a situation with wisdom, or things don’t turn out well after I defer to him, God uses submission to reverse the curse—this wretched desire I have to control everything—in my heart.

Submitting to my husband is exactly what my controlling heart screams for me not to do. So when I submit (which is the opposite of taking control), I break the curse’s hold on me. I free myself to be healed of sin’s effects. I invite peace and restoration to my relationships. This is what God has in mind when He asks me to submit to my husband. He knows that my desire is to control, and He’s gently leading me to do the opposite.

Is “submit” a degrading curse word against women? Hardly. It’s actually the way that wives like me can break free from the curse, and be healed.

 

RELATED:

What Is Biblical Submission?

Biblical Submission Is Not Passivity

Biblical Submission – a Huge Key to Peace

Can a Wife Overdo Biblical Submission? – by Nikka

The Pendulum Effect – we are all tempted to go too far one way or the other (too passive or too controlling)

Fear Fuels Our “Need” to Control

What Causes a Woman to Become Controlling? – Peacefulwife Video

Overcoming Fear

Fully Trusting God with My Husband

Posts about Control – by Peacefulwife

Spiritual Authority – a general overview of a foundational doctrine

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

Husbands Are Never the Absolute Authority 

What Is Godly Spiritual Leadership?

What Biblical Headship/Submission Look Like at Our House

 

Handling Political Disagreements Respectfully

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There are plenty of couples who do agree about politics and who can have conversations about these topics without any problem. And there are those who disagree but are able to respect the views of the other spouse (and other people) and speak about their opposing views without contention. However, there are some couples who disagree and for whom this topic is a powder keg. Any time they talk about it, explosive things happen that create destruction in their marriage or in their relationship.

What do we do when others like a candidate that terrifies us or upsets us? What about times when someone is NOT open to hearing our views when we share respectfully?

  1. Let’s Humbly Remember That Each Person Has Free Will.

Our husbands (and other people) have God-given free will with which they can make decisions and come to conclusions. They are free to believe what they think is best at the time. They can have their own convictions and it is not necessarily my place to try to get them to change their personal convictions. I can share with my husband and other people if they are open to hearing about my beliefs. But I can accept that not all people will agree with me. My husband answers to God for what he thinks, what he supports, and what he does – he does not answer to me. I can respect that we each have the right to think for ourselves and – in the United States, at least – we each have the right to vote for ourselves.

I can disagree with my husband but I don’t have to argue with him. After all, God commands all of us as followers of Christ:

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. Philippians 2:14-16

My having contentious debates about politics would not be very productive for my marriage or even for our country. My views are not going to change anything in Washington – I can humbly accept that. My job as a Christian citizen is to prayerfully vote and then to pray for our president, whomever he/she may be. We are also to treat our government leaders with respect and honor – even if we strongly disagree with them.

If our views are very different and talking about politics leads to hurt feelings, bitterness, or division in our marriage, it may be wise to call a truce and to keep my personal convictions about politics to myself (kind of like God admonishes us to keep our personal religious convictions to ourselves in Romans 14).

2. We Can humbly Acknowledge That God Alone Is Sovereign and He Ultimately Determines Who Will Rule in Each Country in the World.

I do not carry the weight of who will be elected on my shoulders. I only carry the weight of my vote on my shoulders. It is not my job to try to get everyone to vote for the person I think would be best. I can remember that God will ultimately decide who will be the president, king, or ruler of any given country.

Jesus told Pilate, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above” (John 19:11). God has purposes behind every decision He makes. Sometimes God puts less-than-ideal rulers over nations as judgment on them as we see in the Old Testament. Sometimes He gives a nation what they think they want – even though they will regret their decision (i.e.: Saul in the Old Testament) – to teach them to trust in Him alone, not in a human king or ruler. God can and will use whomever He chooses to accomplish His purposes in that nation and in the world.

3. Let’s Remember That There Is NO Human or Government Alive Who Can Fix the Problems Our Nation Faces – Some might make it worse much more quickly, of course. But the problems we have are beyond human solutions.

The United States’ massive debt problem is actually a spiritual problem. Our crime problem is a spiritual problem. Our abortion problem and our drug/alcohol addiction problems are spiritual problems. Our race relations and the way we treat immigrants and migrants are spiritual issues that reveal the priorities of our heart and our love (or lack of love) for God. Even terrorism is a spiritual problem – and God is able to defeat our enemies IF we trust Him and walk in obedience to Him.

We have turned away from God as a nation. We trust ourselves. We trust the government and politicians – or we want to try to find people we can trust to fix everything. We trust the economy. But we do not trust and honor God. As long as we continue on this road, we are racing toward our own destruction.

When a nation rebels against God, they remove themselves from His protection and begin to experience internal destruction (from sin) and external destruction (from enemies). These are indicators that we need to trust God, not ourselves – that we need His wisdom which is so much higher than our own.  The solution to all of the problems that are way too big for any human or group of humans to solve is that we humbly repent of our sins before the God of the universe and receive Christ.

4. Fervent, Effectual prayer for a Great Awakening and for Many to Come to Christ Will Be More Impactful Than Impassioned Discussions about Political, Human Solutions.

My arguing will not fix anything. Treaties will not guarantee us anything. Political solutions apart from the power and wisdom of God will only disappoint us. God has a plan for this world. His plan will stand. No one can thwart what He intends to do.

It is possible that we are in the last days and that we are witnessing the Great Apostasy (the great falling away of people from God). This may usher in the 7 years of the Great Tribulation where the whole world bands together against Israel and the world begins to face greater suffering than has ever been seen before. Only God knows the time of Christ’s return. Only He knows if the Great Tribulation is around the corner. We don’t know.

My job is to pray for salvation for millions and to pray for the repentance of our nation and other nations and even our enemies, that millions and millions might come to Christ and find salvation and healing here and in heaven for eternity.

I have access to a much higher authority than the president or king of our country. I have 24/7 access to the Holy of Holies in the throne room of the sovereign King of kings and Lord of lords – the Almighty God of the universe!?!? How amazing is that?!?! Instead of studying up on the best political solutions, how about we study up on how to increase our power in prayer and increase our faith and how to pray effectively?

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

GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS TO US AS CITIZENS – Romans 13:1-6:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

 

RELATED:

Is My Husband Bound By My Personal Convictions?

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God – John Piper (also deals with God’s sovereignty over nations)

The Sovereignty of God in History – from www.bible.org by Bob Diffinbaugh

Lessons on Effective Prayer – posts by Peacefulwife

The Surprising Root of All Marriage Problems

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www.freeimages.com

 

We can justify anything if we believe we know better than God does. Pride births every other wrong in our thoughts, words, and actions.

Pride is hideously ugly when we see it in other people – and yet, it can be so insidious in our own lives. We can have it – a lot of it – and not even see it. Pride tends to blind us to our own sin.

A PRIDEFUL HEART IN MARRIAGE:

Let’s take a peak into a prideful spouse’s heart…

  • I’m always right.
  • I deserve to be waited on and served.
  • Other people, including my spouse, are here to do what I want them to do.
  • I’m better than my wife/husband is.
  • Everyone should cater to me.
  • My will and my comfort are what is important.
  • It’s my way or the highway.
  • Do what I say.
  • If you sin against me, I will leave you and try to hurt you as much as possible.
  • If you don’t meet my needs, I’ll find someone who will and I don’t care if it hurts God, you, or our family.
  • I will not forgive anyone. I deserve to hold grudges and be bitter.
  • If you hurt me, I am justified in retaliating in any way I see fit.
  • I want X, so you better make it happen.
  • People need me much more than they need God. I am the essential ingredient to the success of anything.
  • I have the wisdom that everyone else needs.
  • God is holding out on me. If I do things His way, I will miss what is best in life.
  • I want things for myself in this lifetime – treasure, fame, power, glory, attention, etc…
  • Change my spouse, Lord! He/she is not who I want him/her to be and that is inconvenient to me.

Let’s look at false humility in a spouse (which is also pride)

  • I’m not worthy of being loved by you (but I expect myself to be worthy and good in and of myself apart from Christ).
  • I’m so awful (and I expect myself to be perfect and good in my own strength, I am focused on self not God).
  • No one loves me (I will use guilt and pity to try to make people love me more but I will not look to God for my source of love, acceptance, life, peace, purpose, and help. I will try to handle it on my own. I will not receive love from God or anyone else.).
  • I’m ugly and useless (I don’t accept my identity, value, and worth in Christ because I know better than God does).
  • I shouldn’t have needs or ask for help. I should be able to handle everything totally on my own.
  • I believe that I have to hate myself, put myself down, and be totally self-sufficient to have value.
  • I am obsessed with thinking negatively about myself and do not allow God to fill me. I reject and refuse what Christ wants to do for me and offer to me.
  • If you hurt me, I will sink down into depression and self-harm. I put the approval of others before approval of God.

Pride and false humility repel those around us. They are toxic and off-putting. It is very difficult to love someone who is filled with self and prickly pride. It is equally difficult to love someone who won’t receive love and who hates themselves and are obsessed with self in a negative way.

Believers and non-believers alike are quick to see pride and false humility in others and to be disgusted by it.

Let’s look at a humble spouse’s heart…

  • Not my will, but God’s will be done and His glory be accomplished in this.
  • How may I be a blessing to my spouse and family?
  • What would most please Christ?
  • Other people, including my spouse, are here for me to learn to demonstrate the love of Christ and to learn spiritual maturity.
  • Lord, I’m totally dependent on Your wisdom and Your power every moment.
  • There is no good in me, but I no longer live – I have been crucified with Christ, now Christ lives in me and through me. Jesus gives me the power to walk in holiness and obedience so that my life might bring great glory to God alone.
  • I can put my needs on the back burner if God prompts me to so that I can be part of pouring healing into my spouse’s life.
  • People need Christ, not me. He must greatly increase and I must greatly decrease!
  • I have received unspeakable love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy from Jesus – so I have plenty of that to give to others.
  • No one can meet my deepest needs but Jesus. I need Him alone!
  • I don’t have to be right all the time. I don’t have to defend myself and win every argument.
  • My way is not always best. God’s way is.
  • If you don’t meet my needs, I will be content in Christ and trust Him to lead me and to heal our marriage. I trust Him to use times of pain and suffering to help me grow.
  • If you are involved in great unrepentant sin or I am in danger with you, I may separate but I will continue to pray for you to come to Christ and for God to heal and restore our marriage for His glory.
  • I see myself as God sees me and I receive who I am according to Scripture. I respect God, myself, and others.
  • My spouse has wisdom to offer that may be very valuable.
  • I want to store up treasures in heaven, the things of this world aren’t that important. What will matter most in eternity?
  • If you hurt me, I will respectfully confront you about it, but if you won’t repent, I will trust vengeance to God’s hands and I will seek to repay evil with good. I may also have to remove myself from the situation if you continue on in unrepentant sin and in violation of our marriage covenant (Matt. 18:15-17, I Corinthians 7).
  • I only want God to be pleased with me. I want to make the decisions that would most bring Him joy.
  • Change me, Lord! Make me more like Jesus!

PRIDE IS THE SOURCE OF ALL SIN:

What is the greatest sin? Ultimately any singular sin separates us from God for eternity unless it is “atoned” for – that is, that blood is shed to pay for that sin. We wouldn’t think that eating a piece of forbidden fruit was a “big sin,” but look at the consequences of that one “small” sin.

Any rebellion against God is a big deal. But what comes before rebellion?

A spirit of pride.

I believe that pride is the greatest danger to marriage (for both the husband and wife). How did Satan tempt Eve? He appealed to her pride and that she would be as wise or wiser than God. Wasn’t that the same temptation that caused him to fall? The desire to be equal to or greater than God?

 

I HAVE ONLY TWO CHOICES:

  1. I can imitate Satan. Pride was his primary character trait. He wanted to be equal to God. From pride came all other sins. If I enthrone Self in my life, I am serving Satan and living as his child. I believe I know best. I believe God is holding out on me and that my wisdom is greater than God’s. From this mindset of scorn toward God and His wisdom, I can justify any other sin – unforgiveness, bitterness, lust, adultery, rage, hatred, envy, jealousy, idolatry, unbelief in God, disobedience to God, stealing, sexual perversion, disrespecting God, trying to control others, greed, flirting with someone else, addictions, desiring power/fame/luxury/comfort, violence, abuse, divisions, gossip, self-righteousness, false teaching, etc…
  2. I can imitate Jesus. Humility was His primary character trait. He was God and was already equal to God but set aside His glory and heaven and entered our world humbly, considering equality with God not something He wanted to try to grasp. He made Himself in the form of a Servant. He came to serve not to be served. When I yield to Him as LORD of all in my life, I am God’s child. When I am willing to receive my death to my old self and sin and allow His Spirit to fill me, He gives me His Spirit of humility, from which all other virtues spring.

ETERNAL BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES OF PRIDE VS. HUMILITY:

  • God will humble the proud and arrogant by punishment in His timing.
  • God will exalt those who humble themselves before Him in His timing.

verses about pride

verses about humility

Quotes from Andrew Murray, “Humility”

  • “Humility is the displacement of self by the enthronement of God.”
  • “Humility, the place of entire dependence on God, is the first duty and the highest virtue of the creature, and the root of every virtue. And so pride, or the loss of this humility, is the root of every sin and evil.”
  • “The truth is this: Pride must die in you or nothing of heaven can live in you. Under the banner of the truth, give yourself up to the meek and humble spirit of the holy Jesus. Humility must sow the seed or there can be no reaping in heaven. Look not at pride only as an unbecoming temper, nor at humility only as a decent virtue: for the one is death and the other is life; the one is hell and the other is heaven. So much as you have of pride within you, you have of the fallen angel alive in you; so much as you have of true humility, so much you have of the Lamb of God within you.”

RELATED:

Free download of Andrew Murray’s book Humility

But, I’m Right!

Why Do I Have to Change First?

Totally Change Your Reality

Meekness and Humility – a Peacefulwife Video

NOTE:

If you are suffering from mental health issues, please get a check up with a trusted medical doctor and get a spiritual check up with a trusted biblical counselor. If you are interested in a spiritual check up, you may also see this post.