The Surprising Root of All Marriage Problems

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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.

The Dirty Garage Epiphany

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From a wife who has experienced great difficulties in her marriage and has continued to abide in Christ:

You know, I was cleaning out our garage today (part of me working on my own habits), and it taught me some lessons. One was on that question that always pops up…

“How do I respect my husband if he doesn’t deserve it?”

So my husband likes his stuff. He has boxes of stuff that he never touches and won’t part with. Much of it sits in our garage, but he is often aggravated by the messy state of our garage, as am I. God has been speaking to my heart about the appearance of my home and my physical appearance. That it would convey respect to my husband if I kept up with these things. And, we’d all be happier.

So I cleaned and organized and donated for 5 hours today. And in the end, the garage looked 100x better. But – a good 30-40% of the floor space is still covered with his stuff, stacked and arranged as it may now be. Old books, DVDs, exercise equipment, etc.

It’s not as good as it could be. And, it’s his stuff to clean up. Only he can do it.

And so goes respect. You can and should clean that up and keep it up the best you can. It’s 100x better than a disrespectful relationship. But. If he still has junk (sin) to get rid of, it will prevent both of you from enjoying the beauty and freedom of a truly working, effective environment. One that is in order–as it should be.

But I’d say the chances of him cleaning up his stuff now that I’ve cleaned the rest of the garage are much much greater! I mean, it’s not all scattered around and mixed in with all the other stuff. It’s a clean, neat garage with a big pile of stuff in the middle!

And that is just what happened to us as I tried to respect him. After about a year and a half, he really hit his bottom, and really was not able to blame anyone for his poor choices.

Respecting a man in sin is quite, quite difficult. Kind of like cleaning a garage around a big pile of junk you know will still be there for an indeterminate amount of time afterward.
But, I’m still so very glad I did it. The respect and the garage. 🙂 It was the right thing to do.

 

RELATED:

Why Do I Have to Change First?

My Husband Doesn’t Deserve My Respect! – VIDEO

My Level of Respect Has Nothing to Do with My Husband – it is about my character and God working in me

Godly Femininity

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Does Being a Biblically Submissive Wife Mean I Can’t Say How I Feel and What I Need?

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Nope.

We CAN say what we want, how we feel, what we think, what our concerns are and what we need.

(Please keep in mind that when I talk about submission, I am always talking about the biblical concept, not the worldly definition. For more about biblical submission, please read here.)

We have total freedom to do this! I don’t know a healthy husband who wants a wife who has no thoughts, no opinions, no desires and no feelings. In fact, I believe it is our responsibility and duty to share these things many times – but in a way that is respectful and honoring to God and to our husbands and in a way that doesn’t involve sin. We can have pure motive as we give God’s Spirit total control in our lives so that eventually our only motives will be to love,  please and glorify God and to love, honor, respect and bless our husbands.

Do I do this perfectly?

Nope.

None of us will be perfect until we are in heaven.

Can God give us victory over sin?

YES!

MY PERSONAL WEAKNESS

God is continuing to transform me. I can ask Greg for things I want and need. And I do that every so often. I do fine if I ask for what I want and then drop the issue in my mind and heart and resolve to be content with or without whatever I asked for. But, for me, if I allow myself to dwell on my needs or marinate on thoughts about what Greg “should” do, I can get into trouble and slide into sinful motives very quickly. I have to remember that I cannot FORCE Greg to do what I want him to do. Truthfully, I can be pretty insatiable emotionally and spiritually if I try to look to Greg to meet all my needs. Only Jesus can truly meet my deepest emotional and spiritual needs. (Please note – I am not talking about severe marriage issues here! If there are very serious problems in your marriage – drug/alcohol addiction, mental health issues, actual abuse, infidelity, please seek godly, experienced help in person from someone you can trust!)

I started to slip a few days ago into obsessing about wanting Greg to do something. Maybe you don’t have that problem. But I sure do. I must always watch and check my motives and lay every thought before God, shooting down any ungodly thoughts, repenting of any evil motives and asking God to purify my motives and fill me with His Spirit. I have to have serious time in prayer and in God’s Word often – to maintain spiritual nourishment.

The second I take my eyes off of Jesus and begin to expect Greg to make me happy and meet some deep spiritual need, I start to spiral downward. I know that there are some things I cannot put into my mind. Even one sentence in a book, blog or sermon about “what godly husbands should do” (that is not something my husband usually does for me) can be a trigger for me, a temptation into sinful thoughts – pride, self-righteousness, entitlement, idolatry of my husband or of being in control, selfishness, resentment, bitterness, etc…I have to catch those thoughts immediately and repent and replace them with God’s truth and set my eyes firmly on Christ alone to meet my needs. Then my feet are on solid spiritual ground again – the Rock of Jesus. I do much better if I just don’t allow myself to focus on what husbands are “supposed to do.” Maybe you can read a whole book about how husbands should be godly husbands and it doesn’t phase you. That is awesome! But for me – I know I can’t go there. I also like to avoid romantic movies and books to avoid temptation to compare Greg to some fictional romantic lead. That way, I can be content with what I actually have and thankful for my particular husband and his strengths without adding fictional or unrealistic expectations to him.

I cannot personally approach Greg  about my feelings and desires if I have my heart set (with sinful motives) on what HE should do for me. It will inevitably be a disaster!

If I realize I am getting trapped in that issue of thinking about what Greg should do for me, I have to go to prayer immediately, repent to God if I have sinned in my heart and begin to focus on all of my many blessings and all that I am thankful for and all the things Greg does do for me and all the things I do respect about him. I must focus on finding ALL of my joy, contentment, acceptance, love, identity, purpose and strength in Jesus. I know I need to concentrate on what God asks ME to do. Then God gets me back in balance – usually – before I even say anything to Greg. This time, I did say a few sentences that started drifting toward sinful motives after I asked for what I needed and wanted, then realized what I was doing and repented. I have to have God’s power to do this. I can do nothing good in my own strength!

SUBMISSION IN THE BIBLE, FOR THE BELIEVER, IN MARRIAGE

Submission in the Bible began with the relationship between Jesus and God the Father. The Son submitted to the Father because He loved Him. They were equal in value and equally God, in fact, they are One. But, Jesus submitted to the position of authority of the Father. Did Jesus share His feelings, desire, concerns and needs with God? Absolutely!!!! He was a man of fervent prayer. Did God listen to Jesus’ prayers? Absolutely!!!!!! But Jesus said, “not My will, but Yours be done.”

When there was a conflict between Jesus’ will and God’s will, Jesus voluntarily chose the Father’s will because He loved Him and because He loved us. (Please read John 17 to read how Jesus shared His heart, needs, desires and concerns with God passionately, intimately, boldly, respectfully and lovingly.)

Submission for a believer begins with our yielding to the Lordship of Christ Jesus. Does He allow us to share our thoughts, desires, concerns, emotions and needs with Him? Yes! He already knows all of these things, but He delights in us connecting with Him and loves for us to pray to Him. (Please read “How to Pray for Our Husbands So That God Will Hear” for more about how to pray. You can also search “prayer” and “pray” on my home page for posts that may be helpful about how to approach God and how to pray fervently and effectively.)

If there is a conflict between our will and God’s will, a believer is to submit to God’s will. Ultimately, that is what we are all to seek above all else, God’s will and God’s glory.

Submission in marriage begins with a wife voluntarily choosing to honor her husband’s God-given leadership. A husband cannot force biblical submission. This is something a wife chooses to do out of her love and reverence for Christ.. Not that the husband is God. A husband is NOT deity! Some people think that if a wife submits to her husband, she is worshipping him as a god. No! That is NOT AT ALL what the Bible teaches! He is just a human being – a sinful and imperfect one – who has been given the position of authority and leadership in order that he might protect, provide for, nurture, lead and guide his wife and family. For more on all the different kinds of human spiritual authority (pastors, church leaders, government leaders, police, military, bosses, husbands and parents), please check out this post.

A wife is free to share her heart, her thoughts, her concerns, her feelings, her emotions, her needs and desires with her husband. And, she is free to share all of these things with God, trusting God to ultimately be the One to meet all of her needs through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

 

If a husband and wife don’t or can’t agree, then a godly wife voluntarily chooses to honor her husband’s decision, trusting God to lead her through her husband.

SHARING OUR NEEDS AND DESIRES

The key for a godly wife is that she is sensitive to God’s Spirit and His prompting about exactly what to say, when to say it, how to say it, when to not say anything and what is worth talking about vs. what is not worth talking about at any given time.

When a godly wife does approach her husband to share, she does so from a place of:

  • spiritual strength – being filled with the power of God’s Spirit and all of His fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – Galatians 5:22-23)
  • God’s love motivating her – I Corinthians 13:4-8
  • refusing to use sinful motives or sinful words or actions to attempt to get her way (she does not resort to humiliating, criticizing, demeaning, belittling, making fun of, bossing, controlling, being violent, arguing, disrespecting, complaining or judging her husband. She does not allow herself to be motivated by resentment, fear, bitterness, hatred, apathy, vengeance or anything that would grieve the heart of God. For more details on the sinful nature, please check out Galatians 5:18-21 or II Timothy 3:1-9 )
  • knowing her old sinful nature is dead and buried with Christ so she counts herself dead to sin and her old self but alive to God through Christ Jesus (Romans 6)
  • total submission to Christ as Lord (James 4:7-10)
  • being ready to extend the same lavish unconditional love, grace, mercy and forgiveness that she received herself from Christ (Matthew 6:14-15)
  • God’s wisdom which is much higher than the wisdom of people (James 1:5-8)
  • seeking God’s will above her own (Luke 12:31)
  • seeking to honor, bless and respect her husband and to obey God (Ephesians 5:22-33, I Peter 3:1-6, Colossians 3:18, Titus 2:3-5, I Corinthians 13:4-8)
  • leaning on God’s wisdom and not trusting her own understanding (Proverbs 3:5)
  • meekness – this is strength under control or “bridled strength.” The picture is that of a wild stallion who has been “broken.” His will has been broken so now he uses all of his strength to accomplish what his owner/rider instructs him to do. This is what we do for God. Our will is to be broken and we submit our will to His, allowing Him to control our lives, our thoughts, our desires, our actions and our circumstances and giving Him total access to everything we possess. (I Peter 3:4)
  • no fear, because all of her trust is firmly placed in Christ, so she overflows with His peace because she trusts in God with great faith (I Peter 3:6, Hebrews 11:6)
  • faith that God will use all things for her ultimate good and His ultimate glory even if she does not receive what she wants in a given situation (Romans 8:28-29)

There are times when a wife knows God is prompting her to wait and not verbally address an issue. This is particularly true when a husband is far from God. In such situations, God’s commands for wives are to win her husband without a word by their reverence, purity and godly behavior (I Peter 3:1).

There are times when a wife knows that God is definitely prompting that she needs to say something specific right now. There is not a formula for knowing what to say and when that I know of. This is about us growing in our relationship with Jesus and learning to depend on and trust in Him and learning to hear and listen to His voice alone. This means we have to spend TIME with God in prayer, seeking His presence, seeking His truth, asking Him to change us and feasting on His Word. THAT is where our power source is. If we try to do this without the power of God’s Spirit and His Word, we will not have the spiritual nourishment and strength we need and we will be much too weak!

SHARE:

How have you learned to share your heart, needs and desires in a godly way in your marriage? What are your temptations that trip you up? What approaches don’t work with your husband? What approaches do work and bless both you and your husband?

RELATED:

Stages of This Journey

Learning to Respect and Give Up Control Is a Process

Biblical Submission Does Not = The Husband Is Always Right

Submission Means We Hold the Things of This World Loosely

The Secret of Submission

Can You Overdo Respect or Submission in Marriage?

Fear Fuels Our “Need to Control

To Speak or Not to Speak

The Frustrating Quiet Phase (this is only a phase early in the journey, it is not a permanent thing!)

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

When My Spouse is Wrong

 

One Wife’s Story – 6 Days In

Winding Country Road through autumnal Landscape

From a wife, I am so thankful she has allowed me to share the beginning of her journey with y’all! I know it will bless you (If you have a story you believe God would like you to share here as a post, you may leave it in the comments, I may be able to use it!):

Testimony:

OMG! It has been six glorious days! Wow! I am so thankful to God and the Peacefulwife and I know that my husband is even happier!

So, what has been going on! Well, here are some comments that my husband has made:

  • ·         ” I don’t quite know how to take this change.” ( As in, it is a shock in a great way!)
  • ·         “I was always so angry and now I am just happy!”
  • ·         “God has really heard my heart on my marriage.”
  • ·         ” You really do love me huh?”
  • ·         “Our relationship is really moving in a positive direction.”
  • ·         ” I can see a change in your heart and that can’t be faked.”
  • ·         “I know there are things that I need to do also.”
  • ·         After viewing a post from the site (list of respect vs disrespect actions):    “Are you really willing to do all of this?  Any man would be crazy not to be in love with a woman who does all of that!”

Okay so that’s pretty great for a guy who doesn’t actually do a lot of talking right?

It has also been funny because he is just so baffled by my change in attitude.  The other day I asked him if he wouldn’t mind dropping me off at the front of the store before parking because it was so cold outside.  And he said “What if I say no?  Would you be angry?”   We both just laughed after the comment because it was so obvious that he has been kind of anticipating “the other shoe to drop”.

So, I have been really focusing on being committed to being a Peacefulwife and I want to share my Peacefulwife Plan to make it practical to others as well as share my experiences.  April, you have mentioned that this is a journey that should be from the heart and really it is a commitment that you make to Jesus ultimately. I totally agree with that for so many reasons, such as:

1.    My disrespectful actions have become a habit and mindset. I need God, the Holy Spirit and the Word to free me from those fleshy attitudes and perspectives.

2.    The attitude of respect, submission and humility should be directed to the feet of Jesus first or it can be easy for these attributes to be a form of manipulation and idolatry for your husband.

3.    The new respectful me operates in the Fruit of the Spirit and I need God’s grace to flow in that daily.

4.    Lastly, the purpose that God has for the relationship of the husband and wife being a metaphor for Christ (husband) and the Church (wife) requires that I learn to respect my husband just as I would Christ (metaphorically) and vice versa to the point that I am learning more about one relationship through the other relationship.

So again, practically speaking this is my Peacefulwife Journey/Plan:

  • Spend more time with God meditating on the Peacefulwife scriptures from the Word as well as meditate on submitting and respecting Christ in my life! (April mentioned removing everything from my “life-scape” and start with Christ then add from there).
  • I am working on encouraging my husband to take the lead again. I am reading about letting go of control and fear. This helps me to stop the criticizing, the “why’s”, dictating and frustration. This concept helps me release the habit of usurping leadership and exhibiting disrespect with guilting and manipulation, etc.
  • I am focusing on meditating on the unique ways in which my husband shows leadership and expresses his love. That involves me examining my expectations and really releasing most of them in order to clearly see the many things that he is already doing to love, protect and honor me (keeping the car immaculate, laundry, picking up items that I need from the grocery store, running errands, being on time to pick me up from work, being at home to be present with the family, being supportive of my career, etc). When I meditate on these things it opens my heart to him and equips me with the words and the attitude to encourage him to be my hero and show gratitude.
  • I am also working on my humility. I definitely had a “I am waaayyy smarter than a fifth grader” attitude (Network Engineer by trade) and I would look down on my husband like “Why the heck don’t you know this or that!”  Now I am trying to see his unique perspectives and wisdom. Also, I am working on using my knowledge as a complement to the team and understanding that we are all foolish compared to God’s knowledge.  I am just a mere human and we all need God’s wisdom to live a meaningful life and He is able to equip anyone and anything with absolute genius!
  • Seeing my husband as “Superman” instead of “Clark Kent” as a form of empowerment for him and our family.  I have had to take this attitude with Christ many times also.  I have had to “make God bigger than my circumstances” to help me comprehend that I have a powerful God and He can handle everything that Satan, my flesh, and my circumstances bring to me.  Now, I want to be the mirror for my husband that defeats any self conscious, self defeating and doubting messages that satan wants to throw at him by reflecting back to him confidence, faith, trust, adoration and love.  I am working on doing this by really listening to his plans and goals for his life and our family and expressing cooperation and agreement with his agenda. 

Example:

We just worked through a situation regarding our finances last night where I really wanted to spend money on some things that I have been waiting on purchasing for some time.  At the same time he had an agenda for our finances that involved obtaining stability for our family (a newer car, savings, etc.).  So I presented to him a “wish list” (via email) and asked him to let me know when I would be able to make any of those purchases.  I can tell it put a little pressure on him but less than usual because I formed the request as a “wish list”, a question and via email. So, later that evening he was able to express himself and say “ I just need you to be patient and as money comes in and I assess the situation, I will let you know how and when your purchases can be made.”.  He said it calmly, I can tell he didn’t feel like I was disrespecting him like in many times before where he would get frustrated and angry because he didn’t feel like I was willing to cooperate.  Also, he explained exactly what his plan was and I repeated what he said to acknowledge that I heard him and agreed with him.  This really helped because when he explained his plan it wasn’t laid out in “bullet point” fashion so to speak.  So I had to draw from the conversation and organize it for myself.

  • The last thing that I am working on at the time is exuding more femininity and desire for intimacy.  Well, let me add being more domestic also. – (there is so much to do.)

Anyway, I feel good that I can finally make a long list for someone who will do it and benefit from it and that someone is ME!

So, for femininity, I am working on smiling, using a softer tone of voice, looking at him more (I am directing this at my sons also).  Also, exercising, getting sleep and focusing on my appearance more.

There it is, these are the primary things that I will be working on for a while (I guess the next month or so) to help me make a significant and lasting change in my behavior, heart, spirit and attitude.

Thank you so much, April, for making this commitment to your husband and choosing to share your path with us.  You are making such a difference.  I am glad that you did it just for me let alone all of the other marriages, wives and families that have benefited.  When I see people criticize you and your husband on the site it almost brings me to tears (after anger – lol) but then I remember that these people are actually assaulting Christ unknowingly and He is able to defend Himself.  I just hope to encourage you and other to please keep sharing.  YOU ARE HELPING, YOU ARE DEFEATING THE PLANS OF THE ENEMY!  We overcome him by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our Testimony.  God bless you!

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FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

This wife is off to a great start! Her husband is very receptive, which is not always the case. Sometimes husbands are much more skeptical. The less disrespectful a wife has been, the less controlling she has been, the closer she is to God and the closer her husband is to God can make this journey less difficult and less painful. Things can happen a lot faster in situations like this, especially if the wife completely submits herself to Christ and really “gets” that.  Some couples stay in this honeymoon phase.  Some go through some more valleys. Each story is unique and the timing of what will happen will be different for each couple. That is why I want to share many wives’ stories. Tomorrow, I will be sharing a wife’s story who remained peaceful through her husband separating from her on this journey.

  • The key thing here is GOD, not us and not our husbands’ responses.

There is usually a bit of a pattern that this journey follows…

1. A wife’s epiphany.

2. Her repentance to God and to her husband.

3. She sees her sin but doesn’t really know how to stop it all the sudden and how to change so much at one time. She may feel very overwhelmed for awhile.

4. She realizes that she can’t do this. That is actually a really good thing – because we have to understand we can only do this through the power of God’s Spirit, not on our own.

5. There is sometimes a honeymoon phase for both the husband and wife.

6. The wife messes up in some way. Husbands can get really scared when this happens sometimes, they think it means she has not really changed. It doesn’t usually mean that at all. This is more like a baby learning to walk. She can’t sprint or run a marathon immediately. This is a LONG, SLOW process of learning. SHE WILL FALL sometimes. At first, she will fall a lot. This is the process of sanctification, where God makes us more and more like Christ. We have to learn to truly die to self and truly submit to Christ. Sometimes we will fall. Then we just have to get right back up and keep learning. I pray for husbands to have patience because it takes many, many months before most wives begin to feel like this stuff all comes “naturally.” It is not an overnight thing to completely throw out everything you think you know about marriage, being a woman and following Christ and rebuilding it all from scratch. There are warped ideas and bad habits that have been engrained for decades that have to be removed. If a wife stumbles and falls, she can repent to God and to her husband, learn from her mistake and keep going.

7. Sometimes when a wife makes some mistakes and sins again, some husbands get REALY upset and shut down again even more than before. They may think that they had a chance at Paradise but now it has all been lost. It has NOT!  But it is much more difficult than most husbands realize for a wife to lay down all her pride, lay down her warped ideas about herself knowing best, begin to understand and accept and trust God’s sovereignty, begin to know what actually is disrespectful/respectful and to understand what on earth it means to honor her husband’s leadership. She is going totally against her sinful nature, the culture, the enemy’s lies, her intuition and all of the bad habits she has built up over the years.

Sometimes husbands may seem more upset than before after their wives begin this journey. Here is a post about that.

8. The wife will probably go through a long “Frustrating Quiet Phase” where she almost stops talking because she realizes if she talks, sin is going to come out of her mouth. At first, we have to try to hold back all of our sinful ocean of thoughts. It is REALLY HARD!  Especially when we are used to spewing our negativity, pride, self-righteousness, disrespect and control everywhere.  This is the beginning of learning true, godly wisdom.  We will learn to take every thought captive during this time and combat the lies we are telling ourselves with the truth of God’s Word until God begins to change our hearts, our minds and our souls. He will give us new desires and new power to obey Him that we never had before.

9. Then we will begin to learn to use our words for GOOD, and begin to add respectful things. At first what we do and say will feel fake, awkward and foreign. We may have never seen anyone do any of these things. We may not have ever said these kinds of words before. That is ok! We will learn and it will eventually become a new habit – very much like learning a new language.  Here are some things several husbands said feel respectful to them that we may want to add.

10. Then we will usually notice that our husbands aren’t “changing” like we want them to. We may get resentful. We may start to think we are doing all of this extremely hard work “for nothing.” This stage is REALLY IMPORTANT because it is during this stage and this long time that our husbands are waiting to see if this is for real and they are still standing back a good bit from us, that we will learn to purify our motives and ONLY do these things because we want to love and obey Christ and please Him, NOT to change our husbands. If our husbands did change quickly, we might continue to cling to our idols of self, control and our husbands. God will not allow that to happen. The fact that it usually takes such a long time for husbands to really feel safe again with us gives us a lot of time to refine our motives and to become more and more Christlike. We learn to do this for God, not because of what we will “get” from our husbands. We “get” that this is ALL about us and Jesus.

Husbands have their own stages they go through, too! This is a big learning curve for them as well as God changes us so radically.

I have some posts about these things :

The Stages of This Journey

Learning to Respect and Give Up Control is a Journey (a post by Nina Roesner “The Respect Dare” author, lists stages she has seen on this journey.)

For Husbands, “So Your Wife Wants to Be a Peacefulwife?”

My husband’s perspective as God changed me

A Wife Lives Out – COVENANT – Despite Opposition

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A well-meaning mom keeps telling her daughter to leave her husband and that God has someone else for her.  Her husband had separated from her recently.  I love what this precious wife and disciple of Christ wrote to her mom:

Below is the message I sent my Mom today and I think now she finally understands where I am with my situation with my husband after reading what I had to say……….

He is my knight In shining armor.  He is good for me, but right now he has lost his way.
What I don’t get is people take vows for better and for worse and then when it does get worse,  they leave. When I took that vow I took it between me my husband and God. I did not take it LIGHTLY. I did not have a lot of understanding of the things of God when I was married before, actually I was not even saved then. I have grown and the things I know now have made me into a person that sometimes I don’t even understand.
The hurt I feel at times now is nothing like what I have felt in the past. I did not want to work.  I did not want to go anywhere. All I wanted to do was sit around and cry and have a pity party. My life is not what I would like it to be now but I AM STILL LIVING!!. I HAVE NOT GIVEN UP! I STILL LAUGH AND PLAY AND HAVE FUN and that is the main difference.
I’m not saying I don’t love my husband.  I’m just saying I love him based on a choice, a decision to love him and that decision is not based on whether he returns that love to me or not. My decision honors the vow I made to God in spite of what my husband does or does not do. EVER! And that is what people just don’t understand.

This thing is greater than me and greater than him.   It’s all about GOD!

I know people don’t understand that because EVERYONE I know makes their decisions based on their feelings at the moment and not on a choice to do good to be right and to show love regardless of whether you are ever shown it in return.
That is what God has done for me and I love HIM and HIM alone for it.
  • Do I think anyone will ever understand?
NOPE!
  • Do I care?
NOT ANYMORE because I choose to stop being a people pleaser lol.
LOVE is deeper wider and greater than anyone dares to examine, when they do, what an amazing thing they will find if they dare to understand the true meaning of it all.