"I Don't Think My Husband Loves Me – How Can I Become a Godly Woman and Wife?"

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I am not sure if I have made this really important point clear enough:

The path on this journey with your relationship with God to become a godly woman and wife will be basically the same whether your husband loves you or whether he doesn’t at the moment.

Let’s just stop to look at our purpose here:

The entire point of this journey is for you to draw close to Jesus, to love God, to know God, and to be right with God. The purpose is for you to be filled with His Spirit and to abide in Him and to experience His spiritual riches in your every day life and for you to be obedient to Him, increasing in holiness, and pleasing to Him. The purpose is to bring glory to God.

Like David Platt says, “We don’t come to Jesus to get stuff (from God), we come to Jesus to get God.”

The main goal on this journey is not to fix our marriages, to feel more loved by our husbands, to change our husbands, or to be happy. Ironically, though, if we make those things our most important goals – we will never have what we desire. God may heal our marriage along the way but the goal in following Christ is for us to have God and to be transformed by Him ourselves. We trust Him with the results in our circumstances, whatever they may be. As we yield our desires and dreams to God – He will change our desires to match His desire – and then He will give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4).

What your husband does is primarily between himself and God. You can trust God to deal with him if he doesn’t love you. (Yes, if there is major unrepentant sin in your husband’s life, you may need to respectfully confront him – you may even need to separate from him as you continue to pray fervently for his repentance and for healing for the marriage.)

GOD IS SOVEREIGN:

Here is the awesome thing about having a sovereign God –

God can change your husband’s heart, He can change your heart, and He can change your circumstances. No big deal.

God can change any of these things according to His purposes, His will, and His timing. We have freewill as people – and at the very same time, God is sovereign. I know it is tempting to get really caught up in your husband’s lack of response, seeming indifference, unloving behavior, or his lack of willingness to spend time with you. It is easy to look at this one snapshot in time and think that this is our destiny rather than looking ahead with eyes of faith to what God desires to do and being content in Christ whatever our current circumstances may be – resting peacefully in God’s sovereignty.

If you are getting stuck on this journey – and caught up in all the things your husband is not doing for you and how disappointed you feel – let’s forget about your husband for a bit. (Unless you are not safe or have really serious issues and need to get out and get somewhere safe.) Let’s forget about whether he loves you or not. Let’s forget about his apparent motives. Let’s forget about what you can get from your husband and marriage and what he should do for you. Keep your eyes on Jesus, my dear sister! Listen to Him, follow Him, and obey Him!

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4

Other people’s feelings and motives are not that important on this journey. They are changeable and they are not the source of absolute truth. God is the source of absolute truth and His is ultimately in control. He can even use the evil intentions of others to accomplish His good purposes in our lives (see the story of Joseph beginning in Genesis 37). Thankfully, you are not dependent on your husband’s thoughts, words, or actions for you to become a godly wife. Your husband may be the source of some tests of your character. But he cannot keep you from becoming a godly woman or withhold God’s purposes from your life. He can’t stop God’s good plans for you or thwart God’s sovereignty in your life.  Your husband is not sovereign. Feelings are not sovereign. Circumstances are not sovereign. God is sovereign! No one can take you out of God’s loving hands or separate you from His love for you!

This journey you are on is not really about your husband at all. Yes, he may be a beneficiary as God heals you. And yes, part of your obeying God will be to bless him – but this is all about your relationship with God and whether your sinful nature is in control or the Holy Spirit is in control of your life.

Your husband has his own journey to make. He will be accountable for every motive, every careless word, every thought, every deed. He will be accountable for his obedience to God’s Word for him as a man and as a husband. And we will be accountable for all of these things to God, as women and wives. (** See the bottom of the post for more about this.)

MUTUALITY

It is not wrong for a wife to desire for her husband to truly love her. It is not wrong for a husband to long for his wife to truly respect him. There is an expectation for reciprocity in the marriage covenant. Marriage should be a mutual effort and a beautiful interchange between two people who love and respect one another.

I don’t intend to say that wives should not want their husbands to love them. We should want this! Mutuality is a good thing.

My concern is that – it is easy for us to desire our husband’s love so much that we can desire it more than we desire Christ or we can desire it to the point that we are willing to sin to try to get what we want from our husbands. That is where I want us to be very cautious. It’s not that we don’t or shouldn’t want our husband’s love, but that we need to be careful where this desire is in our priorities. I hope that makes sense.
GOD’S PRIORITIES:

God wants you to have a strong marriage – He loves marriage!! But hear this closely:

Much more than you having a strong marriage, God wants you to desire Him, to know Him, and to look to Him alone to meet your needs. He wants your life to glorify Him.

God is never going to allow us to put our marriages, our husbands, our feelings, or anything or anyone else above Himself in our hearts. That is idolatry. If His having you go through a painful trial results in you growing in your faith and you making Him THE priority in your life and putting everything else WAY below Him – then this trial was worth it in God’s eyes. One day, it will be worth it in your eyes, too, my dear sister! You know the pain you have when your husband doesn’t want to spend time with you? That is a similar pain that God experiences when you brush Him off and don’t want to spend time with Him – except that His pain is much deeper.

If you are content in Christ – you are blessed and you get to have His overflowing peace and joy no matter what your husband does. He can give you the power and wisdom to be the woman and wife He wants you to be in every circumstance for His glory. Jesus truly is MORE than enough and more than sufficient for each of us. He will bring each of us through various trials where we get to learn this first hand.

Interestingly, when a wife is filled up with Christ and walking in obedience to God, God often uses this to draw her husband closer to Christ. This often eventually leads to healing for the marriage. BUT – even if it doesn’t, it is still more than worth it for each of us to be right with God.

I INVITE YOU TO PRAY WITH ME:

Lord,

Open our eyes to the greatest purposes You have for our existence – to love You with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, and to love others with Your love. Help us remember that following Christ is about taking up our cross, dying to our will and our wants, and living for Your will and Your glory. Help us focus on becoming the women You call us to be rather than what we can get out of our marriages. Draw us to Yourself. Greatly increase our faith. Make us women of fervent prayer! Fill us with Your Spirit. Cleanse us from all sin. Let us abide in You and be overflowing with Your Spirit. Regenerate our hearts. Renew our minds with Your Word. Cause us to rise to become a holy generation of women who are the salt and light of this world for Your glory! Use us mightily in Your kingdom, Father!

In the Name and power of Christ Jesus,

Amen!

WE WILL STAND ACCOUNTABLE BEFORE GOD FOR OUR OWN LIVES:

When you stand before God and He judges the work you have done for His kingdom – you will stand there alone. Your husband won’t be there beside you.

This is not a group grade. We will have no excuses – we will be accountable to Him for our walk and our character. For believers, our work will be tested by fire. We will not go to hell for our sins, because Jesus died to pay for our sin and we received that gift, making Him Lord of our lives. When God looks at our “bank account” instead of the billions of sin dollars of debt we used to have, now we have Jesus’ perfectly holy and righteous account. But God will burn our works, the things we did for Him and how we lived – and if we built wisely, we will be rewarded for whatever survives the fire. If we did not build wisely, what we did will be burned up and we won’t have any rewards – we will narrowly escape with our lives (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).

The point of all that I write about on this blog is to focus on your own journey, your spiritual growth, and your relationship with Christ. My goal is for Him to say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” to you when you stand before Him when this short life is over. This is all about you and God.

RELATED:

What Does It Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?

Godly Femininity – Part 1

Submission (to Christ) Means We Hold the Things of This World Loosely

Praying for Our Husbands So That God Will Hear

When He Suddenly Walks Out or Hangs Up

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Ladies,

Many of us have experienced something like this with our men – “Things seemed to be going great!  My husband was talking, calling or texting with me when, seemingly out of nowhere, he storms out of the room or hangs up on me.”

WHAT ON EARTH JUST HAPPENED?

WHAT WE USUALLY DO

Most wives panic and begin trying to re-establish communication immediately.  They follow their husband out the door, demanding that he stop and finish the conversation.  Or they call or text frequently, ask lots of questions, beg to try to resolve the problem.

Women use words to fix relationship problems.  The more words, the better, right!?!   We don’t realize that words don’t do much for men.  Actually – sometimes more words can make things a lot worse for men.  Sadly, our intuition tells us to TALK to him right away to try to explain and fix things – and that is the opposite of what a man usually needs in a situation like this.  That is what a wife often needs, but husbands are VERY DIFFERENT FROM US!

When a husband suddenly shuts down, leaves, hangs up – or explodes with anger out of “nowhere,” there is a REALLY good chance that he is feeling disrespected.  Of course, there are other possibilities, but this is one that is worth thinking about first.

WOMEN DON’T ALWAYS NOTICE OUR INADVERTANT DISRESPECT – BUT IT REPELS MEN

It could be something very seemingly “minor,” from a woman’s perspective:

  • You used an “angry mother” tone of voice
  • You tried to have “the talk” with him about where the marriage “is going.”
  • You tried to make him to talk about emotions.  If he is not ready, this will almost always push him away.
  • You told him what to do – implying to him that he was inept, incapable, and unable to figure things out for himself.  Men REALLY value figuring things out on their own.  Men don’t offer unsolicited advice to other men.  That is disrespectful in a man’s world.
  • You tried to FORCE your own plans or your way on him.  Men will resist when they feel controlled.
  • You insulted him in front of other people.  THIS REALLY, REALLY hurts men.  Please DO NOT EVER criticize your husband or “tease” him by bringing up his weaknesses in front of others!!  There is almost nothing that would hurt a husband more than being publicly humiliated by his wife.  Be extremely careful only to share positive things about him with your family, friends, coworkers, children and on FB.
  • You were critical about his dreams, his goals, his career, his sexual abilities, his parenting abilities or something deep-seated in his manhood.
  • You took over and tried to lead in the relationship.  God purposely made husbands the spiritual authority in marriage.  When we try to usurp control, we usually create a lot of very difficult problems. (Biblical Submission)
  • You expected him to think, act and have needs like a woman and didn’t understand his masculine needs.

WHAT DO I DO NOW?

If your husband just quit speaking with you or left the room, or the house – the best thing to do is going to be exactly the thing you don’t want to do –

Let him have some time

Just wait.

DO NOT FOLLOW, CALL OR TEXT HIM!

Do not pursue him.

If you initiate contact right now, it will feel even more intrusive, smothering and disrespectful to him.  Most likely, if you give him some time, he will probably approach you again when he is ready.

  • He may need time to process something in his mind, and if you call a lot and pressure him, it is going to make things much worse.

If you realize what you did specifically that was disrespectful, it may be a good idea to pray about if you should BRIEFLY apologize to him about your disrespect.  When I say briefly, I mean VERY BRIEFLY.  Men are usually not affected by words like women are!  He does NOT want a big, emotional, detailed explanation.  That will push him further away.  Sometimes it’s best to wait till he contacts you.  Sometimes you may need to email an apology.  That will have to be a Holy Spirit-led thing.

WHAT IS HAPPENING?

Most likely, his blood pressure was going up and he was afraid he was about to lose control of his words or his temper.  He is probably trying to protect you from his own anger by doing the honorable thing and walking out instead of staying to fight.  Many men feel that if they don’t leave when they are getting extremely angry, they may say or do things they will regret.  They ay need time to cool off before they do something terrible.

If you follow him or try to contact him and make him talk – that is inviting a conflict or confrontation, maybe even a physical fight.

Please, DO NOT DO THAT!!!!!!  This is why I am saying that he needs some time and space.

AN APOLOGY

You could say or email something like, “I see that I came across very disrespectfully to you just now.  I am SO sorry.  I was wrong to do that to you.”   If you don’t believe you have done anything disrespectful – then it may be something that is going on with him that doesn’t have anything to do with you – or it may be some type of disrespect that you are unaware of.

And then, do not contact him again.

LET HIM CONTACT YOU!!!!!!!! If you try to make him come back to you, you’ll push him away!  But if you let him think about your apology, and how wonderful you are – if you can be patient enough to give him the gift of missing you – he will probably eventually come back to you!  When HE is ready.

IN THE MEANTIME

  • Pray and spend time with God first.
  • Get things done that you need to do.
  • Spend time with a godly mentoring wife or godly friends who are willing to point you to Christ and His Word.
  • Enjoy your children.
  • Pray for your husband to find God’s will and to draw near to God.
  • Cultivate a spirit of gratitude and joy – thanking God for every blessing He has given to you.

This is a situation where we trust in God’s sovereignty to work out things for our best interests and we don’t try to be the Holy Spirit or try to be sovereign ourselves.  That would only make things worse and make it harder for our men to hear God’s voice!  

This is a time that you learn to wait on God and see how He works things out.  Waiting on God is a REALLY critical skill.  It’s VERY DIFFICULT TO DO at first, but it is worth it!

WHEN HE CONTACTS YOU AGAIN – My Suggestions:

  • Be friendly, pleasant and polite.  Apologize humbly if you did something offensive to him – without justifying what you did or explaining why you did it.
  • Do not demand a big explanation of where he went and why right now.
  • Listen attentively to what he wants to say.  If he is upset about something you did, listen and don’t defend yourself.  Apologize if you were wrong.
  • If he does not bring up his issue, eventually it may be wise to say, “Did I do something that felt disrespectful to you, Honey?”  and then listen carefully.

He will probably eventually bring up what the problem was.  Or it could be that he was feeling disrespected but can’t verbalize his feelings.

**** If there is MAJOR sin or extremely serious problems in your marriage, you may need some godly counsel from a mentor/Christian counselor/older Christian woman/godly pastor.  Please seek help if there is physical violence, an uncontrolled mental health issue, a major addiction, infidelity, etc…  Those things require much more specialized help than I can possibly address in a general post on marriage.  Please find godly help ASAP!

RELATED:

Why Pressuring Your Man to Talk RIGHT NOW about His Feelings Probably Won’t Work

Understanding a Passive Husband’s Mindset – an Interview with My Husband

Men and Emotions

How Men Think

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected

Figuring Out What is Disrespectful to Your Man

Respecting Our Husbands As Fathers

Why Men Sometimes Need Space  a 6 minute Youtube video (my channel is “April Cassidy”)

He Won’t Talk to Me

Trying to Find Security in All the Wrong Places

Tone of Voice

Real Security is Only Found Here

Dealing with Financial Stress in Marriage

The Respect Dare, Day 25 – Responding as a Godly Wife

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Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.   I Peter 3:8-9

Sometimes, I really love to take a verse and apply it specifically to my marriage.  Somehow, it has so much more impact for me when I do that.

This instruction in I Peter 3:8-9 is for all believers, in all situations.  I love the wisdom God gives us.  It is LIFE-GIVING, FREEDOM-PRODUCING and INCREDIBLY POWERFUL when we apply it, embrace it and determine to live by it, asking God to empower us to do these things.  I am inserting my husband’s name here – but please insert your own husband’s name – or the name of anyone else for whom you want to learn to love with God’s love.

BE LIKE-MINDED WITH GREG

Obviously, I can’t be like minded with sinful things.  But in areas where I can be like-minded – I can strive for unity, relationship, emotional/spiritual oneness, a team-spirit.

When I say “strive for unity” – let me clarify.  I used to think of unity as him changing his mind to agree with me – since I was always right, and all.  Yep.  Seriously.  That is how I thought.  Now I know that striving for unity involves ME going towards HIM and seeking to understand him better and look for the wisdom in his unique perspective.  And, ultimately – I pray for God to make us one mind in Christ – in God’s way, not mine.

One thing that has really helped me is to ask questions and learn how Greg thinks.  IT IS SO DIFFERENT FROM HOW I THINK!  The more I understand how his mind works and what it means to be a man – the more I can stand in awe and wonder of God’s design for him instead of being angry that he is not me.  Shaunti Feldhahn’s book For Women Only  greatly facilitated my understanding of Greg and of other men.  That gave me a place to begin asking questions – in a friendly, caring way – not an interrogating way. And it helped me get into his shoes and see the world more from his perspective.  How I wish I could experience life in his mind and body for a day or two – how amazing would that be!?!  But since I can’t do that – I can ask respectful, gentle questions about how he thinks, how he processes his emotions, how he feels, how he sees life and I can appreciate his unique masculine perspective and allow it to broaden my own understanding of the world.

BE SYMPATHETIC TOWARDS GREG

If he says/does something hurtful – I can assume the best instead of the worst.  I can find out if he had a bad day or if he is sick, tired, hungry or in pain.  I can ask if I did something disrespectful.  I can listen to him talk about his work and his day and the concerns on his mind – and offer empathy and sympathy to him.  I can seek to understand his mindset and perspective instead of assuming he did something because he “obviously doesn’t love me.”

I can accept that he is an imperfect human being just like me and that is ok.

LOVE GREG

I Corinthians 13:4-8 – I love to put my name in those verses.  This is how God loves us and this is how He wants me to love Greg:

April is patient,

April is kind.

She does not envy

She does not boast,

She is not proud.

She does not dishonor others,

She is not self-seeking,

She is not easily angered,

She keeps no record of wrongs.

April does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

April always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Wow.

This is the kind of love God desire me to have for my husband and for everyone!  I need His Spirit to fill me with His power to be able to do this!  I cannot love like this on my own.

BE COMPASSIONATE TOWARDS GREG

I can have a huge supply of mercy, grace, love and forgiveness at the ready for Greg – and for other people – because of the massive quantity of mercy, grace, love and forgiveness God has lavished on ME!  I have been forgiven MUCH… so I can love much.  I can love God much and I can love people much and I can extend the gifts God has given me to others.

BE HUMBLE TOWARDS GREG

I can admit that

  • I am a big time sinner.
  • I am not always right.
  • I do not possess all the wisdom of the universe.
  • God DOES possess all the wisdom in the universe
  • Greg has wisdom, too.
  • God may be trying to teach me or lead me through Greg if I will listen.  Since He did place Greg over me as my protector, leader and provider and all. 🙂  (I Cor 11:3)
  • My way is not necessarily “better than” his.
  • He is not automatically “wrong” just because he thinks differently from the way I think.
  • He may have a different idea about what God’s will is than I do – and he may be right!

DO NOT REPAY GREG WITH EVIL WHEN HE HURTS YOU

If he rolled over and went to sleep without cuddling with me, saying goodnight or kissing me – I used to take that as a very clear sign that “he doesn’t love me!”  Now I know it means, “he’s really tired.”  So there is no reason to plot revenge.  Later, when he is awake and not exhausted – I can say (in a pleasant tone of voice and with a smile on my face), “It means so much to me when you cuddle with me, tell me good night and give me a kiss before you turn out the lights at night.”  But, if he forgets – I can assume the best and I can put my hand on his back and bless him and silently pray for him with gratitude.

What if he injured me in a really big way?  What if he was dishonest about our finances, or what if he was unfaithful to me, or what if he spread lies about me and destroyed my reputation with my family or at church?   (He has not done these things, by the way, they are illustrations only!)

It would be so tempting to lash out at him and want to hurt him, too.

That is what I tried to do the first summer we were married.

  • I felt ignored, neglected, unloved and rejected.
  • I wanted him to hurt like I hurt.
  • I did everything I could to try to make him hurt so he would see how hurt I was and he would fix it.

Guess what the results were?

We were BOTH very hurt.

My hurting him did not make my hurts heal.  It just destroyed him.

That is why God says not to repay evil with evil.  It is destructive!  This is why Jesus says for us to leave room for God to take revenge and let Him repay others for their evil as we seek to do good to those who hurt us.

That does not mean I have to trust him – if he was unfaithful or is severely addicted to drugs or something major was going on.  But I can ask God to empower me to purpose to do good and to bless Greg even when I believe he has hurt me.

DO NOT INSULT GREG WHEN HE INSULTS YOU

If Greg says something hateful to me, my sinful nature wants to get right down off that cross and say something hateful right back at him.  In fact, I am pretty good at that.  If we are going to have a “war of words” – I could easily dominate him and “win.”

Yep!  I “won” many verbal battles in the past!

Guess what happened then?

  • My husband shut me out of his heart and unplugged from our marriage and our family.

Somehow, that just doesn’t seem so much like a “win” anymore to me.

If he insults me – that is wrong.  But,

  • Can I maybe try asking a few questions to be sure I understand correctly before I take offense?
  • Maybe I misunderstood him?
  • Maybe he has had a really hard day?
  • Maybe he is allowing his sinful nature to rule his life and tongue right now?

I do not have to respond to sin with more sin.  Gary Thomas, “Sacred Marriage,” says, “We are most tempted to sin when we are sinned against.”

Guess what awesome thing happens when I do not insult my husband in return?

  • He is left thinking about HIS sin instead of my sin.  That is much more likely to convict him!  If I lash out back and insult him – now I have given him ammunition to use against me and plenty of things to think about how justified he was in insulting me.  Not good!
  • When God empowers me to respond in His power – by saying, “Ouch” (like Laura Doyle suggests in The Surrendered Wife), or “That sounded unloving to me, did I come across disrespectfully just now?” (Dr. Emerson Eggerichs in Love and Respect) or maybe God wants me to say words of blessing or maybe I just need to quietly leave the room – then God has a much easier job of convicting him.

REPAY GREG’S EVIL TOWARDS YOU WITH BLESSING

This takes some prayer and intentional thought sometimes.  But if you don’t know how to bless your husband in a situation like this – ask God. Pray earnestly.  He will show you how to do it.

One wife I read about had an argument the night before.  Her husband didn’t resolve the argument but went to sleep.  The wife didn’t sleep all night – she was so upset about the hurtful things her husband had said to her.  She prayed fervently that God might inspire her how she could bless her husband instead of repaying him with evil. God prompted her in the morning to make breakfast in bed for her husband even though he had not apologized and had said some unkind things.

When this husband saw his wife’s kindness and blessing – he was overcome with guilt and quickly apologized on his own for his hateful words the night before.

God’s ways are FAR above our ways!

WHY????  WHY SHOULD I BE THE ONE TO HAVE TO DO ALL THIS STUFF AND HE GETS TO SIN AGAINST ME AND HE DOESN’T HAVE TO DO ANY OF THIS HARD STUFF AT ALL?

“… because to this you were called so that YOU may inherit a blessing.”  I Peter 3:9

WOW!

I am the one who benefits here.  That is how our amazing God works.  We are blessed when we obey Him.

Actually,

  • Greg will benefit when I obey God because I will be responding in the power of the love of God instead of in a sinful way.
  • I will benefit because God blesses my obedience and faith in Him.
  • God benefits because He is honored and glorified.
  • Other people outside of my marriage will benefit because my marriage will exalt God.
  • My children will benefit.
  • My coworkers will benefit.
  • Those around me will see a godly example and benefit.

Who knows how far the impact may reach when I say, “Yes, Lord” and obey what God calls me to do?

The Respect Dare – DARE 24:

Seek to understand your husband’s intent and what he is really trying to say.  From Nina “Before you say your opinion, say, ‘If I hear you correctly, you are saying…;” Then strive to understand and listen.  Make your biggest goal be about understanding your husband (and others).   Be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to become angry!  Be sure  you understand others VERY clearly before saying anything yourself.

If the other person said something insulting – then be even more careful to really understand them and be sure you heard correctly before responding.  Pray for God to empower you to listen well and to think carefully before saying anything – and to give you wisdom to respond with blessing.  Seek to do good to your husband and to others.

SHARE:

How is the Respect Dare going for you?

What is God teaching you in your walk with Christ and in your marriage? (whether you are doing the Respect Dare or not)