Please, God! Ask Me for Anything But This!

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From a dear single sister in Christ who is in her thirties, I so appreciate her willingness to share her story – and I believe that what God showed her is something He wants to show each of us as His followers:

I remember when God asked me to give up my dreams. “Okay God, Your will and not mine. Done! I will go wherever you want and do whatever you want,” I prayed. I was excited about the direction God had planned for my life. It took me a few variations of this conversation to understand what He meant. He meant my most personal and valuable dream.

He wanted me to take my desire to become a wife and a mother and lay it on the altar.

I begged God to take any dream but that one. I pleaded with Him, offering Him anything in exchange for the chance to hold on to my dream. My terms have never been sufficient. My dying to self had to be on His terms alone. I remember the day, broken beyond anything I can put into words, when I finally laid my dream on the altar.

At first I laid it on the altar, but I could not walk away. I laid it down, but kept my fingers on it. This was not good enough. He asked me to walk away from the dream, the idol. I turned my back on my dream and felt paralyzed. How do you move forward and away from the only thing you cherished for so long? You see, even though I was not married, I always held on to the hope that I would be one day. I allowed myself to live with the hope of a fairy tale coming true.

I was confused and did not understand how God could want me to stop hoping. Wasn’t He a God of hope? He most certainly is! He had to teach me, ever so slowly, that my hope is to be in Him alone, not the promise of a man. He did not want me to stop hoping; He wanted me to stop hoping in anything other than Him to fill my deepest desire.

He wanted to become my deepest desire. Then, and only then, could He fill that void.

  • First, I had to realize He was not my greatest desire.
  • Then, I had to realize that He was my greatest desire.

Giving up the dream of marriage and babies was one of the most painful things I have ever done in my life. It forced me to come to terms with the fact that I am no one’s favorite person; I do not have someone to bounce ideas off of; I may die alone. However, I know that I am a child of God; I can cast all of my cares on Him and that His Word will always direct me.

I may be physically alone when I die, but I will be in eternity with my King.

My friend, if you are hurting and lonely today, know that Jesus is truly the only need you have. When you give Him full access to your heart, He will consume your life in ways you cannot imagine. He will lead you on a journey that is captivating.

What dream have you cherished that God is asking you to release to Him?

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

This calling to give up our most precious dreams (and all of our dreams, really), is one that God calls all disciples of Christ to do.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. Matthew 16:24-27

Yes, those of us who are married have husbands, and they may even have children. These are good gifts, but husbands and children cannot satisfy the deepest needs of our souls. If we try to find our deepest needs met in other people, we – and the people we idolize – will be most miserable. People can never be God to us. Only Jesus can truly satisfy. If we only love God for what we can get from Him – that is not true love! Think about a woman you know who only stays with a man because of what he can give her, not because she really cares about him. Not a pretty picture.

God wants us to love Him – the Giver – far more than we love His gifts!!

God graciously never allows us to find ultimate contentment, fulfillment, joy, peace, purpose, and identity in anything but Himself – because these things can’t be found anywhere but in Him! HE, alone, is the Greatest Treasure!

Being married doesn’t guarantee a woman anything. She has no promise that nothing bad will happen to her husband, her children, or to her own health. Single and married women (and men) can hurt and hurt deeply. We all desperately need the absolute Lordship of Christ Jesus to give us Real Love and Real Life.

We must all ask ourselves:

I had to do exactly what my single friend had to do – and what God called Abraham to do in Genesis 22. I had to be willing to lay the most important dreams in my life on the altar and take my hands away, trusting God with whatever He decided was best in His sovereignty.

When you have never really trusted God with your deepest dreams before, this seems TERRIFYING. I felt like I was jumping off of a spiritual cliff at first. But it is only when we are willing to give up the things in this world that mean the most to us, that we are truly following Christ.

Jesus is completely worthy of THIS level of devotion. In fact, anything less than all that we are and all that we have is not enough. He gave ALL for us, now we give ALL for Him.

We don’t know the ending when we agree to trust Him and to submit all to Him. We trust that He knows infinitely better than we do, and we lay it all down, willing to sign up for His will no matter what it might be, even if it might be painful, even if our deepest dreams are not realized. Paradoxically, yielding all that we are and all that we have to Jesus is the only path to true contentment, fulfillment, and joy.

We must decide whether we will be content with Christ alone. Then we have the opportunity to learn the sufficiency of Christ and what it means to make Him our ALL. Once we have done that, we know we will be ok as long as we have Him. Once you have experienced the supernatural joy, peace, power, and spiritual abundance of Jesus, nothing else really seems to matter as much. Once we truly taste Jesus, we realize that the scariest place to be is trusting self and clinging to our own dreams, and that the most blessed place in the world is to trust in Christ completely and to be open and vulnerable to His will and His plans for us.

Taste and see how very sufficient Jesus is, my sweet friends. He will never disappoint us! Then you can be content in Him no matter what your circumstances may be and you can be full of His joy and peace all day every day. It is SO WORTH IT!

The Idol of Happiness

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We tend to think that “idolatry” means someone bowing down to a statue and praying to it in a shrine. It’s really easy to dismiss that practice as not even remotely a temptation to us today in our culture and to discount everything the Bible says about idolatry as being irrelevant to us. Big mistake! Idolatry was one of the most offensive sins that God’s people committed against Him in the Old Testament times and it is one of our most offensive sin against God today, too.

“The human heart is an idol factory.” – John Calvin

I don’t know if y’all realize this – but happiness is one of the biggest idols in our culture today.

An idol is anything we put above Christ in our hearts. It is something we worship, are desperate to have, will give anything to try to obtain, will sin in order to get, will give up lots of money and time to pursue, will sacrifice all other relationships for and believe we can’t live without. It is something we believe will bring us true fulfillment and satisfaction that is not God. If we are desperate for something/someone, are terrified to go without that thing/person and are willing to sacrifice anything to have it – and that thing is not Jesus – it is time to do a very deep spiritual evaluation of our motives.

How many times have you heard someone say (or have you said to yourself – consciously or unconsciously):

  • Well, I am just not happy in this marriage, I feel unloved right now, my needs are not being met – so I need to get out.
  • I’m not happy, so I am totally justified in treating my husband this way (sinning against him – disrespect, name calling, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, control, contempt, hatred, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, malice, gossip, slander, violence, sabotage, flirting with other men, adultery, etc…).
  • I’m not happy in our marriage, so it’s ok if I destroy my family, no matter what the price may be to my husband and our children and extended family (and ultimately, to myself and to my relationship with God).
  • I deserve to be happy. If I’m not happy, then my husband must do anything and everything I believe he should do so that I am happy. My happiness is entirely HIS responsibility.
  • I have the right to demand things from  and control my husband as much as I feel is necessary until he submits to me and makes me happy. I have self on the throne of my life and I demand my husband must bow to me, as well. I will have my way.

Let’s remember, there are only a few biblical reasons for divorce that may possibly be justifiable (and still, divorce is never a command for believers).  Unhappiness is not one of them!

Some trials may be quite painful and difficult, absolutely. I don’t intend to minimize that some struggles in marriage, and in this life in general, are HARD. They are. And, in very severe situations, there are times when a wife may need to separate from her husband, at least for a time, praying for God to work and for reconciliation.

We have a COVENANT before God and our husbands in our marriages. God can and will use our greatest trials to help us grow and mature in our faith and become more like Christ. Nothing can touch us that has not passed through His sovereign, loving hands. When we love Him wholeheartedly, He promises to use ALL things for our ultimate good (by His definition) and His glory (Romans 8:28-29, and, see the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-39).

No fault divorce may be legal in our culture today – but it is not of God, my precious sisters! And it is sin. No fault divorce hurts and destroys everyone it touches. God hates divorce.

If you have never read about what a covenant truly means, please check out this guest post – Brides and Butchers. Or, please read John Piper’s two part series on the marriage covenant “What God Has Joined Together, Let Man Not Separate.” There are several interpretations about what believers should do if they are already remarried – Piper explains his position in Part 2. There are other possible interpretations to prayerfully consider, as well. But most of all, I pray we will each seek to listen to God, His Word and His Spirit. (If there are very serious issues in your marriage – adultery, drug/alcohol addictions, severe pornography addictions, actual abuse, uncontrolled mental illness – please, please seek godly, biblical, experienced, wise counsel and compare everything your counselor says to the Bible. If you are not safe, please seek help right away! I do not condone abuse in marriage of either spouse. Please click here for the National Domestic Violence Hotline)

OTHER IDOLS OFTEN COME WITH THE IDOL OF HAPPINESS

As we idolize happiness, it has been my observation that we also tend to idolize self, feelings, romance and control (having our way).  This leads us to pride, self-righteousness, disrespect, resentment, bitterness, jealousy, ungratefulness, discontentment, arguing, complaining and all kinds of other sin. When we are involved in idolatry of any kind, we tend to trust our own wisdom instead of God. We tend to focus on “ME” instead of obedience to God and dying to self. We easily rationalize and justify our own sin in order to get what we really want – HAPPINESS! All the time! We want what we want when we want it. God becomes more and more distant. We won’t let anyone get in our way of us getting what we want. If we hurt someone else in the process, oh well … we need to be happy.

As long as we are happy right now this moment, that’s all that matters in the universe, right?

Do we ever stop to realize – this is the mentality of a two year old? I had this mentality for a long time, myself. When God finally showed me just how sinful my attitude and my motives were, I was MORTIFIED! I spent weeks on my face before God repenting of all the sin He revealed to me. This is NOT the mentality of a spiritually mature, godly woman! We have unknowingly absorbed some of the most ungodly messages ever from our hedonistic, humanistic, secular culture!

The scariest thing to me is that I didn’t even see my own sin. Not at all – for many, many years. How could I have been so blind and deceived?

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MY HAPPINESS AND EMOTIONS?

Sadly, as we idolize our own temporary happiness, we also tend to make other people responsible for our emotions and happiness instead of taking responsibility for our own emotions and spiritual well-being. Here are a few questions for us to ponder:

  • What if my husband is NOT responsible for my happiness?
  • What if each person is responsible for himself/herself emotionally and spiritually?
  • What if my circumstances are actually a tool in God’s hand – a chisel –  to help me mature and grow?
  • What if my circumstances are a spiritual test for me to learn to respond to with a godly attitude through the power of God living through me?
  • What if only Christ Jesus can give me real contentment, peace and joy and things/people of this world can never bring me true satisfaction?
  • What if I am expecting my husband or marriage to meet needs that only Jesus can actually fulfill and satisfy?
  • What if I can have contentment right now in Christ no matter what my situation may be?

What if my temporary happiness is not God’s biggest goal in my life?

GOD’S PERSPECTIVE

As believers in Christ, we can see clearly in the Bible that:

  • Happiness is not the greatest and most ultimate goal in life, our knowing God is the greatest goal and our becoming holy and more like Jesus, being totally submitted to Him, obeying Him, loving Him and bringing great honor and glory to Him are to be the ultimate goals in our lives (John 17, Matthew 22:38-39, John 14:22-24).

The amazing thing is, as we focus on obeying and loving God and others with all our hearts, and as we fully yield ourselves in total submission to Him, He fills our souls with His Spirit – and the results ALWAYS are His supernatural: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control (Galatians 5:19).

Paradoxically, when we seek God first, He blesses us with real joy and supernatural peace that are so much more fulfilling than any temporary happiness that this world or anything in it could ever offer.

We CAN choose to be content as we focus on being thankful, focus on the good and the blessings God has given us and as we allow Christ to empower us.

  • Rejoice always, pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18
  • 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. Philippians 4:8
  • I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11b-13

FROM A PRECIOUS WIFE:

I bought the lie and worshiped it for so long, never bothering to notice how the more I pursued happiness, the harder it was to attain. I find it is much easier to simply be content with what God has given you and where He has placed you…..to find and celebrate His goodness and blessings every single day.

As I practice contentment, I experience happiness.

Isn’t that interesting? I spent so many years chasing happiness, instead of being content, I failed to enjoy the blessings God had given me and missed out on so much. I know for a fact, it was this attitude that led to the breakup of my first marriage. Make no mistake…

Seeking your own happiness will eventually hurt everyone around you.

My heart breaks for the hurt I caused my daughter and first husband, but I know that God is changing me and I trust Him with that process and the healing He is bringing to all I have hurt in the past.

I was just talking with one of my friends yesterday about the idol of self. It’s so easy to slip into that mode of worshiping self and doing whatever self tells us will make us happy. My theory is that it’s a natural human, survival mechanism…..maybe something that we’ve been stuck with since we we tossed out of the garden of Eden and had to fend for ourselves in a rough world?  (From Peacefulwife – this is our sinful nature!) Even then, in God’s infinite  grace and love, He is there for us…..He fights the battles for us when we can’t do it. All He wants is for us to give it to Him and let Him do it. I think sometimes, He allows difficult situations in our lives so we will give up and give it to Him. That’s how he strengthens our faith.

 

SHARE:

Have you had happiness as an idol? How did God reveal this idol to you?

How did you repent?

How did you learn to look at life differently in a way that honors God?

What have you learned about the sufficiency of Christ and finding all of your contentment in Him if you have been on this journey for awhile?

We’d love to hear your insights and the gems and pearls that God has shown you through your trials.

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE:

I hope to be able to respond to comments this evening. 🙂 Y’all are welcome to discuss as much as you would like. I will join in when I can.

RELATED:

The Real Secret to Contentment Is Having Jesus Christ as LORD of My Life

A Huge Key to Contentment! By Still Jennifer

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

The Idol of Control

How to Stop Idolatry and Truly Live for Christ

A Separated Wife Finally Begins to Experience the Peace of God in Her Life!

Tuscany Sunrise

From Prayinglikehannah, THANKS for allowing me to share your beautiful story, my precious sister!

PART 1

April,

For years I have been praying for God to fix “my husband,” not seeing how much fixing I need myself.

I read somewhere in one of your posts where you spoke about how God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that his power would be evident. I think the more I prayed about my husband, the more God allowed his heart to be hardened, so I could focus on MYSELF! I genuinely believe that. I used to wonder, how on earth it was possible for my once sweet husband, to have such a hardened heart – even when there was no reason for it! I do believe that God allowed that for my own growth in Him to take place….for me to find joy in him alone, instead of being so dependent on my husband emotionally…for me to be refined to be what He (God) wants me to be.

I am at a place of peace now, as I focus ONLY on me.

Of course, I DEFINITELY still pray for my husband (everyday). But it is not selfishly as I did before :(, when my main focus was for my marriage to be restored, and for God to “fix him.” Now, I know that I can be happy even if God does not honor that request. My joy is in God. I now, pray for God’s will for my husband and my family. I pray for my husband to taste how sweet and reassuring salvation is, because that is what is important!

I can confidently say that, while I love my husband, while I want restoration, (and some more things too, including daughters! :) ) I have placed EVERYTHING at God’s feet. I am focused on my own flaws right now. I can trust God that He will not withhold anything good from me. I can trust that ultimately – everything will work out for good. (Romans 8:28-29)

I find myself thanking God for the way he has used all the pain he allowed to make me a better person. As humans, we all have some level of selfishness in us. I think one of the major things we can use to assess our motives in prayer re our marriages, is this —- >

  • Are we changing in the ways we react to “everyone” or just our husbands? Are we just wanting to become peaceful in our roles as “wives”, only?

It is very likely, that if we are being refined as a whole, if our focus is on God’s will for us, and not just our desires for our marriages/husbands, we will become brand new. I am a different person from when this started! I am a better mother, sister, child, aunt, friend, employee etc.

  • God has been changing ME as a whole, because this cannot only be about my marriage. This is about God’s will for me as His child.

Thank God, that I am finally not focusing on my husband. What a place to be!

PART 2

Hearing you say you can’t stop thanking God, is joy to my ears! Why? Because it reinforces that you are praying for me…and I know that many times, it has just been the prayers of others, that have held me up – times when I was just too weak (sadly) to pray for myself. Even when I am praying steadfastly, I believe in the power of group prayers.

I wish I could say there was “a moment” that clarified things.

I have had many moments over the years that should have clarified things! I have even had times when I believed things were really “clarified,” but my motives were still primarily based on wanting my marriage restored, wanting my husband to change etc. It was not about totally leaving things at God’s feet, and focusing on me. I don’t think the things I wanted were wrong, I just think I did not put my desires in the right order. My priorities were wrong.

  • I still want those things – (including….daughters :) whew, how exciting that will be!) – but how secondary those are to my relationship with God, to my desire for my husband’s salvation, to my willingness to accept whatever God wants for me, to my willingness to grow in this “bad weather” of my life, to my willingness to be joyful in “whatever” God determines is what he will give me.

So it wasn’t a crash course… it was just the “education” from taking different courses I would say; courses such as –

  • real trying situations with my husband
  • reading the Bible
  • reading other books
  • reading from you and other Christian women on this blog
  • praying
  • trying to hear God
  • learning at church etc.
  • I think I also really heard from God, that HE was the one who allowed my husband’s heart to be hardened all these years. I really believe that.

I felt like the more his heart hardened, the more I acted like a bratty child in the supermarket crying for something and throwing a tantrum at God (my parent), God did not just take the thing off the shelf and give it to me, he let me throw my tantrum for as long as it took for me to realize I was not going to get it that way. It was not a bad thing to want a little candy….. but, my approach was bad. I was more focused on the candy, than honoring my parent.

It has been a VERY long road for me, with much heartache, and I guess God refused to yield to me! Because He is a good parent, who knows that I should be yielding to HIM! If I focus on my husband, I would never improve, because he is lost…… I cannot expect him to see clearly, I cannot respond to him the way he responds to me. I on the other hand, should act like a child of God. Remember, when all this started years ago – I was not saved! So when I cried out to God from day one, focusing on my marriage – he knew that there was something more important that needed to be fixed. He used the trials to save me first!

RELATED:

A Peaceful Separated Wife

A Peaceful Divorced Wife

ROMANS 8

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified;those he justified, he also glorified.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 

“I Really Want HIM to Change, Too!” – GraceAlone

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We are continuing to follow GraceAlone as she works through the first few steps of her journey. This is day 2 of our correspondence. (Post 1, Post 2 today’s is post 3, Post 4)  If you want to see how she is growing and be more up to date, you can check out some comments she left on yesterday’s post. 🙂
GRACE ALONE’S EMAIL – Day 2
I started reading John 1 yesterday and John 2 today – Something you said triggered the idea to keep a journal of my journey- so I am keeping a journal every day of what my emotions are like and what I feel like God showed me that day. I think keeping this journal helps me better articulate things, and my prayer is that I will be able to look back years from now and that I can know beyond a shadow of doubt where I was/am and where God led me.

You gave me the assignment of 1 Peter 3:1-6.

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 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. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

  • I believe God is trying to show me that nothing I say or do can change my husband. I have said all that I can say, tried to get him to read books, seek counseling etc and nothing has changed as a result. If anything, I think things have gotten worse because of my constant talking about things.

After getting married and gaining a lot of weight – I don’t know what it feels like to be beautiful anymore. I cannot tell you the last time my husband gave me a compliment without me first prodding. I always felt so ugly on the outside. Well, it’s way worse to feel ugly on the outside and the inside. Reading this passage about letting your beauty come from the inside resonated with me. Maybe I won’t feel pretty again til I lose the weight, but maybe, just maybe, my husband will find me attractive again if I have a beautiful spirit. See, this is hard to separate for me – because, believe it or not, I feel like a lot of our problems are connected to my weight- my physical beauty.

I think what God is trying to say is, yes, while I do need to work on my health, what is more important is that I work on my spirit. I do want and desire to have a gentle and quiet spirit. I am terribly afraid of not getting there.

  • Yesterday, I had a great time in the Word and prayer- better than I have had in a very long time.
  • I chose to be happy when my husband came home.
  • I did not say anything unpleasant to him the whole night.

But sure enough, as I woke up this morning, doubts were there:

  • “What if my husband is right when he says, ‘I have seen this before and it lasted about three days.'”
  • “What if this gets too hard when my husband does something to hurt my feelings – will I explode and lash out?”

It seems I can do alright when he is doing alright – but the first time he hurts me – it’s game-over for me.

I think something else I am afraid of is no change on his part at all. I realize that you said in one of your emails that change must take place in me because it pleases God, even if my husband does not change. This is very HARD.
It almost seems I cannot help my selfish motives of “If I am changing, he needs to change, too.”
I worry that if I do not see change in him, than I will give up – even knowing that is not the right attitude. I don’t know how to fix that. I secretly am still hoping that my husband will change and that one day he will want kids. As much as I want to let that go, it is very hard.
FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
A journal is a great idea!  I journaled the whole way through my process.  But I threw away my journals from the first few years. I didn’t want to have Greg or our children discover them later and read all the sinful awful filth that was in my head in the beginning!  Keep your journals somewhere safe! Sometimes, I would rip up what I wrote right after I wrote it. Sometimes the thoughts in my head were that evil. Of course, now I could have used those journals and quoted my struggles from back then word for word. Maybe I should have kept them!
You are correct – God is showing you that you cannot change your husband.  In fact, the more you try to control him, the more you will repel him.  Laura Doyle, “The Surrendered Wife” says
“You can have control or intimacy, but you can’t have both.”
SO TRUE!
Your words about God, the marriage, spiritual things or children are going to be like nails scratching a black board to your husband’s masculine soul right now.  The more you try to control him and put your hands emotionally/spiritually around his throat, the more he will fight you and go the opposite direction just to prove to you that you cannot control him and that he is a grown man and can make his own decisions.
  • You are going to have to accept him as he is right now – even if he never, ever changes.  This is a very important step in this process. It is part of realizing you are not God’s Spirit. It is part of acknowledging that he is a grown adult to whom God has given free will to make his own choices. And it is part of godly, unconditional I Corinthians 13 love – accepting someone without making demands that he change for my benefit. It will take some time to process and hash through all of this. That is ok.
You have a number of idols that have to be torn out by the root.  This is not a one time thing. It may take months or years to completely deal with your idols. It is exactly like dealing with an addiction – because it IS an addiction! The temptation to re-erect your idols will continue to be an issue for a long time. Your job is to tear them completely out of your soul and put your faith and trust totally in Christ alone. Ask God to show you just how ugly idolatry is to Him. Ask Him to show you just how much it grieves His heart and looks like “adultery” to Him. That makes it a lot easier to get rid of the “detestable” idols. You may have to tear them out every day or every hour for a long time. That is ok!
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A few assignments (ladies at home, you may do these, too!):     🙂
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1. Please list all of your idols in your journal Every single one you can identify. You may want to have a page reserved for this.
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2. Please start a list of all the things you admire and respect about your husband. Leave several pages for this list! When you start to dwell on something negative about him, try to immediately recognize you are not focusing on Philippians 4:8 things and you are going to replace those thoughts with good thoughts and grateful thoughts about his strengths. You are going to starve your negative thoughts about him and feed your positive thoughts about him. Add positive things to the list every time you think of something.
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3. Please start a list of all of the sin in your heart. Add to it every time you see another sin.
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4. Please think of 2 things you can verbally admire about your husband about this week.  Then, just briefly thank him or share with him a sentence or two once or twice in the next few days about what you admire about him.
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5. Smile at him whenever you walk into the room.  Just to bless him. Expect nothing in return.
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Your health is an idol-related issue, I believe.  As you get your heart right with God – I believe you will be able to get your health right, too. But if you don’t address the spiritual issues of seeking comfort from food instead of from God, you will continue to sabotage yourself, in my view.  I want you to take  GREAT care of this valuable life and body God has entrusted to your care and stewardship.
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You will have TONS and TONS of selfish, sinful motives to hash through in the coming months and years – we all do! When your husband doesn’t change – which he probably won’t for a long time (that is normal) – you will have to refine and purify your motives over and over again – to be sure you are only doing this for God.  It is actually sometimes a blessing that husbands are so skeptical and that they don’t trust us and the changes in us for so long many times-  because as they continue not to change, it FORCES us to purify our motives in ways that we would not have to if they changed quickly.
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  • So, do not go into this expecting your husband to change. Pray for God to change YOU for His glory!  Pray for God to make you faithful to His Word and to Himself, no matter what the cost, no matter what the earthly results, no matter what your husband does.
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I cannot do the wrestling part for you. You will have to do a LOT of wrestling with God, His Word and yourself. Take all the time you need.
Dying to Self and giving up idols and learning to fully trust God is HARD!  It is painful. It is terrifying at first.  But it is so worth it!
UPDATE 9-2016:
Both GraceAlone and her husband have changed a lot. In God’s timing. They are both healing and doing SO much better! 🙂 PRAISE GOD!
RELATED:
If you haven’t, you may want to read my FAQ series.

“I Can’t Do This Anymore!” – GraceAlone

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We are going to continue to follow GraceAlone, the wife from last week’s post “My Husband Refuses to Have Children with Me!?!?” on her journey. The beginning of this road is often excruciatingly painful! This group of emails is from over a week ago. I kind of wish I could post all of the past week’s progress in one post. But it would be so long, no one could possibly read it all. So we will take this in stages.  It is amazing to watch all that God is doing in her. She is just beginning this journey. She is in the most painful part, the part with the most questions, fears and struggles. Please pray for her and her precious husband (who is trying to lead her and be a godly man in so many ways) and encourage her as she learns and grows and waits on the Lord to heal her broken heart and to transform her into the image of Christ.
My hope is that although I can’t email every wife anymore, the volume is just too great when I try to do that, that maybe I can take a few wives at a time and email them and share their emails to bless everyone. Hopefully in another month or two, I will be ready to add 1-2 more wives and we can follow several wives’ journeys together.
GRACEALONE’S EMAIL
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April,
I’m at the point now where I don’t even want to try because right now I feel like I don’t want to stay married to him. 
This all started because about a year ago when I left a full time job to work part time. My husband has always complained about our financial situation since then. I always ask him if he wants me to go to work full time and he will say, “No, I want you to stay home because I know it makes you happy and if you were to go work full time again you would be miserable.” So, I feel like I have never ever gotten a direct answer from him. I never know what I’m supposed to do in that area. But, I am so tired of listening to him complain or act depressed about our financial  situation.
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I feel like literally everything in my life has suffered more because of bring married to him. I feel like I made the biggest mistake of my life, and that I should have dated more, etc. I’m so miserable right now, and I am barely hanging on. I cannot even honestly say that I want to stay married to him.
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Right now, I feel the only thing keeping us together is if we were to divorce we would be looked down on from family and friends etc. When I look at all the things I have had to deal with/accept on his behalf – I just feel like I made a mistake.
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Any thoughts and advice and prayers are greatly appreciated. Thank you!
FROM PEACEFULWIFE
My precious girl!!!!!!!!!!

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Let’s take a deep breath and let’s lay this before Jesus.
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He did give you a concrete answer about the job. He wants youto be happy. You’ve been crying every day. He knows you are not happy. He is trying to make you happy. But I imagine he feels like a huge failure knowing you are so sad all the time. I am sure that he feels the pressure every husband does toprovide well financially for his wife/family.  I vote to thank him for providing and for allowing you to workpart time and to enjoy this incredible gift he is giving to you, allowing youto bepart time. And I suggest tocooperate with any budget he sets. When husbandstry and try to make their wives happy, and their wives are never happy, never satisfied with the husband’s efforts – eventually men will give up and not even put forth anymore effort. They know that no matter what they do, their wife will still be unhappy, so it seems like it is just “not worth it” to try anymore. Why try when she is still goingto be upset no matter what a man does? One of the greatest gifts you can give him at this point isto be happy about being ableto bepart time and appreciate that generous gift he is giving to you.

Even if you did make “the biggest mistake of your life” by marrying your husband – which I am not convinced you have, (by the way, almost everyone feels this way at some point!) – God is still sovereign, my sweet sister. And it is God’s will for you to stay here based on what the Bible says about the marriage covenant. I have a feeling that there is much to be learned at His feet right now. I don’t want you to miss any of the good things He has in store for you!
You don’t have to want to be married to him right now. Feelings are not the basis for our actions as believers in Christ. THANKFULLY! There will be times with emotions like this to work through – but then, you have to “boss your feelings around” (Shaunti Feldhahn – “Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages” ) and decide to honor Christ anyway, trusting Him to be able to bring something beautiful from this situation. He is totally capable of doing just that!
  • ALL spouses have to deal with and accept painful things and all spouses are sinned against and hurt. This is not an unusual case at all, my friend.
What this experience (and his sin against you) is doing, is bringing all of your true motives to the surface so that you can allow God to remove all the sin and refine your faith and purify your motives. It doesn’t matter who you married, God would use the problems, conflicts and difficulties to refine you like this.
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How is your time with God going?
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GRACE ALONE’S EMAIL

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I don’t feel like I even know what love is anymore. I don’t know how to trust God – I’m so scared.

I feel like God let me down.

I was the girl who had very high standards, when guys asked me on a date, if I didn’t think they could be a potential husband for me, I wouldn’t go. I was waiting for the “right one.”

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I thought God clearly told me this man was, indeed, that right one, but now I don’t know anything anymore. My husband was the only guy I entered a courtship with. I sat there in premarital counseling listening to him say that he would want kids, and how leading his family spiritually was so important to him. I feel like I was let down by God and by my husband.

  • I always think, here I am, the girl who tried to make all the right choices, and I ended up like this.

I see others blessed in their lives and marriages, and I cannot help but feel like God is punishing me. Every time I think I should spend time with God, I start questioning everything – does God care, does He love me, is He working on my husband?  Millions or questions go thru my head to the point that often I end up not even having a quiet time or at least a good one. If the way a husband loves his wife is supposed to portray an image of God’s love towards us, than I don’t feel very loved at all. I am the girl who is always counseling others and pointing them to God, but I have no idea where to even begin myself. I feel like I’m in one deep depression with no sign of the slightest deliverance. I’m sorry if I am repeating myself. I’m so thankful God led me to blog. I desperately needed someone to talk to.

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ANOTHER EMAIL FROM GRACEALONE:

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Thank you for sending the post “God, Don’t Waste My Time.” It ministered to me.
What I felt like God was showing me was that far too long, I have put other things before Him – including my marriage. I have a lot of idols.  You are right when you say my relationship with God has been suffering – it has.
I realize that I, like you in the beginning, go thru all the right motions without any actions to back it up. I do want to start honoring God in my marriage and I know I need to spend more time with Him. My goal would be to try to get up an hour earlier and have a quiet time. Please pray for me- as this is hard.

Yesterday, I asked my husband if he still loved me – he couldn’t answer. He said that it is hard to separate all the accumulated anger he feels towards me over the past few years.

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For me, It seems almost unbearable to try to “respect” him when I don’t even know if he loves me or not. Nevertheless, I want to try. I told my husband that I want to change… He sarcastically laughed and said, “Yeah, right, I have heard that before. The fact of the matter is that neither of us will probably ever change.”
  • He is right- I have tried changing before and I seem to always go back to my same old ways.
I am worried about telling my husband I want to change “sticking to it for three days” as he says, and then reverting back. I don’t want that to happen. I also feel like I am having a very hard time even being generally motivated in life. I don’t feel like cleaning my house I feel very tired, I don’t feel like exercising, or trying to eat right- etc etc etc.
I don’t know how to live a life that is not driven by my emotions because that is all I have ever known. Letting go of kids completely, seems impossible to me. I want to try… I just am afraid it will be very short lived.
Thank you for being such a blessing and ministry in my life right now. You will never know how grateful I am. 
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FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
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WOOHOO!!!!
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This is exactly what I prayed would happen – that God would begin to convict you of your idols and that you would be willing to surrender to Him and to begin to do things His way. 🙂  THANK YOU, GOD!
A few suggestions (my own personal opinions, for whatever they are worth):
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1. Do not ask your husband if he still loves you. That means that you are probably putting your security and identity still in him and that you are looking to him for acceptance and safety instead of to Christ.  Your words about the marriage and spiritual things are probably going to be destructive right now. I Peter 3:1-6 is your assignment. Your power is not in words at all, but in learning to allow God’s Spirit to empower and change you in a radical way and in showing genuine respect, honor and godly unconditional love to your husband no matter what he does or does not do.
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Your husband is DEEPLY wounded – as wounded or more wounded than you are. (GraceAlone shared a number of disrespectful things she has said/done in the past 4 years when we met this week. Some of them have created MASSIVE damage to her husband’s soul and this marriage.) Please focus on what you can do to bless him, not how you want him to meet your needs. He is so wounded right now, he may not be able to meet your needs. One day, when he is stronger, he may be able to. Right now, my prayer is that you will allow God to heal you and allow God to work through you to begin to heal your husband, too.
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2. I’m glad you apologized to him. Awesome.  But – don’t apologize any more, is my suggestion – unless there is a new disrespectful or sinful thing that you did. Then apologize without any explanation or justification of yourself.
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3. This is going to be a LONG, LONG process. Like a year or several years. Maybe longer. That is a good thing. It forces you to refine your motives even when it seems like your husband is not changing.  Your husband is going to be skeptical at first. That is normal. Thankfully, you are not depending on him but on Christ from now on, so it doesn’t really matter what he says or feels – I hope that makes sense. His feelings matter. What he wants is important. Listen to him. Care about what he says. Honor his leadership. But what ultimately matters is what God says and to seek to please God.  That is all that matters. That is all you are responsible for. You are only responsible for yourself, your sin and your obedience to God. We will trust God to take care of your husband in His timing.  So, you are going to have to put your own desires on the back burner for awhile because your husband is so wounded, commit your needs and desires and dreams to Christ – and focus on obeying God and blessing your husband. Not to get anything in return, just to love him with the love of Christ and to bless him. God is plenty able to change your husband’s feelings as He changes you. But even if He does not, you can trust God and seek to live for Him alone.
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4. I would recommend starting in John with a chapter a day or so. And, I would recommend reading at least one post on my blog, if not several, each day.  I suggest starting a list of all the things you admire/respect about your husband and add to it every change you get. Take that list with you into your prayer closet. And start a list of all of your sin and take that list with you, too. Pray for God to change you and bless your husband. Don’t demand that God change your husband right now. God will handle him. Right now, it is time for you to get out of God’s way so that your husband can begin to hear God’s voice again. And the only way to do that is for you to obey God for your end of things.
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5. God is sovereign. He is able to give you children if it is His will. He is able to change your circumstances, your husband’s heart and all of that. It is a small thing for him to do that. He may allow you to have children later. I don’t know. Your job is to be sure that you are able to lay that dream down and be content even if you don’t have children.
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Your job is to find all of your contentment in Christ, not in your husband, in feeling loved, in having your way, in “worldly happiness” or in having children.
Please understand, idolatry always destroys and brings death. Sin always brings death.
Desiring children is a good thing. Children are a blessing. But – they are not more important than Christ and they are not more important than your marriage covenant and they are not more important than your obedience to God and your walk with Him.
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  • Children (in and of themselves) do not bring contentment and satisfaction. I can promise you that!
  • Husbands (in and of themselves) do not bring contentment and satisfaction.
  • Only Jesus can bring true contentment and satisfaction.

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As you surrender yourself fully to Him, saying, “Not my will but Yours be done” and as you rest in His love and sovereignty – you can be content as you trust Him to do what is ultimately best for you and your husband and what will ultimately bring glory to Himself.

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6. Your motivation has to be to please Christ and to be a godly steward of your body, your time, your marriage and all of your resources. Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God! That is your motivation! You will stand before Christ very shortly when this life is over – your motivation is that you want to hear Him say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.” He has called you to fulfill His purposes for you. You are His servant. When He asks you to do anything, your answer is, “Yes, Lord!” He gave all of Himself for you – now, you give all of yourself fully to Him. It is an adventure every day to see what He will show you and teach you and what He might do. He gives good things and good surprises and even all of our suffering is a tool in His hand to make us more like Christ. You cannot lose!  If good things happen, God is behind them and He will use them to bless you and cause you to grow. If bad things happen, God will use them to bless you and cause you to become more mature and complete, lacking nothing. You cannot lose when you are abiding in Christ. That is the best place in the world to be – in the center of His will. That is where there is overflowing love, joy, peace, fulfillment, purpose, acceptance, security and power.
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Much love to you!
RELATED:
MORE FROM GRACEALONE:

“God, Don’t Waste My Time…”

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We profess Christ. We pray constantly for our husbands to come to Christ and for healing for our marriages. We pray and pray and pray and we don’t see things getting better. We may start to get bitter and angry with God that things are not going the way we think they should. If we are not extremely careful, we can take a very dangerous spiritual turn.

How easily we think:

  • I read my Bible every single day almost.
  • I pray constantly, and sometimes I pray for hours every day (I personally used to pray for up to 4 hours per day on my days off)
  • I tithe.
  • I am doing “everything God wants me to.”
  • I go to church 2-3 times a week
  • I pray for my husband to come to Christ or to live for Christ
  • I pray for healing in my marriage
  • I teach my children about God
  • I listen to Christian music
  • I sing in the choir at church
  • I teach a Sunday School class
  • I am a “good person” or a “good Christian”
  • I can quote dozens of Bible verses

SO…

God better deliver.

“I mean, I don’t want to do all of this hard work in vain. It will have been a total waste of my time to follow God if He does not heal my marriage, bring my husband to salvation…. or give me what I want. Why, then my whole faith in Christ would be completely useless.”

WOAH!!!!!!!!!!!  STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was on this path. This was me. I didn’t consciously realize what I was doing. But how this attitude terrifies me and brings me to grief, brokenness, sorrow and mourning now!

David Platt says with tears in his eyes and brokenness in his heart,

“We don’t come to Jesus to get STUFF… We come to Jesus to get GOD!!!!”

What did Satan accuse God of with Job? “God, You aren’t REALLY worthy of Job’s worship, devotion and love. The only reason he loves You is because of all the great things You have given to him and because of his good health. You bought him off! But the minute you take those gifts away, he will curse You to Your face!”

  • THANKFULLY – God knew Job much better than Satan did and Job continued to praise, worship and thank God – even as he suffered. This brought great praise and glory to God’s Name on earth and in heaven!

We can SO EASILY THINK WE SERVE CHRIST BUT ACTUALLY SERVE STUFF (idols) AND NOT EVEN REALIZE WHAT WE ARE DOING!!!

I did this!

That is exactly what I did. I had no clue. No clue for about 20+ years that I was actually putting many other things above Christ in my heart – every waking moment. I was a BIG TIME idolator. What sin is worse than idolatry? I was constantly breaking the first and Greatest Commandment to love the Lord my God with all my heart and all my mind and with all my strength and with all my soul! I was committed to doing anything to get what I wanted and to make it all work out the way I felt things needed to for me to be happy. If Jesus could give me what I wanted, then I was in. But if He didn’t deliver…. then, well, He was going to face my wrath.

It is critical that we check our true motives here or we will think that we are being super spiritual and we won’t see our egregious sin. The tricky thing here is – we often don’t realize what our true motives are. We must allow God to open our hearts and examine them and expose every lie, falsehood, sin and every trace of toxic ungodliness and we must allow Him to remove that gangrene from our souls before it destroys us. This is painful. SUPER painful. But so necessary!

These are not things we consciously or purposely think. We may have convinced ourselves that we love Jesus and we are devoted to Him. But why are we devoted to Him? What is it that we ultimately want? And what is the fruit of our lives? Is it of God?

I learned that many of the ways I disrespected my husband, I also disrespected God in those same ways.

HOW I DISRESPECTED GOD:

  • I questioned His goodness and assumed evil motives on His part – I assumed God could have evil motives towards me (YIKES!!!)
  • I questioned His Word
  • I thought I knew better than He did, really
  • I put myself above Him
  • I undermined His authority and the authority of His Word in my life and in other people’s lives
  • I made demands of Him instead of approaching Him with reverence, trembling and awe on my face in humility before Him
  • I disrespected my husband’s God-given authority over me
  • I complained and argued against God
  • I really wanted what I wanted for my own selfish reasons, I didn’t want God above all else 🙁
  • I had idols in my heart, things that were more important to me than Christ – to God, that was like I was committing adultery against Him
  • I lectured Him, told Him what to do, got exasperated when He didn’t immediately give me what I demanded to have.
  • I didn’t submit to Him.
  • I lived in rebellion against Him – evidenced by my total lack of the fruit of God’s Spirit and all the worry, fear, anxiety, bitterness and loneliness in my soul

I cannot approach God with disrespect, demands, pride, self-righteousness and a wicked heart full of sin and expect Him to hear and answer my prayers. THANK YOU, GOD, that You did NOT give me what I wanted when my motives were so sinful! What a blessing that You did not allow me to find contentment in idols!

IMPURE MOTIVES:

  • I did X, Y and Z, so now God HAS to do what I want Him to do.
  • I am going to dictate to God what He MUST do.
  • God must submit to me.
  • I am right. I know better than God. God needs to get with the program and do things my way.
  • If God doesn’t give me what I want, I won’t trust Him or follow Him anymore. I will not put my faith in Him anymore.
  • The real reason I serve God is to get what I want.  If I do what He wants, then He owes me and has to give me what I want.
  • What is most important is that my marriage be saved.
  • What is most important is that my husband love me the way I want to be loved and that I have the romance I desire.
  • I cannot be content unless my husband changes the way I want him to.
  • What matters most is that I am happy.
  • I am going to do what I want to do, even if You say it is sin. Sin does not grieve my heart at all, and I don’t care how much it grieves Your heart, Jesus, or then great price You paid for my sin with Your blood. I don’t think my sin is a big deal.
  • I cannot be content unless my circumstances change. I refuse to be content in Christ alone. He is not enough for me.
  • I cannot be content unless God bows to my dictates.
  • God HAS to do X or He is not worthy of my devotion, submission, adoration, worship, praise and love.
  • I can’t actually trust God. If I really trust Him, He will hurt me and take away these things I want most in my life. God’s motives towards me are actually evil. I don’t believe that He is actually GOOD and incapable of evil. I really trust myself, not God.
  • I am SO AFRAID that my husband might do X.  That is NOT ok! If he does that, then my life will be destroyed. I cannot trust God if that worst case scenario happened. God would not be able to sustain me. God would not be able to bring anything good from that. God CANNOT let my greatest fears happen, because I don’t trust Him to be able to use my greatest fears for my good if He were to allow me to go through that.
  • If God takes X away from me, I would not love Him, serve Him or trust Him ever again. My greatest goal is to have X. If I can’t have that, then it is not worth it for me to serve Christ.

The above kind of motives and thinking reveal:

  • idolatry of self, trust in self
  • idolatry of my husband, or his behavior, or getting my way, or my having control
  • pride – thinking I know better than God
  • that my heart is not completely submitted to Christ, that I demand He submit to me as if I were god
  • that Jesus is not my primary goal, getting what I want is
  • unbelief
  • lack of faith

PURE MOTIVES:

  • All I need to be content in this life is You, Jesus!
  • You are all I desire, Lord!
  • I trust You, even if my greatest fears were to happen. I know that You are sovereign. I know that anything You allow into my life You will use for my ultimate good and Your glory. I don’t want to suffer if I don’t have to. But if You determine that there is suffering that is in my best interest, then I trust You. I will trust You even if I have to face my deepest fears. As long as You are with me, I know I will have everything I need.
  • I stand in total awe and reverence and tremble before You, God! I am but dust!
  • I am a wretched sinner! I am desperate for  you! You are so very holy, high and lifted up!  You are powerful, sovereign, omnipotent, omnipresent, good, perfect, sinless, beautiful, righteous, mighty, wise and awesome. I am on my face before You in utter and total humility!
  • I want You, Jesus! Nothing else matters!
  • Here is my will. But I don’t seek my will. I desire Your will first. No matter what it is.
  • I hold nothing back from You. You gave me ALL of Yourself so that I could be made right with God by Your blood. Now, I give you ALL of myself.
  • I cling to You, Jesus! I hold fast to You. Everything else, I hold loosely. If You take something away or if You give me something, I will praise You. You are good. No matter what my circumstances are, I will praise You!
  • I will trust You alone! I know Your motives for me are all good. I know that You are incapable of anything but motives of love and goodness towards me. I know that Your definition of good is my ultimate spiritual good, to make me more like Christ.
  • I will ask, seek and knock for things that I know are YOUR will. I don’t want anything apart from Your will.
  • Purify my motives. Remove every trace of sin from my life. I want to please you!  I want to obey You! I want to bring you joy more than anything in this life! Empower me to be faithful to You. I cannot do it on my own. Make me have Your Spirit so that You can tell me, “Well done, My good and faithful servant” when I stand before You. That is all that matters to me!
  • You are my LORD! There is nothing You can ask me to do that I would refuse to do. All I can say to You is “YES, LORD!”
  • I know that it is Your will to heal my marriage and to bring my husband to Yourself. I pray for these things, not so that I can have what I want for my own selfish pleasure or so that I can put those things above You in my heart – but so that Your Name might be greatly glorified and Your will might be done in my life, in my marriage, in my husband’s life and in our family as it is in heaven.
  • I do not make demands of You, Lord. I approach You in total reverence, respect, awe, trembling and godly fear.
  • I am in amazement that through the precious blood of Christ, I have access to pray to You and to have a relationship with You. Help me to use this incredible privilege in a way that most honors and brings glory to Your Name!
  • Purify me of every trace of pride, self-righteousness, greed, selfishness, idolatry, unbelief, bitterness, etc… Make me holy as You are holy!
  • I want to know You more and more! I want to be near You. If only I can be close to You – I will be completely full of joy and content.
  • Change my desires. Let me only want what You want.
  • I long only for Your will and Your glory in my life – no matter what the personal cost is to myself.
  • I want Your best for my husband – not so that I will feel loved the way I want to – not so that I will find security in him instead of in You – but so that You might be greatly glorified and honored and exalted in His life.

Our God is WORTHY of all of my devotion, worship, praise, love, thanksgiving, obedience, sacrifice, submission, strength, health, time, energy and blessing!!!!!!!! He is ALWAYS worthy of all that I have and all that I am. He is worthy of much more than I could ever offer to Him! How I long to always respond in praise – no matter what my circumstances – just like Job. There is no time, effort, energy, love, talent, thanksgiving or obedience given to God that is ever wasted.

Jesus gave His all for me – ALL to Him I owe!

Keep Making Me – by Sidewalk Prophets

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JAMES 4

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

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

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

SHARE:

This is PAINFUL, PAINFUL and sometimes SHOCKING stuff! It can be a bit overwhelming when you first see it from God’s perspective, But, in my experience, we all deal with these sins and issues. You are most welcome to share your struggles, concerns, questions, godly wisdom, insights and what God is teaching you. Let’s support one another as Christian wives and rally around one another as we seek Christ together and desire to please and honor Him! Lord, empower us to become holy and godly women who are pleasing in Your sight and filled with Your Spirit. Purify our every motive and make us the wives and women You desire us to be!

RELATED:

My Secret Idol

But I’m a Good Person!

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

How to Pray for Our Husbands So That God Will Hear

Praying in Humility

Praying with Respect

Praying from an Obedient Life

Consecrating Our Lives to Christ

Love Him Less, Respect Him More – by a Fellow Wife

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A Guest Post by a Fellow Wife who began her journey to become a godly wife in October of 2012:
The very title of this sounds bad, doesn’t it?  But I think I am on to something.
So I have been aware that respect is very important to men.  I have learned that they would rather have respect than love, if they had to make a choice between the two, which is still completely shocking to me, even hearing it for the hundredth time!  I also know that giving respect is the way men NEED our love.  But I never really thought that I needed to scale back on the love.
I do not mean to stop loving my husband as much as I do.  I could not do that.  I do love him.  He has my heart.  And we SHOULD absolutely love our husbands. BUT, what if we pushed that love we feel to the backburner… and pulled the respect we have on simmer up to the front burner and turned the temp up on it?  (I have a slight love of analogies, ladies.  My apologies.)
I have been reading some of the archives on this blog and I am so thankful there is such a wealth of information for us to learn from.  I want to share something April wrote in her post on 2/5/12 in the post, “Before and After Pictures of My Soul.”
“Giving him more love didn’t seem to help, if anything, I think it made things worse.” 
 
That is kind of where I am going with this.  It is not that giving our husbands love is wrong.  They need our love.  But they need our respect much, much more.  After all, respect equals love in their book.  Our brand of love isn’t theirs.
And here is another thought to think on…. when we love, love and love some more, it can be so easily to love ourselves right into a situation of idolizing our husbands.  I know that is what I did.  And then I was in a vicious, ugly mess of sin that it took me a long time to dig out from.  No, let’s be a little more honest than that.  I didn’t just have to dig out, I had to claw my way out from under that idol and I still have to be constantly on guard for it.  It has been difficult.  I do not want to fall in that pit again.  And all because I allowed myself to love, love, love into an idolatry situation.
We certainly want to love our husbands, ladies.  It would be unwise to try to stop loving them.  But where should our  focus be?  It is so, so easy to naturally focus on the love that comes as naturally to us as breathing and give respect only sporadically and awkwardly, much as if we were trying to write with the wrong hand.  I have to shift my focus.  I need to keep my love on simmer but turn the heat up on the respect dial.  ( I know, more analogies!  I have a bit of a fixation on them!)
And here is one more analogy I thought about while processing all of this in my mind.  Let’s say love is apple juice and respect is water to our husband.  Apple juice is good.  It has some great nutrients.  But what he really needs, at least what he needs the most of on a daily basis, is water.  All apple juice would really leave him unbalanced.  He needs more of the water!  And I can make sure he is fully hydrated by giving him the respect he needs.  (Are you still with me?  We are going somewhere here).
I certainly do not want to stop giving him love but I need to let that love be the FUEL for giving him respect.  This may not be revolutionary to most of you.  However, what is revolutionary- to me, at least- is the thought of pushing love to the back and pulling the respect to the front.  Turning down the heat on the love burner and cranking it up on the respect.  I got that I needed to work on respect.  But I didn’t really get that I needed to turn down the love.  Just a notch.  Not turn it off completely.
I have spent a lot of time reading up on God’s instructions for wives in the bible.  From what I have found, I have only located one bible verse that instructs wives to love their husbands.  That is in Titus 2.  But there are many, MANY bible verses that stress the importance of giving our husbands respect, submitting, being in subjection to them and other similar terms. For starters, you can search out:
-Ephesians 5:22
-Ephesians 5:33
-Titus 2:5 (the very next verse following the lone bible verse that tells us to love our husbands)
-Colossians 3:18
-1 Peter 3:1, 5-6
This thought came to me and I want to share it with you….. WHY did God give us so many more instructions about respecting and submitting to our husbands?  There HAS to be significance behind that.
These are the reasons I feel like God showed me for having many more instructions about respect and submission toward our husbands versus love:
-God knows RESPECT is what our men need most.  He is telling us something by stressing this so many times in His Word.
-It is a very serious commandment.  God wanted to get the message to us loud and clear that this is expected of us.
-RESPECT is what we are weak – it goes against our natural inclination as women.  There is a lot of dying to self here.  Picking up our cross- putting our husband and his needs (not the need we want to transpose onto him) before our self and the need we WISH he had.  God knows we are weak in this and we need the extra reminders to respect our husband.
Should we still love our husbands?  Yes.
But should we *shift* that love to the backburner?  I believe so.  Our love for our husbands is usually strong.  It does not need the extra time and attention that our respect for them does.  Our respect, at least mine, is sometimes weak and needs the extra time and effort I put into it.  I speak love fluently.  Respect is foreign to me but with God’s help and the instruction of this blog and several godly books I have been blessed with, I am learning.  I am still awkward at it but I am learning.  With time and practice, it can become a second language to me.
Respecting our husbands is serious business with God.  I want to leave you with one last thought.  I have observed that I fully understand the need to give others respect, such as my employer or the authorities in government like policemen.  I know that not respecting them will result in serious consequences, especially if it occurred repeatedly.  There are also consequences of disrespecting your husband.  We are sinning when we are disrespecting.  God is displeased and we lose intimacy with Him as well as our husband.  Those consequences should be motivating enough to me that I understand the seriousness of the need to give respect to my husband.
FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
God does command us as wives to love our husbands – to affectionately love them (Titus 2:3-5) with the friendly love of “phileo.”
And God does command all believers to love all people with the God-kind of love, “agape” – which we can study about in I Corinthians 13:4-8.  THAT is the kind of love we are to have for them.  Sometimes our definition of love doesn’t match up with God’s.  Respect is part of agape love – “love is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it keeps no record of wrongs suffered….”
But I do love the picture of us as wives bringing respect more to the forefront and focusing on that because God did give us several commands to respect our husbands.  That doesn’t mean we must respect sin!  But as we meet our husbands’ deepest masculine needs and love them in the ways that most speak to them – we will bless and strengthen our marriages by the power of God as we walk in obedience to Him and in the power of His Spirit.
RELATED:
What is Respect in Marriage? – a number of husbands share what is respectful to them

“Giving Up on My Dream for My Marriage”

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This is from the same wife who wrote to me about not pursuing her husband anymore last week. This is what it looks like to painfully tear out our idols by the root and totally surrender to Christ as LORD of ALL.   Here the idols are control, feeling loved in a certain way and romance.  Thankfully, God will not allow us to find contentment in anything but Christ.  Our idols will always disappoint us! This is what it means to die to self and give Jesus full control of our lives.   THIS is the beginning of living in the power of God.  We must come to the place where we can sincerely say about EVERYTHING in our lives, “Not my will, but Your will be done.”   Each wife’s story and journey will look different. For a follow up on how this wife is doing in September, 2014, please check out her update!
 —————————————————————-
I started on my journey in seeking to become a godly wife in October of 2012.  My husband and I had a horrible fight that ended with angry words on both of our parts and a lot of hurt feelings.  I remember the term that led me to The Peacefulwife’s website was “how to get your husband to lead” because that was something I wanted and needed desperately.
My husband and I have never really had a bad relationship.  We are both Christians.  We deeply love each other.  We are strong in our commitment to each other.  But things still weren’t on the right balance and it could be felt by both of us and in our home.  We were not where we needed to be to have a godly marriage… and we are still very much in process.
There was no question I was disrespectful. 
  • I rolled my eyes at him.
  • I used a tone.
  • I insulted his income.
  • I said things in front of people that were unkind.
  • I called the shots.
  • I kept him in line.  Although, he wasn’t lining up so great for me

and I am not proud of any of these things.

Ever the do-er, I dove right in to work.  I would fix it!  After all, all I really had to do was stop the disrespectful things, right?
But I did not fully get the depth of what I was doing.  And because of that, I grew overwhelmed.  I was trying all the right steps, why weren’t things happening?  Don’t misunderstand; things did improve somewhat.

But the total renovation that I read about happening to Peacefulwife and other wives who did this was not happening for this girl. 

My heart was truly wanting to do the right thing.  But I hadn’t *hit* where I needed to hit to truly make the change.  It was like I was trying to work a 5000 piece puzzle with only 2000 of the pieces.  Every now and then I would get a glimpse of how beautiful it could be but I didn’t have all the pieces I needed to get that picture.
I was still feeling lonely and neglected by my husband.  He still wasn’t responding to me very well, although I was making lots of practical steps toward respecting him.  I did a lot of things right.  While I didn’t completely stop being disrespectful, I cut a lot of it out.
  • I turned a lot of decisions over to my husband.
  • I tried to focus on building him up.
(From Peacefulwife –  when our husbands don’t change when we start to learn respect and biblical submission, we can get REALLY disappointed.  This is a flag to check our motives.  Our motives HAVE to be ONLY to please God – not to change our husbands.  This can also be a flag to look for deeper layers of unintentional disrespect and control.  It ALL has to go!)
Here I was, trying to be the best wife I could be and I didn’t think he cared at all what kind of husband he was being.  He seemed selfish and tuned out.  Then he made a choice that hurt me very deeply.  Were there worse things that could have happened in our marriage?  Certainly.  But for me, it was the last brick that finally broke down the load I was carrying.  I just could not carry it anymore.  I remember thinking this thought, in my heart for at least a couple of years before I finally hit “My Breaking Point”…

“I am so tired of fighting for him!  I have done nothing but fight for his attention and to be his priority for ALL of our marriage.”

I felt absolutely exhausted from that fight.
  • I had given it my all.
  • I had tried everything to win.
  • I wanted to win.
  • I NEEDED to win.
  • It was VERY, VERY important to me that my husband show me and everyone else in the world how much I mattered to him.

I did not win.

I waved the white flag.

I.  LET.  GO.

Not because I made the mature choice and saw that my behavior was not pleasing to God.  I wish I could tell you that was the reason.  It wasn’t.  That came a bit later.  No.  I let go because it was too painful to try to hold him any longer.  I just hit a point where  I could not fight for him to love me any longer.  He always HAS loved me.  But he hasn’t always loved me in the way that *I* wanted.  Which is what I was fighting for.

This is not something you can just decide to do.  This is something that you have to HIT.

I told my husband this very clearly that

I would no longer try to make him show me how much he cared about me. 

If he didn’t do it from the heart, it didn’t count anyway, did it?  What satisfaction is there in buffaloing your husband into doing something you want him to do when you know deep down that you pushed him into it?
As I let go of him, I thought about what this  truly meant.
  • It meant I would no longer pursue him to get him to pursue me.
  • It meant that the ball was in his court.
  • If he wanted to play ball, I am up for it but I will not make the first move.
  • I handed him control of our relationship.
  • I finally understood what Peacefulwife meant when she said she had to grow content in a season of waiting because this meant I was going to wait on my husband until he was ready to make a moveAnd if he didn’t, we would sit here.
I did this lovingly.
There was directness but no harshness.

 I made a decision that I would continue to meet his needs even if he didn’t mine.  That was not easy because that was unselfish which is not something I was very closely acquainted with.

Although I still had the love of my life, what I did not have was the fantasy marriage (the idol) I wanted and had fought for, for so very long.

I let that fantasy die. 

I cannot tell you it was not painful.  It was, heart wrenchingly so.  In fact, I am crying just thinking about this.  But that fantasy was not good for me.  It only brought me pain. 

Letting go of that fantasy also brought me some good things.  Life giving and healing things.

  • Peacefulness in myself
  • Security regardless of what my husband does or does not do.
  • An ability to see things more clearly.
  • An ability to find God in a totally new way.
  • I got a few more puzzle pieces to work with.

I did not get that when I tried to make him give me what I needed that I was using another form of control.  

In what I am learning about men- and my knowledge is very limited at this point-  the surest way NOT to get what I wanted was to push for it.  

My husband may never choose to meet my needs.

Perhaps he will.

This really isn’t about that at all.

This is about me

  • hitting the point where I could not go on living in such an unhealthy way any longer.
  • saying, “Lord, my husband belongs to you.  You take him and work with Him.  You are far better equipped than I.”
  • realizing how little control I actually had.
  • realizing just how tiny I am and how big God is.  I am just a little ant in his great big world.
  • realizing that although my husband and I are joined by marriage, I do not own him.
  • seeing God show me how much work there is to do in ME.
  • realizing that it is okay to focus on ME and my relationship with God and let my husband have his own process.
For me, this was not a joyful experience.
No.
This was an experience where I had to reach a point where I tearfully, brokenly handed my marriage to God and said,

“Lord, I cannot do this any longer. 

Please take this because it is too heavy for me. 

Take all of my expectations of my husband and

all of my hurts and unfulfilled dreams because

they are too painful to carry any longer. 

I pray someday you bless our marriage with the things

You know I have wanted so desperately

but even if You never, ever do,

I can’t do this without You any longer

I need You to help me.

I need You to do the changing and fixing in our marriage. 

I am not equipped to do it and I am sorry I ever, ever tried. 

I pray You work with both of us. 

And start with me.” 

That was a hard place to be and a hard thing to say.  My heart was so broken accepting that the things I have waited on and wanted so desperately may never be a reality.

  • I had to get to where I could go on EVEN if my worst fears happened. 
  • I had to get to a place where I realized that I never really had any control at all.  At best, what I had was some sinful tools of manipulation and guilt to try to get my way.
  • I had to get to a place where I let go of my husband and got ahold of myself again.  Where I could realize that the only person I could change was myself.
While there are still some hurts in my heart and still some things God and I have left to work through, I can tell you that

This is a much more peaceful way to live.  Trying to control my husband and the outcome of everything in our marriage was exhausting.  Resting in myself and my relationship with God is refreshing.

I do not know what the future holds.  I see some little sprigs of hope springing up.
  • I see my husband beginning to stand taller.
  • I see my husband beginning to search for his wife now that she is not following his every step.

I am hopeful good things are coming.  I have to trust that this is for my ultimate good.  Since I am a child of God I believe that anything that happens to me is FOR my good or He would not allow it.  I felt frustrated and overwhelmed when I first started out to become a godly wife because I didn’t have all of the puzzle pieces yet.  I may not have them all now.  I don’t know.  My puzzle isn’t finished.  But I have more than I did have and the picture is becoming clearer.

Blessings to you.
Then He said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me. 
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me will save it.  
Luke 9:23-24
FOLLOW UP:
To see how A Fellow Wife (the author of this post) is doing 3 years into her journey, and what she wishes she could tell herself 3 years ago, check out this post!

Trying to Find Security in All the Wrong Places

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Insecurity seems to be a practically universal struggle for women.

We want security in our marriages, and – really, with other people, too.  We want to know that we are lovable.  We want to know that no matter what happens, those we love will still love us.

We want security in the love of our husbands, their ability to protect us, their ability to provide for us, their trustworthiness, our safety with them, etc…

When Greg and I took a class on the 7 Basic Needs of a Husband and the 7 Basic Needs of a Wife – our teacher said that the #1 basic need of a wife is “A wife needs the stability and direction of a husband who is functioning as the spiritual leader of his family.”  I believe that another way of saying this is “security.”  I think that is interesting, considering the wife represents the church in marriage and the husband represents Christ.  Also interesting that the #1 need of a husband is “a wife who respects him for who he is as a man.”

Ideally, our husbands would be godly men in whom we could place our trust and confidence and they would never disappoint us.  Trouble is, they are all human, and they will let us down at times.

Here is a little secret about real security for you.

If you try to find security in anything or anyone other than Jesus – you are going to be full of fear, anxiety and insecurity constantly!

Trust me… I have personally gone down that road way too many times.

Sometimes as women, we think we are honoring and serving Christ, but then we start to put our faith in other places, too – without consciously even realizing it.  We start to look to other things/people to find our identity, to find our purpose, to feel safe and secure in our hearts.  “If I could just have X, I would feel safe.  I would be happy.  I would feel secure.” Things like:

  • self
  • romance
  • trying to be in control
  • perfectionism
  • people pleasing
  • education
  • high grades
  • sports
  • marriage
  • sex
  • our man to do what we want him to do  (“If he would just do what I want, everything would be great!”)
  • a man who never ever ever notices that there are any other beautiful women on the planet (“If I can keep him from seeing that woman at the next table, I can feel secure.”)
  • my man’s sinlessness (even in his thought life – this is a HUGE idol for many women!  “If I can just monitor his computer/phone all the time, and if I can watch to be sure he is not sinning at all, then I can feel secure.  Then he won’t sin against me and I will be safe.”)
  • children  (“If only I had a child, then I would be able to be happy/content/fulfilled.”
  • money
  • a great career
  • luxury
  • a house
  • a fancy car
  • having certain friends
  • popularity
  • adventure/excitement
  • partying
  • drugs/alcohol
  • escape
  • fame
  • beauty
  • having a certain body shape/size
  • being a godly wife, respect and submission can be idols if our goal is to control our husbands and we are not obeying God with the right motives to please Christ alone, we can even think God “owes” us if we think we are doing  a “good enough” job and begin to demand that God do certain things for us in return – NOT GOOD!

The list could go on and on.  What we are really doing here is – we are trying to fill a God-shaped hole in our hearts with things that will never satisfy us.

Worldly things cannot bring true contentment!  God Himself makes sure of that!  I am so thankful!

Only Jesus can truly satisfy the deepest needs and longings of our souls.

These other things can easily become idols that we put above Christ in our lives – these things can become more important to us than intimacy with Him.  That is one HUGE problem!  Idolatry breaks the most important commandment to have no other gods in our lives but to worship the One True Lord God and serve Him only.  To God, when we put other things in His proper place of worship in our lives, and try to find our identity, purpose, fulfillment and contentment in those things – it is as if we are committing adultery on Him in a marriage covenant.  But His covenant with us is even more sacred than a marriage covenant.  This is SERIOUS stuff.  Many times, we don’t even realize what we are doing!  But there are some symptoms we can look for to tip us off.

SYMPTOMS OF INSECURITY – THAT WE MAY BE PUTTING SOMETHING ABOVE CHRIST IN OUR HEARTS AS AN IDOL:

  • desperation for something other than Christ
  • neediness towards the thing/person we idolize – thinking we MUST have that thing/that person to be happy!
  • despair
  • loss of joy
  • anxiety, lack of peace (any sin can create this, and there can be other causes, too – but not trusting God but trusting self or something else, not living by faith in God does create huge anxiety!)
  • depression (this is one cause for depression – it is not the only one!)
  • fear (this is one of the causes of fear)
  • willingness to sin to have the thing/person in which we place our trust, a willingness to go after our idol no matter what the cost to us or anyone else
  • obsession
  • extreme anger when someone attempts to take our idol away
  • the things of God seem boring
  • God’s Word does not spring to life when we read it
  • a lack of ability to hear God’s voice
  • disobedience to the Word of God
  • comparing ourselves to others
  • complaining
  • arguing
  • increasing sin
  • a hardened heart to God
  • lack of love for Christ, a heart that has grown cold towards Him
  • pride that I know what is best
  • discontentment
  • bitterness

There are many more – but hopefully this will help us recognize what we are doing.  Basically, our sinful nature is in control – but we are not getting the happiness we want and we become more and more sinful as we try to reach for that thing we think we have to have.   It consumes us.

God designed us to find our identity, our purpose, our fulfillment, our strength, our refuge, our joy and peace in Him alone.  

HE IS OUR LIFE!

HE IS OUR REWARD!

HE IS OUR IDENTITY!

HE IS OUR PURPOSE!

HE IS EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD!

When I see negative feelings, anger, jealousy, discontentment, greed in my soul – it is a big flag to check my motives and to look for idols in my heart.  They must all be torn out by the root.

INSECURITY IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH MEN

If we begin to feel very insecure with a man, it is often because we have taken our eyes off of Christ.  It’s time to ask myself some hard questions in the light of God’s Word and His Spirit

  • What is my purpose here?
  • Why do I feel insecure?  Is he sinning against me?  Or am I trying to find security in him that I can really only find in Christ Jesus?
  • What is the goal of my life?
  • What do I believe I need to make me happy?  Is it anything other than Jesus?
  • Could I be putting this man above Christ in my heart?
  • Am I expecting this man to meet needs that only Jesus can meet in my soul?
  • Am I trying to please this man or this person above pleasing God?
  • Am I seeking this person’s approval above God’s approval?
  • Am I looking for reassurance that I am worthy of love in this human relationship?
  • Where am I looking for my security?
  • How is my communion with God?

sometimes we are insecure because our husbands sin against us.  Sometimes we are insecure because we expect them to be Jesus to us in ways that no human could be.  Sometimes we make our husbands into idols and expect them to be responsible for our joy and contentment.  That is not right!  Only Jesus can give us real, unshakable, joy and contentment.

WE HAVE NO REASON FOR INSECURITY IN CHRIST JESUS!

The way that we develop a godly, feminine, gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to hysterical fear (I Peter 3:4-6) is that we put our trust 100% in our sovereign God.

  • THAT is how we can be at peace no matter what our circumstances.
  • THAT is how we can be unshakable.
  • THAT is how we don’t have to struggle with feeling insecure about our looks, our bodies, our abilities, our lovability or anything else.

THE THINGS TO FOCUS ON AS WE GROW IN OUR SECURITY AND FAITH IN CHRIST ARE:

WHAT DOES GOD’S WORD SAY ABOUT ME WHEN I DON’T HAVE CHRIST?

I’m sure that “self esteem” experts wouldn’t like what I am about to share.  But, God says that we are all wretched sinners.  How is that for boosting our self esteem?

  • God says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:23
  • “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one… ruin and misery mark their ways, the way of peace they do not know.  There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:10-12, 16-18
  • We are all image bearers of God.   We were created to bring glory to God (Genesis 2).  But we all became slaves to sin.
  • We all deserve God’s wrath and judgment for our sin.  (Romans 6:23)
  • We can do nothing on our own to restore a right relationship with God.  (Ephesians 2:8)

WHO AM I IN CHRIST?

Once I receive the gift that Jesus offers to me – where I accept that He took the wrath and punishment upon Himself for my sins that I deserved – and I accept that in total faith and trust in Him – He gives me a new life.  He gives me a new identity.  He gives me a new heart and mind and a new nature.  He crucifies my sinful nature with Him on the cross.  All things become new.  I accept Him not only as my Savior – who saved me from the punishment God would have righteously given to me for my sin – but I accept Him as Lord.  Now He is the Master.  I am a slave to Him.  I am free from sin and now I am a slave to righteousness!

Our security is found in Christ alone.

We’ll talk much more about these issues in the next post!!!!!

THIS is exciting stuff! 🙂

 

RELATED

Roots of Insecurity

Our Identity in Christ -THIS is My Security!

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You are welcome to leave comments!   I would love to hear from you.