A Wife Begs God to Help Her Tame Her Tongue

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From a sister in Christ:

I am a young wife. Only just turned 29. Its been 4 years since I became born again. I am still learning this. Yes, I have dug through the Bible front to back already and am very knowledgeable in His Word even for my youth in the faith.

I am the wife that – when my husband scolds me – I retaliate with anger from the hurt. My husband has anger issues and he tends to say the meanest things for the littlest reasons. But recently, I come to realize while listening to a sermon online about the sin of the tongue – that even though I am saved, I do serve God, and preach His Word to other women, etc, etc… if I don’t learn self-control and to allow the Holy Spirit to tame my tongue, my religion is meaningless.

I finally just prayed out loud…

“Jesus, take over my tongue. My anger and bitterness. I want to be like You when they was spitting, mocking and cursing You – who are blameless. You held Your peace, you did not sin! Your eyes were upon God only. From here on out, Satan will no longer win, he can no longer take over my tongue. From here on out, the blood of Jesus has washed my tongue clean and all rights now goes to the Holy Spirit of God!!!! I don’t want to be like this anymore, I don’t want to be weak and selfish anymore. I want my eyes on the cross, especially through trials and suffering. Be gone Satan!!! In the name of Jesus of Nazareth! You will no longer toy with my marriage, my heart and especially my tongue. I will fight with the Word of God. For God said if we do not tame our tongue, then our religion is meaningless. And my religion will not be meaningless!! It will stand for Christ alone.”

After that prayer out loud in my car – it was like this complete peace – this renewing of my mind. I just didn’t feel any bitterness or easily angered/hurt. Of course Satan quickly tested me out. I was napping after 12 hours of work, and my husband woke me up yelling! He was upset about something I didn’t do. He knew I just got home and been working overtime, but he was angry again…. and guess what? I felt nothing???!!! And when I say nothing…

I felt peace and no retaliation.

Before I would have yelled back and said, “What is your problem? Leave me alone, you bi-polar freak! I just got home, I need to sleep. Crazy?!” But this time I just laid there, let him yell and throw tantrums saying mean things blah, blah, blah. And after he was done and walked away, I went right back to sleep. And now I still feel nothing. Before I would be holding a grudge and wishing he would just disappear.

He gave his life to Christ recently, too, after many prayers for him. He repented and started reading Bible. But he has demons that he has yet to fully deal with and every now and then he snaps. He has changed a lot by the grace of God. I notice he snaps usually when his eyes are off Christ. He is a babe in Christ so I don’t hold it against him. I feel so free! I feel like I am no longer bound by the handcuffs of: anger, bitterness, grudge-holding, and hatred toward my husband’s unloving ways toward me anymore.

It’s like when I recognized it, repented, and prayed that out loud…it was like Jesus got the keys and took off the handcuffs!!!!!!!

I am crying as I type this! Now I’m washing clothes, spending time with kids, about to open my Bible right now and meditate on all the verses about self-control and taming our tongues for God’s glory. And I feel happy even though an hour ago I just got scolded and mocked by my husband for something I didn’t do.

I am no longer controlled by my circumstances, instead I am now controlled by the Holy Spirit of God as it SHOULD BE. I just needed to allow Him to guide me!! My husband is a good husband, works hard, and treats our daughters like princesses. His demons just take hold of him at times and I pray for his full deliverance!!! He quit smoking, drinking, and partying all for our family. He works and serves in church. But this one thing he struggles with.

I have faith that – like God showed me -He will do the same for my husband one day.

God showed me my errors, and then He delivered me from it. All wives – it’s SO freeing!!! Mentally, spiritually, everything! I ask you to please try it and allow God to take over. Fight for righteousness, fight for peace!!!! Don’t let the devil win your tongue, your heart. He has won TOO many times already in the past, starting today fight back and say, “NO!!!! The Word of God says this. I will do as God says. Be gone Satan!” Fight the real enemy here!!!!! Not your husband. Satan is the real enemy. God is so good, so all knowing. Oh Lord, forgive me for being naive, for not allowing You to take over my tongue a long time ago! Forgive me and give me grace to continue on!!!

 

To all the women who feel that its hopeless (from Peacefulwife – if you have severe issues in your marriage, please seek experienced, appropriate, godly help!) with the she-said-he-said “I don’t like the way he did this, he doesn’t like the way I did this,” kind of stuff – always butting heads and putting each other down for it stuff. There is hope, but first thing you gotta do is give your mind, body, and tongue over to God and don’t let Satan toy with it anymore. Once you do, He will change you. The self-control will be so powerful it will be like you don’t even understand yourself what is going on within you. But you know it’s gotta be God…!!!!! That is what happens when you let God take the wheel. Women, the retaliation will be gone. You know why? Because your self-worth will be found in the cross and NOT your husband’s words or actions towards you anymore. You become a person who feels love and peace when others bash at you instead. Like Jesus said on the cross, ”Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” His heart will become yours as well. (tears)

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

God can give us wisdom about when to speak and when to remain silent. We need His Spirit desperately in these difficult situations!

RELATED:

Posts about Conflict

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

To Speak or Not to Speak?

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

How Do You Stay Filled with the Holy Spirit?

Godly Femininity Part 1

Godly Femininity Part 2

“I Don’t Think My Husband Loves Me – How Can I Become a Godly Wife?”

Do You Have to Lose Yourself or Be “Fake” to Be a Godly Wife?

How Satan Would Love to Destroy Your Marriage through Your Thought Life

Godlywifetobe – Step 2 – Facing Her Fears

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This is some more of my correspondence with Godlywifetobe. I have also taken on another wife to mentor whose story I hope to share in the coming week. GraceAlone is doing well. There are definitely some days that are very hard, but there are also new blessings.  She is 3 months into her journey – which is still quite early. I hope to share another update from her in a week or two. She is making some definite strides in her understanding of God and her trust in Him and she is learning to refine her motives and to continue to seek to bless her husband regardless of his response. She has had a LOT of tests in the past few months that have really forced her to depend on God and to face some of her deepest fears. I love being on this journey with these wives and with all of you! I wish I could email every single wife, but I pray that these wives’ stories might bless you. If you are interested in being a wife that I mentor, I may be able to take another wife in about 2 months. So you can be thinking about that. 🙂 The requirements I have for wives that I take on to mentor are in Godlywifetobe’s first post. 

(Background – Godlywifetobe is a believer in Christ. Her husband is not. Things are often difficult right now.)

Ladies, you are all welcome to write out your answers to the assignments I give Godlywifetobe. You can send them in as comments, or you can keep them for yourself in a journal or a private file. The actual writing/typing out of these deep heart issues is so important as we allow God to shine His light into the deepest corners of our souls. We cannot heal and move forward in God’s power if we are clinging to lies or unknown sin.)

FROM GODLYWIFETOBE

I guess my fears are…

  • Being alone
  • Nobody wanting me
  • Being unloved
  • People not liking me
  • Not knowing what’s going to happen/future
  • Wanting romance. Which comes down to wanting to feel loved/cherished/important.

Growing up I always had to be the adult and the responsible one with my mother and father. I also watched my mum go through around 30 sexual partners growing up and mopping up the mess when they cheated on her or dumped her. I grew up having to be in control and take the lead. By being in control of things I also kept safe from the various abuses I had experienced as a child (sexual, mental, physical, emotional).

So giving up control is something very scary for me. I want things the way they should be done and I feel unsafe and scared when it’s not and that’s some of the anxiety I feel, I guess.

 

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

What I would like you to do is to look at each of these fears and come up with scriptural truth to counter your fears. What does God say about you, about your worth, about if you are alone, about you not being wanted, about you being unloved, about His feelings for you, about pleasing people, about fears and worry for the future and about your desire to feel loved?

And, can you please tell me, what do you believe will happen if you do not “feel like you are in control”?

What are the worst case scenarios that run through your mind?

What are the tapes you play in your head and the things you tell yourself about you, God and your husband?

FROM GODLYWIFETOBE

Scriptural truths for my fears is a great idea…

  • Being alone-

Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

  • Nobody wanting me-

Isaiah 54:5

For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.

  • Being unloved-

Romans 5:8

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

  • People not liking me-

Galatians 1:10

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

  • Knowing the future-

Proverbs 16:9

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

  • Romance/Feeling cherished and important

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

What do I feel will happen if I’m not in control? Well my head says nothing major will happen, that God will work it all out. I want things done the way I think they are to be done. I guess that’s pride and control isn’t? Ugh. I don’t want to be like that!!! I guess I feel anxious and worried when I’m not in control.

Worst case scenarios would be:

  • my husband cheating on me
  • my husband leaving
  • my husband getting more distant and mean
  • my children copying our behaviour in their relationships
  • my husband not coming to Christ

I guess the tapes that play in my head are that:

  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m a failure
  • I made the wrong choice marrying my husband (that one makes me sad…but it’s the truth)
  • my husband will never change and only get worse
  • my husband has issues he needs to deal with but is putting his head in the sand or using hobbies/smoking etc to drown it out
  • I guess with God I feel that I’ve done something to deserve this, that I’m not good enough
  • I feel He’s ignoring me

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Are these things you are telling yourself true?  If so, what will you do about it? If they are lies, what is the real truth?

What if God is able to even turn “mistakes” into something beautiful and glorious?

FROM GODLYWIFETOBE:

The things I tell myself aren’t true. No. It’s a false perception I’m believing. Satan is the father of lies and I’m sure he enjoys me believing these lies so he has me being less than I am…of who God made me to be.

Those lies stop me from doing things, they cause me to act of fear or control, they produce self pity and bitterness it me. I didn’t realise how powerful those lies were until typing this just now. It’s bondage. Chains. But Christ came to break every chain. He came to free me from the bondage of sin!!! I need to walk in this daily!

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

You are so right. Those lies are absolutely creating bondage and they are very powerful. You end up believing those lies that you repeat to yourself over and over again.

Jesus DID set you free from the bondage of sin. You died with Him on the cross. Your old sinful self is dead and buried with Christ. Now He gives you a new self, a new heart, a new Spirit so that you can live in the power of His resurrection and in His truth. You can choose to stay bound by those old lies. But you don’t have to stay there. Jesus set you free already. All you have to do is thank Him and praise Him for it and begin to live in Him. 🙂

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Some things to wrestle with on a very deep heart level:

Are you willing to lay down all of these fears and the lies that you are believing?

Is God sovereign even if your worst case scenarios were to happen?

Are you willing to replace those tapes with the truth of God?

Are you willing to give up all resentment and bitterness towards your husband and God?

What are you afraid to trust God with?

What would happen if you fully surrendered to Christ and trusted His sovereignty?

Is God who He says He is?

Is His Word true?

FROM GODLYWIFETOBE:

I definitely want to. I feel like Paul when he’s talking about doing the things he doesn’t want to do…

I guess it’s all renewing my mind isn’t it? Feeding it on the Word of God and replacing those lies and thoughts with Gods Word.

I’m going to watch through your video on idols and read all the posts again on them. (From Peacefulwife – you can search “idol” “idolatry” “insecurity” “security” “control” “fear” on my home page)

Do you know of any sermons that cover this? I might google my favourite preachers and see if they have anything to say on it. (From Peacefulwife – I would suggest checking at www.desiringgod.org – John Piper’s site and www.radical.net  – David Platt’s site.)

You know I saw something on fb that said the more you are in the Word the more you believe His promises. That’s been true for me. Since you challenged me to read every day and not just go on my old knowledge of what I’ve read I’ve been able to take control of thoughts. I’m reading the Watchman Nee book you suggested, too, (The Normal Christian Life) and have nearly everything in it highlighted. Lol.

So I’m building my faith up, building my thought life up and now the next step is to start putting it into practice. So when hubby snaps at me for no apparent reason instead of me thinking he hates me or “poor me” I can think “I wonder what’s making him so mad and stressed? How can I help him share what’s bothering him? How can I show him that we love and need him around”.

Thank you for being submitted to God to allow Him to speak through you. I’ve come to see that I have lots of sin in my life and instead of looking at what my husband may or may not be doing, I need to look at me!!!

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I love this!  What God is already doing in your heart is SO BEAUTIFUL! His Word is powerful. We need to feed our souls with it often. We have no power when we are starving ourselves spiritually. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you and your husband!

 

RELATED:

Fear Fuels Our Need to Control

Facing Our Deepest Fears

Laying Down All of Our Expectations

Expectations – Part 1

How to Stop Idolatry and Truly Live for Christ

PEACEFULWIFE YOUTUBE VIDEOS:

What Causes a Woman to Become Controlling?  – 11 minutes

Overcoming Fear – Part 1  – 14 minutes(different content from the blog posts)

Overcoming Fear – Part 2 – 12 minutes

 

GodlyWifetoBe Begins Her Journey

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There are SO MANY women (hundreds and hundreds) who want to email me on a daily basis. What a wonderful “problem” to have!  But it is also an issue that weighs very heavily on my mind. I WANT to be able to mentor everyone!!!!!  This was not a problem when I just got a small(er) number of emails per day. But I have learned the hard way that I can’t personally mentor everyone – even though it completely breaks my heart that I have these human limitations! And, I am still having a very difficult time with my eyes if I stay on the computer too long or read too much – so I do need to limit my computer time pretty drastically to just 2 hours/day – which is essentially the time it takes to blog and respond to comments.  

God is sovereign – and I know He will use even this issue  with my eyes for His greatest glory! I totally trust Him.

PEACEFULWIFE MENTORING PROGRAM:

What I am doing is taking 2-3 wives at a time who are willing to allow me to share some of our correspondence (anonymously), emailing with them, then sharing their journeys as blog posts.  Right now that is GraceAlone and GodlyWifetoBe.  I  will be ready to take on another wife in the next 2 weeks, God-willing. 

  • If anyone is interested in me working with you, emailing you and then anonymously sharing our correspondence as a series of posts (or maybe just one post, depending on the situation), please leave me a comment. Let me know if you believe you just need one session or if you need more than that, please. It will be mostly first come, first serve, but I will also be considering which wives situations will be most helpful to all of the wives who read my blog. 🙂

Requirements for a wife to participate:

  • You must be willing to put in time daily (unless providentially hindered, of course) with God for your own Bible study and fervent prayer, seeking to abide in Christ and to be filled with His Spirit. This is your power source – If you are not plugged in, I cannot possibly begin to help you.
  • You must be willing to believe that the Bible is the absolute truth of God and His wisdom and that all ungodliness and worldliness has to go and you must be willing to toss out everything you think you know about marriage, being a woman, God and living as  Christian and build your life on Christ and His Word alone.
  • You must be willing to focus on asking God to change you, not your husband. This is ALL about you and Jesus.
  • You must be willing to want to learn to find all of your contentment in Christ alone and to completely submit to Him as LORD of ALL in your life – even if you don’t know how right now, you must be willing to want to do this.
  • It does take a lot of courage to share stories publicly like this. Some of GraceAlone’s posts have had over 1300 views already, and will have more as time goes on. And some posts on my blog end up eventually having 30,000 or even 100,000 views. I want wives to be sure they are ok with this before asking me to commit time to them. My time is, sadly, very limited.
  • You must be willing to do the hard, painful work yourself. I can point you to Christ, but I cannot change anyone. I also cannot open anyone’s eyes. Only God can do that. And I cannot do the actual wrestling with God for you. That will be for you and God to hash through together privately.
  • I want to protect people’s privacy. I don’t want to divulge details that will make it obvious exactly who a wife or her husband is. Your privacy and your husband’s privacy are very precious to me. So we are not going to use this format to attempt to trash a husband publicly. I want to be sure wives know this up front.
  • You must be willing to focus on your end of the marriage relationship and your relationship with Christ. We may share some of the details, to a degree, of what is going on in your marriage in the first post, especially, so that wives will have a general idea of what is going on. But – then, the focus will be on you, not on your husband. You cannot change your husband. I cannot change your husband. The only person you have any control over is yourself. (Control and Boundaries) We are not going to spend any time talking about how your husband needs to change or what he should do. That is between him and God. Our focus will be only on your walk with Christ, your sin, your behavior, your obedience to God, your becoming a godly woman by the power of Jesus working in you.
  • You must be willing to accept that your husband may not ever change. If you want to do this journey with Jesus – your prayer has got to be “Change me, bless my husband.” There are no guarantees here that your husband will change. But if you are willing to seek God with all your face, I CAN guarantee you that He will radically change YOU! 🙂 And that is the whole point!
  • You must be willing to accept biblical truths and be willing to repent of any sin in your own life. If you refuse to repent of sin, I cannot begin to help you. You will be stuck. If you hold on to pride, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, gossip, lust, greed, idolatry, envy, materialism, worldliness, etc… you cannot have the full power of God’s Spirit flooding your life and you won’t have the power to be the wife God commands you to be. Every trace of sin has to go. Will we stumble? YES. Then we confess our sin to God, repent and ask Him to empower us to live and walk in obedience again.

 

HERE IS A SECRET, MY PRECIOUS SISTERS (AND BROTHERS):

If you are willing to put Christ first and seek Him with all your heart and you are willing to fully submit to Him and learn from Him – you don’t actually need me! I had no mentor. It was just God, me, the Bible, His Spirit and over 30 godly marriage books in 2 years.

He is your Shield and your Very Great Reward. (Genesis 15:1)  If you have the willing spirit that I have described above – God will be free to do miracles in your life. It will be up to Him what He decides to do and up to you to decide how much control you are willing to give Him. But I am thrilled to have the privilege and honor of being a part of this journey for many of you.

You are all welcome to comment and discuss on the posts and on my Youtube channel, April Cassidy. 🙂   If you have questions, you are welcome to ask. I may have a post that addresses that issue or I may be able to use your question for a future post. 🙂 Or there may be other believers here with experience that can give you biblical counsel. I believe you will find a great deal of support, encouragement, prayer, godly counsel and wisdom here! That is my prayer for each of you.

And, you are ALWAYS welcome to share your testimony of what God is teaching you and doing in your life. We all love to hear those! 🙂

 

FROM GODLYWIFETOBE:

The main areas I think I need help with are

  • respecting my husband
  • forgiving my husband
  • enjoying his company.

Hmmm… Well, I haven’t been sitting down studying the Word of God. I work in a Christian environment, so I’m surrounded with God’s Word and people daily, but I haven’t been sitting down reading the Word solely on its own. I read blogs and sermon snippets etc. I LOVE worship music, and that’s how I feel really connected to God and let a lot of my emotions out. So I do need to READ the Word…but I just don’t want to read a verse on my phone app…that’s like a slap in the face to God I think…so I guess I just don’t do it hoping that looks better to Him than doing it half heartedly..

Potential idols…I think

  • having a godly marriage is something I want
  • having the perfect husband
  • being completely happy

Sins would be

  • my pride…I do think I know more than my husband
  • forgiving but letting bitterness take root if I don’t see changes
  • not having sex with my husband? Does that count as one? I have no desire to have sex with him…we have sex 2 times a month probably. A lot of that comes down to me being tired after work, him not meeting my emotional needs that I long for, him having a lack of hygiene, him being out and not home.

You also asked about bitterness and I know that I have the potential to fall into bitterness. I’m not so sure I’m bitter at God, I just wonder sometimes what He’s doing and if He’s hearing my heart’s cry…

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

My sweet girl!!!!! You haven’t been spending time in prayer and God’s Word???? That is like trying to run a computer that is not plugged into the power outlet. You are trying to do all of this without God’s power. That just won’t work. Ever. For anyone.

That is going to be step number one. You HAVE HAVE HAVE to have time in God’s Word and in deep prayer. I need you to be committed wholeheartedly to God and to getting in His Word and praying deeply for yourself for Him to show you sin and for Him to change you – or this isn’t going to work.

(A resource for wives who have been withholding sex is www.forgivenwife.com, and my posts “Sometimes I Feel Like  I’m Just a Piece of Meat to My Husband, ” and “Taking Initiative Sexually in Marriage.”)

 

FROM GODLYWIFETOBE:

I spend time in prayer all throughout the day!! 🙂

I’m just unsure where to start reading my Bible. I just feel when I’m reading sometimes I’m not paying attention because I’ve read it so many times. I’ve read the Bible cover to cover many times and each book on it’s own many times. I’m a teacher in a Christian school so I have to teach the Bible, too, so I read it then.

Where would you suggest is a good place for this journey to becoming peaceful?

I’m willing to start now. I need to get this into gear 🙂

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Well… I would suggest starting in I John and reading at least a chapter if not more than that per day and pray and beg God to speak to you, to show you any sin He wants you to get rid of and to transform your heart and mind by the power of His Spirit.

This is going to require absolute surrender to the Holy Spirit – then you will be able to resist the enemy’s lies and attacks and can be full of God’s power to become the woman He desires you to be for His glory. 🙂

After I John, I would suggest John, Acts, Romans and then the epistles.

And, I would suggest listening to or reading as many David Platt and John Piper sermons as you can!

FROM GODLYWIFETOBE:

I found this interesting.

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:9, 10 ESV)

As a Christian I do keep on sinning in areas. I think we all sin. God knows we all sin which is why we need Jesus…I don’t get this part. Or maybe “make a practice” means we don’t go purposefully out sinning but it’s become part of us and we need to be refined and sanctified. What do you think?

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:18 NIV)

That’s another verse that’s important to me. I don’t like lip service!

Oh and you’ll be proud of me! Hubby wanted to get a loan for a dirt motorbike. I wasn’t keen on the idea but I kept that from him as I know he wants one so he can go riding with the kids and the one Christian man he still respects. So I’ve said nothing, financially I don’t think it’s wise, but he’s trying to connect with the kids and that’s important!

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Yes, that part is VERY interesting, isn’t it?

It means habitual sin. Living in sin.

We cannot continue on in unforgiveness, pride, disrespect for God or our husbands, idolatry, self-righteousness, bitterness, resentment, gossip, hatred, jealousy, etc… Those ought to be exceptions not our general way of life.

Maybe you can say you are proud of him for connecting with the kids! And thank him for being such an involved dad?

FROM GODLYWIFETOBE:

Ahhhh yes, habitual sin. That makes sense.

I finished 1 John. How interesting it ends with “keep yourself from idols”. I really have to think about the idols that I have…

I’m praying God reveals it to me!

 

RELATED:

What Would an Email Counseling Session with Peacefulwife Be Like?

How to Use This Site

Forgiveness

God’s Perspective on Forgiveness

Exploring the Depths of Bitterness

Finding God’s Victory over Bitterness

Stages of This Journey

How Husbands Often Respond to Wives in the Beginning of This Journey

The Dryer Incident

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From a wife with an unbelieving husband.  She has been on this journey for about 5 months now, and it has been quite difficult. Her husband has felt very disrespected for a long time. Things are quite tense, even now. Her husband has even threatened to leave a few times in recent weeks. But her faith in God is growing by leaps and bounds and what He is doing in her is SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!  I appreciate her willingness to allow me to share:
For a day that didn’t start out that great, I’m doing pretty good now.  I woke up to my husband yelling at me about his clothes in the dryer still being wet and now he was scrambling trying to get ready for work and how ridiculous it was that I thought what he did didn’t make sense when obviously I should know better than to put so much in the dryer.
I could hardly process it and all I said was I was sorry before he stormed out to work.  He had cleaned out his truck of all his work things that had gathered up over the past while and brought in a bunch of dirty clothes.
I thought I would bless him by doing a bunch of laundry while he was out in the evening. 
I left the last load in the dryer and went to bed.  I didn’t mean for it to still be wet in the morning.
I was so discouraged.  It seems even my attempts to bless him backfire.  I can’t get things right or he misinterprets my intentions.  I was determined not to get angry or feel sorry for myself, though, and was praying that God would help me to bless him and know how to respond to him.
I really focused on one statement that he said when he was upset that described what he was feeling underneath his anger:  “You think what I do doesn’t make sense.”  How frustrating for him!  To feel like I’m always judging or looking down on or trying to change what and how he does things.  How utterly disrespectful of me!  So, while part of me was hoping that maybe the dryer was broken and the clothes being wet wouldn’t be my fault so he’d feel bad about yelling, I was glad for this glimpse into his perspective so that I could focus on how he was feeling/hurting instead of myself which would’ve led to self-pity and resentment and nowhere good.

Now, I think there’s something else that came to my awareness through this.

My motives.

Maybe I’m doing these things to bless him, yes, but also with not exactly expectations, but hopes that he’ll notice and feel badly about how he’s treating me.  I should be doing the laundry for Jesus!  🙂  To honor Jesus by blessing my husband and being respectful and submissive despite my husband’s actions, without expectations or even hopes for any change.  This is hard!  It’s hard not to hope for things to get better and not to think about how maybe if I do certain things it will help make things better.  How do I keep myself from thinking like that instead of focusing on Christ?  I guess just by constantly examining my motives and repenting when they’re not exactly pure.

Anyway, I was still thinking on all this when my husband called!  He asked how our son was, who has a cold, but that seemed a bit odd to me.  He doesn’t usually call without a specific reason.

Then, he said he was sorry!  That he didn’t mean to freak out at me, but was just really frustrated that all his clothes were still wet.

It’s a good thing he couldn’t see how shocked I was!  An apology was the last thing I was expecting!  I thought at best, it just wouldn’t come up again.  I thanked him and apologized again, trying not to defend myself, but just saying I was trying to be helpful and I didn’t mean to overload the dryer and cause him so much frustration.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

This precious sister of mine is in a DIFFICULT situation. BUT – she sees with God’s eyes now. She sees how this argument was a chance for her to discover a bit more of her husband’s pain. She sees how God used this painful situation to help her uncover her true motives and to refine her faith. AND – she sees how when she obeys God and seeks to honor and please Him alone, He is able to speak to her husband – even though his heart is distant and hard right now.

Please join with me in praying for this couple – for his salvation and for her to be strong in Christ and to be the godly wife and missionary God calls her to be “without a word” who can win him by the respectful and chaste way she conducts her life. (I Peter 3:1-2).

I appreciate her willingness to share. This is a LONG, LONG journey. But God has grown my friend’s faith by leaps and bounds. She has SO MUCH MORE of Jesus than she has ever had in her life. She is even experiencing God’s peace and joy in the midst of this fiery trial many times. It is a difficult battle – she knows that her husband is not her real enemy. And she faithfully stands in the gap to pray for God’s best for him and for God to open his eyes that he might experience the abundant life, peace and joy that Jesus offers to him.

This friend is such a blessing to me. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for her!

Sometimes the Journey is Lonely – but This Wife is Being Faithful to God!

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This dear Christian sister of mine began emailing with me last summer.  God has done HUGE things in her heart.  It’s totally a God thing.  She does not sound like the same person at all!  She has such a sweet, gentle spirit now, a humble spirit, and a willing spirit to obey God no matter what.  I can’t wait to see what God has in store for her.  Her marriage is so much stronger now than it was just 6 months ago.  Please pray for her husband to accept Christ as his Savior and Lord.  I know her story will bless many wives.  Thank you to this precious friend of mine for sharing!

Hi, April.

First of all, I thank the Lord for giving you the gift of words. 🙂

Secondly, I pray that your post today will touch the hearts of many women- even perhaps reach women who may be the “outside support.”  I just wanted to share with what I have been going through and an update on what God’s been doing in my life in hopes to specifically encourage those in a spiritually mismatched marriage.

As you know I had no outside support. Even my Christian friends weren’t supportive about me respecting my husband since he wasn’t a believer. I received many mixed messages that left me confused. In all honesty, I may not have taken this long to get started with the respect journey if I had proper godly advice. I’m not blaming my sweet, good willed friends. I just think there hasn’t been much teaching about respecting an unbelieving spouse.

Anyway, when I decided to take that Respect Dare one more time, I decided to no longer vocalize it to my friends or family. I just followed 1 Peter 3:1-6 and prayed and prayed and prayed. To keep myself in check, I have reached out to you several times. Aside from that, I kept my experience to myself– I even kept silent about the positive changes in my husband and in myself. Instead, I would praise God for them, and shared it with you to encourage you on your ministry and to hopefully encourage others.

Sometimes, it does seem lonely. I miss my friends. I miss the face to face Bible study. I miss that awesome Sunday worship I experience in my church (vs. sorry to say it, the seemingly monotonous ones in his). But I am doing my study online. Even there, God has taught me so much in the three studies I have done online so far. My husband doesn’t mind worship music playing.

The Lord is slowly restoring my friendships. My mother is still off-standish with me because she has complained we don’t visit her. My husband leaves for work before the kids and I even wake up and by the time I get home from work, it is dinner and after dinner he’s ready for bed since he has to wake up early. In the past, I complained that my husband hardly does things with the kids. And now, he insists that the weekends is our family time.

He sometimes has to work half a day on Saturdays so that’s when I do my grocery shopping and errands and the other half I clean and Sundays is all family. I am super excited to tell you that, my husband, who despises going to kid places on weekends because it is usually packed, agreed to take the kids to the children’s museum this past Sunday.  I found that sexy! I told him so too. A year ago I would’ve said, well, he should go since that’s what parents are supposed to do. But God has also changed my heart and I appreciated what my husband did.

Back to my mom, she lives 40 min away and since my husband drives into the city all week long, the last thing he wants is to drive to the city on his day off. He has said why doesn’t she visit us more?? She isn’t old (not even 60 yet!). I used to think this was selfish of him and there have been weekends when I’d leave him home alone and sleepover my mother. But now I don’t because I realize… I need to spend time with HIM. As I have shared before, she was the very opposite of what a submissive wife is. She always controlled the household.

So there you have it. I am trusting the Lord to work out and restore whatever relationships that have been severed because of my respect journey. To my knowledge, I am not being disrespectful to anyone. I am simply putting boundaries around me. This way, I don’t fall into the habit of “venting” when my husband does things I don’t agree with or have unbiblical advise from outsiders who mean well.

As 1 Peter 3:1-6 says: we are to trust God and accept the authority of our husbands… do what is right without worrying about what our husbands might do.

Thank you for your ministry!

A Wife Shares Her Story of a Changed Marriage

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From a wife I began talking with this past summer – she has been actively working on learning to obey God’s Word to respect and submit to her husband for about 5 months at this point, I believe.  There were some very difficult and challenging times, especially the first few months …  THANK YOU for sharing!!!!!  I pray this might be an encouragement to other wives.
Merry Christmas, April. I would like to reply to your blog yesterday, “BUT HE NEEDS MY HELP!” 
For wives reading this, shaking their heads still insisting that God’s message of submission isn’t for them, take it from one with an unbelieving husband. It isn’t about how much smarter I may or may not be over my husband or that I am more spiritually mature because I read my Bible and he doesnt. It is about trusting God.
I am not sure if my husband has accepted Jesus as His Savior yet, I don’t think so at this point. But there is a gigantic change in both of us. He sees it in me, I see it in him – and the cycle of  respect and love is helping run our marriage and our home more smoothly. I know that my family and some friends may be shaking their heads because I have been deferring to my husband for plans and decisions involving our family. It is just not part of our culture now (to respect and submit to our husbands). But it doesn’t matter because my primary ministry is my husband.
I see in him a harder drive to do well at work and to provide for the family. There is an extra umf in him- even in doing work around the house. He even helps without my asking for help. I don’t have to  let him know when I am tired – somehow he senses when I am overwhelmed and he insists that I relax and he does the laundry or dishes (or gets our boys to do it).
He has surprised me with so many things these past few months that I feel like I am in a dream.
It all started with me FINALLY taking a GIGANTIC step of faith in God’s design for marriage – even with an unbelieving husband. It has almost cost me friendships (yes, even with Christian friends). And right now, because he does not agree with me going to Bible study, I do miss that face-to-face intimate fellowship you get in Bible study. But I am doing online studies and though I don’t have that face-to-face fellowship, I am still in God’s Word.
Like I said, I’m pretty sure he has not accepted Jesus as his savior yet but on Christmas eve, as I filled the house with Christmas music (I have been doing this all December), he said,”I love you, Jesus. But right now, all this Christmas music is just a little too much.” (Did you get the first sentence?)
Also, he surprised me with a charm bracelet for Christmas with little head charms for our boys (personalized w/ their names), a heart charm with his name on one side and I love you on the other, a MOM charm and… a cross charm. Many people who knows my husband will tell you he isn’t the most romantic person in the world- but when we were dating he was very romantic. After marriage, it kinda got a little lost somehow- the same way the wife he married got lost after marriage (he always used to complain that I changed when we fought). Now, things aren’t perfect – but by the sheer grace of God, our marriage is better than ever.
From Peacefulwife:
This wife is reaping some amazing rewards in her marriage and her walk with Christ from her willingness to obey God and do things His way.  It took many months to get to this point – and some very painful dying to self.  Men are designed by God to respond to respect and their wives’ trust and submission by becoming better men, by having a heart to serve and usually by showing more love.  Each wife’s experience with learning and implementing respect and submission has its own timing and rhythm.  Some husbands respond quickly.  Some are very confused.  Some balk at the changes their wives start to make at first – but later love it.  Some are more deeply wounded and untrusting and it takes them longer to trust that the new changes are for real.  Some may never respond with love to a wife’s respect –  men do have free will, after all.  Although most eventually do respond to their wives’ changes and to God’s power working in the marriage to some degree.  
Ultimately, I respect my husband and submit to him out of my love, reverence and submission to Jesus – NOT in order to change my husband or “make” him love me.  I set my heart on Christ – not on “feeling loved” by my husband.  I get the energy and power to do this from God’s Spirit working in me.  
For me – feeling loved was often an idol in my life – that became more important to me than Jesus at times in my marriage.  When I have idols in my heart – whether it is my own being in control, having my way, expecting my husband to be Christ to me, or feeling loved – idolatry NEVER satisfies.  I can expect to be dissatisfied, discontent, unhappy, empty, frustrated, lonely, clingy, needy, worried, anxious, afraid and miserable when I put other things or people in God’s rightful place in my heart – or when I am cherishing sin or living in disobedience to God’s Word.  God is going to make sure that idolatry, rebellion and sin don’t satisfy me.  He will only allow me to find satisfaction when I put Him in the place of worship in my heart.  When I seek Him first with all my heart, I experience the fruit of His Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)  I have to want HIM more than a strong marriage, more than my own way, more than anything!
Respecting my husband and cooperating with his God-given authority in my marriage is a lifetime commitment I make to Jesus – to live for Him – not knowing ahead of time what the outcome will be, but trusting Him no matter what comes.  It is a walk of faith.  I must put Jesus squarely FIRST in my life – by a long shot.  I lay down my life, my desires, my will, my plans, my wisdom and my goals.  And I seek Jesus’ presence, His love, His Word, His glory, His will, His wisdom and His approval.  He will reward me in my relationship with Him and in heaven for my willingness to obey His Word even if my husband never loves me as he should.  My job is to make sure I am abiding in Christ, clinging to Him, seeking Him above all else and living in obedience to Him.  My job is to seek to be a godly wife and mother and to honor Jesus and trust Him with the timing and results – that it will all be for His greatest glory and my ultimate good and my husband’s ultimate good.