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A Lightbulb Moment for a Wife Who LOVES Control




I am so thankful to the wife who allowed me to share her story. I have a feeling that God may use her lightbulb moment to trigger a lightbulb moment for many other wives, too! 

Why am I stressed? Well I could say because my husband works 12+ hours a day 6 days a week and I only see him 30 mins a day and on his day off he just sleeps and he is grouchy all the time or because I have a much needed surgery scheduled for May 6 and still haven’t heard if my insurance will cover the surgeon, But, that wouldn’t be true…I am stressed because I want to control these things and I can’t.

I am thankful to say that the last few days and with the help of your story, Nikka, I figured out many things and I feel better.

Lying in bed the other night, I wondered what I was not getting. Then it hit me. April, talks all the time about making your husband an idol and depending on God to meet your needs but it just didn’t sink in.

One thing I was doing was trying to be the perfect wife.

I was trying to do all I could to be happy and smiling and helpful when my husband was awake. Then he would just be grouchy and mean and I would get upset. I would make his favorite pie and he would grump at me. I would fuss at him for his behavior and take another step back.

Another thing I was doing was reading and praying and trying everything I could to fix me so I wouldn’t be emotional and I wouldn’t be upset by his moods and I wouldn’t be upset because he would not ask for less work hours. I was upset because he didn’t seem to need me at all anymore for anything.

So what hit me was

  • I am trying to get closer to God.
  • I am trying to be a good wife.
  • BUT, I am not learning to control me!

Being a person that likes to control, I need to learn to control my responses. I need to make my own life right – now, during this season. I had been reading Joyce Meyers book on controlling emotions and she laid it all out and I finally got it.

  • There is so much power in controlling one’s emotions.
  • Not controlling them zaps all our strength. ( I am a poster child for that!)

I can’t get closer to God or be respectful if I can’t even control me.

Since I like to control this was like offering candy to me. I get to control something!!

  • I stopped immediately trying to be the perfect wife. That only brought me hurt when it wasn’t appreciated.
  • I will ask him if he needs me to do anything but I won’t fall all over myself trying to please him.
  • I also decided to stop talking about my problems or even thinking about them. I mentioned them here as only a point. When I think about them or talk about them it only adds to my stress. Something else I can control!!

When my husband was grumpy with me, I just answered nicely and went outside to my flowers. Instead of feeling hurt and offended, I thought well that is his sin, I will go do something nice for myself and enjoy God’s beauty. Another thing I can control!!

I really like to control, can you tell? I just needed to find a way to do it the right way.

The weird thing is I was having a hard time focusing on God through all this. Maybe like Nikki, I was just thinking that God didn’t want to do things like I thought He should, so why bother? Why wouldn’t God want my husband to work less and spend more time with the family? Why wouldn’t God want me to have my surgery?

Because God knew I needed to depend on Him not my husband for my companionship, safety and love.

If I depend on my husband for those things, I will always be disappointed when I don’t get it. Yes, I know you say this all the time, April but I just didn’t seem to get order of things. 🙂

I need to control my overwhelming emotions before anything else can fall into place. When I do that I will once again feel in control of my life.

So for me the order needed to be…

1. Control my hurt, anger, responses and thoughts.

2. Draw closer to God to meet my needs.

3. Respect my husband.


1.Try to be the perfect wife and respect my husband.

2.Try to be closer to God.

3. Hope God can fix my emotional messed up head and actions.

Seems like God should be first, right?…but He plainly showed me that He can’t be first until I get some of the junk out and make room for him.



Wonderful sharing! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

How refreshing your insight was on CONTROL.

Come to think of it, CONTROL should be amoral.

It is not bad or good in and by itself. It only becomes bad when one uses it for things or people that are clearly NOT one’s responsibility or business, like “changing” one’s husband because that is not for one to control, only God can change hearts.


and this is the exciting part that I learned from your sharing..

We are encouraged to CONTROL things too by no less than our good God!

  • Control our tongue.
  • Control our temper.
  • Control our emotions.
  • Control our passions.
  • Control our desires.
  • Control our thoughts.
  • Control our actions.

Yay! We can still ‘CONTROL’ but in a good way, in a godly way!



I LOVE this!  I remember thinking something VERY similar. I realized that I needed to control myself and that I could change myself – with God’s help. And I thought, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Something I can control! WOOOHOOO!  I love being in control. I can’t control Greg. I can’t control God. But with God’s help, I CAN learn to control myself! So that is where I began to focus. That was also where my greatest power was and is.

What lightbulb moments have you had about these issues? We’d love to hear about it! You may just be the catalyst that jumpstarts many more lightbulb moments for God in other women’s hearts.


This post is based on the fruit of the Spirit of self control (Galatians 5:22-23)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

and agape love that God commands us to have for all people (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

and showing honor and respect to our husbands (Ephesians 5:22-33)

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

and using wisdom as wives to build up our home instead of tear it down with our own hands (or mouths)

The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1

Honoring Christ, Our Husbands and Our Marriages in Conflict

Garage door in blue

My beautiful and precious sisters in Christ,

You have every right to ask him for what you would like, what you want and what you desire politely, pleasantly and respectfully (probably just once is plenty –  in most cases) of your husband.

Your husband has every right to decide to answer “no” if he thinks it is best – as long as his decision isn’t sinful. He also has the right to decide what his priorities will be, and to hold off on what you have asked him to do if there are more urgent things that he believes he needs to do for his work or the family. You cannot force him to do what you want him to do. Well… you could try. But that would be extremely disrespectful.

I took over a situation myself  – many years ago:

I cleaned up my husband’s tools in the very messy garage one Thanksgiving evening when a heating and air guy couldn’t walk to the furnace in the garage the day before.  The service guy was very unhappy about how messy the garage was and told me to ask my husband to clear a path so he could walk through that Friday when he came back.  I asked my husband – in a very contentious way – to please CLEAN UP THE NASTY, FILTHY GARAGE!  I was SO EMBARRASSED!   I HATE clutter and mess and I could hardly stand to look at his side of the garage.  I wanted to hyperventilate every time I walked past it.  I wanted a garage that looked completely well-swept, spotless, clean, organized – and, well, like a picture from a Lowe’s magazine, of course!

He wouldn’t clean the garage.  He was probably watching a football game that was important to him – which I also didn’t care about whatsoever at the time.  THE MAN WAS COMING THE NEXT MORNING!!!!!!!!!!  THERE WAS NO TIME TO WASTE!  How could my husband just sit there when there was a CRISIS on our hands? (That makes me smile now – to see how upset I was about this – as if it were a life or death situation.)


So I stormed down to the garage and began throwing away all the trash and tool packages that never got thrown away and had been sitting there for months.  I seethed with resentment against my husband with every move I made. I organized and sorted things and put them in plastic totes and labelled them “paint stuff,” “caulk,” “tools,” “electrical” etc.  And it looked a whole lot better when I was done, too.  I was very proud of myself.  Task accomplished.  Yep!  I had my priorities straight.

Now, the AC/heating man would be happy with me the next day, and I wouldn’t get  criticized or condemned by that man.  (I was a people pleaser back then – particularly with strangers – which is what people pleasers often do.)

My husband eventually realized what I had done and got REALLY upset.  I had intruded on his private territory and messed with all his stuff.  I had put things where he couldn’t find them.  I had thrown away things that he didn’t want to be thrown away.  I had deliberately gone against him and done something he specifically told me NOT to do. (I was unknowingly quite disrespectful and controlling back then, but I normally didn’t blatantly go directly against him like that.)  And I hadn’t even cared one lick that it would upset him.

That is probably one of the most disrespectful things I ever did – because I did it out of spite, KNOWING he told me not to touch anything, but I didn’t care what he wanted. I didn’t want to be embarrassed with the heating and air guy again the next day.  I thought I was SO “right.”  Make the AC dude happy!  That is VERY important, right? Unfortunately, that decision was NOT WISE on my part. I cared more about respecting and pleasing that total stranger than I did about respecting and pleasing my husband or God:( I’m now very ashamed to say.

We as women are often so tuned in to the details in life – that we can get so focused on a little issue and how “right” we are – that we can miss the things that are truly most important in life and in our relationship with God and people if we are not careful.


If the above example happened today, I would smile, casually approach my husband and say, “Oh, Honey, the heating and air guy asked if you would please clear a path in the garage so he can walk to the furnace tomorrow.  Thanks!”

Then I would drop it.  If he didn’t do it – I would wait until my husband  left, and then cleared a small path.  No big deal.  I’m sure that our garage isn’t the only one that is messy.

These days, I have a feeling that my husband would probably gladly clear a path in the garage if I asked him like I have just described.  I get what I want MUCH MORE OFTEN now that my husband knows I respect him and I am not trying to control him.

Here is what I ask myself now.

  • Is it possible that God is nudging him to keep some of these things/ do what he is doing for a reason that I don’t know anything about?  (Check out this post to see an example in real life!)
  • Is it possible that I am hormonal/stressed/exhausted and this issue isn’t actually as important as it feels like it is right now?
  • Am I am putting someone else’s feelings above my husbands?  Is that person a God-given authority in my life? (ie: the government, a pastor, my boss)  Is that person’s authority in my life higher than my husband’s in God’s sight? (like – is my husband asking me to join a cult or do something illegal?  If so, I can resist him.)
  • Is this issue more important than the unity and peace of our marriage?
  • Is this issue more important to me than making sure my husband feels respected and loved?
  • Is this issue big enough and critical enough that I need to jeopardize the unity and intimacy in my marriage about it?
  • Is this issue important enough that it is acceptable for me to wound my husband about it?
  • Is it possible that my husband has a valid perspective that I could consider?
  • Is my husband asking me to sin or condone sin?  Is having a messy garage a sin according to God’s Word?  Ummmm….. I can’t find that verse!!!!
  • Am I holding bitterness and resentment in my heart about this issue?
  • Am I being unforgiving?
  • Am I being selfish to try to force my way?
  • Am I being prideful, thinking I know so much better than my husband or that my way is the only way that is “right”?
  • Am I trying to control him instead of honor his God-given leadership?
  • Is there sin in my heart that God wants me to repent of?  Pride, resentment, unforgiveness, bitterness, selfish ambition, usurping control from my husband are all huge sins in God’s sight.  What if I am actually the one sinning here, NOT my husband????? GASP!
  • Is this issue more important than my intimacy with Christ and my love for Him?  Jesus commands me to respect my husband and to honor His leadership.  Jesus says that if I love Him, I WILL obey His commands.
  • Is this issue more important to me than Jesus  – is it an idol in my heart?  Do I refuse to be content unless I have my way about this issue?

If the issue I am concerned about truly is more important than the unity of my marriage, our marriage covenant, my intimacy with my husband, my husband’s God-given leadership, my obedience to God’s Word or my intimacy with Christ – then it’s time to go for it and fight for what I believe is right no matter what the cost.

But if the issue is not important than those goals and priorities I just listed – then, the issue is not a big deal.  Obeying God, being free of sin, honoring my husband, having oneness in my marriage and oneness of Christ are my priorities now.  That is what I want now that I am totally submitted to Christ!  The little issues just don’t matter that much any more.  I want God’s will, not mine.

If we are not being godly stewards about this issue, MY HUSBAND is the one God will hold accountable, not me. So,  I am off the hook! 


My husband is a grown man.  It is his within his rights to decide how organized/messy he wants to keep his tools in the garage. I may not like it. That’s ok. I can share with him my desire for the garage to be organized – in a pleasant tone of voice with a smile and no pressure. Then, it is up to me to graciously accept his decision and learn to be content with the circumstances.

I now realize that by allowing him the freedom to make the choice about how to organize his tools, I am showing him that:

  • I trust him
  • I have faith in him
  • I allow him to make his own choices about his life
  • I honor his leadership and decisions in the family.

By graciously accepting his decision instead of fighting him, I choose:

  • intimacy with Christ
  • unity with Him
  • intimacy with my husband
  • unity with him.
  • I just might be able to witness miracles as God works in my husband’s heart about something as simple as his tools. I got to witness something like that, probably because of a man who didn’t listen to his wife about this kind of thing! Check it out! A Real Life Example of Biblical Respect and Submission

Husbands assume that when we trust them about little things like this issue – that we will trust them about much bigger issues. They also assume that if we don’t trust them about little issues, that we don’t trust them on bigger issues. Our trust, faith, cooperative spirit and joy in Christ even as he makes a decision we don’t like, and willingness to give him room to make his own choices and even to make ‘wrong’ choices in our minds – will help spur him on to become a better leader and more godly man.  AND, God will use it to make us more like Christ and to bring about glory for Himself!  I CANNOT LOSE!!!!!!!!

I pray that we will find our contentment 100% in Christ, not in our circumstances. And I pray that God might work powerfully, even in these little issues, to show how beautiful His design for marriage is and that His Name might be highly exalted.



The Dirty Garage Epiphany

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