Step 1 —Look Upward

woman in a corn maze

In my last post, “It’s Time for You to Become the Woman God Created You to Be!” I shared a simple, yet profoundly important plan that can get you from where you are now—frustrated, lonely, insecure, and maybe feeling unloved— to where you really want to be spiritually, emotionally, and relationally in life.

We all want to be secure, fully known, completely loved, and empowered to be the very best version of ourselves we can be.

Every woman starts out on this journey unsure, weak, afraid, and in need of help.

Then, she meets a mentor who understands her plight and has been there and who can show her the way and give her a plan that can help her achieve success and avoid failure.

There is a specific path you will need to take if you want to become all you are meant to be.

The secret is Jesus. He is the One who can safely guide us on which way we should go. He has the plan. And not only that, He can give us the power we need to carry out His plan for us.

When women are whole in Christ, they are empowered by God to have divine relationship skills that greatly bless their marriages and other relationships.

There is a more detailed refresher of the 4-Step Peace Plan in the last post in case you didn’t get to see it, but here is the bare-bones version:

  1. Look upward.
  2. Look inward.
  3. Look outward.
  4. Look forward.

Most of us are used to looking at others, our circumstances, and ourselves. We are fixated on space and time. It’s kind of like we are mice in a maze. All we notice is what is horizontally in front of us at the moment. The walls, the openings, and the other mice right around us.

But what a different perspective we could have if we looked upward!

God is not inside of the maze of space and time like we are. He is not limited to each snapshot of a moment. He can see every day in the history of the earth as clearly as He can see today and He can see every future day equally all the time.

He is far above the noise and clamor of this world, but He knows everything that is going on. He can see the entire maze. He knows the beginning. He knows the dead ends. He knows the pitfalls and traps. He knows the enemy’s every thought, action, and strategy to thwart us. He also knows the way out. He did design life, time, and space, after all.

And He can see it from a much more strategic vantage point, which makes Him the perfect Guide for us.

We wear ourselves out running around the maze like crazy trying to figure it all out. But we keep getting frustrated and running into dead ends in our relationships and problems.

Why do we trust ourselves? None of us can see the whole picture!

Yet, if we would stop, be still, and look up, we would see Jesus, high and lifted up in the throne room of heaven reigning in majesty, glory, and authority over the entire universe. We would see myriads of angels praising Him continually. We would see a vast crowd of saints singing to Him and worshipping Him.

He is not a mouse like we are. But He knows our needs and He loves us and wants to provide well for us. He came and lived as a “mouse” on our behalf. He was fully man and fully God all at the same time. He lived in the same circumstances, the same maze. And yet, He made no wrong turns and He conquered the whole thing on our behalf, if only we will trust Him.

Now, He lives in all of His divine glory in the highest heavens with all authority.

Here is the picture we should have of Jesus as He is today—stop and focus completely on these words and imagine every detail in your mind’s eye:


Among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.  In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword.His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.  I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Rev. 1:13-18

Imagine that you were standing in front of Jesus and you saw Him like this and that you collapsed in awe and holy fear and reverence. Imagine that He put His hand on your shoulder and said these words directly to you that He spoke to John.

  • How important would His words be to you in that moment?
  • How significant would your problems on earth appear?
  • How difficult would it be to put your faith and trust in Him if you could experience His holiness so tangibly?
  • Would you have any doubt that His wisdom is greater than your own if you could see Him in all of His glory and understand who He is?

As we focus on Him and we see Him in His proper place then we also understand rightly our identity and who we are in Him. There is no room for pride here! No telling God what He better do. Only true humility and thankfulness.

We willingly, gratefully allow Him to be the rightful Good Shepherd of our souls.

We can also begin to see and hear His communication with us about the way we need to go each moment through His Word, through prayer, through circumstances, and through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, as we are sensitive to His voice.

We may not understand why He wants us to take a certain path at the time, but He is looking ahead to the end. He wants what is best for us in light of eternity and what is best for the kingdom. He, alone, is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. What an incredibly Good Father He is for us if we will simply look up in total faith and surrender.

We can trust Him completely.

What if you lived every moment with the knowledge of His presence in your mind and heart like this? What if you received all of Himself that He is offering to you and if you surrendered all of yourself to Him, keeping your gaze always on Him in your spirit?

I want you to get to experience Him, His love, His presence, and His provision more and more every day of your life. There is no greater Gift. There is no greater Love!

He is the Pearl of Greatest Price.

He is worth giving up all else for and sacrificing everything here on earth for so that we can have Him close to us now and forever!

HOW DO YOU LOOK UPWARD?

  1. See who He really is. Examine His character and attributes. Build your entire understanding of God from the truth of the Bible and reject any caricature you may have developed of him in your mind.
  2. Repent from everything that grieves His heart. Turn away from your wisdom, your sin, and anything/anyone else you put on the throne of your life to try to meet your deepest needs for security, identity, fulfillment, love, and empowerment.
  3. Yield completely to His Lordship in faith from this moment on for the rest of your life. Leave everything else behind in your heart and mind and follow Him wholeheartedly with love.
  4. Respond with a life of worship— joyful reverence, awe, love, praise, faith, thanksgiving, and holy fear.

Then— His heart will be filled with joy! He loves to have close fellowship with you! He gave up all of Himself for you. Now you give all of yourself to Him.

You will be blessed to abide in His presence, love, grace, mercy, glory, and beauty. Being close to Him is the best place to be in all existence.

When you look upward like this:

  • God changes your perspective to be more and more like His eternal perspective.
  • God transforms your mind to become more like Jesus.
  • God gives you a new heart, nature, and Spirit.
  • God opens your eyes to see your problems, your trials, other people, and yourself in divine ways.

Problems, trials, and painful things begin to look so tiny and small as you see how big, strong, and mighty He is.

Like the old hymn says,

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

When you look upward, as a child of God, you avoid so many toxic things.

When you keep your gaze on Jesus in worship, love, and surrender, you can’t be filled with fear, worry, anxiety, despair, depression, or frustration.

When you look upward:

  • His perfect love casts out all fear. (1 John 4:18)
  • There is no need for worry, anxiety, or frustration when you know who God is and you know who you are in Jesus. (John 15:9)
  • There is no place for despair because you serve a sovereign Lord who has all power, all wisdom, and whose every motive toward you is love! (Phil. 4:6-7)
  • There is no room for discouragement because His promises to you are all true in Christ. (2 Cor. 1:20)
  • You know that there is no condemnation for you (Rom. 8:1).
  • You know that nothing can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord! (Rom. 8:1, 38)
  • You know that He will use all of the problems and difficult things in life, as well as all of the good things, to conform you to the image of Christ and for your ultimate spiritual good and His ultimate glory. So you can’t lose. No matter what happens in this life, when you are in Jesus Christ, you win! (Rom. 8:28-29)

You can choose to have a saving relationship with Jesus today to begin finding life-changing spiritual healing and hope. 

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.

Isaiah 26:3

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What is the Lord speaking to you today about this topic?

Why do you think looking upward is a critical first step for a hero to take in her journey?

Do you have a word of encouragement for others?

We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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God’s Incredible Plan for You!

It’s Time for You to Become the Woman God Created You to Be!

woman in gray dress in front of a building

Let me invite you into a story that is all about you. It is about your hopes, fears, dreams, and frustrations. It is about where you are right now and how to get from where you are to where you really want to go.

As a woman, you probably long for several core things:

  • Security—You want to know you are safe emotionally, physically, financially, mentally, and in every way. You want to know your identity is firm and that your life is built on something unshakeable no matter what storms may come.
  • To Be Known—You want intimacy with someone who deeply understands you, fully knows you, and accepts you. You want to have strong, healthy, vibrant relationships— with your husband, with your children, with God, and even with yourself.
  • Unconditional Love—You want to know that you are cherished, important, special, and loved just because you are you, no matter what happens.
  • Empowerment—You want to be the best version of yourself. You want to be an incredible blessing on your husband, your family, coworkers, friends, and neighbors. You want to make a huge impact on the world for good and leave a wonderful legacy that will matter forever. You want to be an important part of a bigger story.
Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

THE PROBLEM

Perhaps you feel insecure, misunderstood, unloved, and like you have no idea which way to go to make things better. Maybe you believe other people are the real cause of your pain. You have been depending on someone to meet your needs, maybe even your husband, and that person has failed you in some way.

The truth is, life can be really difficult. Relationships and marriage can be harder than we ever imagined they could be.

You feel like you have tried so hard to make things work, but you don’t know what to do. You’ve read books. You’ve talked to girl friends. You may have even tried a counselor or mentor. And you are still disappointed.

Some people will tell you to wait on your husband—or other people— to change first. But…

A real hero knows that she can’t afford to wait on someone else.

Time is short. There is a crisis. Someone has to step up and be courageous and strong—now.

Of course, you may not see yourself as a hero… yet. You may be filled with self-doubt, fears, anxiety, and a feeling that you are just not very well-equipped for the whole marriage thing, or even for life, in general.

You may have come to the humbling place where you realize you can’t fix or save anyone else. And you can’t even fix or save yourself.

What are you supposed to do with that?!?

Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash

YOUR ENEMY

You may be tempted to think that your enemy is your husband, your in-laws, that hateful coworker, or some other person. But the Bible shows us that people are not actually our enemies. Our primary enemies are unseen in the spiritual realm.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Eph. 6:10

There really is someone who is trying to destroy your life and your family. He hides himself pretty well in our culture, but his work is evident all around us.

He has been covertly feeding us toxic lies through other people, books, media, our culture, and even our own fallen nature about God, marriage, masculinity, femininity, and ourselves. Many of us have inadvertently built our core beliefs on these lies and we don’t know why our lives are so painful and dysfunctional.

We don’t realize that we built our marriages and our lives on a shaky foundation and that is why when the storms of life pound us, things fall apart.

I’VE GOT JUST THE PLAN YOU NEED

Every hero needs a boost, of course. We all need someone who has been in the trenches where we are and has overcome adversity and who understands the baby steps it takes to get to victory. We need someone with a solid plan to show us the way we should go.

It’s good that we get to the place we realize we need help desperately, that we can’t do this whole life or marriage thing on our own. This humility and brokenness is the door that opens our hearts to the narrow path that God has prepared for us.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

John 14:6

I want to see your life of frustration, isolation, loneliness, helplessness, and pain transform to one of confidence, contentment, empowerment in Christ, peace, joy, and all the spiritual abundance God has prepared for you.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10:10

If you are ready to be a hero in your own real-life adventure story, I’d love to show you the way.

The 4-Step Peace Plan

This plan is a simple pathway to show you how you can enter into the heroic life God has for you and experience real peace with God, with others (as far as it depends on you), and with yourself.

  1. Look upward—Set your gaze on Jesus Christ in total awe and yield yourself fully to His Lordship in faith. Step down off of the throne of your life and let the Prince of Peace, Jesus, rule your heart and mind.
  2. Look inward— Invite God to help you crucify your old sinful nature with Jesus and give you a new identity, His Spirit, His love, and new Life.
  3. Look outward—Receive Jesus’ eyes and heart for others to love them with His divine love and power and to speak His life and blessing into their lives, including in your marriage.
  4. Look forward—Watch Jesus turn your pain, trials, and difficult relationships into beauty for your ultimate good, a blessing for others, and His greatest glory. And look forward most of all to eternity in heaven with Him and everyone who loves Him forever!

You can choose to have a saving relationship with Jesus today to begin finding life-changing spiritual healing  and hope.

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.

Isaiah 26:3

YOUR DEEPEST NEEDS ARE SATISFIED IN CHRIST ALONE

When you build your thinking, your heart, your core beliefs, and your identity on Jesus, He fills you up with all you were lacking. He, alone, can truly give you the things you desire so deeply in an intimate, personal, spiritual relationship with Him.

In Jesus, you are completely secure and unshakeable. You are fully known and completely loved unconditionally. And you are empowered with a new nature, a new life, and a new Spirit to become the very best version of yourself that God created you to be.

He meets the deepest needs of your heart that no human can ever meet. He is the only one who can truly complete us and heal us to the core.

THEN IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE A HERO FOR OTHERS

Jesus will even empower you to be an instrumental part of His heroic plan to help set many other miserable captives free so that they can come into His kingdom, as well! What an incredible honor to be part of His work and miracles in other people’s lives!

In coming posts, I plan to share more details about each step of this plan and how you can grow like crazy in the Lord.

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MY RESOURCES FOR YOU

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Don’t take my word for it, read the reviews!

The Peaceful Wife—Living in Submission to Christ As Lord – God’s design for us as wives and women that I wish I understood 25 years ago when Greg and I first got married.

The Peaceful Mom—Building a Healthy Foundation with Christ As Lord How to have peace with God, with yourself, with your thoughts, and with others. Ideal for moms but also a huge blessing to women in any season of life.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR WOMEN

Fully Trusting God with My Husband – Laying Down All of My Fears

hands to the sky

For me, fear is often a signal that the opposite of my fear is something I am cherishing more than Christ in my heart. When I see a lot of fear, I know I need to lay things before God on the altar. I also need to check my heart for unbelief in God and ask God to help increase my faith.  (I am going to give some examples of the fears I had and the idols I had at the beginning of my journey – but you can replace my fears and idols with any fears or idols below.)

I had to personally get to the place (over time after MUCH wrestling) where I could genuinely pray like this:

Lord,
I am so afraid my husband will never want to interact with me again. I am afraid he will be unplugged, unloving, and passive for the rest of our lives. I am afraid he doesn’t love me. I am afraid he doesn’t want me in his life. I am afraid he wouldn’t even notice or care if I were to die. I want his love. I want his affection. I want his attention. I want to feel secure in our marriage. I want reassurance from him. I want him to be interested in me physically. But I can’t make him do these things.

God, even if my husband never changes, even if he never loves me, even if I feel alone in this marriage – I am going to trust You.

I am going to depend totally on You for my security. No matter what my husband does. I have You and I want You more than I want my husband or anyone or anything else. He can’t satisfy me. He can’t meet the deepest needs of my heart – even if You heal us both. He is not God. Only You can meet the deepest needs of my life. No man can ever be Christ to me. I can’t put my trust and hope in my husband and his actions or inactions. I can’t put my hope and trust and faith in his affirmation of me or his affection toward me.

I am going to put 100% of my faith in You from now on – even if my husband doesn’t change.

You are my Rock. “I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ Name!” I want to learn to live in the sufficiency of Christ! I want to be stable and unshakable in You whether my husband lives or dies, whether he gets very sick, whether he has an affair, whether he leaves me, whether he loves me or not… this is about You and me. It is about where I will put all of my faith and trust. It isn’t about him.

I lay down my fears. I acknowledge that I have been putting my desires for my husband above You in my heart and that is sin. I acknowledge my sin of unbelief in You, Lord. Please forgive me!!! I don’t want to live like this anymore! I am going to begin to trust You starting today even though I am afraid and have never done this before. I have spent my life trusting self and trusting other people and things. This is idolatry and it is so wrong!  I don’t want to put anything above You in my heart any more.

Help me tear out these idols. Help me build on Christ, Your truth, and Your Word alone. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:12) – even if it means I am unloved, unappreciated, unwanted, and ignored by my husband. If Paul (through the power of the Holy Spirit) can be content in plenty or in poverty physically – I can be content in You whether I have lots of love and attention from my husband or no attention and love from him. My husband is not my primary provider and source of all good things. You are.

If I have You – I have everything that really matters.

I lay my husband and our broken marriage on the altar before You. Do what You believe is best with him and with our marriage in Your timing. I lay everything I am and all that I have before You. I want Your will, even if I don’t understand it. Even if it is painful. Even if it takes a long time. I grieve over my dream for my marriage and family and I lay it down before You and take my hands off of it. I lay down all of my dreams and entrust them to You. I will be content whether I get what I want or not in my marriage as long as I have You. I won’t run ahead of You anymore. I want to only do what You want me to. I only want  to please You!

Bring the most honor and glory to Yourself in our family and in my life. Beginning today, I will wait on You. I want Your will. I need Your wisdom. You are totally sovereign. You can heal my marriage. You can heal my husband. I want to stop fighting You. I want to get out of Your way so that You can work unimpeded in my husband’s life. I trust You with the results. But most of all, I want You to change ME! Transform me! Conform me to the image of Christ! Use this time of pain and trial to grow me in my faith. I don’t want to miss any of the treasures You have hidden for me in this time of fiery trial. I yield to the refining fire. I welcome Your pruning shears. You know what is best. You have all wisdom. I do not. I humble myself before You. I want to be emptied of self so that I can be full of You!

Whatever it takes.

Whatever it costs.

You are worthy of all of my devotion. You are worthy of me to give up everything and everyone else in my life. I receive that my old self is dead to this world and to my sinful nature because it has been crucified with Christ (Romans 6). I receive that I am now alive to God through Jesus and that I have Your Spirit and Your new nature and that the purpose of my life is to bring joy and glory to You. My desire is to walk in holiness, obedience, and in the power of Your Spirit. Change my heart and mind. I desire the mind of Christ, the heart of Christ, and I receive all that You have done for me on the cross, Jesus!

Show me every sin. I want to repent of it all. Show me anything ungodly I am clinging to and cherishing in my heart that grieves You. It all has to go. I want Your Spirit. I have to have You. I have to have Your presence. I have to have Your fellowship. I want total oneness with You. I want to know You more! That is eternal life – to know You! You are the only Source of Real Love and Real Life.

If I have my husband’s love but don’t have You, I would be just as empty as I am right now. You are my greatest need. Not my husband.

I yield fully to You as Lord of everything in my life. I release control today. I give You total control. I trust Your sovereignty, not my husband’s feelings, not my feelings, not my circumstances, and not any human wisdom. You change people. You change hearts. You change circumstances. You are sovereign, I am not. I will trust You completely from this moment on. You are my Lord. You will use all of this for my ultimate good and Your glory. That is what I want. I want Your will, even if it is painful. I want Your greatest glory in my life. Change me! Fill me. Make me more like Jesus.

Amen!

This is the place I need to be every day – where I lay down my desires, my will, my life, all that I have, and all that I fear – and that I am seeking Christ far above everything and everyone else. This is what it means to follow Christ. There are times of trials when this becomes much more difficult than other times. I know there will be many difficulties in the future where I will have to continue to lay things down and determine to trust God. This is a process and a journey. It is a continual dying to self. A daily taking up my cross and following Jesus.

  • 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. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 22:23-26
  • “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:37-39
  • Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:25-27 (The second greatest commandment is that we are to love other people. So, it is clear that Jesus doesn’t literally mean we are to “hate” our families. But the first commandment, that we are to love God with all our hearts, minds, and souls is to be FAR above our love for people. Our love for God is to be so great that – in comparison – our love for other people looks like “hate.” We cannot love our families and loved ones more than Christ. He is worthy of our highest love and devotion by a landslide!)

TWO CHOICES (This helped me so much when I was wrestling, to see what my choices really were):

1. I can choose to trust self (which is trusting Satan according to Scripture) and I can pridefully think I know best and I have control (that I do not have). I can destroy my life and my relationships with others because my flesh is in control and there is no good in my flesh.

2. I can choose to trust God and humble myself, acknowledging I don’t have the wisdom He has and that His ways are much higher than my own. I can allow God to bring healing into my life and relationships. I can empty myself of self and be filled to overflowing with all the goodness and Life of Christ!

VARIATIONS:

We can pray this same kind of prayer when we face other fears, too:

  • fears about not having children
  • fears about our children’s health and safety
  • fears about the political craziness and who will be president
  • fears about the economy collapsing
  • fears about our jobs
  • fears about our health
  • or anything else!

And we can pray this kind of prayer about any of our deepest dreams and greatest  desires. God uses all kinds of trials to help us learn to live by faith, to fully trust Him, the sufficiency of Christ, living in contentment in Christ in all circumstances, and to grow in our faith.

ADMIN NOTE:

My son has been home sick with something like the flu all week. I want to be available to him as much as possible. 🙂 Titus 2 ladies who have been on this journey for awhile and who feel led, please reach out to minister to the ladies (and men) who are hurting with prayers, love, and encouragement! I love the way everyone seeks to bless and encourage each other here! Y’all are an incredible blessing to me. 🙂

MY HOPE IS BUILT ON NOTHING LESS 

THAN JESUS’ BLOOD AND RIGHTEOUSNESS

I DARE NOT TRUST THE SWEETEST FRAME

BUT WHOLLY TRUST IN JESUS’ NAME

 

RELATED:

Posts about Fear

The Lordship of Christ

Are You Willing to Sacrifice Your “Isaac”

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

25 Ways to Show Reverence for God

Absolute Surrender – by Andrew Murray (free download)

 

Submitting to Our Husbands in the “Small” Things

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FROM A HUSBAND (his response to a question for husbands earlier last week):

As to respecting me in “small things”, I have to assume you mean things that aren’t all that important.

My first thought is, that if it isn’t all that important, why not?

I don’t always know why I prefer one thing, over another. In asking me to justify my choice, it does show lack of trust, but more importantly, it makes me feel defensive.

Can’t I just have a preference? Do I really need a reason?

As to choosing where we sit anytime we’re out, my wife always asks, where I would like to sit, and I always take into consideration her needs, that particular day, convenience, in some situations I suppose security, does come into play, but this is something we are both extremely flexible on.

Something that is an extremely big deal to me, that seems to be a small thing to my wife, is our sex life.

This is an issue we still struggle with. It’s not so much a matter of frequency, or quality, but the fact that it IS a small thing to her.

Her desire for intimacy, to me at least, is a barometer of her level of respect for me.

(From Peacefulwife – I don’t know that all husbands feel this way. For those wives whose husbands are less interested in sex than their wives, this may be different. It would be interesting to know how husbands with lower drive feel about this issue.)

When my wife argues with me about small things, it makes it much harder for me to be loving towards her. It’s true that I ought to be considerate of her, and I’m commanded to love her. That does not mean I should cater to her every whim. In fact, it may be more loving, to not allow her to have her way (at times.) When a wife insists on her own way in things that aren’t that big of a deal, she is, in fact, being childish.

Not cooperating in “small things” is the equivalent of the dripping water talked about in Proverbs. It just wears you down over time, and feels like that is why they do it. To wear you down, to the point where, you don’t want to make a decision about anything, big or small. So then, they HAVE to take control.

Hope my answers were helpful.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I think that there are some really important points to talk about here.

1. What may seem like a small thing to a wife may be a big thing to her husband.

This is one reason why I believe God commands us as wives to respect our husbands and submit to them in everything as unto the Lord.

(If they are asking us to clearly sin or they are seriously trying to harm us, then we should not cooperate, we will have to respectfully refuse. If there are very serious issues in your marriage, please seek godly, experienced help ASAP! I am not ever condoning that a wife stay and be hurt physically or stay when there is real danger. I am not writing for those with serious issues like active addictions, infidelity, uncontrolled mental health issues or actual abuse.)

Sometimes it is easy to assume that my husband’s priorities must be the same as mine. But  reality is that his priorities are probably not the same as mine! We are different people. We are also different genders. We will have different ways of thinking and approaching things. That is a good thing! What I may think is something small may actually be huge to my husband, and vice versa. I would appreciate it if he desired me to be happy in things that are important to me. He would also appreciate the same courtesy.

If it is within my power to bless my husband, why would I not choose to bless him, even in “little” things?

2. What if honoring our husbands in small things isn’t oppression for us?

What if it is a way to greatly increase unity, intimacy and oneness with our husbands? What if it is a way to show we are on their team and that they are important to us, more important than anyone else in the world?

We are sending critical messages to our husbands by how cooperative or antagonistic we are. I don’t mean we have to agree or never share our opinions. Our ideas, desires, feelings, opinions and perspectives are invaluable sources of information to our husbands. We can be wise advisors and compassionate friends to our husbands. God never asks us to lay our brains, abilities, talents, personalities, ideas, needs, desires, emotions and wisdom at the door of marriage. That is not biblical submission!

We bring ALL of ourselves to marriage and we put all of our strengths, abilities and resources behind our husband in support.

My husband doesn’t “make me” do anything. I don’t “have” to do what he wants all the time.

I GET to honor him.

I GET to bless him.

I GET to do things he enjoys just because I can.

It is a blessing and a joy to me to serve this man God has given to me. It is my greatest delight to do things that make his job as the leader, provider and protector easier and more enjoyable. What if I am free to share my heart and desires with my husband – and he is also free to share his heart and desires? Then the Spirit of God in me gives me a desire to be selfless, generous, giving, kind, thoughtful, loving and respectful. If I know Greg likes a certain soft drink or a certain snack or has a favorite meal – what an incredibly wonderful opportunity for me to do something to bless my him by keeping those things on hand for him or making him his favorite meal fairly often!

Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. His Spirit is in me if I belong to Him. I am free to serve, not out of duty or drudgery, but out of the power, love, joy, peace and abundant life of God flowing mightily through my soul. I am not talking about pretending to be happy but inwardly seething with resentment or bitterness. I am talking about allowing God to radically change me and give me a new heart with new desires. I can receive that. God has a new heart and new Spirit and new life for all who trust fully in Christ.

I can say what I want, what I would like, what I believe would be best for us to do, what I don’t want, what my concerns are – but I don’t have to get hung up on the outcome of things. I can trust God in His great sovereignty to lead me through my husband, even when I don’t agree with him, even in the little things. I can hold everything loosely in my life except for Jesus.  I can be sure that I don’t let a little issue (which most things really are) to become more important in my mind and heart than my obedience to Christ and the unity and intimacy of my marriage. I can ask myself, “Is this issue worth fracturing the unity in our marriage about?” before I launch into a lecture or argument with my husband.

I can remember the command of God for all believers:

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. Philippians 2:12-15

I can remember that arguing or complaining is not befitting of me as a child of God. If I am tempted to argue or complain, I know it is time to check my motives.

  • Why do I want what I want?
  • Am I being selfish?
  • Am I putting something above Christ in my heart?
  • Is this issue truly important in light of eternity?
  • Am I right with God?
  • Am I being materialistic or greedy?
  • Am I being prideful or self-righteous? Is there any sin in my heart?
  • Am I considering my husband’s needs and preferences and being thoughtful toward him?
  • Am I doing this because of my love for Christ and for my husband? Will they be blessed by what I want to do here?
  • Am I walking in the flesh or in the Spirit of God?
  • Am I being motivated by the love of God or by fear?
  • Am I concerned most with pleasing God and having His approval, or having other people’s approval?
  • Am I walking in obedience to God’s Word?

I have died to this world and the things of this world according to Romans 6. That is historical fact. God put me in Christ and I died with Him on the cross in God’s sight. I am now dead to sin and this world and I am alive to God in Christ. This world means nothing to me now. What do I care what color something is or what restaurant we go to? This life is no longer mine to live. My old sinful self is dead in Christ. Dead people don’t care about earthly matters much. Now what matters are only the things that matter to Jesus. I am no longer friends with this world. I no longer care about the carnal things of this world and the material details of life. I am fully submitted to Christ and all I care about is pleasing and honoring Him, abiding in Him, being filled with His Spirit, doing the work of His kingdom… my eyes are on eternal things.