A Wife Begins a 21 Day Fast from Negative Words

I am so thankful to this precious sister in Christ who has allowed me to share some of what God has been doing in her life and heart. It’s a blessing to get to hear from wives in every stage of this journey. Perhaps you may want to join her with this amazing idea? In fact, this would be a WONDERFUL Valentine’s gift to your husband!
Remember – the goal is not to change to get your husband to change, but to allow God to transform you! Check out this wife’s journal and observations for the first 10 days or so of her journey:
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I have been reading your blog posts and realizing some things. I actually have even started a corporate fast (for 21 days) with my church but instead of food…
I have decided to fast from the following:
It has been 3 days of doing none of this to my husband and it has been HARD but I told myself if I mess up the fast I do not get my morning coffee (which is my favorite and the first thing I thought to fast). None-the-less I actually already notice a change in him a bit. His demeanor has actually been quite different like even after just a few days of this. I do have to say I am shocked. I always realize probably 80% of the things I say to my husband involve the above. But I think I am on the right track?
DAY 4
Sometimes I feel so empowered and close to God and then other times I feel like so low and dumb like why do I have to change and he doesn’t but I understand fully that is not the right mindset. It’s just hard.
My husband is cuddling me a lot more lately though.
DAY 5
He is still sleeping now at noon (after staying out very late with friends – again). I am with my coffee and Bible and praying for God to get me through today. I know I can’t continue mothering him. I know he has to make his own choices. It just hurts. To him, it is no big deal at all. He works 50+ hours a week and provides well.
I can tell you this much. I am not even going to bring up the fact he came home late. I’ve done it a million times in the past and where did it get me? Nowhere!
Time to try something new.
This will be so hard and I will want to be sarcastic! In the past I’ve even taken stabs at his manhood bc he has chose staying out late with guys over his wife, what kinda man does that? I’d say… “a gay guy?” I’m sure that didn’t help. I really can be so mean to him but it’s because things hurt me.
Even though I am upset, I am determined to stick with this fast.
I want change in my heart and my husband’s, so I know something has to change. Maybe when he realizes I no longer bring it up and nag and complain he may actually be able to hear God say it’s wrong? Or hear his own thoughts on things? Like you were saying.
DAY 6
I began reading “The Surrendered Wife,” by Laura Doyle and gave the finances over to my husband as she instructed. (From Peaceful Wife – this book helped me in so many ways in my own journey, but there are some things that are not biblical that have to be filtered out.)
He didn’t take it well. I mean he didn’t say much but just, “Ok,” and ended up leaving without telling me bye. When I called him he just said he was a little confused and that he would talk to me about it later when he got home.
  1. I control everything.
  2. I monitor what he does and spends.
  3. It creates that mother/son type relationship I hate.
  4. I thought he’d be happy to give all that up but I’m thinking he probably just is looking at it like he now has more work.
Laura instructs to just simply say, “I know you’ll fine time, you’ll do much better than me,” and leave it at that but now I feel like I should explain to him since he seemed upset.
LATER THAT DAY
After he came home I continued to be my “new” self and he didn’t ask about it. He took me on a date and never brought it up. I just kept practicing receiving and being sweet. On the way home he did tell me a whole long story about why he spent so much money yesterday helping a friend. 😂 He probably thinks I was mad about that and decided to give him all the financial burden as a punishment. I do things like that. But I just said, “Oh, that was nice of you!”
Idk, I actually feel very far from my husband right now. It’s almost like he has a wall up. He may feel very confused or that I am very different but I thought it would draw him towards me but he seems very distant.
Some things I am praying for as I fast:
  • Radical change for me. Extreme peace in my heart, that come only from the Lord, relinquishing control and idolatry of my husband. Being peaceful and fun and not uptight, worried, mad, and stressed all the time.
  • Radical change in my husband. His walk with the Lord and how he hears him, radical change in how he sees and handles finances.
  • Passion and intimacy to be restored in our marriage.
I actually, right now, feel far from my husband but close with the Lord.
It’s interesting. I feel a peace from God since I haven’t been controlling. I thought it would be a lot harder, and maybe it will be at times,  but I am a goal setter and I set out to not complain, criticize, judge, or be sarcastic for 21 days and I’m sticking to it. Throw in releasing control and being feminine and I think my husband is very confused.
I wish I could just tell him what’s going on and ease his mind to try to draw him close to me. Because right now is almost seems I know something he doesn’t and we feel distant but I know that’s probably not the best.
I’ve been reading your posts and the 8  Powerful Keys to Peace have been amazing to learn. Will be reading more today as I spend my quiet time with God!
I know this will be a hard road. And won’t always be easy. I got to this point where I realized I was upset I even married my husband and was trying to almost justify a divorce. And I realized that was so wrong and unnecessary and I was willing to change if that’s what God wanted. I am ashamed I thought that way. Especially after being able to, for the first time in a long time, see glimpses of what a good man my husband is and can be. (And I do mean only mere glimpses) but still they are there. And I’m taking this as God opening my eyes. And changing what I see.
DAY 7
I am really desiring intimacy, and even though I’m changing and being much better, it’s just still not there. But I am trying to remember, like you said, it’s been years of disrespect so he may not come around (quickly).
Also, this is strange, but as I’ve been spending more time with God on this subject of me as a wife it’s almost as if all these past incidents are being brought my mind, times when, at the time I saw myself as completely justified and mistreated and now I’m seeing myself as an ugly beast. Ways I’ve treated my husband in the past, and hateful things I’ve said.
Gosh, this is so embarrassing and I feel deeply like I want to cry and repent to him but I’m afraid to do because I’m not even sure myself if I’ve changed 100% and I don’t want to risk saying sorry and then doing something so disrespectful and harming again.
I feel as if I’ve truly harmed my marriage. And destroyed intimacy.
I haven’t apologized yet! I am just sticking to my fast and trying to hear from the Lord.
My husband has been in our bedroom all night with the door closed playing video games. I do know he had a hard day at work. He works outside and was very cold today. I had a homemade dinner waiting for him.
Before he went up to play he:
  1. Hugged me and kissed me and squeezed me.
  2. Fixed up the TV for me so I could watch a show I wanted to watch.
  3. And smiled at me.
I was super thankful!
That’s great and I didn’t complain about him saying he was going to go play for a little but I feel myself feeling all that aggression toward him again for choosing things over me. For not pursuing me sexually or wanting to spend time with me instead of video games.
10 STEPS BACKWARDS
To be honest, I completely messed up last night. My husband came home and cuddled me for like 2 hours, while he watched a movie. He did cuddle me, but I didn’t go for it. The whole time all I was thinking was I just want to get up and do something. I’m so annoyed this is every night he just wants to sit here and watch TV.
Finally, I brought this all up. I told him he’s never romantic. It was like word vomit and after almost 2 weeks of being respectful, I caved. He seemed mortified and told me I don’t want real life. Real life is him coming home from a long day and cuddling me when I want. Candles and flowers – that’s just not real. I get it but every now and then? He said he was sick of always feeling like he’s doing something wrong.
A BIG SURPRISE A FEW DAYS LATER
I decided to not say anything about the night before! Though he slept in, I got up and cleaned, had some Bible time and to be honest really felt some anger brewing in my heart. He hasn’t been seeking God the way I wish he would be. And then seeing him stay up late once again for something silly like video games was getting to me. I didn’t feel like even being near him.
THEN I started a gratitude journal. I wrote down all the things recently he’s done that’s made me happy, proud or impressed me:
  • He asked me to pray for his desire to read his bible.
  • He fixed our car when it was broke down.
  • He recently bought a book about prayer.
  • He’s been working so hard at work.
  • He’s been taking over the finances better than I ever thought he would!
After this, I felt a desire to go lay with him in bed. His sleepy eyes saw me and the first thing I did was SMILE. He smiled back, and I was so shocked by this but he immediately started kissing me and making love to me.
It had been about 3 weeks.
I think he is attracted to my quietness, my not having an opinion about EVERYTHING. My smile.
I wasn’t even thinking about sex at all and he made it happen! I was taken back but thankful for my time of being thankful because it completely changed my mindset!
(From Peaceful Wife – Our husbands are much more attracted to us when we act soft, gentle, feminine, and peaceful than if we throw verbal knives at them!)

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If you would like to share some of your journey and things you have learned along the way, we’d love to hear about it!

Or, if this wife’s story has encouraged you to try something similar, we’d love to hear about your plans, as well.

Note – I will be responding to the comments (Peaceful Wife), not the author. Thanks! <3

RELATED

The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord (my book that outlines how to start this journey)

Stages of This Journey

Apologizing Stories – why some wives apologize immediately, and some wait until later

Why It May Be Wise to Keep This Journey Secret at First

Why Isn’t My Husband More Supportive of Me As I Try to Change?

Respect, Biblical Submission, and Intimacy  – Yes! There is a connection!
Let’s Talk about Sex! (a link to all my posts about sex)

Stages of This Journey – Summary

ADMIN NOTE:

There was a large update done on this site Friday afternoon and since then there have been a number of technical issues since then. I’m hopeful those issues will be completely resolved today.

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If you don’t have a close relationship with Jesus Christ as Your Savior and Lord, that is the first place to start on this journey. There is no way to be godly or peaceful in our own power. We all desperately need the work of Jesus on the cross on our behalf and we need the power of God’s Spirit to transform our lives. Here is a post about how you can know Christ and how you can give your life to Him.

A SUMMARY OF THE STAGES OF THIS JOURNEY

These are general stages I have noticed as I have walked beside thousands of women on this journey. They aren’t always linear and don’t always go in the same order – and this post doesn’t cover everything on this life-long road as we seek to become godly women. But I think this may help you get a general idea. 🙂

In Part 1 of this series:

1. Conviction – Seeing my sin as God sees it, having my eyes opened to the fact that I am a big time sinner (I may see for the first time that I have been controlling, idolizing self or my  husband, disrespectful, bitter, resentful, contentious, filled with fear and unbelief in God, and trusting myself or other things instead of God.)
2. Repentance – Turning totally away from my sin in disgust and turning completely to Jesus and His ways.
3. The Frustrating Quiet Phase – Things often get worse before they get better
4. Seeking God First – The Lordship of Christ

 

In Part 2 of this series:

5. Giving My Husband Space
6. Feeling Totally Overwhelmed – I see who I am supposed to be and what I need to change but feel like I just can’t get there yet. I may be trying to do this in my own strength instead of yielding to Christ and allowing His Spirit to radically change me.
7. Learning to Use My Words and Emotions to Bless
8. Dying to Self
9. Developing a Grateful Heart
10. Taking Every Thought Captive – (Recognizing the voice of the enemy)
12. Feeling Discouraged because My Husband Isn’t Changing –  (I Want My Husband to Change, Too!)

Part 3 of this series:

13. Extending Grace on a Greater Level
14. Greater Sensitivity to God’s Voice
15. Finding a New Balance of Intimacy/Space/Closeness in Marriage
16. I See My Husband in a New Light

 

In Part 4 of this series:

17. There may be a Plateau – Will I keep pursuing Christ above all things or allow myself to drift away?

18. I Realize How Carefully I Must Guard My Heart Around other Men – Now that I have all of this knowledge.

19. There are many spiritual tests along the way – Will I respond in the power of the old sinful flesh or in the Spirit?

20. Teaching/mentoring our daughters and other women

Some other things we learn along the way:

OTHER RESOURCES:

  • My book, The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord, ties everything together and may be a very helpful place to start this journey. I go through my story, a spiritual inventory, God’s design for marriage, what disrespect is, what respect is to our  husbands, how to handle conflict, what biblical submission is and is not, the Lordship of Christ, acknowledging our sin, my husband’s perspective as God began to change me, how to speak respectfully, how to address issues respectfully, tons of ideas on how to respect our husbands, and quite a few stories from other wives on this journey.
  • Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
  • For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn (to help us better understand how men think)
  • The Respect Dare – by Nina Roesner
  • Absolute Surrender – by Andrew Murray (to help us learn to fully yield all to Christ as Lord)

 

Dying to Self

 

This process of learning to become godly women is a VERY painful process – especially at first. There are no short cuts!!

It is all about our relationship with Christ. It is about our willingness to reverence and submit to Jesus and to desire Him FAR ABOVE all other things of this world. That is the entire crux of the matter! My motives matter here! If I am trying to obey God just to get the feelings I want or the “stuff” I want (my husband’s full attention, romance, happiness, a lovely house, children, etc…), I have missed the entire point!

I have to have pure motives – desiring to obey God’s Word out of reverence for and love for Christ alone.

What I am advocating is to completely expose your deepest soul to God and allow Him to search the darkest recesses with the blazing light of His Word. And then to allow God’s Spirit TOTAL access and grant Him complete Lordship and the ability to decide what stays and what goes. And anything He finds offensive – well, it simply has to go. No question.
God is Lord now, NOT ME! This means facing your deepest fears, challenging your definition of God, your understanding of His sovereignty, your true beliefs that govern your decisions and priorities, seeing the mountains of sin that you may not have even known were there, and being willing to part with all of that humbly before our mighty God. It means wrestling with God over those most painful issues and deciding whether you actually can trust Him or not.

Is He REALLY BIG enough?

This is DEEP, LIFE-CHANGING, PARADIGM SHIFTING stuff.

This is where you tear out everything from your heart but Christ and are willing to give up all that is dear to you – laying it on the altar to God. You die to your dreams, your desires, your wants, your goals and your plans. You embrace His will, His desires, His dreams, His goals, His plans and His life for you – even if that means not getting what you really wanted, and even if that means going through the “worst case scenario” in your mind.

You will have to personally wrestle with these questions and decide –

  • Can I really trust God – the God of the Bible as He has revealed Himself, not as I want Him to be?
  • Is He who He says He is?
  • Is His Word true or not?
  • Will I build my life on the Rock of Christ, His Word and His promises, or on the sinking sand of trusting SELF?

Let us be willing to die to ourselves! Let us joyfully give up our rights, our goals of happiness and all that we hold dear and cling only to Christ, out of thankfulness and profound gratitude for ALL He has done for us (paying our incalculable sin debt to God”)!

The thing is, you can’t be a godly woman on your own. You can’t just be quiet and smile and hold the raging ocean of sinful thoughts, emotions and negativity inside while you pretend to be “nice” on the outside. This journey requires a total heart change – regeneration that is only possible through God’s Spirit. Eventually, we don’t even THINK the sinful thoughts – because He has so transformed us.
It is a total heart change. By God’s power working in us and through Jesus’ work for us on the cross, we nail the old sinful self to the cross and recognize that it is crucified and buried with Christ. Then we put on the new man in Christ and receive all that Jesus has done for us. He gives us a new heart and transforms our thinking.

Ultimately, Jesus did ALL of the work for us on the cross to make us right with God. And ultimately, it is His power that gives us the ability to walk in obedience to Him moment by moment. It is ALL about Him working for us and living in us.

Lord, help us to lay down our desires and let us desire only what YOU desire in our lives and in this world. Let us desire NOTHING in heaven or earth besides You! If we do NOT have His Spirit – it is IMPOSSIBLE to be the women Jesus calls us to be. God’s Spirit alone is our power source!
Some women think that I am saying THEY alone are fully responsible for all the problems in their relationships and that I am expecting them to take 100% of the blame. This is NOT at all what I am saying. Men are all sinners, and so are women. Men have their own accountability and responsibility before God and will stand before Him one day – just as we will.
I am asking us to focus on our own responsibilities, our own sins and our side of our relationships because God holds us responsible for ourselves. We can’t control other people. We have to trust God to deal with them. And really, we can’t even change ourselves – but we can allow God the freedom and permission to change us and we can respond as He opens our spiritual eyes. So that is where we have to put our focus. That is where our power is! When we are cherishing sin in our hearts – we grieve and alienate the Spirit of God. We cannot have God’s power flowing full strength in us when we are embracing sin and getting cozy with it.

FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN ABUSED:

Please check out this post about how “dying to self” can be dangerously misunderstood.

NOTE:
I do want to mention – this is something we each choose to do ourselves. It is not appropriate for me to demand that another believer needs to “die to self” to do what I want him/her to do. I can’t force others to obey God. I can set a godly example. I can ask for what I need and desire. I can share my insights and perspective. But I don’t get to control other people or dictate to them what they should do.

My husband should be living wholeheartedly for Christ and leading and loving as Jesus did, laying down his life for me to portray the love of Christ. But it is not my place to say, “You need to die to yourself and do X, Y, and Z to lead me properly.” It is possible for me to try to manipulate my husband, or other believers, in this way, for my own selfish purposes.

 

QUOTES FROM E.M. Bounds – “The Necessity of Prayer”

  • If you desire to pray to God, you must first have a consuming desire to obey Him.
  • If you want free access to God in prayer, then every obstacle of sin or disobedience must be removed.
  • Those who have never wept concerning their sins, have never really prayed over their sins.
  • Until (the step of unquestioning obedience) is taken, prayer for blessing and continued sustenance will be of no use.
  • Praying that does not result in right thinking and right living, is a farce.
  • We must quit praying or our bad conduct.

– I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” – Galatians 2:20-21
– So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. – Galatians 5:16-24

RELATED:

Dying to Self Can Be Dangerously Misunderstood

Isn’t Loving and Respecting Myself Selfish and Wrong? – by Radiant

“I Am Slowly Finding My Way” – a Guest Post

 

Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked…
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither…   Psalm 1:1-3

From a sister in Christ who is fairly new on this journey to become a more godly woman – I’m so thankful for her willingness to share:

I am fluctuating… slowly finding my way. One day, I am resting in Christ steadily and firmly rooted in God’s arms – the next, I am trying to do everything in my own power and failing miserably. It’s still an improvement from where I was just a few short months ago.

I was grumpy, rude, irritable, short-tempered – in general, not a very nice person. I lived in my feelings; my pride was the scale that weighed every thought and conversation. I blamed everyone around me for my irritability.

I can only imagine what my husband and children must have felt… Realizing what an awful person I had become was not easy for me – I doubt it’s ever easy for anyone. Finding God has blessed my life more than words can express, and He has made so many changes to my heart and mind. Now, I am conscientiously happy – I choose to be excited, joyful, and appreciative. It takes a little effort to tell my pride-driven “feelings” to get lost and embrace happiness, oh, but it’s worth it – to rest in the peace the my God has given me, to play with my kids like I’m 8 years old again, to see my husband light up because something he said made me laugh.
I just had a wonderful weekend with my family. We didn’t do anything special, but it was so peaceful and relaxing. It’s true that our responses as wives and mothers set the tone in our homes. There were little issues that popped up, but I have been so peaceful because of my growing faith that the little blips were just smoothed over, instead of creating a storm.

It seems like when I find these peaceful moments, I say “Thanks, God”, get back behind the wheel, and crash the car, again.

I am so thankful for His grace (and I pray my husband has a huge supply for me, too). But, I have to have grace for myself as well. If God has forgiven me, then I HAVE TO forgive me, too. Psalm 103:11-12 tells me that God has removed my sins and failures from me as far as the east is from the west. What a relief! So, I dust myself off, pray for clarity to see where I went off course, and I continue living in His grace.
I’ve read other women’s accounts of growing into a spiritually mature, virtuous woman; I was warned that it is a slow process. I am finally beginning to realize that MY process is slow because of me. If I just placed all control in God’s hands and rested entirely in him (without taking over after a great week- thinking that I finally crossed the spiritual maturity finish line), then I wouldn’t have such a bumpy road.

I’m not under the illusion that I will ever be without sin; my hope is to mature to a place where my responses are deliberate rather than reactive. I’ve learned so many truths about God, His Word, and myself from Scripture and from more experienced women, and I know it’s possible. The trick (at least for me) is to apply those truths to my life without making a bunch of rules for me to follow to be a “Good Wife.” That also means keeping my motives pure – not making changes to become closer to my family or to get people to see me in a new light.

These changes have only been successful and fruitful once they came from my desire to be closer to God, to please HIM – with an added bonus of peace in my home and improved relationships with my family.

When I try to abide in His will by my own power, my efforts fall short EVERY TIME. I have read those words one hundred times all from different people, but until I attempted it on my own I didn’t understand.

I still have a long way to go – I stumble more than I like. It was me giving up control (or trying to control) every detail in our lives that allowed God’s peace to come into my heart. Focusing on Jeremiah 17:7-8 helped guide me in letting go of my need to control. When you think about it…

Trees don’t chase water and sunshine around. They are steady, peaceful, and still. They take their nourishment from where they are planted. To grow, they dig their roots in deeper – those same roots that nourish them keep them firmly planted in storms.

God is blessing me with these “tree-like” characteristics. I am growing a strong foundation in my relationship with Christ. I have stopped chasing things to make me or others happy . I am content and growing where He wants me to be. I am learning to thank Him for every circumstance – especially those that show me any sins I am holding in my heart.

RELATED:

Stages of This Journey Part 1

Encouragement for Those Who Are in the Trenches

Things Got Worse When I First Started to Change by The Restored Wife

If I Become a Godly Wife – Will I Be Me? by Content in Christ

How to Stay Filled with the Holy Spirit

There Must Be More to This Journey  Than Just Prayer

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

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

If I Trust and Obey God, I Will Be Fake and Lose Myself – a Guest Post

How Can I Tell if I Belong to Christ?

Even Once My Marriage Is Healed, I Can’t Go Back to My Old Ways

“I Need to Change! I Can’t Go on Like This!”

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This wife read a post for the first time on my blog – and has graciously allowed me to share her comment. I think a lot of us may be able to relate to this sister in Christ:

This post – “A Fellow Wife Begins a New Challenge – I’m Actually Going to Believe My Husband” – was very helpful for me as I was searching the web trying to fix my controlling behavior, and understand the negative behavior I practice daily with my husband and as a result, I believe with God, too.

I am not sure why, but I am very controlling, very questioning, slow to trust, doubtful that what my husband is telling me is true, and very snoopy.

I have recently reached out for help because I believe this behavior needs to stop ASAP but i am not sure where it comes from. My husband is generally a very trustworthy man.

I constantly:
– ask him who’s calling/why he doesn’t answer/why they are calling.
– ask him where he was if he was late.
– ask him why he does everything he does.
– check his Facebook and search history.
– act like a private investigator to his life, checking every search, every phone call, checking bank account every hour to see where he spends and then call and ask why he spent that.
– try to keep him from doing anything harmful, no matter what the cost – fighting, yelling, and screaming.
– FEAR him dying from lung cancer, or having wrinkles or bad teeth from smoking.
– give him a disgusting dirty look if he says a bad word.
– pout when he doesn’t spend time with me.
– drive by his friend’s house to see if he is where he said he would be.
– FEAR he finds another woman more attractive than me.
– ask him why he looked at every person he looked at.
– accuse him of staring at a girl too long.
– get very upset and not speak to him the whole night if I believe he looked at another woman.
– question him about everything!!

You get the point. It is a painful way to live. I do not want to live this way. I say I trust the Lord, but do I? Do I even trust him with my own husband who is a believer and loves the Lord?  My husband is His – so why do I try so hard to make him who I want him to be?

When I was with my last boyfriend, I did the same type of stuff compulsively. And I believe I have carried it into my marriage.

I am worried and want this to stop. I started thinking that since my husband is not jealous, and since he doesn’t try to look at all my stuff and since he clearly doesn’t obsess about what I am doing, or question me about anything – he must not love me as much or the same way I do him, for some reason I am associating jealous and unhealthy behavior to mean love. But then I meditated on these verses…

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Corinthians 13:4-7

Every single thing in this passage describes my husband. It describes my God. It does not describe me.

I even started to wonder suspiciously why my husband forgives me so easily and so quickly?  Has he done something that if I find out about in the future he will need to make sure he stores up enough forgiveness toward me to make sure I forgive him? He must be doing something terrible or already done something (this is how awful my brain works…) I still can’t say that I fully believe that is a crazy statement and that its not true.

I believe I need to repent, and rely on God and pray He change me, but I feel I have done that before and nothing changes. Is there anything else I can do besides read blogs, books, and pray? I try to change so badly but what am I doing wrong 🙁 ?

I just hope someone can help me. I truly want to change. I really am hurting.

God bless you all.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I believe this wife is in the right place. I think of my online sites as a spiritual “ER” where the hurting, sick, and wounded can come to find healing in the arms of Christ and in the truth of His Word. There are TONS of posts here that I believe God can and will use to bless women – drawing them to Himself. If you are just beginning your journey, the posts at the top of my home page may be a good place to start. You may also search my home page for topics or search by category on the right hand column of my home page. 

I also have a Youtube channel, “April Cassidy,” with dozens of videos about topics related to living for Christ, becoming a godly woman, and becoming a godly wife/girlfriend.

If you need more detailed help or a more organized approach to this journey, my first book is releasing officially on January 27th! Amazon.com is already shipping it: The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord.  

I believe that this book is the closest thing to me personally mentoring wives. It might even be better, in some ways! The thing I love about books is that you can read and reread over and over again, take notes, stop and cry, stop and pray, and highlight things.  I personally had to re-read some books over and over – every day for months – earlier in my journey to really learn to let go of my old toxic ways of thinking and to embrace and solidify God’s truth in my heart.

take my readers through the beginning steps of this road and build the framework for God’s design for godly femininity, living for Christ, and becoming a godly wife. My prayer is that God might use me somehow to “put the dots closer” for those who come behind me than they were for me when I began this journey 7 years ago.

If you are getting frustrated, have questions, or need to talk about something – please comment! I’d love to do all I can to point you to Christ and to the healing available in Him for each of us. I try to be as available as I can here on the blog. My goal is to respond to every comment.

THE MOST IMPORTANT thing we can do is to spend time in God’s Word, at His feet, inviting His Spirit into our hearts and lives to change us. 

If you want to share what God is doing in your life, please comment, as well. 🙂

SHARE:

How did you feel when God first flipped the light switch for you in your heart like this? What helped you the most when God opened your eyes to how much He desired you to change? You are most welcome to share your story. Every woman’s (and man’s) story displays a unique facet of God’s love, power, mercy, and grace. He may use your story to greatly bless someone else and to build up and bless the Body of Christ.

Much love!

"I Need to Change! I Can't Go on Like This!"

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This wife read a post for the first time on my blog – and has graciously allowed me to share her comment. I think a lot of us may be able to relate to this sister in Christ:

This post – “A Fellow Wife Begins a New Challenge – I’m Actually Going to Believe My Husband” – was very helpful for me as I was searching the web trying to fix my controlling behavior, and understand the negative behavior I practice daily with my husband and as a result, I believe with God, too.

I am not sure why, but I am very controlling, very questioning, slow to trust, doubtful that what my husband is telling me is true, and very snoopy.

I have recently reached out for help because I believe this behavior needs to stop ASAP but i am not sure where it comes from. My husband is generally a very trustworthy man.

I constantly:
– ask him who’s calling/why he doesn’t answer/why they are calling.
– ask him where he was if he was late.
– ask him why he does everything he does.
– check his Facebook and search history.
– act like a private investigator to his life, checking every search, every phone call, checking bank account every hour to see where he spends and then call and ask why he spent that.
– try to keep him from doing anything harmful, no matter what the cost – fighting, yelling, and screaming.
– FEAR him dying from lung cancer, or having wrinkles or bad teeth from smoking.
– give him a disgusting dirty look if he says a bad word.
– pout when he doesn’t spend time with me.
– drive by his friend’s house to see if he is where he said he would be.
– FEAR he finds another woman more attractive than me.
– ask him why he looked at every person he looked at.
– accuse him of staring at a girl too long.
– get very upset and not speak to him the whole night if I believe he looked at another woman.
– question him about everything!!

You get the point. It is a painful way to live. I do not want to live this way. I say I trust the Lord, but do I? Do I even trust him with my own husband who is a believer and loves the Lord?  My husband is His – so why do I try so hard to make him who I want him to be?

When I was with my last boyfriend, I did the same type of stuff compulsively. And I believe I have carried it into my marriage.

I am worried and want this to stop. I started thinking that since my husband is not jealous, and since he doesn’t try to look at all my stuff and since he clearly doesn’t obsess about what I am doing, or question me about anything – he must not love me as much or the same way I do him, for some reason I am associating jealous and unhealthy behavior to mean love. But then I meditated on these verses…

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Corinthians 13:4-7

Every single thing in this passage describes my husband. It describes my God. It does not describe me.

I even started to wonder suspiciously why my husband forgives me so easily and so quickly?  Has he done something that if I find out about in the future he will need to make sure he stores up enough forgiveness toward me to make sure I forgive him? He must be doing something terrible or already done something (this is how awful my brain works…) I still can’t say that I fully believe that is a crazy statement and that its not true.

I believe I need to repent, and rely on God and pray He change me, but I feel I have done that before and nothing changes. Is there anything else I can do besides read blogs, books, and pray? I try to change so badly but what am I doing wrong 🙁 ?

I just hope someone can help me. I truly want to change. I really am hurting.

God bless you all.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I believe this wife is in the right place. I think of my online sites as a spiritual “ER” where the hurting, sick, and wounded can come to find healing in the arms of Christ and in the truth of His Word. There are TONS of posts here that I believe God can and will use to bless women – drawing them to Himself. If you are just beginning your journey, the posts at the top of my home page may be a good place to start. You may also search my home page for topics or search by category on the right hand column of my home page. 

I also have a Youtube channel, “April Cassidy,” with dozens of videos about topics related to living for Christ, becoming a godly woman, and becoming a godly wife/girlfriend.

If you need more detailed help or a more organized approach to this journey, my first book is releasing officially on January 27th! Amazon.com is already shipping it: The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord.  

I believe that this book is the closest thing to me personally mentoring wives. It might even be better, in some ways! The thing I love about books is that you can read and reread over and over again, take notes, stop and cry, stop and pray, and highlight things.  I personally had to re-read some books over and over – every day for months – earlier in my journey to really learn to let go of my old toxic ways of thinking and to embrace and solidify God’s truth in my heart.

take my readers through the beginning steps of this road and build the framework for God’s design for godly femininity, living for Christ, and becoming a godly wife. My prayer is that God might use me somehow to “put the dots closer” for those who come behind me than they were for me when I began this journey 7 years ago.

If you are getting frustrated, have questions, or need to talk about something – please comment! I’d love to do all I can to point you to Christ and to the healing available in Him for each of us. I try to be as available as I can here on the blog. My goal is to respond to every comment.

THE MOST IMPORTANT thing we can do is to spend time in God’s Word, at His feet, inviting His Spirit into our hearts and lives to change us. 

If you want to share what God is doing in your life, please comment, as well. 🙂

SHARE:

How did you feel when God first flipped the light switch for you in your heart like this? What helped you the most when God opened your eyes to how much He desired you to change? You are most welcome to share your story. Every woman’s (and man’s) story displays a unique facet of God’s love, power, mercy, and grace. He may use your story to greatly bless someone else and to build up and bless the Body of Christ.

Much love!

The Pendulum Effect

Glasgow Pendulum
Glasgow Pendulum

These are some observations I have made on this journey to become a godly wife that I pray might be a blessing to you. 🙂

TWO SINFUL EXTREMES:

With almost every aspect of the Christian life, I  picture a number line.  In one direction is one extreme and in the other direction is another extreme. In the power of the sinful flesh, all we can do is swing back and forth from one sinful tendency to another like a pendulum. We swing too far one way then too far the other way – and no matter which way we swing, we create dysfunction. It is VERY frustrating! Some examples:

 

Passive/Doormat <———-> Dominant/Control Freak

Too Quiet <———-> Too Talkative

Subservient<———-> Disrespectful

Afraid/Worried <———-> Apathetic

Perfectionistic/Legalistic <———-> License to Sin/Carelessness

This is often why those who don’t know Christ get so offended when I describe being a godly wife. The only options available to us when we are operating in our own flesh and our own human wisdom are these sinful extremes. They can’t see any other way. If I am talking about not being controlling and not being disrespectful – the world thinks the only option is to be a silent slave with no value, no voice, and no power.

GOD’S WAYS ARE MUCH HIGHER THAN OUR WAYS:

God is all about a proper delicate balance and tension between contrasting qualities.

  • He is Love but at the same time He is Holy and Just.
  • He is full of grace, mercy, and forgiveness, but at the same time, He has wrath for sin.
  • He is patient and long-suffering, but He also has righteous anger and He carries out judgment swiftly when He knows it is the right time.
  • He is omnipotent and gentle.
  • He is omnipresent but He is a gentleman and does not force us to let Him reign in our hearts.
  • He is completely sovereign but He gives us free will and He does not override that.

We get a warped view of God when we focus on one attribute without understanding that all of His attributes are equally present all the time and that they exist in balance. Godliness is very similar – it is about proper balance.

 

SOARING ABOVE THE SINFUL EXTREMES:

The way I picture it, when we come to Christ and allow Him to be LORD and yield control completely to Him each day and each moment as best we know how – He doesn’t call us to swing on the pendulum anymore, He empowers us to soar on wings like eagles above those sinful extremes in a beautiful balance of godly characteristics. Of course, it does take time – sanctification is a process where we learn to allow God to work in us more and more – it is very much like learning to walk. We fall a lot, especially at first – but we are never exempt from falling. If we are not abiding in Christ and His Spirit is not in control, we can fall at any time into sin.

The world thinks of “power” and “freedom” as the “strength to do whatever we want whenever we want in our sinful nature.”

In God’s economy “power and “freedom” are the “strength and ability to walk in obedience to God for His glory.”

So, instead of:

  • passivity or dominance – we have the power to share our feelings, concerns, and ideas vulnerably and confidently but we don’t have to revert to doing nothing and we don’t have to try to steam roll people. God gives us the power to fly above the center of those two things in this sweet place of beauty and godly power.
  • being too quiet or talking too much – God prompts us when to be quiet and when to wait and when and what to say at just the right time in just the right way.
  • being too wimpy or too harsh  – God empowers us to be assertive and bold but with the power of His love motivating and compelling us to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons.
  • subservience or disrespect – God empowers us to first of all reverence Him above all else and to respect Him properly, then we are able to show proper respect for our husbands and others out of reverence for God and a desire to bless others without viewing ourselves as subhuman. We have godly humility and no pride – but it is a healthy thing, not a destructive thing.
  • having fear or apathy – we realize that God is sovereign and we rest in His sovereignty and we realize that He is in control so we don’t have to be afraid even if we must face our greatest fears. We trust Him with our fears. And we can love because we aren’t trying to protect ourselves. We have God’s Spirit’s power of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
  • legalism/perfectionism or license to sin – we use our freedom in Christ to serve others in love. We know we don’t have to earn God’s favor through works. We are not under the Law of the Old Testament, but we are under Grace. We wouldn’t dare disrespect the Grace for which Christ died to share with us. We WANT to live holy lives out of gratitude for all Jesus has done for us. So we are no longer oppressed by legalism and trying to sanctify ourselves in our own strength and we are not involved in using the grace of Christ to trample the blood of Christ by saying, “let’s sin all we can so we can get more grace!” We want to please God and we have joy in living for Christ as His Spirit empowers us.
  • idolatry of others or idolatry of self – We tear out everything we have put above Christ in our hearts and set Him firmly on the throne of our lives so that He is by far our greatest priority and concern. We love Him far above others. We care about His opinion and His will more than anything or anyone else.
  • being enmeshed or being distant – We have the power to separate ourselves in a healthy way from others so that we are not trying to be responsible for their emotions or expecting them to be responsible for our happiness or our spiritual well-being but we don’t have to be cold and distant. We have the power to love with God’s love at just the right amount of distance/space.
  • seeking self-protection or martyrdom/resentment – I don’t have to try to protect myself when I know God is protecting me. I don’t do stupid things on purpose. But if I know I am in God’s will, that is where I want to be. I don’t have to fear getting hurt in my relationships because I know God will be with me and will empower me to deal with whatever may come and that He will use all things ultimately for my good and His glory (Romans 8:28-29). I don’t have to give grudgingly or as a martyr or be filled with resentment because I am no longer loving others to get what I want from them. I am loving others because God is in me and He is love. I don’t need reciprocity from other people when I have God’s power to love. I can love unconditionally and seek to bless others, knowing God is pleased and He will reward me.
  • trusting others too much or shutting down – I know that people will fail me. They are all sinners. I don’t expect people to be perfect. I don’t expect them to be Jesus to me. My primary trust is in God, not people. I don’t have to shut down from others because God’s Spirit empowers me to love. I don’t have to keep my distance out of fear. I can guard my heart wisely – but I don’t have to shut down because of discouragement, depression, hatred, or bitterness. I am free in Christ to love however He calls me to love.
  • people pleasing or selfishness –  People pleasing says that I must have the approval of others. Selfishness says that I only need my own approval. When I live for Christ, I don’t need the approval of other people or my own approval, my goal is only to have the approval of God. So I can live without man’s approval if I know I am walking in obedience to God by the power of the Holy Spirit working in me. I die to my own will and seek God’s will. It is ALL about Him.

 

EXTRA STUDY – GETTING OUR ACCOUNTS RIGHT WITH GOD:

When we receive Christ as our Savior and our LORD, we submit our will to His and His Spirit does the hard work. Jesus’ work saves us and makes us right with God. His death on the cross justifies us before God. That is an accounting term. He puts all of His perfect righteousness and holiness in our account when we receive Him. He takes all of our sin debt – our billions of dollars of sin debt – and He pays the entire debt for us on the cross. We are now justified. Our account has everything He is and all that He has done in it and no longer contains all of our sin.

There are 3 stages of salvation:

  1. Justification – cancels the penalty of sin that we deserved before a Holy God.
  2. Sanctification – cancels the power of sin in our lives as we learn to live in the power of the Spirit. This is a lifelong, gradual process that will not be completely finished until death. We still have the sinful nature with us. But God also gives us a new nature. The sinful nature cannot be sanctified. It must be crucified. In Christ, it was crucified so we can learn to live as if it is dead. The new nature doesn’t really need sanctification, it is already holy. But there is a learning process as we learn to take up our cross and allow Christ full control.
  3. Glorification – cancels the presence of sin.

All of these stages are done by God’s power, not ours. We cannot justify ourselves by legalism or works – by being “good enough.” We cannot sanctify ourselves by “being good enough” or “doing enough” in our own strength. And we cannot glorify ourselves in our own strength.

We are 100% dependent on Christ for every stage. It is all what He has done for us and what He does in and through us.

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