Holiday Hurt or Hope

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Have you ever experienced being with family or friends while feeling completely alone? An aloneness so deep it almost feels suffocating. Alone, hopeless, and full of shame because your spouse is being or has been unfaithful, whether through pornography or with someone. For me, the holidays seemed to be more difficult than any other time. I suppose it’s because the holidays are focused on family and being together. Being together with the ones you love and the ones who love you. Sadly, when you are the betrayed spouse that sense of love and safety has been shattered. 

So, you get together with family and try to put on a happy face because no one knows what you are going through. All the while, your heart is breaking, and you are so preoccupied with the truth of your life that all you can think of is “when will this be over?” The worst part is you miss the people around you and they miss you. 

Is there more than this? Does Christmas have to be this horrible? Will these feelings ever get any better? How does anyone have any hope when you’ve been betrayed?

I believe the answer to all these questions is Yes! The answer is in Jesus Christ! Please don’t stop reading thinking I’m giving an easy but unrealistic answer. I would not have survived if my hope was not in someone other than my husband or other people.

I spent many years waiting for my husband to change…to see the light. I spent many holidays depressed, alone and waiting for it to be over. I spent so many years filled with shame and hopelessness and tired of living a façade. What did change? Me.

I was not the one who betrayed, but I still had my own work to do. Part of the work for me was taking responsibility for my own life. I could not change my husband and I could not do his work for him. Taking responsibility for my life was finding my voice and learning how to use it in an effective way. Screaming, ranting, and raving or arguing was not effective! This only left me more angry, more depressed, and more hopeless. I had to understand what I was feeling in general and in the times when I wanted to argue and fight back. When I began to put words to what was going on inside, I was better able to articulate to my spouse. It’s hard to argue with someone’s feelings. My feelings are mine. I believe the hard part is the partner hearing our feelings and not taking responsibility for the hurt they have caused. It does hurt and at the same time it is so freeing to be able to put words to our pain. Please understand, this does not stop the pain; it is the beginning of finding your voice and being empowered to use it for your good. Standing up for yourself in a non-argumentative way. Speaking the truth in love.

The more I voiced my feelings and pain, the easier it became to recognize them when I was triggered by something or someone. It is a powerful thing to recognize what you are feeling, why you are feeling, and putting words to it. There is no guarantee your spouse will hear you or want to hear you. Remember, you are taking responsibility for you, not your significant other. How does this help with the holidays you may be wondering? When you begin to speak up for yourself, you can say no to things that cause you more pain or trigger you. For example, your spouse has an office Christmas party. You always go because it is expected, or you don’t want people asking why you did not come. Being at these parties is a huge trigger for you because your spouse’s behavior is completely different at home, and everyone comes to you and tells you what a great guy you have. After a while, you are so over it yet continue to put on a happy face and pretend all is well. Having a voice could mean you tell your spouse, “No, I will not be joining you this year.” If he wants a reason, be honest… will not live in fakeness of him being one person at work and another at home. This would be one way of honoring your feelings and yourself. You are valuable and worthy of being respected. You were created in the image of God and that gives you great value!

As you find your voice, you will be able to lay out boundaries. The example above would be a boundary. You feel sad, alone, unseen and these events are too painful to continue attending, so you say no. Part of the healing for my husband and me was when I started saying what I felt and saying no to things I was not okay with. It is not okay for you to be forced to do something you do not want to do. Especially, when you are doing said thing, so your spouse looks good. Ladies, we do not have to be used as “arm candy.” You can decide for yourself.

Where does Christ fit into all of this? He is my strength. He is my courage. He is my wisdom when I need to put words to what I am feeling. He is my defender. He does not like for me to be mistreated. He wants my husband to treat me the way He treats me (the church). He is the perfect lover of my soul. He sees me as beautiful and loved, not broken or useless. He sees me for who I am…a woman who has been hurt and betrayed by others, and is His daughter, loved, seen, and wanted.

Christ is my hope. Without Him, I am a disaster. I tried for twenty long years to fix my husband and our marriage. All I did was end up more hurt, more depressed, and more angry! When I put my hope in the fact that my husband would change because he loved me….I was greatly disappointed. When I put my hope in the fact that I might be able to change things….I was greatly disappointed. I put my husband and then myself as god, and it was impossible for us to change anything on our own. When I put my hope in Christ, He did a work in my heart that only He can do. He took my anger, hatred, pain and uncertainty and changed it to grace, compassion, love and hope.

The holidays may still be difficult. You may still feel the sting of certain words spoken by people who do not know better. You may still feel very alone. You may still have tears. Putting your hope in Christ doesn’t just take all these things away. Putting your hope in Christ gives you someone, a person, to go to with your pain. Someone to hold you when you are alone and crying. Someone to trust in your times of fearfulness. Someone to guide you through the maze of emotions. Someone to comfort your heart and just be with you.

My prayer for you this holiday season is for you to truly see the Reason for the season. Christ was born a babe in a dirty manger. Lived a perfect example for you. Died to cleanse you of all your sins. Died to make a way for you to be with the Father. Died so those who put their trust in Him can live for Him and live and rejoice in heaven for eternity. He is a wonderful Savior.

We live in a fallen world where we are hurt by others, and He wants to be there to comfort you and love you. He wants to heal your heart. He wants to love you like no one else can. If you open your heart to Him, He will not disappoint. It will be an adventure like no other. This is not about your spouse; this is about you. You and only you get to make the decision. I pray you choose Christ. I pray you choose to release the anger, pain, and sadness, and allow Christ to change your heart the way He did mine. He is my life and my greatest joy and hope!

** For those in a physically abusive relationship, please, please, have a safe place to go and a plan before moving toward saying no. Your first move toward empowerment must be to get out and get safe. 

Below are helpful resources for anyone:

Dr. Sheri Keffer –

Dr. Leslie Vernick –

Domestic Abuse Hotline – 1-800-799-7233

Begin to Let Go

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“Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress.” – Melody Beattie

“Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom.” – Dr. Henry Cloud

(** If you are in a physically abusive relationship, please be sure you have support and a safe place to go before drawing boundaries. An angry, physically abusive man will not like boundaries or the truth. Seek help and safety before you do anything.)

I have been receiving questions on how to let go from my post “Let It Go.” I understand how difficult this is, so I will attempt to paint a better picture. Please understand this will look different for everyone and at the same time, the concept is the same. Let me start by saying I get it. You are in a very difficult place and my heart aches for you. For those who feel they have never been seen or heard ….. I see you and I hear you. I want to acknowledge and validate your pain, fear, loneliness, and confusion. As a betrayed partner you may have experienced being lied to, blamed for their problem(s), they may have minimized, justified or rationalized what they are doing, gaslighting (making you feel crazy), and projecting their stuff on to you. This is tough stuff!

For me, the first part of letting go was to draw a line between my stuff and his stuff. If you have to, sit down and write it out. On one side of the page are the things he is bringing to the relationship (porn, affairs, self-centeredness, anger, etc.) and on the other are the things you are bringing (anger, bitterness, hatred, silence, etc). When we are able to see which side of the line is ours and which is his, then we are better able to know what we need to work on. Yes, your husband has much work to do, but even if you came from the best home in the world, because of the betrayal and hurt that has been done to you….. you now have work to do. “Work” meaning working with a therapist that specializes in betrayal trauma. It is very difficult to see the damage until you start going through everything piece by piece, and the support of a trained therapist is invaluable.

It is devastating when our spouses betray us. We go into marriage thinking he will be the one person we can trust and rely on, and all of that comes crashing down when we discover the truth. One of the biggest ways we can let go of things we cannot control is to invite our spouses to do their own work with a therapist while we do ours. We cannot change our spouse, and we cannot do their work for them. Give them space to do the work they need to do. More than likely, the men who betray us have huge wounds from their past they are not dealing with. As a wife we want to have compassion for our husbands and their stories. I never knew my husband’s story until after we were married. It did not make the betrayal okay, but it did allow me to see things in a new light. 

Please understand what I am saying. Having compassion does not mean you allow abuse or have no boundaries with consequences. We must be very clear in what we are wanting and what we need to happen. For example, you can request that your husband see a therapist that deals with sex addiction if he is wanting the marriage to work. (CSAT trained) Then it is up to him to find someone and schedule an appointment. Too many times we jump in and start taking over and he is not interested in doing what needs to be done. We become even angrier, and the fighting begins getting us nowhere. You need to know what you are wanting from the relationship (I need to feel safe. I need to be able to trust you. I need you to be committed to our marriage.) These are ideas to get you started. Again, this would be a great place to journal and figure out what your needs are. Also, a therapist can help you establish your needs. Once you know your needs you can move to the next step. 

You must set very clear boundaries. State specifically to your spouse what you want. For example: I want our marriage to survive. I want us to have a safe marriage. I want to be able to trust you. What do you need for this to happen? I need for you to get help with a therapist and work on your life. I will not continue to be in relationship with you if you continue to act out or see the affair partner. I need you to sleep in another room. Or maybe, I need you to move out so I can process and heal. (This will depend on the situation and you.) When do you want this to happen? I need to know you are wanting to save this marriage, and I need you to have a scheduled appointment with a therapist by the end of the month. Open ended requests will lead to open ended responses. What will you do if this doesn’t happen? If you aren’t willing to do this, then you are sending a message of where you really are, and I will leave OR you will need to leave until you are willing to do the work to save this marriage.  When we let go, we put the responsibility on the betrayer where it belongs. Again, it is not our job to rescue them. Each person is responsible for their own action and reaction.

After setting clear boundaries, we must stick with them. It has been said, “A boundary without consequences is a mere suggestion.” Don’t be surprised if your spouse tests you to see if you really mean what you are saying. Make sure you set a boundary that you are willing to follow through with. You will need to spend time on this and put plenty of thought and prayer into it. Do not throw out a boundary in the heat of the moment when you are angry and upset. You might want to write down your boundaries. Give your spouse a copy so he knows exactly what you want. If he has questions, he can ask.  By writing boundaries down it will give you time to reflect and be sure you are saying what you mean, and you will have this to look back on to see how things are progressing. This is a place where a therapist can be very beneficial to you. If your spouse is willing to do the work and save the marriage you will begin to see small steps in the right direction. If they are not willing to do the work, you will see this as well. At this point, you may need to modify your boundaries. Once you have a boundary you can change or modify as you see fit. Boundaries change as life changes.

Another way of letting go is grieving the loss of the marriage you wanted or thought you had. Begin to live in the reality of what is true. I know I had my idea of what married life would be and when it did not turn out the way I had imagined, I did everything I could to create this “imagined” marriage. Sadly, in my attempts to create this, my heart was becoming more and more angry and bitter because my partner was not imagining the same thing. Over the years I became an emotional and physical wreck! I had to face reality and stop denying the truth. As I look back on our life together, no, I would not want to go through discovering the betrayal, the fear and a shattered heart again. At the same time, I am in awe of how different God’s plan for my life and our lives has been. I would not trade the depths He has taken me to for my fairy tale dream. Holding on to our dream keeps us stuck and going in circles. Letting go of that dream and shifting our focus to God gives us fresh eyes to see, an open heart to allow change, and ears to hear what God wants for us. Jeremiah 29:11-14 tells us that “God knows the plans He has for us.” I cannot know His plan when I am set and determined to do my plan. “His plan is for my well-being and to give me a future and a hope.” I had no hope in my plan. I felt lost and abandoned. It may have looked great on the outside, but my soul was dying on the inside. Jeremiah tells us this is the Lord’s declaration! The Lord tells me that when I call to Him and pray to Him, HE WILL LISTEN. Not might, but will. He says I will find Him when I seek Him with all of my heart. Our only hope is in Christ. Our attempts at being God are sad and pitiful, yet we try so hard. I was tired and weary and at the end of my rope. This is where God met me and began changing my heart. “God’s thoughts are not my thoughts and His ways are not my ways.” The Lord’s declaration is “As heaven is higher than earth, so God’s ways are higher than my ways, and His thoughts than my thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) Amen!

As wives, moms and women we have our arms full! We do have many responsibilities and wear many hats. Too many times, though, we take on responsibilities that are not ours and we wear hats that are meant for someone else. I get it. We are trying so hard to keep everything as normal as possible. Our already full arms begin to overflow, yet we keep grabbing and reaching to keep everything together. How can we possibly look up to the Heavenly Father when we are so crouched down with overflowing arms of things to do? What would it be like to raise our arms to our Heavenly Father, Our Shield and Protector and the Lover of our Soul and allow all of those responsibilities to fall down around us? To sit for a moment in the presence of Christ and allow Him to minister to our hurting hearts and soul. Then, as we return to gather our responsibilities and hats, we only pick up those that truly matter and are meant for us to do. The rest can lay there. I was an overburdened pack mule and terrified that if I took my hands off of things, everything would fall apart, yet God never meant for my burden to be that heavy. In many ways things did fall apart and I had to live in ways I never dreamed of or thought possible. In doing this, though, it gave me the space to breathe and discern where I began and where my spouse began. We are still two separate people when we get married. We do not merge into one person.

We must be willing to stop. I can assure you that releasing everything and sorting through those things you are responsible for will be one of the hardest things you will ever do. Yes, it is very difficult, especially if the outcome is not so great. And yes, it is so worth it to free your mind and soul of another’s responsibility. Especially when going through betrayal and uncertainty, we need to care for ourselves so we can care for our children. Be kind to yourself and believe what God says about you. In Psalm 139 we see that God formed us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. When we were being made in secret, God’s eyes saw our unformed substance and knew all the days of our lives before we had one. The Lord knows us! He knows when we sit down and get up. He knows our thoughts and the words we will speak. The Lord is behind us and ahead of us. We have His reassuring presence, coming and going. We can trust Him and believe Him. We can go to Him with our pain, our fear, our anger. He will not leave us. He knows exactly what we need, and He will show us. So, what do we need to do for this to happen? Drop all of the crap and sit in His presence. Let Him love on you. Let Him guide you. Let Him help you determine what you need to work on. He will show you and He will do it in love and compassion. He longs to hear from you. He is waiting for you. What are you waiting for?

“When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated.” – Brené Brown

Recommended reading:

“Intimate Deception” Dr. Sheri Keffer

“Worthy” Elyse Fitzpatrick and Eric Schumacher 

The following are by Leslie Vernick:

“The Emotionally Destructive Marriage”

“The Emotionally Destructive Relationship”

“How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong”


“Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, walk away from the baby she bore? But even if mothers forget, I’d never forget you. Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands; the walls you’re rebuilding are never out of my sight.” Isaiah 49:15-16

No Guarantees!

“Vulnerability is not about winning or losing. It’s having the courage to show up even when you can’t control the outcome.” Brené Brown

My heart ached. Some days I wondered if it was worth getting out of bed. I had a ton of shame. I felt so alone. It seemed as if I had been dumped out in the middle of nowhere and left to survive on my own. I was afraid of what a new day might bring. How did I get here? Who could I talk with? Is porn really betrayal? Why do I feel so yucky? Is this my fault?  Am I crazy? What do I do?  

These are just a few of the things I wrestled with for many years in my marriage. Never knowing what would suddenly set off the rage in my husband. Never knowing when he would confess his last use of porn. In the beginning it was more like a confession to make him feel better. He was relieved and “set free,” I was devastated. It felt as though a tornado had ripped through my heart and soul leaving everything flattened and in shambles. He had no clue the impact of his confession. I never told him of my fear, pain, loneliness or shame. I assumed he should know.

I learned early on that my husband was not trustworthy. Not because I knew of his porn problem, but because of the “little white lies” he would tell. I would hear him tell lies to others and I knew he was probably doing the same with me. Then I would eventually learn the truth and knew he was not being honest. Being raised to be honest and dependable, I am amazed of how tolerant I became of half-truths. I knew our marriage would never be safe as long as “a version of truth” was allowed.

Proverbs 12:19 says, “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.” It did not take long for me to know I could not put stock in what I was told any longer than it took for the words to come out of his mouth. If I was told a time my husband would be home, I could almost always add at least thirty minutes to an hour to that time. If my husband said he would do something for me, it could be weeks, months, years or never. Too many times I learned that whatever was said was usually not followed through on or not the whole truth. I learned not to believe or trust my husband. My trust in him had been broken by the words he spoke and the actions he did. It was crazy making, and I thought I was the crazy one. He could spin a web of lies as skilled as a spider. Sadly, because I so wanted to be able to trust my husband, I would get caught in the web every time.

When a husband is being unfaithful to his wife, there will be lies. It will cause you to feel like you are losing your mind, but it’s not true. That’s part of the whole secret life. As difficult as it is, we as wives, have to separate ourselves from our husbands enough to see the truth from the lie. We must take a step back and look at what’s being said with what we know to be true. Even if we are not aware of everything, when we start believing that something must be wrong with us, we must listen to our gut and the questioning voice we hear. Part of the betraying partners game is to keep us off balance and cause us to think it must be me. As long as we are trapped in this cycle it is almost impossible to see the truth for what it is and set boundaries to keep us safe. 

How do we separate the truth from a lie? I think first and foremost we have to be in God’s word and listening to what God says. Psalm 86:11a, “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth….” When we are seeking God, He will show us the truth. I seriously learned to “trust my gut.” I may not have been able to make sense of everything in the moment, but I would always have a sick feeling in my gut. When I began paying attention to my gut feeling, I was able to discern better. I believe God has given us this gift as wives as an alarm system, if you will. Often times when that alarm goes off inside of us, there is a reason. I eventually realized, although I really did not want to know because I knew it would cause tremendous hurt, not paying attention to the warning and burying my head in the sand helped no one. Especially me. Even without the facts, I could spin a story in my head creating fear and pain as bad or worse than reality. Can anyone else relate?

It takes courage to see the truth. I have to be honest ….. I got tired of trying to have courage just to be devastated again. Denial “feels” so much better, yet leaves me empty, fearful, angry, and alone. Through years of counseling, reading, listening to therapy radio and hearing the powerful Word of God preached each week, I began to see I needed to show up for my own life knowing the only one I could control was me. I started to see that God wanted so much more for my life. He was not okay with the abuse and betrayal that was going on. Eventually, I realized I had a voice and what I had to say needed to be heard. It hit me so hard one day that Satan was desperately trying to destroy me, my husband, and our marriage. It was the last straw. I’d had enough! Enough of the betrayal, lies, abuse and misogyny. Either God was who He said He was, or He was not. I refused to believe the lies of Satan anymore. 

This was the day things started to change drastically in my heart. Through an entire summer of reading the Bible and asking God to work in my heart and reveal the sins in my own life (Psalm 139:23-24), my journey with Christ became more real and alive than it had ever been. I looked forward to waking in the morning to have my time with God at the kitchen table before anyone was awake. During this time God did an incredible work in my heart. Revealing my sin and giving me fresh eyes to see my husband. I began to have compassion for my husband and the abuses he endured as a child. I started to see him, not as my enemy, but as my fellow sojourner on the path to Christ. I realized we all have a story and God loves to redeem those stories no matter how painful. My story started way before I ever met my husband and his did as well. He could not be my “Knight in Shining Armor” and I could not be his “Wonder Woman.” 

This sounds great now, but truly believing and living in the truth of Christ was not as easy as it sounds. I fought through battles in my own heart. I had to deal with a lot of anger, bitterness, the inability to say ‘no’, learning boundaries and how to put them in place and truly loving someone that sometimes could be hard to be around. It was incredibly difficult for me to work with a spouse that was literally the complete opposite of who I was. It still is at times. The Lord has taught me on many levels that relationships and people are more important than everything being perfect and in order. What others feel is just as important as what I feel. Christ died for all sinners and that includes me. I am to love others as I love myself, no matter the color of their skin, their financial bracket, their sexual preference or how much I may not understand them. My closest neighbor is my husband, and if I am not willing to love him then I’m not sure if it matters how much I love others. Loving my husband does not mean allowing him to do and live any way that pleases him, but encouraging him to be the man God wants him to be by asking for what I need, saying no when necessary and praying for him daily. There is no guarantee your husband will change, but I can guarantee you will if your heart is truly open before the Lord.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139:23-24

Let It Go

One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you cannot change.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3: 5-6 

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Let it go. These words can roll off the tongue like it’s no big deal, yet in my experience, it was like standing on the edge of the highest cliff, looking down into the canyon as my heart beat so fast and loud I could hear it, and then jumping. The fear was overwhelming. I knew if I just let go of everything I was attempting to manage, it would all come crashing down around me. I read books, Scripture, listened to Christian radio, and begged the Lord to change things. I worked so hard at being a Godly wife and a kind, loving mother to our two little boys. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. While the Lord was dealing with my heart, and I was being very intentional in seeking His wisdom, I still felt stuck.

During this time of seeking the Lord and studying His Word, I started to see “trust” and “God caring for me” all throughout Scripture. I cried out to the Lord for wisdom and understanding. What does ‘trust’ mean? How do I do this? Let it go and trust me, I sensed in my soul.  “Lord, I can’t,” I’d respond. “Everything will fall apart if I let go.” Still, I could sense the Lord inviting me to trust Him. 

In “The Bible Exposition Commentary” I found that the word ‘trust’ means “to lie helpless, facedown.” The picture of a servant waiting for the master’s command in readiness to obey, or a defeated soldier yielding himself to the conquering general. I felt much more like the defeated soldier. I felt as though God were asking me to jump off of a cliff I was terrified to leave because even though it was painful, overwhelming, and miserable, at least I knew what to expect. Though it took some time and a lot of tears, I finally took my grip off of everything and let it all fall. I would still pick it all back up again and would have to let go…..again. It was a process, not an overnight experience. I still have to let things go today, understanding they are not mine to hold on to. At least now I recognize things a bit sooner than before, and I have the confidence in Christ I did not have years ago.

Sadly, for my family, many things did fall apart……my greatest fear, and I had to live in a way I never would have dreamed of, and though I was not okay with how things were on the outside, I had this weird peace inside my soul. I was not happy physically or emotionally and most days life was very discouraging. But believing God’s Word, and trusting His faithfulness, gave my heart a place to rest and find hope. I finally realized I was only responsible for myself and my actions. I could only allow God to change my heart, but that did not stop me from hoping and praying for many years that God would open my husband’s eyes. I asked God to show me how to love well and to see things as He would see them. I prayed for my husband, for my marriage and for healing constantly.

It was a process for my husband as well, but over the years the Lord was faithful to me and to him and changed his heart as well. Neither of us is the person we married. Thank God for His love! There are things I should have done differently, but one thing I would never change is my relationship with Jesus Christ. Had my husband been everything I thought I needed, I’m not sure I would have ever recognized my need for Christ. God has always showed up for me and is faithful to me still today. He is my joy, my peace, my hope, and the love of my life.

Because of a great deal of hard work, staying committed to one another, and learning to trust God and see things through His eyes, another marriage was saved. I understand the sheer terror and despair when you are asked to let things go and stop controlling. There is no guarantee the other person will change. There is no guarantee that your marriage will be saved. There is no guarantee that everything will be good. The only promise or guarantee I had was God loves me and cares for me and about me. The same is true for you. The best thing I did for my marriage was to get out of God’s way and let Him do the work. He does such a better job than I can. “Am I letting go and trusting Christ with my life?” are the words I ask when I start feeling overwhelmed by something and may be taking on more than is meant for me to handle.

Doing nothing is sometimes one of the highest of the duties of man. G.K. Chesterson

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No Longer in Control

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“Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.”  Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

In the beginning Eve listened to the Serpent thinking he knew better, and in doing so disobeyed God. When I decide I know better, I also disobey God. When I try to control others, I am disobeying God. When I believe I know how someone should live their life and work to attempt to make that happen, God is not pleased with my decision. Even when my husband was into pornography and not treating me well, I could only control myself. God has a plan for each of us and I am responsible for me…no one else. (Jeremiah 29:11)

I wanted to be submissive to God and my husband, but because of my husband’s actions, I struggled with seeing him as a leader or wanting to be submissive at any level. I thought I knew better than God, so I jumped in and tried to control things so my life would be better.

I remember making a mental decision one day that sent me down a long and lonely path. I thought if I made the decision to be in control, I could keep from being hurt, disappointed or left feeling alone. I decided to do everything on my own and never ask for help. I believed I could numb myself to hurtful remarks. I tried to convince myself that I didn’t need my husband, I could do it myself. I learned to be the repairman, landscaper, exterminator, financial planner, housekeeper, cook, laundry mat and cleaners, dog walker, full-time job and errand girl. I tried desperately to juggle everything, but God never meant for me to do this. 

God did not want me to carry the responsibility for both of us. He brought us together as a couple and we were to share completely the responsibilities of having a home and being married. By trying to control everything, I took away my husband’s ability to understand the hurt and division he was causing. Since I required nothing of him, he assumed all must be well.

The problem was, I couldn’t do it all myself. I did this for years and I eventually started to feel the weight of it all. My body started to have major problems and now I had to deal with the constant pain along with everything else. I became very depressed yet tried to keep pushing through. Often times it felt as though I was suffocating under the mountain of responsibility I believed I needed to carry. Even in all of this, I still tried to control and keep everything “normal.”  

The more I “tried” to control the angrier I became and the more distant our relationship became. Yes, my husband betrayed me and desperately hurt me, but answering one sin with another was not the solution. My husband needed a wife of understanding to draw out his heart (Proverbs 20:5). Instead I did not care about his heart. I needed to “Trust in the Lord with all of my heart (to lie helpless, facedown), and not relying on my understanding.” I did not trust God. I needed to believe I was worth loving and worth being chosen. I had to first really believe that “the Father had lavished great love on me and calls me His child. (1 John 3:1)

It took me thirteen long years to understand God wanted my heart. He knew I was hurting. He knew I was lonely and disappointed. He knew my heart had been broken and my trust was gone. He wanted me to run into His arms like a child that had been hurt or frightened. To run to Him and rest in Him and wait. Wait for wisdom in words to say, actions to take, or people to seek for help. He wanted me! This was my journey with God. This was first my story and my husband’s story of redemption, before it could be our story of redemption.

When I started to release the tight grip I had on everything, God did not disappoint me. He was there through the Word that I would read every day. He was there in thoughts that would come to me. He was there in church when my heart was so convicted yet I could not get enough. He was there in women’s groups. He was there in songs. He was even there in movies I would often see. He helped me understand that I can only control myself. He wrapped His arms around my heart and He has never let go. Even when I stray He brings me back. Because of His work in our hearts, my husband and I are new creations and thirty-five years together.

“The circumstances we ask God to change are often the circumstances God is using to change us.” Mark Batterson


“The tongue that heals is a tree of life, but a devious tongue breaks the spirit.” Prov 15:4

“Pleasant words are a honeycomb: sweet to the taste and health to the body.” Prov 16:24

“A word spoken at the right time is like gold apples in silver settings.” Prov 25:11

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  How many times have I heard this? Especially as a child. I know it was said to encourage me to not be bothered by ugly things other kids said, yet, words do hurt, and they can leave huge scars. Words not only hurt, but hurtful comments can be so much easier to believe and hang on to than kind, uplifting words. Sadly, I seem to believe the negative words spoken to me more than the positive. Maybe, it’s because I hear the negative more. Maybe, over time after I am consistently told destructive things, I begin to believe they must be true. Maybe I never had as a child or adult enough affirming words spoken to me. Then I also am reminded of my own insecurities about myself. This, plus the fact that I had no idea what God really had to say about me, was reason enough for me to begin believing the hurtful words from my husband.

If you are in or have been in any type of abusive relationship, you know this to be true. Remember abuse can be emotional, verbal, spiritual, sexual, as well as physical. Abusive words can come from a parent, a sibling, an aunt or uncle, cousin, friend, anyone. Over a period of time, the ugly comments became much more powerful in my life than any good comments that were said to me. These comments then turned into my belief about myself and I could sense the life draining right out of my heart and soul.

After years of being in an abusive relationship with my husband, I truly believed all the ugly things I heard. I may have fought on the outside that his words were not true, but on the inside, they were cementing brick upon brick in my heart. I believed I was unforgiving, angry, bitter, too much to be with, unfriendly, too neat, just too. I believed that I was sexually broken and that I was sinning against God. Even when he thought he was “joking,” his comments cut like a knife.

I tried so hard to believe what God said about me, but the problem was, I had no idea. I was not faithful in reading God’s Word. I took my Bible to church and for the most part, that was the only time I picked it up. Sadly, there were quite a few Bibles on the bookshelf collecting dust. It was really hard trying to fight against the enemy when I had no weapons to fight with. In Ephesians 6 the first piece of armor of God mentioned is “the belt of truth buckled around your waist.” The problem was I could not stand on this because I had little to no understanding of the truth. I had everything I needed in this one book yet refused to open it.

I spent way too many years on this merry-go-round. Way too many years fighting against and with my husband. God wanted me desperately to hear His words of healing. I had no place for them. I somehow felt that God was in on all of this hurt. How could He allow this to happen? I think He did allow these hurtful things to happen, not to shut me down or to cause incredible hurt or despair, but to help me to run to Him so He could restore me with Words of Life. Words like, “you were created in My image (Genesis 1:27),” or “I knew you before you were born (Jeremiah 1:5).” Life-giving words that tell me I am truly loved by God so much He sent His only Son to die for me (John 3:16).  I am His child (1 John 3:1). Christ rejoices over me with gladness and delights in me with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). He has a wonderful plan for me (Jeremiah 29:11). I have a Father that cares deeply for me and provides for me (Matthew 6:25-34).

My husband and I had been married about thirteen years when one day I had had enough. I told God and myself, “Enough. I’m tired of being angry and so very tired of trying to control everything.” That was the day things started to change for me. I began reading my Bible and journaling God’s word. I asked for forgiveness for all the ugliness I brought to my marriage. I asked the Lord and searched scripture to see what God’s word told me about God’s love for me. Oddly enough, God’s words and thoughts were completely different than so much of what I was told and thought about myself.

This did not happen overnight, but slowly, day by day, the Lord began revealing His love for me and my husband. He began to chip away at the wall of anger and hatred I had built up over the years. It was an incredibly messy journey and I had to fight hard not to go back to my old ways of dealing with things. This is still true today. Sometimes it is so easy to just say, “Forget it.” But my marriage and my heart are too important for me to forget it. I spent years in resentment, anger and hatred. It took years to work through and change my heart of all this. I can say, it is possible, and it is attainable with God. God doesn’t expect me to be perfect, just perfectly running to Him.

The Good Wife


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In my last post I mentioned how I tried so hard to be a “good wife.” While that may have been a good desire, the problem was I had no idea what that really looked like.  Where was my idea coming from and was it really biblical and what God wanted? Before I continue with the rest of my story, I feel like it is critical to share with you what I now believe to be a good wife.

I grew up in the church and was not a stranger to the word “submissive” or “submission.” The problem was, I did not have a biblical understanding of submission at all. I’ve heard from so many women who have been hurt because of the submission issue. I, too, was one of those women. Because of the way Ephesians 5 was misunderstood, submission became abusive and extremely hurtful in my marriage relationship. I became angry with God and resented that He would set up such a system. It seemed as though God was not an advocate for women, but rather a Father that didn’t care. This became so confusing to me. How could God do this? Why would God do this? I eventually understood that it wasn’t God that had misled so many of us, rather people that misinterpreted Scripture for their own benefit. For me, it was coming from an angry, legalistic culture.

Maybe you can relate because you, too, have been harmed and shut down in the name of submission. Why are we so misled, confused, and angry at the mention of this word? I believe that God created submission to be a good and orderly thing. The problem arises when sinners begin to create their own rules by misquoting and misunderstanding God’s words.

What does Scripture say about submission? I’m sure that many of us have heard or been raised on Ephesians 5:22 – “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body.” The problem comes when we take Scripture out of context to fit our needs. This one verse has been used to be abusive and hurtful to women, and to put us down as lower than men. God created both man and woman in His image and He does not see one as better than the other. Actually, without God we are both nothing.

Paul is writing to the Christians in the church at Ephesus and starting with chapter three speaks to the Gentiles or the outsiders. Earlier in chapter two Paul tells the Ephesians that “Christ brought all together through His death on the cross. That through Christ they share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.” (The Message) The “mystery” of God is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of Him all their lives stand on the same ground before God. The Message is available to everyone!

Paul encourages everyone to know that God can do anything – far more than we could ever imagine or guess or request in our wildest dreams! He does this not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us. (The Message) Then Paul goes on in chapter 4 and encourages us to be mature and to do the work that God has called us to, and to do it with humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, and quick to keep unity of the Spirit among us.

In verses 17-32 Paul encourages us to live the new life. We are to put away or change our old way of thinking and doing and speak the truth, be angry and not sin, build up one another, remove bitterness, anger, wrath and slander. And we are to be kind and compassionate to one another, forgive one another quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.  Now, here’s the big key!   Starting in chapter five, Scripture tells us to “be imitators of Christ.”  In other words, watch what God does, and then do it. Most importantly God loves you! So, we are to learn to live a life of love, to live our lives in a way that reflects Christ, and to walk in wisdom. Paul then goes on to tell us how to imitate God’s love. In Ephesians 5:21 Scripture says, “submitting to one another in the fear of Christ (or reverence for Christ).” This is the idea of considering other’s needs above ourselves and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

The idea of submitting in Ephesians is not about the order of authority, but the manner in which the operation of authority is governed.  God is not a God of chaos, but of order.  Submission is for the purpose of having order in our homes and lives. As in the military, we each have things we are responsible for, not because one is better, but for the sake of order and accomplishing things in a respectable manner.

One of my favorite authors is Leslie Vernick. In her book, “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage,” she talks about what submission is and is not. Because she has written about headship and submission so beautifully, I do not see any reason to “rewrite” anything on this topic. The following instruction is taken from pages 96-99 of her book.

“Godly headship is seen in the life of Jesus towards His disciples. He did not show headship by using His mighty power and rightful authority over them. Instead, He washed each of the disciples’ dirty feet. Jesus showed His disciples that biblical headship meant sacrificial servanthood. Scripture never describes biblical headship or leadership as entitlement to do what you want, demanding that others do what you want, or permission to get your own way. The correct biblical terms for those characteristics are selfishness and misuse of one’s power and authority.

In John 13:14-15 Jesus instructs His disciples to do as He has done for them. Paul picked up Jesus’s heart on the subject of headship in marriage when he wrote, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for Her” (Ephesians 5:25). The essence of biblical teaching on headship is that if you are the leader, your responsibility is to initiate and model servanthood before anyone else in the family does. As the leader, you’re to show the way. Paul wrote in Colossians 3:19 for “husbands to never treat their wives harshly”, and in 1 Corinthians 13:5 he says, “love does not demand its own way.”

Jesus also modeled submission for us. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed and asked God to take His crucifixion from Him. Jesus dreaded the cross; He wanted God to find an alternate way to save mankind (p. 97). Yet, Jesus submitted Himself when he prayed, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Jesus always wanted to do what God wanted, yet in this moment He felt differently. This was the first time Jesus did not want to do what God wanted, but He chose submission to God’s will and His Father’s perfect plan. Jesus was not forced to submit, He chose to.

Biblical submission, therefore, cannot be forced. It can only be done by the one who chooses to submit her (or his) will to another. When we voluntarily give our will to another or to God, it’s called submission; when someone forces our will to be given, it is not biblical submission. The correct terms are intimidation, coercion, and bullying. Submission isn’t necessarily agreement; it’s yielding your will to another for a greater good. The good might be unity in the family (or body of Christ) or honoring and pleasing God. (pg. 98)

Jesus modeled both headship and submission in volunteering for the servant’s place and yielding His will to God. This describes the working together of headship and submission; the husband sacrificially leads his wife in servanthood (through example), and the wife sacrificially yields her will in servanthood (through example). Both are servants of the other and of God. When only one is the servant or the other is the master or god, the marriage isn’t working as God intended.

Since the fall of Adam and Eve, human beings have been vying for power and control over one another (Genesis 3:16). This was not God’s original plan, but rather the result of sin. Biblical headship doesn’t mean you get your way all the time, and submission doesn’t mean you have no voice or choice in the matter. The Scriptures validate the mutuality of marriage and the dignity and value of each individual, no matter who they are. Mutuality of servanthood, submission, and sacrifice is the biblical model for the Trinity and for godly relationships, including marriage. (pg. 99)” (Leslie Vernick, “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage”)

I’m sure you can understand why I respect Leslie Vernick and her writings. She bases everything in Scripture and it makes so much sense and speaks to the heart of God and how He wants us to live. He does not see one person better than another and does not love one over another. We are all sinners in need of a Savior and because of His great love, He provided a perfect Savior. When we abuse and mistreat God’s Word for our benefit, it grieves His heart. He gave us His Son as our example so we would know how to love one another. I pray that we honestly inspect our own hearts and see where we need to allow God to do His work.

Where Do I Begin?

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It is so hard to know where to even begin when talking about my journey with a sex addict.  It feels overwhelming to try and sort through all of the feelings I had and to somehow write something that makes sense. I don’t really remember completely what I said or did in the exact moment that my husband told me. I think I was in such shock and utter disbelief that I did not know what to do.  We had only been married about three years. My first memory is later that night when I was home alone, my husband worked the overnight shift on that day. I was in our little garage apartment in West Palm Beach, Florida with our two little poodles, watching TV as I ironed. I remember the questions pouring into my mind. What does he mean he’s been looking at pornography? He’s married, why would he want to do that? Does that mean I’m not good enough? What am I supposed to do now? Why would he choose to do this? Am I not pretty enough? How am I supposed to compete with these “perfect” women? Does he think about them when we are together?  Do I leave him? No!, I can’t leave, I made a commitment to God, besides, what would our families say? And here I am, ironing his clothes after what he’s just told me!! What’s wrong with me? On and on and on….the questions would flood my mind no matter how hard I tried not to think about it.


At this point in my life, I had no idea how to deal with this confession. I was not prepared in my head, heart or soul to even know where to start. We were both Christians and were faithful to our church. We participated in the choir, young adults’ class, Sunday morning and evening services, and I actually worked at the church. None of this made sense to me. In my small understanding, Christians don’t do stuff like this. He was supposed to love and cherish me ‘till death do us part! I was thinking this might need to be sooner than later.


I felt too ashamed to say anything to my friends, and I was not about to talk with family! What was I supposed to do? Who can I even talk too? How long have we lived this double life? If people find out about this, will I be the one blamed? For not being a good wife? Is that true? I have tried so hard.


I was not aware at the time, but my heart was already developing an ugly darkness I would have never thought possible. I had a relationship with Christ in that I was saved, but I did not know Him as my strength, comforter, helper, forgiver or as a friend to sinners. Right was right, wrong was wrong, and there was no room in between for struggle. Yes, my husband had hurt me and betrayed me, but because of my “beliefs” I was headed down a path that would be just as harmful and hurtful.


Please stay with me. I am in no way saying that what my husband was doing was in anyway acceptable and not hurtful. I have just learned that we are all sinners capable of doing things we would never dream possible. We are all longing to be seen and loved by someone, and that we can be and are greatly affected by our childhood experiences and traumas. I think we are sometimes too quick to get rid of someone because they have hurt us without digging deeper into their hearts. My husband is a recovering sex addict and I thank God for that, but this did not happen overnight and it did not happen without a lot of hard work, therapy, humility, forgiveness and a God that loved us both so much that He walked with us every step and over time changed both of our hearts and desires. I believe that God can do anything, no matter how hard it seems to us, but we must be willing to do the hard work and to open our hearts to what He wants.  He will do His part when we do ours.


This would have been around 1987 and my husband and I had no idea the journey that would be ahead of us. Around this same time my husband was going to a sleep clinic and therapy, so I’m thinking this will be good.  Hopefully he will be able to get help. In my naivety I’m thinking this should not be something that would take too long and something that could be “fixed”.  Boy was I in for a rude awakening!


After a few weeks of the big announcement, life seemed to go on as usual. Of course, I struggled with being sexual with my husband and couldn’t get these thoughts and ideas out of my head. I would comply though because I wanted to be a “good wife.” You know, be submissive and all that goes with that. As I’m writing I can feel my insides cringe because of my complete lack of understanding as far as submission goes and all that I continued to allow because of thinking that was what I was supposed to do. I knew absolutely nothing about boundaries and had no idea how to put what I was feeling into words. Other than, I hate marriage and sex, and I hate you.


Week after week we would get into heated arguments about sex. For hours we would argue about submitting, how God created sex, and as the wife it was my duty to be available at any time. I despised these conversations and usually gave in just to end the argument and move on. I tried hard to keep the peace, but that never went very well. I was starting to question a lot of things in our marriage. Was this pornography problem the reason for so many of the hurtful things that had happened between us? Was that why too many times I felt cheap and used after we were together sexually? Was that why he would argue with me for hours and wear me down until I said yes? None of this made sense to me and it certainly didn’t seem like the thing the God I thought I knew would want for either of us.


And the truth is, this was not what God had in mind for us. What I was experiencing and hearing was not His idea of submission. What we were experiencing was not His idea of how we were to love one another. What we were experiencing was not God’s desire for our marriage, but somehow He still used the complete disaster of a marriage to change our hearts and our lives. Satan wanted to destroy our marriage, but God, He had a different plan!


“For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration – “plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. I will be found in you.” Jeremiah 29:11-14a

My Journey with a Sex Addict

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Photo by Johan Bos on

I did not imagine as a little girl or plan my life as an adult to be married to a sex addict.  I was not looking for or in need of such stress.  I grew up in a Christian home, had been in church my whole life and was not the least bit familiar with sex addiction.  I knew what “Playboy” was and had even seen some copies on a table at a home where I babysat as a young teen, but that was about the extinct of my knowledge of pornography.

I can tell you that I have now had a much greater education on pornography and sex addiction.  I know firsthand the pain, shame, despair and devastation pornography can have on a marriage and on a life personally.

I am no expert on sex addiction.  I do not have a degree in counseling, psychology, or psychiatry.  I do not have all the answers to sex addiction.  What I do have, is a twenty-year journey with my husband before things began to change.  I have years of watching him in therapy, groups and eventually training so that he could become sober from this addiction.  I also have those same years of my own personal pain, fears, loneliness, insecurities, disgust, shame, and anger with my husband and God, anger with myself, and tons of self-doubt.  Those twenty years taught me so much about grace, my own sinfulness, love for another, especially in difficult situations, forgiveness and truly believing what God says about me.

This blog is a way for me to express my journey with a sex addict.  A place where I can hopefully encourage other women going through the same thing. A place to give God the glory for the way He has given new hope in a broken marriage. A place to write about two people that were very young, immature, confused and completely misguided by family, friends and sometimes the church. God never gave up on us, even when others may have, and especially in those times when all seemed hopeless to me (probably my husband, too).

My prayer is that as you read my words you will not feel alone.  That you will know someone else understands and gets it.  That you are not crazy or paranoid. That you do matter. Most of all, this is not what God had in mind when He created marriage.  He loves you so much and He hurts when you are hurting.  God wants us as women and wives to be loved, honored, respected, heard and cherished.

God – I pray for any woman that begins reading this to know that she is loved and that she is not alone. I pray for wisdom for her to be able to see what she does not yet see and courage to bring it into the light. Grant a sense of peace in her heart because You love her so deeply and want so much more for her. Help my words to be an encouragement and a voice of hope in the fear and loneliness.  Thank You, God.

Nag, Nag, Nag!

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Nagging. We’ve probably all done it at some point in our life. Scripture has a few things to say about nagging. A nagging wife is referred to as a leaky faucet or an endless dripping on a rainy day.  The Bible also says it is “better to live alone in a tumbledown shack than share a mansion with a nagging spouse.” (Prov. 25:24)  These are some powerful words!

The definition of nagging: “to annoy by persistent faultfinding, complaints, or demands”. Depending on how it is used in a sentence, it can also mean, “to find fault or complain in an irritating, wearisome, or relentless manner.”  For those of us who have ever been nagged at, we can understand both of these definitions with vivid recollection. But, what about when we are the one nagging? Are we able to see the effect it is having on our spouse? Are we able to feel what they feel? I believe the Bible has such powerful descriptions of a nagging wife because it can be so destructive to a relationship. God does not mince words when speaking about a nagging wife!

God tells us to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” Our closest neighbor is our spouse!  Do we nag at ourselves constantly to the point of driving ourselves crazy?? My guess is NO! Yet, we nag our spouses (sometimes our children) to the point where they “would be better living on the corner of the roof or in a shack” than to live with us. This is not what God has for our marriage. He wants our marriage to be glorifying to Him, and to live with nagging is not glorifying.

I don’t know your reason for nagging, but I have a pretty good idea about mine. What is going on in my heart when I find myself nagging? I believe I can break it down into three possibilities: control, anger, and fear.  First control. It is in a woman’s nature to want to control her world. We want to make sure everything is “perfect.”  We control how our home looks, what’s for dinner, how the children behave, and generally speaking, we control most things that go on in our home. This is not all bad. As women, we are usually the predominant caretaker of the home. Many of us do prepare the meals, do the laundry, keep the house clean, care for the children and our husbands, and a thousand other things. The problem arises when we cannot control temperaments, personalities and people in general. The only one that God expects us to control is ourselves, so why do we spend so much time and effort trying to control others? If you have a child that does not like a certain food, no matter how much you think you can change and control that, usually that does not happen. As children are young there are many things we must control, but as they get older, they start living out who they are, and nagging to get them to do something rarely gets the response we want. I have to decide which battles are worth the fight and which ones are not. The battle of the heart is the one I want to focus on.

What happens in our hearts when we cannot control the other person?  What happens when you have no control over what your spouse does or doesn’t do? What happens in our hearts when we ask our spouse to take out the trash and it doesn’t get done? For me, I get angry and believe he doesn’t love me or care about me. That all he thinks about is himself. I can’t count on him to do anything! Maybe, some of this is true. He may not be acting as the man God wants him to be. This is his issue with God, though, not mine! The problem comes when I want to take over God’s job and believe that if I “control” enough, he will change. Most times this does not get the result we want. I know for me, it never did. I tried for twenty years before I finally realized it was never going to work! The more I would nag, the angrier I would get and the more my husband would shut down. It does result in my spouse seeing me as a leaking faucet though!

The second reason I nag is because I am angry. Usually angry because I have asked for something to get done and for whatever the reason, it does not happen. Then, the ugly self-talk, as mentioned earlier, begins and I spiral into an angry, frustrated out-of-control mess!  Of course, I am hurt because of the lack of response I might receive from my spouse, but the anger in my heart does nothing to help me or him. The anger will pull me away from my spouse, start building a wall around my heart, and start shooting holes in my heart towards my spouse.  If this continues over a long period of time, I will begin to dislike and even hate my spouse.

Of course the lack of response from my husband hurts. In order to respond in a Godly way, I must feel the hurt, grieve where things are, and turn to God in order to keep my heart in a good place. God understands that I will be hurt by my spouse at times; just as he will be hurt by me. I married an imperfect man just as he married an imperfect woman. God knows that my spouse will never love me perfectly. He was never meant to. But God does. He loves me unconditionally and wants me to run to Him when I am hurting and fighting anger in my heart. He will listen to every mean thought I have, and still love me and give me wisdom in what to say and do. When I am willing, He will also work in my heart to change the ugly, angry attitude.

The control and anger tie into the third word, fear. When I am afraid, I often feel the need to get bigger (controlling and angry), in order to keep myself safe. When I am disappointed by my spouse and I want to nag him, what am I afraid of? I’m afraid that he doesn’t see me as important enough, that he doesn’t love me enough. I’m afraid that what I may need doesn’t matter. I’m afraid that I will become even more overwhelmed with all I need to do, and we don’t have the money to just call someone every time something needs fixing! Get the picture? It does not take long for fear to consume me and get out of control.

My prayer is that you have a spouse that is willing to hear your anger and fear and be willing to work through things with you. But what happens when you talk with your spouse and things remain the same?  Because I cannot change my spouse, I cannot be guaranteed that things will ever be the way that I would like. It’s like the line in a movie I saw once, “What if this is as good as it gets?” This can be a very hard pill to swallow. I have to remind myself that God is much bigger than my spouse.  The truth is no matter what we are wrestling with, He cares.

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I love the verse in Matthew 10 that tells me that “not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So, don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Or Matthew 6:26 – “Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?” In Luke 12 we are asked yet again, “Aren’t you worth more than the birds?”  I can’t even rap my head around the fact that God knows the number of hairs on my head!! I know my husband, children, and grandson and love them so dearly, but I have no idea how many hairs are on their heads! Can you get just a small glimpse of the depth of God’s love? No matter how hurt we are, no matter how angry we may be, and no matter how fearful we may be, the Heavenly Father sees us, hears us, and knows exactly what we need. (“My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:19) Even in tough situations, God is more concerned about our hearts and what is going on inside. He wants us to bring these hurts and disappointments to Him. We can cry our hearts out to Him, whether it be through ugly tears or anger, and He will not leave us. He will meet us right in the messiness of our stuff.

God does not want us to be a nag…..our spouses would prefer that as well! Whenever you feel that urge or desire to nag, try to take a pause and reflect on what is going on in your heart. Why do you feel you need to nag to be heard? Why do you need to nag to get others to do their jobs? Are you trying to control? Are you angry? Are you fearful? Are you really reaping any good benefits from nagging? Nagging seems to come so naturally to women, but God wants so much more for us. He wants peace and joy in our hearts. He wants our hearts to know how to love others even when they hurt us. He wants us to be His Light in our families. He might even want us to set boundaries with others so they can reflect on their own sinful behavior. I do not believe that Christ died on the cross so we could live as nagging, miserable women. He died to set us free from those chains, so we can live full and free in Him. He wants our lives to glorify Him. Thank you, Jesus, that You always provide a better way for us!

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.”    

2 Corinthians 12:9