What's on Your Heart? May 16, 2015 | Uncategorized | 54 comments My precious sisters (and brothers) – what things are you struggling with now in your faith in Christ and in your life? Are there some topics you would like to talk about together? I’d love to hear what is on your heart. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related 54 Comments Moneiba on May 16, 2015 at 3:40 pm My sister wasn’t a Christian when she married her husband, and then they got divorced. She has since become a Christian, and has decided to remarry her ex-husband, who is not a believer. I’m not sure if I can support her decision and attend the wedding since the Bible says not to be unequally yoked. Peacefulwife on May 16, 2015 at 4:56 pm Moneiba, I can certainly understand your concerns about your sister remarrying her ex-husband since he is not a believer. Here’s my take, but don’t take my word for it, please prayerfully consider what the Bible has to say about divorce and remarriage. My understanding of Scripture is that: – God hates divorce. – Marriage is supposed to be a life long sacred covenant. – Remarriage to someone else is adultery (with possibly a few rare exceptions). – God never commands divorce for believers, but it is allowed in the case of adultery or if an unbeliever leaves. – God often uses the believing spouse to draw the unbelieving spouse to Himself. – If a believing wife separates from her husband, she has two choices 1. to stay separated, or 2. to reconcile with her husband. You are welcome to check out my post about The Bible and Divorce. I list all of the Scripture about remarriage and divorce in that post that I could find. It seems to me that your sister would be honoring God and her marriage covenant if she returns to her husband. We can pray together that God might bring this man to Christ. From my understanding of Scripture, I believe your sister is trying to do what is right in God’s eyes. If she had never been married and she was a believer, it would be wrong for her to marry an unbeliever, yes. But that is not the situation in this case. Much love to you! Shy on May 16, 2015 at 11:27 pm Well I’ve been talking to different men just to get to know they and they get angry if I don’t call them first. But I just let them lead. I Don’t understand. Lol Peacefulwife on May 18, 2015 at 9:54 am Shy, There is a lot of confusion in the single’s scene today – even among believers. Angela on May 17, 2015 at 12:11 am Getting over a breakup/heartache/when someone you are interested in, suddenly loses interest. Also- another topic altogether but how to handle as a woman when you haven’t dated in a while and you just miss being touched? I’m not talking sinful/sexual, just simple touch like hand holding or hugs. Peacefulwife on May 18, 2015 at 9:55 am Angela, Those are great topic ideas. So painful!!! But I will definitely prayerfully consider these topics and may even involve a single sister in Christ to get her perspective, as well to address this. 🙂 Angela on May 18, 2015 at 9:49 pm Thank you so much! these are difficult topics I am really struggling with these days. I prayed for God to remove this person from my situation but he has done just the opposite…it is VERY painful! And I don’t understand why God couldn’t just rescue me from the pain but He must have other purposes in it. He must want me to learn some things here…I don’t know what yet. Peacefulwife on May 19, 2015 at 8:31 am Angela, That does sound SO painful! Goodness. God doesn’t always rescue us from pain. He does allow us to go through suffering at times in order to bring us to greater trust, faith, and maturity in our walk with Himself. I pray you might be open to anything God wants to show you or do in your heart. How long ago did this happen, my sweet sister? Angela on May 19, 2015 at 5:00 pm Well it has been going on with a coworker for a while now. We admitted to liking each other and then he pulled back and said he “needed to think” which was about a month ago now. If I were to go completely by his actions…im not sure if he is interested any longer. He has not asked me on a date outside of work. But yet he cracks jokes and enjoys making me laugh all the time at work. And today he went to go get lunch and offered to get me some too…and he paid for my lunch. And on Friday he sent me a super sweet message..he told me I was the one who made his time at my work valuable and that his life would be very different if I was not in it. And he said “you have no idea how much I truly appreciate you”. Im confused! Part of me wants to get a black and white answer and just ask him if he is still interested or not so I can move on. the not knowing is painful. Add to this, in the meantime another man has shown a great deal of interest in me and asked me on a date and I accepted. But my heart is really with the other guy 🙁 Peacefulwife on May 20, 2015 at 8:11 am Angela, I wonder if it might be wise to just rest in God’s love and trust Him to direct you – even in this time of uncertainty – without trying to have a label to put on the relationship within a certain timeframe? There are times in life where we don’t get to have a black and white answer for awhile. This can actually be a good thing – to force us to grow and to rest in God’s love, provision and sovereignty even in the not knowing. How is your time with God going? Are you willing to enjoy this guy and see where things go rather than have to have a yes or no right away? Maybe his timetable is much slower than yours? Praying for God’s wisdom for you, my dear sister! Angela on May 19, 2015 at 5:24 pm Another thing…the coworker keeps telling me “you’re amazing”…a lot! He did it again today. But again..no date. He works 2 jobs but as of this Saturday that is it for the 2nd job. He texted me and told me he put his 2 week notice in a week and a half ago. So I accepted the date with the other guy so as to not put all my eggs into one basket since that is just not happening. Im trying to be open to whatever possibility the Lord has for me. Coworker guy does not know about the date with the other guy. Angela on May 20, 2015 at 8:56 pm I have been single for 6 months now & God has been showing me/teaching me a lot!!! This has been a wonderful time of growth in my walk with Him & I’m learning even more through this situation. I think in my prayers the last few days I’ve felt just like what you said, to just rest in God & enjoy what the guy has to give right now. It’s hard because I’m crazy about him & respect him & his heart & I can see God changing him & answering my prayers for him right before my eyes! We just had another conversation today where I told him the things I admire & respect about him & he about me…& he once again told me I’m amazing, that he loves how passionate I am about doing Gods will, etc. he’s truly a Godly man & id love to date him but for whatever reason he isn’t wanting it yet. Angela on May 20, 2015 at 10:00 pm I wanted to add, we both revealed interest in each other a few weeks ago…but then nothing further has happened… Peacefulwife on May 21, 2015 at 7:52 am Angela, Patience, my sweet sister. A few weeks is a really short time for a lot of guys – and for God. My prayer is that you might not try to rush or push things, but that you might just rest in God’s love and sovereignty and enjoy the slow journey – wherever it may lead. 🙂 Peacefulwife on May 21, 2015 at 8:02 am Angela, Keep in mind, too, that this guy may see how eager you are and he may be holding back a bit to see how you handle things. Show him that you are not going to fall apart or take over or go ballistic or become a stalker. Respect his timing and choose to look at his “slowness” as a faith building thing and as a way to create a more godly, more stable relationship – if God leads y’all in that direction. Peacefulwife on May 21, 2015 at 7:56 am Angela, It sounds to me like things are going really well – as long as you don’t rush him and pressure him. Maybe you can think in terms of months or years – or even just focus on today – rather than wanting to know exactly how this relationship will turn out and wanting to have a date this week. Solid, godly relationships take time. It is wise to get to know each other before committing to a “dating relationship” and to be sure that this person has real godly character and is seeking to submit fully to Christ in everything. There is a slow progression of getting to know each other over many months, usually. You don’t have to have a label. You don’t have to know “where the relationship is going.” You can be calm, peaceful, and relaxed and take your time and allow this man to take his time and you can trust God to lead you both in His will. A lot of men have a much, much longer and slower timetable than a lot of women. That is not a bad thing – it may keep y’all from rushing foolishly into something. Do you have an accountability partner/prayer partner/godly mentoring wife or woman in your life? I’d also like for you to be praying about how you can protect your heart and your flesh from temptation and think about what boundaries you need to have if this relationship does move forward. This will require a lot of waiting. That is going to have to be okay. 🙂 It is in much waiting on God that we develop patience, perseverance, greater trust, greater faith, and greater spiritual maturity. I vote to embrace the waiting and to stop thinking about this situation as if this guy is “not decisive enough.” or “not moving fast enough.” He is telling you that he is interested in you. I vote to give him a few months – unless God clearly directs you not to. Much love! April Angela on May 21, 2015 at 10:59 am thank you so much April! This is what I am trying and practicing to do…living one day at a time and not thinking into the future or into all the what ifs. I become anxious and worry and get fearful when I do that. And God’s word tells me NOT to do those things. I am enjoying this man for what he is and what he can give right now. We have known each other 3 months now but have gotten to the point of becoming very good friends now. I realize that his timeline and God’s (if it leads to more) is going to be way way slower than what I would do. He is a MAJOR blessing to me at work and Im enjoying that and I am thankful for him. I’m resting in God’s peace today about this. I will not freak or go ballistic or ask questions of him. I realize this will require much *patience* and waiting for me 🙂 and its something I am learning. My timetable is a million times faster than what his would be. but that is ok. God is teaching me to be patient and to be content and joyful even when I have no idea what the actual outcome of this will be. Its ok 🙂 I did have a minor freak out a few weeks ago but then self corrected. And things are good now. Like I said we have been telling each other the things we respect/see/admire in each other. That has been SO WONDERFUL! I am enjoying and savoring that. I do have some Godly girls in my life to pray with/mentor/be accountable to. So should this lead to dating I am definitely going to be accountable as to my whereabouts, not hanging out with him late at night or alone, etc. and I am going to be praying as to how to protect my heart and flesh from tempting situations with him too. Peacefulwife on May 21, 2015 at 11:23 am Angela, I love what you are learning! THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!! I know that it is hard to wait and be patient. And it is our natural tendencies as women to want to have guarantees or labels or for things to move quickly – but there is much goodness that comes from our willingness to wait patiently. I love that you are seeking to be content and joyful in Christ even in the face of uncertainty and the unknown – that is a lifeskill we ALL need as believers in Christ! Sounds like you are in the right place and seeking God with all your heart. Beautiful! Katelin on May 17, 2015 at 2:30 pm How to avoid the same pitfalls and bad habits that lead us away from Christ is what I am needing advice on big time. I find myself struggling with the same things over and over again. Not sin necessarily, but just habits that are not pushing me closer to Christ. For example, I am trying to make better use of my time during the day by spending more time in the word than in front of the tv or up all night. I usually am a night owl and end up in front of the tv for hours instead of the word of God or in prayer. It is a habit I’ve had for a long time, and so I am trying to make a true turn around from the distractions from what is important. Peacefulwife on May 18, 2015 at 9:55 am Katelin, I have plans to run a post about this very topic! I think that today’s post “My Identity in Christ” will also be very helpful to keep us grounded in God’s truth about who we are in Jesus. Shy on May 17, 2015 at 8:25 pm Also if a man tells you he is interested in a relaTionship with you but you’re not ready at that time .how do you approach him when you’re finally ready with out seeming needy, controlling, etc Peacefulwife on May 18, 2015 at 9:56 am Shy, I’ll prayerfully consider this topic, my sweet sister. 🙂 Tenerife on May 17, 2015 at 8:49 pm I’ve become friends with a neighbor of mine, who I thought was a Christian. She offered to pray with me over a problem I was going through, but I found out that she is a Mormon. I’m wondering if I should tell her to stop praying for me. Peacefulwife on May 18, 2015 at 9:58 am Tenerife, I don’t know that you need to tell her to stop praying for you. But I would certainly prayerfully ask God to give you opportunities to share the Truth with her. A great book to help you understand Mormonism is “Mormonism Unmasked.” It will help you see what is really being taught and how it is clearly a cult, not part of Christianity at all – even though they use words and phrases that we use. The meanings are totally different. wonbyJesus on May 18, 2015 at 4:26 am Hi. I appreciate your blog… If you can pray for me about a man I had developed a good friendship with. He started to pull away and I didn’t handle it the best. He has some issues with being “flakey” in general, but at the same time, he has a big heart for God and our friendship was very Christ-centered when we communicated, weekly ( it’s long distance). We prayed together and connected well spiritually. So it’s been hard because now I feel I may have lost a real friend. I sent him a brief message when he was at work apologizing for my part… I am giving him ” space” and not even sure if we’ll talk again at this point. Our fallout happened two weeks ago when he got flakey and I got impatient and he did also in return. I pray for God’s wisdom and His will! I do really feel he has some unresolved emotional issues so I rather not get too involved until he deals more with it, as I don’t want to keep getting hurt by the backlash ( when he totally shuts down.) I do regret getting impatient… I still want to remain friends with him if possible. I do care for him ( we’ve been good friends for about 6 months). I am a bit confused and sad….Thanks Peacefulwife on May 18, 2015 at 10:00 am wonbyJesus, Praying for wisdom for you both. That sounds painful and frustrating! Sometimes men shut down because they are feeling controlled or disrespected – not because they have emotional issues that are unresolved. Of course, it is possible he may have unresolved emotional issues – but sometimes a godly man will shut down for other reasons. If you are interested, I can direct you to some posts about when men shut down. Much love to you! wonbyJesus on May 26, 2015 at 3:19 am Peaceful wife, I wanted to thank you for replying to me and your prayer. The space between this guy and I has been good… I am feeling now that he really isn’t that good for me, because he was really inconsistent as a friend looking back on it… I didn’t want to admit it when I was more involved with him because I was lonely and liked some of the attention. I was giving a lot to him and he was taking it for granted and now I even have questions about his integrity and whether or not he was lying about some things. Some red flags are there. He really broke all fellowship with me based on a misunderstanding which is not a good sign! He was unwilling to even discuss it as FRIENDS. That is just not good. I feel I need to guard my heart a bit better. I learned a lesson. I was a bit vulnerable…I had been really betrayed by another man a couple years ago so maybe I wasn’t really ready emotionally. I don’t want to close my heart off completely but I want to be better at guarding it as Jesus would have me. For now I am glad it’s over as I only want God’s best and don’t want to compromise that… He did hurt me as a brother in Christ, but I let him cause I opened my heart to him too quickly as I mentioned. Thanks again for your thoughts. God bless 🙂 Peacefulwife on May 26, 2015 at 8:01 am WonbyJesus, I obviously don’t know all that has happened or the heart of this man, but I do continue to pray for God’s wisdom for you. I pray You might be very sensitive to God’s Spirit and that you might seek Him far above all else, and desire to be in the very center of His will in everything in your life. Much love to you!!! Christopher Becky on May 27, 2015 at 3:40 am please how does a christian lady or guy ( adult or teen) deals with masturbation especially when it has become a habit and when he or she is not able to use all d solutions given to him or her. please i need answers to my question cause someone is battling with this and needs help from me (you). thaNKS Peacefulwife on May 28, 2015 at 5:40 am Christopher Becky, For an addiction to masturbation, a good resource might be http://www.xxxchurch.org. Much love to you! wonbyJesus on May 27, 2015 at 10:14 pm Peaceful wife, Amen!! Thank you and blessings!! 🙂 Julia Elliott on May 18, 2015 at 10:16 am Good Morning April! Something that I have been trying to understand better with my boyfriend is, when I ask him to share his opinion or ideas about something then he becomes very indecisive or unclear. His responses are rarely definitive and usually involve alot of “I don’t knows.” I will say that these conversations typically involve career or other major decisions. I thought maybe he was feeling pressured by me, but I’ve asked that he says that he doesn’t. I guess I’m wondering how to better approach these things. Peacefulwife on May 18, 2015 at 10:25 am Julia, I’m glad you asked about if he was feeling pressured by you. That was a very good question to ask. 🙂 Great job! Is your boyfriend out of college already? Or what age is he? My husband tends to say “I don’t know” to things a lot – although, he said it a lot more when I was more controlling and disrespectful. For my husband, he often just needs a LOT more time to think through things. Does he eventually come up with a plan or decision on his own, or does he never ever address the issue? Is it a matter of you would like a “five year plan” and goals all spelled out, and he is not a long term planner? How is his relationship with Christ? Has he made major decisions on his own? What was his relationship like with his parents? Much love to you! RG on May 18, 2015 at 2:23 pm Churches teach men to make all our decisions in (women’s) everyone else’s best interest instead of our own, which is why men ask women what they want and why we don’t always know what we want. He’s probably so accustomed to thinking about her that he isn’t well-practiced at thinking only about himself and what he wants only for himself – again this is condemned as “selfishness” in most churches. Unless women benefit directly or indirectly by each and every one of our decisions, then it is “selfish” of men to make decisions that benefit us alone, and that have no benefit to any women at all. He could very likely have no idea what he wants for himself, because he’s so used to thinking about what she wants – specifically because the Church has tied his “godliness” to what women want from him – or what they want him to do for them. And he can remain “godly” in their opinions as long as women continue to benefit from his choices and actions….. …..which is also why Christian women complain that “Christian men have no backbone,” because nobody is teaching men how to recognize and say “NO!” to women and pastors who want to use us instead of serve/love/encourage/build us up – who are more interested in what we can (and “should”) do for them and “God” than in who we are as people and as men. They believe that if we “should” do something for them, but don’t, then we are “being ungodly.” Jesus didn’t heal every sick, lame, and blind person He ever met. He could have! He certainly had the ability to! But He didn’t owe anything to them – healing them wasn’t something He “should have” done, but failed to do, and He wasn’t any less “godly” by not healing them. That was His choice, and He had the freedom to do what HE believed God wanted Him to do, not what others expected from Him to appear “godly” in their views. When Pastors teach men to “serve” (and submit to) women’s expectations instead of recognizing and deciding to serve and obey God alone (whether or not women benefit from it), they are teaching men the opposite of godliness – how not to become “real” men of God, and how not to have any backbones. Ladies, you can have everything you say you want, OR you can have a “man with a backbone,” but you can’t have both, and you shouldn’t complain when you don’t get what you want, because we don’t owe you anything. When you benefit, be thankful, because we are trying to honor God, and we do want what is ultimately best for you, not just what is “best” right now. And, as the old saying goes, “patience is next to godliness.” Peacefulwife on May 19, 2015 at 8:27 am RG, I long to see Christian men and women break free from the poison we have swallowed in our culture. It is hurting all of us, and it is hurting the spread of the Gospel. I pray that God might raise up men to teach our brothers to seek to obey and please Christ as Lord and Master – that He is the ultimate audience that matters. Yes, it is good for husbands to take their wives’ feelings and concerns into account, but then they ultimately answer to God alone for their decisions. And there are times they will need to say, “No,” to their wives in order to honor and obey Christ. That needs to be ok. How do you believe Christian women can help and bless their boyfriends who aren’t used to making decisions or thinking about what God may want them to do? What do you believe we as women in the body of Christ can do to help promote healing and restoration of men being able to make healthy, godly decisions? Julia on May 18, 2015 at 11:29 pm Hi April! Yes, he is out of college, but only recently as he graduated in December. He has been steadily looking for employment, however has had to switch gears from what he originally thought he would do. His degree is one that does not have many opportunities or options in the direction that he has decided to pursue, however the past month has led to several opportunities which may pan out pretty well if God continues to open doors. He’s older for just graduating, 26 years, but he spent quiet a few years trying different things before deciding on going to school and getting a degree. In the past, he would respond with “I don’t know,” and then the subject would never be brought up again. However, yesterday, was the first time he came back and brought up/answered a previous “I don’t know” question. I tried really hard to just stop and listen to his answer and thank him for sharing, versus bombarding him with questions, opinions and ideas like I normally would have, He didn’t really have a plan per say, but at least he came back and answered it! 🙂 I don’t need a five year plan spelled out, but I get worried at times that he’s not necessarily considering various options or realizing how money would play out when it comes to eventually having a family. Actually, the more I write this out, I realize that given his situation of just graduating and knowing his parents did not necessarily raise him to think things through this way-it makes sense that these things are not on the forefront of his mind. I was raised to think through decisions differently and have been settled in my job for 2 years now, so I think I might be just further ahead in the thought process of things? He deals with life very much in the moment and doesn’t anticipate problems or changes in the future like I would. He has made some and is beginning to make more major decisions on his own. His mom is and always has been very nurturing. Neither of his parents are very challenging, nor push their children to make big decisions. This is so different in how I was raised, which was by a mom and dad who valued independence, decision making, planning, problem solving, etc. At the same time the women (mom and sister) in his family are both controlling and disrespectful to their husbands. His dad mostly passive. From the outside most people wouldn’t see their marriages as bad one’s, but there is just a lot of sarcasm, very little real or deep discussion about anything, never spend any one on one time with each other, and the men basically being directed through most of their time at home. He does not seem to see the difficulties in his parents’ relationship very well and I think that he thinks of it as normal. I also think that’s part of the reason why he doesn’t admit to ever feeling pressured or to me being controlling. He rarely has had a problem with the way I would approach him, but it was obvious to me that I was messing up. The anger and anxiety inside was at least enough to Google and eventually find your site. (Plus I knew if my mom heard the way I talked to him when I’m being more controlling, then she would have no problem putting me in my place. 😉 ) God really convicted me of my ways, without my boyfriend ever communicating to my that something was ever wrong. Now to the most important question, his relationship with God is good, perhaps not the best. We live about an hour apart so I don’t see much of him except for the weekends and I have refrained from questioning him about his habits. We both attend church regularly together, talk about the sermon’s, God is a regular part of our conversations. He has served in ministry for years and has led a couple of men’s Bible studies in college. We pray together a couple times a week, which he will initiate. In the past we have gone through a devotional book together. I am not sure how much time he spends in the word or in prayer on his own. I also know that he does not have regular contact with other Christian men, although he has many connections in our church, so he could if he desired. Only recently have I discovered how important daily time spent with God really is, but I have really worked to be content with only sharing what the Holy Spirit is doing in my life, versus nagging/getting upset that he does not see spiritual discipline with the same intensity that I have begun doing Anyway, I know this is long! I continue to keep learning to trust God more and more as I navigate through this journey. Thanks April! Peacefulwife on May 19, 2015 at 8:15 am Julia, From what you are describing, it seems to me that there are several things that may be going on. 1. He is new to the job market and it is a difficult job market. That would be discouraging, possibly even depressing, frustrating, and maybe even emasculating for a man. 2. If what he experienced growing up was that men were passive and women were dominant and controlling, he may not have even considered that there would be any other dynamic in a male/female relationship. That dynamic probably seems “normal.” That is likely why he doesn’t seem to notice control/disrespect from you as being an issue. If he has been taught to let his mom make all of his decisions for him, or he has not been given opportunity and instructions to become more independent and self sufficient and to think ahead – why would he automatically know how to do those things? I am so thankful that you realized what you were doing was wrong and that you knew your mom would put you in your place! THAT IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! If you read my “About” story at http://www.peacefulwife.com – you will see that Greg and I had a very similar dynamic in our marriage, but I continued down that road for over 14 years. 🙁 Not good. I’m really glad to hear that your man is seeking Christ and that he is, it sounds like, living for God. I’m also really glad that you are sharing what God is doing in your heart rather than nagging, preaching, or getting upset with him or trying to verbally drag him to God. I have been there and done that. It doesn’t work. Not only does that approach not work – it is destructive. It will repel your man from God and from you. That is why God gives us the instructions He does in His Word in Ephesians 5:22-33 and I Peter 3:1-6 for marriage. This is going to be the question for you: Are you willing to wait on God to work in your man’s life and allow God and your guy to set the pace? Are you going to be willing to follow him even though he makes decisions slowly? I’m glad to hear he got back to you on one of the “I don’t know” issues. That is wonderful. It sounds to me like he CAN think for himself. But it also sounds to me like he will have a lot of healing to do from the examples he saw growing up. It is going to be a SLOW process for him to learn to take the lead. I believe he can do it. But, this will require you to be extremely patient – most likely for many years – as he learns to lead. Are you willing not to jump in and do things for him and not to take over? Are you willing to accept him as he is and not try to change him, even if his thinking doesn’t change? He will need you to respect him and to be willing to follow him if you marry him one day. These are things to prayerfully consider. It sounds to me like he is a great guy. But his personality, style, and approach will be very different from yours. That is not wrong – it is just different. But it will be important for you to be able to see the good things in his approach and to speak to him respectfully and to give him the space and affirmation he needs to lead – and you will have to cooperate with him, even when you don’t always agree. These are good questions to pray through. And, please realize, if you were to be with a man who was more dominant already – you would have other issues to deal with other issues to deal with. There is no perfect man. Men in their 20s still have a lot to learn about leadership and becoming godly men, just like women in their 20s still have a lot to learn about respecting their men, honoring them, and becoming godly women. What dynamic did your parents have in their marriage? It could be interesting to download Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and to read chapters 1 and 10 together or separately and talk about them. You can get a free download at http://www.cbmw.org/resources/ It may be that you can begin to point out disrespect or control when you see it (probably in a TV show or some other situation rather than his family dynamics). He may have never even thought about these things and it may take some time for him to see – but I believe God can give him increasing wisdom. Yes! That is the most important thing, to trust God, to listen to Him, and to allow Him to transform YOU! If you do marry this man – your calling will be to trust God to lead you through him. I have seen God lead me through Greg – who has a very similar personality. It has REALLY stretched me and has forced me to be more sanctified. My husband’s way of leading is not at all the way I would lead. But God has led me through Greg and I know He will continue to do so and will continue to refine us both. Much love to you!!!! Julia on May 20, 2015 at 12:27 am RG, I hope my comment did not come across as complaining about or viewing my boyfriend as one who does not have a backbone. As his girlfriend I am not looking simply for him to change. Frankly, the time I spend here is more me realizing that I have a problem, than me trying to ‘fix’ him. I’m more looking in understanding how I can best support him into being the man that God created him to be. Given my personality, this is not always something that is easy or comes naturally to me. The Holy Spirit is working with me and there is much grace to be offered, every time I manage to fall back into old ways. If I become his wife, more than anything I want our marriage to reflect God and His glory-as much as my submission as his leadership. I am recognizing more and more that the church has not done it’s job in teaching the values of Godly femininity and masculinity. Errors in these views are played out daily in the lives of many people that I love and I see how disruptive they can be for the marriage, the family and society as a whole. You have brought me a new perspective in understanding that husbands are not taught that it is ok to say “No” to their wives when they feel it is necessary to do so and that their primary responsibility is first and foremost to God and in the ways that He leads. I hope to never fall into the trap of thinking that he ‘owes’ me anything. Or find myself ‘steamrolling’ his thoughts in order to fulfill my own. I can’t to say that I will be perfect in these areas, as I am human too. But, ultimately I would like to get to place where I am walking close enough with the Lord and His power that I am able to stand beside my husband with support, encouragement, peace, and adoration-despite his actions or leadership abilities. I want him to follow Christ even when I may not understand. As a woman, this is a very humbling, almost painful stance to progress to-simply because of how controlling and mistrusting we have lived in the years prior. However, knowing that is where God calls wives to be, that is where I want to find myself as well. Peacefulwife on May 20, 2015 at 8:12 am Julia, I love what God is doing in your heart! 🙂 It’s SO BEAUTIFUL! RG on May 20, 2015 at 3:17 am “How do you believe Christian women can help and bless their boyfriends….. First, I would REALLY like Christian women to think deliberatly about how to bless ALL of their brothers in Christ, not just their boyfriends/husbands. Follow the example that many Christian brothers have done for the ladies for decades: Collaborate with all the women at church to organize a special ceremony in honor of the men, complete with a full dinner and dessert, and full-service hospitality, as if working in a restaurant. Then, as the men enjoy a meal, have the ladies sing a few songs, and read sincere letters about what they appreciate about the men as valuable people (not about what the men do for women). In fact, make a public declaration that the ladies of that church want to make honoring and encouraging the men (and the leadership of men) as their brothers in Christ a main priority and focus they will commit to DOING (not just talking about) in the future (Then hold each of the ladies accountable to doing what they’ve committed to doing by teaching each other April’s advice, and putting it into practice). Make a strong and clear, yet generalized, public apology to the men for ways that the ladies (as a whole) have disrespected and hurt the men in the church, and that you want to repent and make changes to become the women that God wants and commands you to become. Again, make a point to hold each of the ladies accountable to live by those commands and public declarations. Don’t ever let this become a form of manipulation. Men are more interested in your motives than your gesture, and your motives must be holy! We’re tired of your games! Make a point to think of this as an ongoing gesture to respect and build-up the men to become what God wants them to be without any strings attached. This needs to be about serving the men, and not anything else – much less any form of manipulation. Teach the ladies how to serve men humbly with respect, and without worrying about any self-perceived notions of “abuse,” “misogyny,” or “evil patriarchy.” I’ve served the ladies at a few Churches in this manner, and (except for one tiny Church I visited) have never seen any ladies think about serving the men. It doesn’t even cross their minds to serve men. …… who aren’t used to making decisions or thinking about what God may want them to do? What do you believe we as women in the body of Christ can do to help promote healing and restoration of men being able to make healthy, godly decisions? respect encouragement kindness gratefulness trust adaptability no complaining patience for as long as it takes without ever giving into fear – no matter what. pray for OUR needs for OUR well-being, not because of how those things effect you. This is not about you! The next time you want to challenge us, asking, “Are you telling me what to do?!,” stop and ask yourself if you’re just having a knee-jerk reaction to fear, and are blowing a small or even reasonable request or situation completely out-of-proportion to avoid your irrational fear of becoming a “doormat.” I have NEVER met a Christian man who wanted to make his girlfriend/wife a “doormat.” The Church would never let that happen anyway, with all the male-accountability put in-place to “protect” women, so there really isn’t much to fear. Women just need to learn to get over their fears on this one. Ask us if there is anything we would like help with that might bless us, and then do those things quickly, humbly, and silently (no complaining). And since I’m mentioning helping, the bible (Proverbs) talks about married women being diligent AT HOME, so I don’t understand why so many women spend hours/days/weeks decorating Churches for women’s ministry events/miscellaneous holidays/programs/etc. that have nothing to do with blessing their own families. For as long as I’ve been a Christian, I’ve always been told, “Ministry starts at home,” and even though women would say, “Amen,” to that, they still spend so much time away from home blessing their female friends and total strangers before their own husbands or boyfriends. The best gift you can give to single Christian men is your respect, cooperation, encouragement, kindness, prayers, and helpful, servant-hearted blessings. We absolutely need to see Christian women who aren’t all about serving themselves and other women, talking about how wonderful and special they are to God while disobeying Him. I believe the best women’s ministry possible would adopt that same “Ministry starts at home” philosophy, demonstrating how women are to bless their own men/families, so that priorities remain consistent with the bible and biblical directives. Single men and women need to see this demonstrated in real life more than we need to hear special speeches at church. To ramble a bit further, as a man, one of the last things I want to see at church is a giant splatter of “prettiness” everywhere. Churches already look entirely way too feminine as it is. I’m tired of flowers taped to pens at signup tables, butterflies painted on walls, and pink and purple everywhere. It’s nauseating! You should remember that “warm and welcoming” is usually only intended to make women happy, and leaves men completely out of the equation. Our happiness is usually not even considered relevant to the discussion. Women just automatically expect men to shut-up and adapt to what the women want to do, because they know that they run the show at church, and they like it that way! But it makes men leave or remain uncomfortable. Women have decided that they would rather men remain uncomfortable than to inconvenience or become “uncomfortable” themselves. They don’t want to think about or adapt to men’s preferences because they’re afraid of what that might do to their ability to control things, but think that men should still adapt to their preferences as a “reasonable expectation” – that we’re being “petty” or “unreasonable” to dislike the over-developed sense of femininity on display. Then they scratch their heads and wonder where all the men went. Well, we don’t like sitting in a beautification parlor to hear about how evil we are, and how wonderful women are! I would rather see less butterfly paintings and more feminine kindness and respect! Somehow “kindness” seems reserved for female friends alone while they all disrespect men! In essence, the more women tone-down their own personal preferences, focusing on developing truly godly character and a sincere appreciation and humble respect for all men (not just boyfriends/husbands), and making deliberate room and freedom for men to express our own preferences, looking for ways to encourage us, the more men will find our own abilities to lead and guide. And then you must learn to cooperate and follow! Peacefulwife on May 20, 2015 at 8:24 am RG, I think that is a fantastic idea about the women serving the men a meal. I heard of one church that did something like this. They had a night for women where the men served the food and stood around the women’s tables and prayed for them. Then they had a night where the women served the men and stood around the men’s tables and prayed for them. I have never seen anything like this for men or women in the churches I have attended. But what a wonderful way to show love, support, honor, and unity! What an amazing and healing thing it would be to have the women publicly declare their support of the male leadership in the church and in the home and to apologize for any disrespect. You are giving me some great ideas to pray about and to talk about with my prayer partners at my church. Thank you for the practical suggestions about how we might encourage the men among us to lead. That is very interesting about the church decorations. I have a hunch you are not the only man who feels that way. I appreciate your willingness to share. Ladies, RG has given us some really great ideas to think about and pray about and to talk about with our church groups. I hope we might each prayerfully consider how God may desire us to lead the way in blessing the men in our churches in very practical ways. Julia on May 20, 2015 at 11:31 pm April, Through reading your comment, I realize how important it is for me to realize that he has never learned or had these skills modeled to him on a regular basis. The Lord truly is going to have to teach him the skills of leadership from scratch. This was something that was very helpful for me to grasp. I was also humbled by the question you posed to me. I understand that no matter where he is, or isn’t in his journey, I will have to respect that. I will have to submit to the authority given first by God, not his actions or whether I deem them ‘worthy’ or not. I have no other choice, but to move at his (and God’s) pace. This was probably the hardest thing for me to grasp, even more I want to do so-joyfully, with acceptance for whatever comes, both victories and failures. My black and white thinking often gets the better of me in many situations-not just my relationship with my boyfriend and the Holy Spirit frequently reminds me that just because something is different, it doesn’t mean that it is wrong or needs to be changed. And to answer your last question, my parents have a wonderful relationship. They enjoy spending time together and get along well. My mom is frequently supportive of his time and hobbies. Will ask his opinion, lets him make the final decision in major situations. My mom was a stay-at-home mom, worked part-time off and on as we were growing up. My dad the breadwinner in the home. As a child, I always knew that he had final say in the home. They did have difficulties, like any marriage-but as far as my mom respecting my dad, she has been a pretty good role model for me. I will say that while my parents did instill Christian values in me, my training of living a life in step with the Lord was not something that I learned from them. I know now that my dad has always had a committed relationship to the Lord, but it was not consistently communicated to us growing up. We did not attend church regularly or were taught much in the way of spiritual disciplines or thinking by either one of my parents. This was always a point of confusion to me as I see how deeply my dad loves the Lord. My mom has always been independent and was not the most nurturing. I was a sensitive child, and did have a hard time with her personality growing up, never feeling as if she loved me in the emotional sense. My boyfriend on the other hand has always been raised in the church with close ties to ministry and church family. Peacefulwife on May 21, 2015 at 8:17 am Julia, God’s design is that we should all witness godly examples of biblical manhood, womanhood, and marriage for 2 decades and that those godly examples will prepare us to be godly men and women and to have godly marriages. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people, even believers, don’t have many godly examples. A lot of people have parents whose marriage was a “role reversal” or they are dealing with divorce or abuse or something truly tragic. It can be easy to think that if your man’s parents are still married, that they have a godly marriage and that he wouldn’t have any “damage” from his childhood. Yes, divorce would have been more destructive to him – but having a controlling mom and a passive dad is also a destructive example. It has taught him that it is normal and to be expected for the woman to be in charge and for the man to do nothing. He has learned that it is normal and healthy for a man not to make decisions but just to go along with his wife. He has learned to be disrespected and not even notice it. He has learned not to lead, but to follow. These are significant obstacles that will not be resolved quickly. God may use you to help him learn godly leadership. But it will be critical that you use godly tools and a godly influence – praise of true godly masculinity, affirmation of what he does well, and encouragement as he takes baby steps. And it will be necessary NOT to tear him down, take over, criticize him, boss him around, belittle him, humiliate him, disrespect him, or control him. This will require more patience than you possess on your own. It will require God’s Spirit working in you. You are going to want to go “100 miles per hour” and he may only be able to go “1 or 2 miles per hour” and he may also come to a standstill a lot. God will use this to sanctify you and to teach you to wait on Him and not rush ahead. But it is frustrating at times when you believe you can see what God wants you to do – and your husband (in the future) isn’t ready to do that thing or doesn’t see what you see. It will be your ultimate test of faith in Christ to trust Him to lead you through your husband – no matter what your husband’s personality or temperament. God CAN lead you through a man like this. But I want you to be prepared for what this dynamic will mean. I WISH I had understood these things before we got married 21 years ago (next week!). I didn’t understand ANY of it. The ways I responded to my husband’s leadership and decisions with which I didn’t agree created such tension and strife in our marriage and caused my husband to shut down in a frozen, depressive state for years. My disrespect and my usurping his position was the most toxic thing in our marriage. If I had been willing to be patient, if I had waited on God and Greg, if I had honored his leadership that first summer – I can’t even begin to imagine how different our marriage could have been, how much better, how much more intimacy, how much stronger Greg could have been as a leader so much sooner in our marriage. It is hard to wait when you believe God wants you to do something and your husband says, “no” or “I don’t know.” But I know God can change my husband’s heart in a second if He decides to. So I must stay in a holding pattern – many times for years – about things I feel really passionate about. And I must wait. I must trust that God is working in my husband’s life and heart and this will take a lifetime. I must accept Greg as he is. I must lay my dreams and plans and things I want to do for God down on the altar and wait on God’s timing. I must die to myself and receive whatever God’s will is for me. I’m so thankful for Greg’s leadership. He has kept me from making hasty, rash, unwise decisions many times. He brings much needed balance to my thinking and my life. He is slow, careful, methodical, and likes to thoroughly research things. He takes weeks or months to make decisions at times. God has been leading me through Greg since I have been willing to wait, be patient, and not run ahead. I’m really glad that you had a good role model when you were growing up -that will make this journey somewhat easier. But you will still be totally dependent on God and His Spirit every moment – I know I am! You both have strengths and weaknesses from your upbringing and your own personalities. I know God can make something incredibly beautiful from this relationship – if you are willing to do things His way! Thankfully, you can now evaluate what you saw when you were growing up based on God’s Word and you can choose to reject anything that did not honor God and you can choose to allow God to help you reconstruct that area on Christ and His truth and His Word now. Much love to you! Shy on May 18, 2015 at 6:42 pm I have another question. Say you are talking to two men. they are both actively pursuing you. how do you choose who to focus on.? And how do you let the other down with out hurting him? Peacefulwife on May 19, 2015 at 8:28 am Shy, That is something you will have to prayerfully consider and seek God’s wisdom about. And, I don’t know that it is possible to completely avoid hurting a man who is pursuing you. Rejection hurts. I think you can try to be as respectful as possible, and also not lead him on. But – I believe God can prompt you about exactly how to handle this as you seek Him with all your heart. 🙂 christopher excellence on May 20, 2015 at 5:31 am my last message wasn’t replied Peacefulwife on May 20, 2015 at 8:13 am I responded to your message on 5-14 under the post “Combating Loneliness” but I haven’t heard back from you. 🙂 angela on May 20, 2015 at 7:15 pm What if when you are treated poorly by other girls in ministry (they ignore you, give you the cold shoulder, make group interaction awkward for you, criticize you) and a brother who is also our leader, and someone who I am interested in, NEVER steps up to give correction on their attitudes? Is this a red flag for me? Is this something that I should seriously consider? I think it is because these same girls flirt with him (he is very attractive, and a godly man), they laugh at his jokes, and some even try to help him however they can. But then, it’s like they are rude to him when it comes to decision making. They question him, and they criticize him too. But, he still will talk with them often. I assume that it is flattering to him that they make their interest in him obvious. I on the other hand never question his authority. Personally, I trust his leadership, and I enjoy letting him know that I respect him by submitting to his authority. It’s not that I am sweet and innocent, but God had recently opened my eyes to what speaks respect/disrespect to men, and about my own sin. But, if he has a choice to be around them or me, he will talk with them. I am guessing they have won him over by their obvious interest. The thing is, I often feel so bad because I feel like I am not flirting enough, expressing interest enough, or that I am not “helping” him enough, or staring at him enough. That is, until I realize God is NOT asking me to compete. Not only that but he isn’t even my boyfriend or anything for me to feel as though I need to be wooing him….right? I have shown interest in the ways that I have known how, and if he is not interested then ok. It’s just that if I walk in and they are all talking, there have been times where even HE will be awkward with me or not pay attention to me. Especially if he feels like they will be upset if he is nice to me. I don’t know. Could it be a good thing that God hasn’t allowed me to have this guy? I have seen that it causes jealousy and bitterness to rise up, which I repent for. When I have spoken to my pastor about these things, I am told to honor these people still, and that God wants to do a great work in my life. Am I safe to just mind my own business and just do what God has given me to do without worrying that I haven’t done what these girls have been able to do? And without worrying about who he is talking with? It’s just hard. Peacefulwife on May 20, 2015 at 8:23 pm Angela, Is this a high school group, college group or a single adult group? I just want to be sure what age group we are talking about before I jump in too much. 🙂 I wonder if you have ever expressed any of your feelings to him at all – about your respect for him, and your respect for his authority and his leadership? Or that you are interested in him? What do you believe God would desire you to do? How do you respond to the girls who mistreat you? Do you have any friends you feel safe with? Does the leader ever address group behavior or individual behavior of any kind? Have you ever confronted these girls? How is your walk with Christ going? What evidence do you see of Christ in this man? Much love to you! April Moneiba on May 21, 2015 at 9:28 pm Isn’t the concept of women making men pursue them a type of prideful, domineering attitude you warn about? To me, it seems to say that the woman is more valuable than the man, especially since the man is usually the one who pays for everything during dating. Peacefulwife on May 22, 2015 at 7:57 am Moneiba, That’s a great question! A woman COULD have a prideful attitude in wanting men to pursue her. But let’s consider the alternative… She would pursue the guy. Sometimes, it is a good thing for a girl to let a guy know – hopefully in a tactful, humble, friendly, non-threatening way – that she is interested in a guy. But if she begins to ask him out and be the one to call first all the time – that often ends up creating a dynamic where she is “in charge” or “in control.” I am aware of some women who text a guy dozens and dozens of times each day. That can be pretty smothering and overwhelming to a guy. My understanding of men is that they would often prefer to be the “initiators.” If a woman does all of the initiating, it can feel smothering or like too much pressure to a man. Of course, it is certainly possible for a man to initiate and a woman to feel smothered or pressured, as well. Relationships don’t tend to work well when one person feels smothered or controlled on either side. Because in marriage, the husband represents Christ and the wife represents the church – I think there are some things we can glean from the dynamics there. Jesus initiated the relationship with the church. He led the way. His people responded to His invitation and His offer. In general, I believe that things tend to go better when the man initiates things and the woman responds. Again, there are times when it can be important for a woman to be clear about her feelings for a man, if he is particularly shy or is not reading her well. I think lots of times, if a woman is friendly and admiring – that alone can show that she is interested in him – and that he would not be rejected if he approached her. Things are so complicated and confusing today in the singles’ scene. It wasn’t always so confusing. Before feminism really kicked in – men asked women out. Period. That is how it was. Men called women. Most girls had rules set by their parents that they could not call guys, the guys had to call them. Guys used to have to come to a girl’s house and ask her father permission to take her on a date or to court her. I think there was a lot of wisdom in that scenario. It gives a girl some protection by her father so that only guys who are serious with good intentions will probably come over. And the girl’s father can help her determine the character of a guy before she really commits to him. It was also way less confusing for men, in my view, because they knew what was expected and what their role was – and women knew their roles and the expectations. Today, no one knows how to approach anyone. Some women get offended if a man asks them out. Some women will slap a sexual harassment lawsuit on a guy just for asking them on a date. Women have been taught to be much more aggressive and to go after men. I have not seen that go well, myself. Men and women are of equal value in the eyes of God. And we should be of equal value in each other’s eyes. The idea of allowing the man to lead prevents the woman from trying to control and lead. Someone has to lead. I believe things work best when it is the man who leads because it is the husband in marriage who has the God-given position of leadership. It is confusing if the girl begins leading and then the couple has to completely reverse the dynamics of the relationship later. Of course, some women take this too far the other way and they don’t talk to men, don’t look at them, don’t smile at them, and sit in a corner and wait for a man to come ask them out. I don’t think that works either. There is a balance where a woman can be friendly, approachable, feminine, and willing to talk to a guy – she may even initiate the conversation. But I would rather see the guy be the one to ask the woman out. A girl can make it clear -in appropriate, godly ways – that she is interested, available, and receptive to his advances. She could even say, “It would be so much fun to go out sometime,” or “you are exactly the kind of guy I would love to be with someday,” or something similar. But – I would personally like to see women not pressure men into a relationship. That is my personal view. Scripture doesn’t address this issue. In biblical times – parents arranged marriages. Usually, the guy’s parents would approach the girl’s parents because the guy was interested in a particular girl. There was no such thing as dating back then. Moneiba on May 23, 2015 at 10:09 am I’ve read a great deal of materials from the Christian Courtship movement and I understand that they are reacting to problems in our culture. But they strike me as pitting young male suitors and young women’s fathers against each other, and giving almost a trophy status to women while ignoring the man’s feelings. For example, I’ve read numerous essays about the father’s role in his daughter’s courtship, and the (incredibly high) standards he should set for any potential suitors. I never see anything written about a father’s role in his son’s courtship, yet as you pointed out, marriages in the Bible were generally arranged by parents. Peacefulwife on May 23, 2015 at 10:45 am Moneiba, I have read some material from Christian courtship advocates. And I think some of their approach can be good. But – I also see problems there, as well – so I haven’t pursued a lot of reading of those materials at this point. I guess that ultimately, we all need to rely on God’s Spirit and His leadership rather than a bunch of rules – and that is hard. We would rather have it all figured out on our own and a list of “how to” kinds of things we can do and follow that will “guarantee success.” As the mother of a son and a daughter, I want to be involved with both of our children as they choose a potential spouse. I want to protect my son from a poor choice, if I can, just as much as I want to protect my daughter. Of course, my son is 13 and my daughter is 8 – and I don’t know what the future holds for either of them. And, I do know that if they marry, they will marry imperfect people – and they will get hurt to some degree at one time or another. I cannot protect them from all possible pain. Relationships can be very painful. My prayer is for God’s will and His glory for each of them and their future spouses-to-be if it is God’s will for them to marry. It is tempting for me to want to try to have this “all figured out.” I used to think I would want to do the courtship thing with our children and discourage them from dating at a young age. But – many couples in our family have very godly marriages now who did begin “dating” young – in high school. Greg and I met when I was 15 and he was 16. We dated each other exclusively through high school and college. I can see some good things that have come from that. I can also see where I would want to do some things differently for our children – greater accountability, less time alone, etc… I am trying to get in my mind that I don’t have to go with a particular “philosophy” about dating or courting – as much as honoring God’s principles in Scripture and being sensitive to God’s Spirit each day. I am sure that in the coming years, I will have to work out much more concrete ideas about the issue of our children dating/courting. But right now, I am not sure I want to label one way as “always right” or one way as “the best” way. I want Greg and myself to be involved in monitoring our son, his communication with potential girls, and to help him determine how to evaluate character and godliness. But then, there will also be a need for the ability to extend grace, as well. And – ultimately, the decision will be our son’s decision, not ours. It will be interesting, I am sure! Peacefulwife on June 7, 2015 at 10:41 pm Thank you for sharing, my brother!