The impact of a wife’s emotions

Do you tend to get loud when you get upset?  Are you prone to big, dramatic displays of your emotions, whether joy, frustration or sadness?  Well you might not know this, but most men are really uncomfortable with big displays of emotion.  This isn’t true for ALL men, but for most men.

In other words, if you’re a drama queen….your husband will likely try to escape your presence!  He just doesn’t know what to do with your larger-than-life emotions.  Maybe this is why 1 Peter 3:4 advises wives to have the beauty that comes from a “gentle and quiet spirit“.   

Most men much prefer that their wives discuss their emotions, fears, disappointments, frustrations, and joy in a calm manner.  Your husband will be much more likely to engage in a meaningful discussion with you if you can speak in a normal tone of voice, without waving around your arms.  Try it!

The antidote for anxiety and fear

Many of us wrestle with anxiety.  Our thoughts start drifting toward the “what-if” possibilities.  What if my headache is really a brain tumor?  What if my husband has an affair with his co-worker? What if my child flunks their grade and is held back?  What if my husband loses his job?  What if, what if, what if?  Ugh!

Here’s the truth.  God does not intend for you to be paralyzed with anxiety and fear!  And here’s the antidote.  Instead of living in fear about the negative possibilities in life, what if you were to remind yourself that God is sovereign?  In other words, frustrating or even heart-breaking things could indeed happen, but if we trust that God is in control, we need not fear. He has plans to do bring about good things even in difficult or painful situations! 

Here are some specific Bible verses on which to meditate.  These verses remind us that God is in control of ALL things, and we can trust him, regardless of what happens in the future.  When you spend time meditating on these verses, you will discover the antidote for anxiety and fear!

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Ephesians 1:11  Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God,[c] for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

Joshua 1:9  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

** or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO BELOW

3 essential insights about grief

I became very familiar with deep grief back in the fall of 2021.  That’s when I unexpectedly lost my amazing husband Raul to the monster of Covid.  I had never experienced that kind of gut-wrenching grief before.  It was debilitating.  In a single moment, my world tipped upside down.  I lost my daily companion, my ministry partner, and the man who worked relentlessly to make me feel cherished.  What a loss!  It took me quite a few months to get my equilibrium back, but God graciously led me out of the valley of deep grief and into a new chapter of life.  The source of your grief may be different than mine.  Perhaps you lost a parent, or maybe your marriage ended.  We will all experience grief at some point.  The question is how do we navigate through it and come out intact on the other side?  Allow me to share 3 big things I learned along my journey.

  1. Grief is handled differently by everyone and there is no “right” way to grieve.  Some people will mourn for a very short time and then choose to stop dwelling on the loss and move forward.  Others will surround themselves with reminders of the loss and find comfort in remembering all the good times shared with the person they have lost.  Don’t judge someone for grieving differently than you!  No one else can truly understand your pain or your joy.  Proverbs 14:10 Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.
  2. Don’t allow yourself to wallow in grief forever!  That’s unbiblical and a plan of the enemy to oppress you!  God does not intend for his children to stay stuck in perpetual grief.  He desires to heal our broken hearts and guide us back into a place of peace, and yes, even joy.  Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Ask God to reveal the new plans he has for you in this new season, and then boldly follow his promptings because you will find fulfillment and joy in doing so.  Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

**or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO BELOW

Brutal tendency to compare yourself

It is so incredibly easy to get out of balance as a wife, a mother, an employee, a ministry leader, a homemaker, a boss, etc.  We can let our “roles” consume us.  We compare ourselves to other women in those roles and feel we’re somehow lacking.  Then we start picking up self-help books, we google “how to become a better __________”, we attend classes and workshops, we beat ourselves up for not being as “good” as other women, we relentlessly push ourselves to be better!  And the whole time, we push our relationship with God farther and farther away.  I mean, who even has time for God when we are completely focused on being the best ___________.

Sometimes we need to pull back and refocus our attention and adoration on God.  We need to readjust our heart posture.  We need to go back to square one and spend time worshiping the creator of the universe…the one who created you!  Colossians 3:1-2 says “Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your heart on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”

I find when I spend time worshiping God and spending some quiet moments just sitting with Him, I gain a whole new perspective on what’s important.  I am better able to choose how to use my limited time and energy.  I don’t feel so driven to compete with the other wives and moms and ministry leaders.  Spend 10 minutes every day this week simply worshiping God.  Crank up the worship music if that helps.   As you focus on the majesty and love of Christ, you will develop a heart posture that brings balance….and peace.

If your husband seems selfish

When a husband is clearly sinning against you through something like verbal abuse or an affair with another woman, it seems pretty clear that you should take a stand, draw boundaries, and maybe even have a time of separation.  However, the Christian wife isn’t always as certain about how to handle a husband who simply seems to be selfish or very self-centered.  This is the kind of husband who almost always does exactly what he wants to do, when he wants to do it, with little regard for the desires of his wife or children.   What’s a wife to do?

First, realize that your husband’s selfishness is not okay with God, and thus, it shouldn’t be okay with you.  In the famous love passage in 1 Corinthians 13, the Bible says love is not “self-seeking“, and in Philippians 2:4, the Bible says “each of you should look not only to his own interests but also to the interest of others.”

Second, you must realize that nothing is likely to change unless you sit down with your husband and bring the problem to his attention. Ignoring the problem and hoping it will go away isn’t going to work.  You’ll grow resentful and eventually explode!

It’s time to gently and calmly tell your husband the truth about how you are being negatively impacted by his focus on doing what he wants without regard to you or your children.  Ephesians 4:15 says we should “speak the truth in love“, so gently explain the problem. Then directly ask him if he is willing to begin considering your desires when the two of you disagree on something.  Ask him if he is willing to work with you to forge a compromise the next time you disagree.  Hopefully, by bringing the problem to his attention, he will begin considering your interests.  If he doesn’t, it’s probably time to ask him to go with you to meet with a pastor or counselor. 

A message to all supermoms

Most women have extremely busy schedules these days.  I don’t know if life has always been so chaotic for women, but it sure is that way in 2023!  If you’re a wife and a mom, you’re likely running around like crazy trying to take care of the kids and your man and the household and schooling (possibly at home) and maybe even a full-time job.  Whew.  I get stressed out just listing all your roles.

Let’s not kid ourselves.  None of us is Super Woman.  You have limited time and physical energy.  You also have only so much you can give mentally, emotionally and spiritually before you’re completely drained.  That’s why it’s vital for you and me to take a break during each and every day to refresh ourselves.  We do NOT need to feel guilty about this.  Even Jesus “often withdrew to desolate places” (Luke 5:16) to take a break from the demands of people and refresh his soul.  We also need to step out of the desert and onto a lush oasis for a half hour or so in order to rehydrate our souls.  We just need to make sure we choose a healthy oasis.

What is your oasis?  What recharges your batteries?  What refreshes your soul?  Reading a good novel (not a smutty one though!)?  Lying on your bed surrounded by fluffy pillows?  Drinking a cup of coffee while writing in your journal?  Reading a chapter in the Bible and then closing your eyes to meditate on what God is saying to you?  Taking a bubble bath?  Scrapbooking?  Listening to worship music while sitting in front of the fireplace?  Checking out tasty recipes on Pinterest?  Dancing to 70’s music in your living room while no one is watching?

3 things that lift depression

When life throws you an unexpected curveball, it’s pretty easy to sink into depression, bitterness, victimhood or gloom.  For some of you, that curveball is catching your husband connecting online with another woman…or your teen developing a drug addiction…or a cancer diagnosis for you or a loved one.  For me, my latest curveball was my husband succumbing to covid and passing away unexpectedly.  I became a widow, and suddenly by whole life changed.  My partner and companion in life was gone in an instant.

As I was taking a walk the other day and grieving with the Lord, I sensed him prompting me to do 3 things in order to move forward with joy and purpose in my life, despite the curveball that came my way.  He whispered to me, “Tackle what needs to be taken care of each day, dwell on what is actually good in your life and let yourself enjoy those things, and look for the opportunities I’m giving you each day to partner with me in expanding my kingdom and being a great reflection of Jesus.”

Wow!  As he spoke those 3 things to my heart, I could tell my mood started to shift.  Instead of focusing on the loss or the heartbreak, God was giving me the recipe to break free from gloom and embrace the purpose and joy he still has for me.  Let’s review those 3 things along with the Bible verses that correspond to each instruction:

  1. Tackle what needs to be taken care of today…just today.  Don’t focus on the “what ifs” of the future.  Matthew 6:33-34  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
  2. Focus on the blessings you DO have in your life and allow yourself to actually enjoy those things.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
  3. Ask God to show you the opportunities he has for you each day to partner with him in reflecting Jesus and expanding his kingdom.  This gives you joy and purpose!  Colossians 4:5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

Relaunching your marriage

Some of you have had a rough couple of months or couple of years in your marriage.  You may have a mountain-size load of resentment toward your husband.  Perhaps your husband also holds a gigantic amount of resentment toward you.  If this is you….if you find yourself in the pit of despair regarding your marriage, I want to encourage you to blow up that marriage.  Yep.  You heard me right.  Blow up your marriage in order to start fresh and build a better one, with the same husband!

Sometimes, we just need to start over when something in our lives has gone terribly wrong.  However, our first impulse is to throw out the whole thing; to discard the thing that has brought heartache and disappointment.  But that doesn’t give God any room to work, and that attitude basically lets both your husband and you off the hook in terms of making any changes in how you do relationships.   If you toss out your existing marriage, you’ll just bring the same dysfunctional patterns into your next relationship.

So, how about completely resetting your marriage?  Listen to what God says in Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland”.  What if you were to apply those words to your marriage?  The devil wants to keep you focused on past hurts.  That way you will be forever stuck.  Don’t fall for his evil plot against you!  Starting today, stop dwelling on the past, sit down with your husband and ask him if he would be willing to start afresh, with BOTH of you putting actual daily effort into blessing the other, serving the other, speaking the other’s love language, and showing care for the other.  This attitude shift can accomplish absolutely amazing things!

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Watch out for this marriage killer

From both personal experience and counseling wives in crisis, I can say with certainty that allowing resentment to go unchecked spells doom for a marriage!  Think about it.  If you are really upset with your husband about something, or really frustrated with him, or hurt by his behavior…do you respectfully discuss your feelings and concerns with him?  Do you courageously deal with the issue, or do you tend to stuff it under the rug, hoping things will just magically get better?

If you’re a conflict avoider, it’s so very easy to stuff instead of confront!  It FEELS safer and more peaceful to just hope that your husband changes his behavior.  That way you won’t have any tense moments and you won’t get in a “fight”.  Unfortunately, if you say nothing, nothing is likely to actually change.  Sometimes a husband doesn’t even know what his wife is upset about!  And here’s the real problem.  If you don’t address your resentment, it will grow bigger and bigger and bigger until you are likely to explode months or years down the line.  That resentment will have turned your heart cold and hard toward your husband, and you may end up saying those fateful words “I’m done”.  Don’t let it get this far!

Your husband needs you to calmly and respectfully explain why you are upset and what you are asking him to change.  He may disagree, but then you guys can talk about it.  Talk it through.  Ask the Holy Spirit to give you courage and the timing and the right words to bring up the concern with your husband…soon.  Seek a counselor’s help if you need to.  Just make sure you don’t let your resentment go unaddressed.  As Hebrews 12:15 say, “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”   Don’t let a bitter root start growing that ends up causing big trouble!

6 Bible verses to handle anxiety

So many of us struggle with fear and anxiety, and sometimes that struggle escalates to a full-blown anxiety attack.  We know that God does not intend for us to live in debilitating fear, but how do we break free?

I’ve personally found much relief by applying these 6 Bible verses:

  1. 2 Corinthians 10:5 “we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ”.  This means when fear-based, hopeless, defeatist thoughts enter my mind, I need to examine them and ask whether this is something God would say!
  2. 1 Peter 5:8-9  “Be sober-minded and alert. The devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.”  This means when I notice my thoughts are becoming hopeless or fearful, I need to recognize the devil is whispering those thoughts to me!  I must take a stand and refuse to align my thoughts with the devil!  Sometimes I even hold out my hand and shout “NO”.
  3. Isaiah 41:10  “do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  This means I remind myself that I am not walking through my challenges and worries alone.  Jesus is right there beside me all the time and all the way.
  4. Romans 8:28  “And we know that God works all things together for good for those who love him”  This means that I remind myself that even if my worst fear comes to pass, God can still bring something good out of that situation.  That brings me comfort.
  5. Psalm 139:16  “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  This means that when fear-based thoughts enter my mind, I choose to remind myself that God already knows my future and my kid’s future.  Nothing that happens to me or my kids will take God by surprise!  He knows the future.  He’s already there.
  6. James 4:8   “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you”  This means I choose to pivot from the fear and turn toward God in a very deliberate way.  When I do that, He comforts me!  “Drawing near to God” could mean everything from turning on a worship song, to reading the Bible, to calling a faith-filled friend, to hugging my actual Bible as I lay down to go to sleep at night.