Real Talk about Christian Sex

S-e-x. Maybe like me, you’re one of those women who used to spell this word out for fear of saying it aloud? Or maybe you still spell it to this day!

Regardless of your approach, the Bible is clear that sex was created by God for our enjoyment. One quick glance at the book of Song of Solomon speaks to this truth!

However, for many Christian women, sex (even “Christian Sex”) is a taboo topic, one not mentioned in polite circles, which makes getting sound advice difficult for Christian women who long for greater intimacy in marriage.

Although Hollywood would have us believe that good sex is all magic and fireworks all the time, we experience the everyday reality of intimacy that can sometimes be difficult, sometimes just ho-hum, sometimes even non-existent.

Especially when marriage is hard work, sex often becomes a chore relegated to the back burner rather than a celebration of love.

But friends, I’m convinced that Satan sets this snare for us, turning a beautiful gift of God, an intimate expression of and reflection of His love for us, into a disappointment at best, or an obstacle at worst.

He is so very good at twisting something God means for our good and distracting us from that abundant life we all want to experience, especially in marriage. Why should we let the Enemy and the world destroy this beautiful, God-given gift?

“I am my beloved’s,
And his desire is for me.
“Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country,
Let us spend the night in the villages.
“Let us rise early and go to the vineyards;
Let us see whether the vine has budded
And its blossoms have opened,
And whether the pomegranates have bloomed.
There I will give you my love. Song of Solomon 7:10-12 (NASB)

Let’s take back the ground that God intended for us to have in the area of Christian Sex!

Whether you are a Christian wife who wonders what she’s doing wrong or a woman wondering why healthy intimacy seems elusive, these six tips can help you find your way back to a healthy marital intimacy, one that satisfies both yourself and your husband and brings glory to God!

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6 Tips for Better Christian Sex

1. Take a bubble bath or do something that helps you to relax and feel desirable.

Maybe you hate baths, but you love pedicures, or a good massage (even better if your husband is involved). Figure out what works for you, and do it!

2. Be honest with your spouse about your hang-ups.

If he doesn’t touch you (or talk to you!) all day long but expects you to be ready for action at night, then he probably needs to hear that doesn’t work for you. Perhaps something else is turning you off.
Talking about your issues may be embarrassing, but so is having an unhealthy intimacy dynamic in your marriage.

Want the rest of these tips? Follow me on over to my friend Arabah Joy’s blog where she’s hosting a series on sex and healthy intimacy for Christian wives.

Read the rest – click here!

 

Other trusted sources for Christian sex and marriage advice:

Fulfilling Your Vows

To Love, Honor, and Vacuum

Rebekah M. Hallberg

 

If you need HOPE for your marriage:

For women who find themselves in a marriage that is less than all they hoped, for women who want to avoid divorce, for women who want a better connection to their spouses, for women who desire to be godly wives – 30 days to finding renewed hope for your marriage!
Hope for the Hurting Wife: 30 Days of Practical Encouragement for Your Marriage. Coming Soon! marriage book|difficult marriage|husband|wife|hard times in marriage|marriage encouragement

Don't let sex be a stumbling block in your marriage! 6 Tips for Christian Wives to help take back territory from the Enemy. #Christiansexadvice #Christianmarriage #biblicalmarriage #godlywife marriage help | healthy intimacy | better sex life for Christian women | wife after God | Christian Living | better Christian sex | marital intimacy | healhty marriage | happy marriage | redeeming marriage | warrior wife | Being Confident of This

What One Year Taught Me about Hope That Is Not Put to Shame (and a Giveaway!)

“Did you know she’s an author now?!” My friend laid her hand on my arm as she spoke to the other women standing in front of us.

Before I could stop myself, I found my head shaking no, as if the information weren’t true, because some part of me still doubted that I deserved that label. After all these years of writing about the work-in-progress woman and claiming our identity in Christ, I honestly still struggle to lay claim to the plans God has for my life and the gifts He has given me.

And again later that week, when one of my children called me an author, I was tempted to deny it. I wondered then if Hope for the Hurting Wife had been traditionally published if the label would be easier to accept? Even as the thought came to mind, I knew that wasn’t the heart of the issue.

The problem was that I sought the approval of men rather than God – a dangerous place to be.

I can’t remember how many times over the years I have confessed my stubborn pride and my desire for worldly achievement to the Lord. Over and over again, I find myself looking for confirmation that I should find in Christ alone.

What about you, friend? Do you look for confirmation, too?

“I think I’m afraid to get my hopes up, “I confessed to my husband one night as I worked late on the manuscript. “I want to trust God because I know He’s the God of the impossible; nothing is too difficult for him. But I’m really afraid to be disappointed. I selfishly want our book to succeed!”

Are you afraid to get your hopes up? Afraid God might just disappoint you? What 1 year taught be about a hope that is not put to shame! #hope #noshame #Christianwomen #book resources for Christians | godly women | Bible study | devotional | marriage book | unashamed | insecurity | how to have hope | trusting God | discipleship | spiritual growth | growing in Christ | giveaway | anniversary | being confident of this

Hope That Is Not Put to Shame

During those pre-launch weeks, God led me to read through the book of Psalms. Rather than studying it in depth, I just read through it a bit at a time. As I read, a phrase began to stick out to me: “let me not be put to shame.”

But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.
Make Your face to shine upon Your servant;
Save me in Your lovingkindness.
Let me not be put to shame, O Lord, for I call upon You. Psalm 31:14-17a (NASB)

I found this phrase particularly interesting in the psalms attributed to David, the unlikely boy-crowned-king who spent years without a throne. Even during his rule, He faced frequent plots against his life. The psalmist begged God time and again to preserve his life and reputation. He even had the audacity to point out that God made him king to begin with, so preserving David’s life would be protecting God’s own reputation both among the Israelites and the surrounding nations who were watching the struggle for the throne play out.

It’s as if David said, “You’re my God and everyone knows it. So, if you let my enemies succeed, your own reputation as my God will be ruined.”

I decided to do a little study on this phrase and discovered the story of King Hezekiah, who asked God to protect Israel from the Assyrians in a similar way – in order to maintain His own reputation as Israel’s God.

Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. Hezekiah prayed before the LORD and said, “O LORD, the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and listen to the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. Now, O LORD our God, I pray, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, O LORD, are God.” 2 Kings 19:14-19 (NASB)

Did you catch that? King Hezekiah literally took the letter from his enemy, laid it before the Lord, and asked God to take care of it.

Near the end of that same chapter, we read about the God of angel armies, whose angel of the Lord wiped out 185,000 of the enemy and sent King Sennacherib (king of the Assyrians) packing.

Now, that’s the God who won’t allow his people to be put to shame!

The more I read, the more I became convinced that I needed to have faith like David and Hezekiah. Nearly daily, I prayed that God would not allow my co-author Rebekah and I to be “put to shame.”

*Jen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Thank you for helping to support this blog!

I reminded Him (and myself, too) that neither one of us set out to write Hope for the Hurting Wife, but that we believed we were walking in obedience to Him, following His plans. I reminded him that many people were praying for us, waiting and watching along with us, to see what He would accomplish.

What followed was a week or more of seeing hard work and faith in the Lord pay off. We didn’t have a huge marketing team in our corner, just a group of faithful friends. We had no advertising budget, no radio or tv appearances lined up. I think Rebekah would agree that, in fact, we really had no clue what we were doing.

But God.

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He showed up for us in amazing ways!

Through a blogging friend, He gave us the information we needed to reach best-seller status in several Amazon Kindle categories. Our little book began to appear as a suggested best-selling new release, meaning Amazon actually did the advertising for us. Looking back, I wish I would have kept better records, but I believe we earned at least four different best-seller “badges,” and we have remained in the top ten in several of our categories for an entire year now.

One year later, we have sold hundreds of copies in both paperback and Kindle editions, and we frequently hear from women who found renewed hope because of this book.

I tell you these things not to brag, friend, but to show you the might of the God who does not let us be put to shame, praise His holy name!

When You Need More Unashamed Hope

What is it God has asked you to do, friend?

Has he asked you to quit your job to pursue His plan for your life?

Has He asked you to stay in a difficult marriage just a little longer?

Has he asked you to use your spiritual gifts for his glory?

Has He asked you to commit to giving up a bad habit or pattern of sin?

Whatever He’s asking of you, if He is the author, then you can also trust Him to be the perfecter! That’s not to say that life will go exactly as you imagine, but that as you go, you need not be put to shame when following hard after God.

Consider Jim Elliot and the other early missionary martyrs who risked family, finances, and even their very lives to carry the gospel to the Auca people, known head-hunters and warriors of South America. I’m sure some of their friends and family thought they were crazy.

And when Jim and the other men died in a savage attack, I wonder if even their wives doubted the vision God had given them. I wonder if their hope was “put to shame” in the eyes of others, too.

Yet years later, some of those widows returned to the Auca people to forgive the murderers and bring them the Good News. Many souls have since been saved, praise God.

Was their hope put to shame? I think not.

The truth is, this world needs more men and women who are willing to be fools for Christ, more Christ-followers willing to risk it all for the sake of Christ.

Friend, please don’t be afraid to walk forward in obedience to the Lord. Please don’t fear to do things in His name.

The fear of failure is real, I get it.

But we serve the God of the universe – let’s get that, too.

So we cry out with humble hearts, Lord, let us not be put to shame!

Book Anniversary & Giveaway

Okay, let me climb down from my soapbox now (I really do get excited about this kind of hope!), and invite you to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of Hope for the Hurting Wife‘s release!

We’re celebrating in 2 ways:

1. We’ve temporarily lowered the price of the print version (nearly half off!!) so that more women can get their hands on this book. If you need it, now’s the time to buy it. If you know a friend or family member who needs it, now’s the time to buy it. If your church has a library and you think it could use a copy, now’s the time…. you get the idea.

 

2. For the next week, you can ENTER TO WIN a copy of our book here at Being Confident of This or over at my co-author’s blog, Sharing Redemption’s Stories. We are each giving away a copy, so between the two of us, there will be TWO winners – woot, woot!
Hope for the Hurting Wife by Rebekah Hallberg and Jen Stults one year anniversary sale and giveaway! #marriage #giveaway #hopeforthehurtingwife #christianwomen women of faith | godly marriage | healthy marriage | marriage help | fight for marriage | warrior women | warrior wife | Christian books | books to grow your faith | Bible study | devotional | Being Confident of This

Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Before you go, can I selfishly ask you for a favor? We love, love, love to hear from our readers about how God is using this book in their marriages. Would you leave us a comment, or send us an email, or even better – leave us a review on Amazon or Goodreads, if this book meant something to you?

We celebrate each and every one of your remarks!

All for His glory,

Jen :)

For the Wife Who Feels Alone (and a Giveaway!)

“Sometimes I just feel so alone.”

As the words left my mouth, the weight of them nearly crushed me. Married life had been less than stellar, and I was weary of carrying on the “good fight.”

Add to that fact the isolation that often accompanies marriage problems (because after all, it’s embarrassing to admit you’re struggling, right?), and the loneliness seemed unbearable.

My natural tendency in times like these is to hunker down, hole up, hide away – that’s probably true for any introvert, but I now recognize that this tendency to retreat often leads me to be alone with my thoughts and worries – a dangerous place for any struggling wife to be, introvert or not.

Are you a wife who feels alone?

Sometimes other women ask me what I found most helpful during the dark years of our marriage, and I can honestly say that when I started to realize how NOT alone I was, I began to take heart!

Yet I often hear other women confessing that same struggle. They, too, feel alone in their marriage struggles.

I’m convinced it is one of Satan’s greatest weapons against Christian marriages today. With his persistent voice, he whispers lies like:

Your marriage problems are unique. No one else understands.

It’s because you lack faith – that’s why your marriage is struggling. Something must be wrong with you. 

You’re not a good enough wife. You just need to try harder to be the perfect wife, and then your husband will love you like you want.

And perhaps worst of all he puts the final nail in the coffin of our hope – If you tell anyone else, they’ll know what a failure you are, and your husband’s reputation will be ruined.

You see, friend, if he can convince you to hide your pain and suffering, to keep your mouth shut, he can keep you from the hope and joy you are desperately searching for!

Are you embarrassed to be a struggling wife? Do you often feel alone when facing marriage problems? For the Wife Who Feels Lonely Christian Women | biblical marriage | godly wife | feeling lonely | marriage problems | divorce |staying married | fighting for marriage | Being Confident of This #wife #lonely #encouragement #devotional

When women begin to realize that others out there have lived through and survived (or even thrived) through marriages that fell apart, they see that with God anything is possible. What a blow to the Enemy!

My friend, if you are a lonely wife who is hesitant to let anyone in, know that the truth is you are far from alone!

The God of the universe, your Creator, is with you.

And along with Him, you have thousands of sisters-in-Christ who are standing ground, fighting for their marriages, too.

How might your perspective change if you quit believing the Enemy’s lies and began instead to believe God’s truth?

  • Would believing that God isn’t finished working in your or in your marriage give you strength to persevere?
  • Would believing that He has your best interest at heart give you hope when all hope seems lost?
  • Would trusting in God’s providence and protection keep you secure?

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No marriage is perfect – how can the union of two flawed sinners possibly be? The tactics Satan uses now are the same he used even as far back in the Garden of Eden – anything he can do to separate husband and wife from each other and from God.

He specializes in crafting believable lies meant to lead us away from God’s truth one step of doubt at a time.

Whether you’re experiencing a true marital crisis or just struggling through the loneliness that often follows even a brief disagreement, you have a choice to make.

Truth or lie.

Hope or despair.

Joy or sorrow.

As a follower of Christ, filled by the Holy Spirit and fully equipped for every good work, you have the power to choose!

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)

Sweet wife who feels alone, let me offer you some very practical hope.

I’m thrilled to tell you about an important event taking place all month long, (especially since it’s FREE – my favorite!).

During the month of July, you can learn from and be encouraged by other wives through the FREE Joy in Marriage Event, hosted by my friend and fellow marriage blogger, Tiffany at Hope and Joy in Christ.

Tiffany has organized 31 days of marriage encouragement, including daily devotional posts, GIVEAWAYS (over $16,000 of faith resources!!), and even a digital swag bag for those who RSVP on her site!

In addition, as a sponsor for this event, Unveiled Wife has offered a FREE book for each writer who is participating to give away to readers – amazing, right?!
Giveaway! Win a copy of Wife After God by Unveiled Wife during the Joy in Marriage Event this July! #marrige #marriagebook #JoyinMarriage #giveaway Christian Women | Being Confident of This | Bible studies | devotionals | faith resources | marriage event |encouragement | joy   hope

So, first, you need to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a copy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Then, trek on over to Tiffany’s place to grab your swag bag and enter more giveaways. (Keep an eye out for Hope for the Hurting Wife while you’re there because Rebekah and I are both contributing a copy!). Every day, Tiffany will be sharing a post from a different blogger related to joy in marriage – how encouraging! :)

Finally, please help us spread the word about this event to your friends, family, church family, neighbors – anyone who will listen – so that YOU can be a part of encouraging other wives, too.

Let’s not allow the Enemy to keep us isolated and alone any longer!

No one needs to be a wife who feels alone!

Jen :)
Hope for the Hurting Wife - a 30-day devotional to encourage your marriage. Sign up now to grab your free sample chapters! Christian women|marriage help|hope for marriage|free marriage resources|free sample|marriage book|marriage problems|marriage encouragement

 

For the Wife Who’s Not in Love Anymore

I’m just not in love anymore.

It’s a phrase we hear often enough, a phrase that’s no longer attached to any one generation in particular. In fact, wives who have been married for decades are just as likely to utter these words as those who’ve only been married a short time.

I’m not in love anymore.

I’m sure the words pain you as much as they pain me because I remember a time when the same thought reverberated through my heartstrings.

Yes, me, a pastor’s wife who once upon a time fell madly in love with an enthusiastic young youth minister, only to quickly learn that marriage wasn’t all happily-ever-after wedded bliss.

We struggled off and on for the better part of a decade before learning how to consistently enjoy being married to each other!

But I’m not in love anymore, and my husband isn’t in love with me either, what else can I possibly do? 

Personally, I have some strong feelings about those words because I have learned that real love, true love is a choice, not a feeling – despite what our me-first culture would have us believe.

However, let’s set aside my personal feelings for now and dive right into what the Word of God has to say on the issue.

6 Essential Scriptures about Love:

1. According to scripture, our hearts are deceitful. We cannot trust the feeling of being not in love anymore.

Feelings come and go, sometimes without rhyme or reason, so we cannot trust our hearts to lead us in God’s ways. Instead, we must rely on what we know to be true, and we find such truth in His Word.

The heart is deceitful above all thing and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)

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2. God’s Word reveals that loving each other isn’t an option, it’s a command!

Whether or not we feel like loving our spouses, God expects us to love them in our choices.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)

3.  According to the Bible, agape love is the kind of love that sacrifices self in favor of another.

Jesus gave us the greatest example of agape love at the cross.

We are to follow Jesus’ example in living out that kind of sacrificial love. Agape love might be as simple as making a meal for your spouse, or ironing his clothes, or as difficult as keeping silent even when a spouse is wrong.

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  John 15:12-13 (NIV)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

So how do we know what God expects from us in living out agape love? After all, no one wants to be a doormat!

We must abide in Him and be sensitive to the Spirit, who will guide us when conflicts arise.

The next time the Spirit nudges you to do that kind thing for a loved one, pay attention and choose to obey even if you don’t feel like it!

4. The infamous love chapter (1 Corinthians 13) reminds us that God has high standards for what real love looks like.

According to these verses, we can be obedient in so many other areas, but without love, all of those good works are meaningless!

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.            1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)

5. God’s Word claims that if we don’t love others, then we don’t really know God – ouch!

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)

Marriage is designed to be a blessing, but how do we react when we just aren't in love anymore? Or what if my husband isn't in love with me anymore?  Let the Bible be your guide! These 6 verses teach much about the topic of love. Bible study|Chrsitian women|Chrisitan marriage|verses about love|scripture|what the Bible says about love|free printable|encouragement|Christian marriage|marriage help

6. We are capable of loving others (even when we don’t feel like it) because Christ loved us first!

Sometimes we’re tempted to doubt this truth. We wrongly believe that we cannot love our spouses, when in fact, we have all power to do just that in Christ!

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (NIV)

Even when the loving feelings just aren’t there, we can choose to act on the very real love that flows from Jesus.

We choose love out of gratefulness for what Christ has done for us.

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After all, I’m not perfect, and neither are you, yet Christ loved us at our very worst when we were unlovable, unworthy, enslaved to sin. We can and should demonstrate that same Christ-like love toward our spouses, even when they’re wrong, even when they are at their worst.

Friends, I know biblical love is not an easy standard to live up to. I fail so often in my own life!

I know the frustration of living in a broken marriage. I know the despair of feeling like things will never change.

I know the sorrow of feeling I’m not in love anymore.

But I also know the joy of seeing the Father change my own heart, as well as my husband’s heart. I know the joy of renewed hope.

I even know the joy of rekindled feelings when we got to the sweet spot of marriage, the “for better” that waited for us on the other side of the “for worse.”

So you’re not in love anymore – that may be true.

Your feelings may have changed, but God’s Word is clear:  love is a command, a choice, and the power to love comes not from our feelings but from Christ alone.

Let me encourage to choose love today, and when you do, may you reap the rewards that are promised!

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12 (NIV)

Above all, don’t give up hope that your marriage can change. Let that change begin with you.

As my gift to you to encourage you along those lines, I’m offering the lovely printable below to all subscribers! Just fill in your information and look for your confirmation email (be sure to check the spam folder if you don’t see it right away).

Please remember that you are not alone, my friend. Fellow warrior wives have lived in these same trenches and have won the battle for healthy marriage by God’s design. And the Lord your God is with you in all things!

Jen :)

For further reading: I Didn’t Want My Husband Anymore

Christ-like Love is no easy feat! Let these scriptures encourage you to have a right perspective on what real love looks like. Bible verses|verses about love|Christian women| Bible study| devotional|what the Bible says about Love| free printable|Christian marriage|marriage encouragement

 

 

 


What I Learned from Our Christmas Light Fight and the God Who Is “With You”

This week I received a not-so-subtle reminder of how Christmas used to be around our house.  It started out as an unnamed tension, a small inkling that something just wasn’t right between us.

Eventually, my frustration grew, and with it the realization that my husband and I were quickly heading down a path that neither one of us wished to revisit – the path of Christmas past.

In years past, unresolved issues often flared during the holiday season with the pressure of family functions and high expectations for extra quality togetherness.

Christmas expectations tend to create an unhealthy, doomed-to-fail attitude in my husband who struggles with baggage from the past.

Add to that my equally destructive tendency toward perfectionism (also heightened by Christmas expectations) and desire for magical family moments, and… well… you can imagine the disappointment when things don’t go as planned.

The Christmas Light Fight

It took a strand of Christmas lights for me to finally experience the “Aha!” moment we desperately needed.

Because every single year we argued over those stinkin’ Christmas lights!

Why, why, why?!

Why argue over something so silly and insignificant?

What I learned from a Christmas light fight and the God who is "with" you. Hope for the Hurting Wife sale|Being Confident of This|Christian women|Bible study|encouragement|devotional thought|inspiration|growing in Christ|progress|perfectionism|marriage|marriage help  #marriage #hope #Christianbook

Because we’re different.

My husband is a get-‘er-done, looks-good-enough-to-me kind of guy while I’m a detail-oriented, slightly OCD perfectionist.

His goal was to get the job done quickly while mine was to get the job done right!

And at Christmastime, of all times, I felt we should be on the same page (which, if I’m honest, really meant I believed he should get on my page). ;)

One year, we found a way around the seemingly inevitable Christmas light argument. Somehow, we managed to work together to get the lights on the tree without losing patience with each other.

It was our very own Christmas miracle!

Not only that, but we also managed to discuss a plan for the outdoor lights that we both agreed upon, and my husband carried out to near perfection.

That Christmas certainly wasn’t perfect, but it demonstrated real progress.

Sometimes, friends, we focus so intently on the standard, on where we desire to be, on the relationship that we desperately long for, that we fail to see the small steps that have carried us away from where we were.

When that happens, when we fail to see the progress, we wrongly believe that we’re stuck, doomed to repeat patterns of failure that we’re sick and tired of repeating.

Like our annual Christmas light fight.

Christmas Expectations & The Enemy

The truth is that Christmas, for all of its joy and light, is also a season of added stress – financial stress, relational stress, physical stress, and mental stress.

It’s enough stress to downright break an already limping marriage relationship like the straw that broke the camel’s back.

For women in particular, we often expect our husbands to be even more family-oriented during holiday seasons.

I can’t believe he’s acting like this at Christmas!

Doesn’t he love me enough not to ruin my holiday?

Can we get just one day without his selfishness – for the kids?!

Our unrealistic Christmas expectations provide fertile ground for the Enemy’s seeds of discontent.

Believe me when I say that the Enemy is keenly aware of the opportunity that added Christmas expectations provides, and he is quick to pounce on every opportunity to grow bitterness and resentment in our hearts, even during, no especially during the season of light.

It must make him incredibly angry to see families working together to decorate their homes in anticipation of the celebration of Christ’s birth.

It must make him seethe with hatred to see the love and joy we experience in the act of giving to one another in honor of the Greatest Gift.

He must burn with rage to see families gathered around to listen to God’s Word, His love story come to life in the babe called Jesus, the God sent to earth to be “with us.”

No wonder he attacks families during the Christmas season.

There’s so much joy that he is determined to steal all that he can, and sometimes… sometimes we let him.

Friends, don’t let your Christmas expectations diminish your joy this year.

Unrealistic expectations add pressure to marriage relationships during the Christmas season! What I learned from a Christmas light fight and the God who is "with" you. Hope for the Hurting Wife sale|Being Confident of This|Christian women|Bible study|encouragement|devotional thought|inspiration|growing in Christ|progress|perfectionism|marriage|marriage help  #marriage #hope #Christianbook

The Setup for Christmas Success

Instead of setting yourself up for Christmas failure, set yourself up for success by:

  1. Lowering expectations. Be realistic! (will the Christmas light setup really matter in years to come? Or that perfect family photo – you know, the one where everyone is smiling but you remember the true feelings that reigned that day).
  2. Focusing on progress rather than perfection. (even baby steps are still steps in the right direction!)
  3. Recognizing the Enemy’s attempts to steal your Christmas joy.
  4. Keeping your mind stayed fast on the hope you have in Christ, the God who is with you!

Don’t let the sorrow of broken relationships or life’s hardships eclipse the light of the Savior’s birth.

After all, He came to be the God who is with us in all our brokenness, in all our sorrow and joy and love and frustration and messiness and wild beauty.

He came to be with us.

That’s the hope we have to offer you this Christmas season, that your God is the God who is “with you.” He never leaves you nor forsakes you, even when you disappoint yourself and your spouse by arguing over Christmas lights.

The God Who Is With You

He loves you with an everlasting love, even when you miss the first fourteen days of your advent plan.

He delights in you even when you fail time and time again.

He lavishes new mercies every morning upon you when you’ve spent half the night worrying about whether or not you and your spouse will make it.

He strengthens you to keep fighting for the healthy, abundant-life kind of marriage that He designed you to experience from the beginning.

He is the God who is with you.

Emmanuel.

And according to His word, nothing can separate you from his love, not even the prowling Enemy.

Believe in His promises today, friend. Cling to the hope that you are not alone!

When those dark thoughts and temptations enter your mind, just whisper His name – Jesus…Jesus…Jesus…

and remember He is the God who is with you, the ultimate, life-giving Gift!

*This post contains affiliate links.* Jen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Jen also participates in affiliate programs for other trusted products. Thank you for helping to support the ministry of this blog!

Hope for Wives This Christmas

Friends, we know the holiday season is rough on marriages, even healthy ones. But it’s especially hard on marriages that have nearly reached the breaking point. We know wives and spouses who are living unloved experience an intense loneliness and sadness during Christmas.

So, as a gift to you, my co-author Rebekah Hallberg and I have scheduled a special one-week Kindle countdown sale on our book, Hope for the Hurting Wife – a 30 day devotional for encouragement in your marriage.

What better gift can we give than the gift of knowing you are not alone, and that real Hope is within your grasp?

It’s the only kind of hope that is guaranteed not to put us to shame!

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5

If you’re living in a broken relationship, if you are a wife who is hurting this holiday season, I encourage you to pick up this book, especially while it’s so affordable.  Or maybe you know a fellow wife who is doing her best to fight for her marriage? Give her the gift of Hope this Christmas.

What I learned from a Christmas light fight and the God who is "with" you. Hope for the Hurting Wife sale|Being Confident of This|Christian women|Bible study|encouragement|devotional thought|inspiration|growing in Christ|progress|perfectionism|marriage|marriage help  #marriage #hope #Christianbook

Please don’t delay because the nature of the countdown sale is that the price increases incrementally as time passes.

Our greatest desire is that no wife should go through this Christmas feeling alone and hopeless!

Whatever your circumstances, choose to celebrate the hope of the God who is with you.

Let’s share that message around this season!

Jen :)

P.S.  My lovely and brave author friend Kaylene Yoder is also “birthing” these babies (below) into the world today. If you’re looking for more marriage and parenting encouragement, please check out her prayer journals! Harness the power of prayer to change your most important family relationships.

How to Stand Firm in the War on Your Marriage

That night we went to bed angry, as far apart in the bed as we could possibly get without falling off the edges. I knew my heart was wrong, but he was wrong, too, so I refused to give in.

But my guilty conscience gave me no rest.

I wept angry tears, and pleaded with God to help me find a way out, a way back to what was right. I wondered, why is marriage such a war?

Some days marriage seems like hard work, while other days it feels like an all out war, doesn’t it?

The truth is that there is a war on your marriage, and it’s not just about the present conflict between you and your husband.

God’s Word tells us that the Enemy seeks to destroy our lives (1 Peter 5:8-9), and marriage conflict is a tool He uses often. So, friend, the war on your marriage is real, but it’s not a war of this world – it’s a war of the spiritual world the likes of which Paul spoke of in the book of Ephesians.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph. 6:12 (NIV)

Fellow wife, I know you may be hard-pressed and Satan’s attacks seem never-ending, but we serve a God who loves to demonstrate His might over the forces of darkness!

As you choose to stand firm in the war on your marriage, keep in mind these three tips.

3 Ways to Stand Firm in the War on Your Marriage

  1. Confront Satan’s lies.

So often women feel shame over marriage issues, even if those issues are a result of their husband’s sin and not their own. This is perhaps especially true in Christian marriages because we have that deep desire to be the godly wife we know God wants us to be.

Because we’re ashamed, we hide our problems from others and trying to put up a good front. We begin to believe the lie that we’re alone in our suffering. It’s the oldest trick in the book, dating all the way back to the Garden of Eden; the Enemy uses it often.

However, when we allow shame to rule us, we give Satan the spiritual foothold he is looking for.

These 3 biblically based tips will help you stand firm in the war on your marriage! Christian marriage|godly wife|spiritual warfare|fighting for marriage|standing for marriage|Christian women|Christian resources|Bible studies|devotionals

We fail to…

Please join me for the rest of this post over at the Reclaiming Hope and Joy in Your Marriage series! It’s a month-long series over at Finding Hope and Joy in Christ – with several MAJOR giveaways. So click here to head over and read the rest! :)

Do you feel stuck in your marriage? Do you long for the days when marriage was enjoyable? Whether you are desperate for change in your marriage or simply wanting some encouragement to be a godly wife, this book is for you! healthy marriage|happy marriage|godly wife|christian living|christian resource|bible study|devotional|marriage help|hope for marriage|Hope for the Hurting Wife|lonely wife|feeling unloved|heartbroken|weary wife

Sharing with: Grace and Truth Link-up

For the Wife Who Has Lost All Hope (and a Giveaway!)

Has a book ever touched your life in a way that you knew would forever change you?

Hope for the Hurting Wife has changed me.

From the early years of marriage when I lived out the reality of this book, I’ve seen the hand of God at work in my marriage. It’s a good thing, too, because without His intervention, I probably would have ended up divorced.

Yes, this book has changed me. Writing out your struggles, reliving them for the world to see, is no easy thing. It requires time and patience and lots of shaking-in-my-boots bravery.

As an imperfect wife, I never planned to write about marriage. In fact, I purposefully avoided writing about marriage for quite a while until the Lord convinced me otherwise.

You see, friend, I wanted nothing more than to be the good, Christian girl and the good, Christian wife. But when my life became tainted by sin and doubt and suffering, upholding my good, Christian girl facade became impossible.

And I’m thankful it did.

I’m not the same person I was ten years ago. I’m not the same wife, either.

But for many years, I believed my marriage was tainted, too. I thought we might never find our way back to happiness.

I lost all hope.

In a day when marriages quickly end in divorce, where do hurting wives who want to stay married turn? You're not alone and finding hope in a difficult marriage IS possible! hope for marriage|marriage crisis|Christian marriage|devotional|godly wife|unloved|divorce|encouragement|inspirational|marriage book|marriage help

For a time, I even contemplated divorce, but I knew it was wrong, and I didn’t want my children to grow up in a broken family.

So, I cried out to the Lord for rescue. I allowed him into my anger and my brokenness. Instead of hiding the emotions I was so ashamed of, I started being brutally honest with God about my pain and my anger. I quit living in denial and allowed Him to open my eyes to the truth of our situation.

If not for family support and godly mentors during this season of life, I’m sure my story would be very different, friend.

I needed other Chrisitan women who were willing to admit that marriage is hard work. I needed other Christian women to show me there is no such thing as a perfect wife. I needed women to sit with me in suffering rather than sit with me in condemnation.

I needed women to sit with me in suffering rather than sit in condemnation.

I know some of you are searching for the same. You’re desperate to be the wife God wants you to be, but you don’t quite know how when your marriage is so troubled. You don’t know how you can possibly fight for your marriage when you can barely stand under the weight of it.

Fellow hurting wife, listen closely: You. are. not. alone.

My co-author Rebekah Hallberg and I hear frequently from women just like you (and just like us), who truly desire to avoid divorce. We know the shame and guilt you often bear. We know the loneliness you experience. We know what it is to feel unloved and rejected.

*This page contains affiliate links. For more information, please visit the About page. Thank you for supporting the ministry of Being Confident of This!

That’s why we wrote Hope for the Hurting Wife, for women like you who have lost all hope and don’t know where to turn.

Hope for the Hurting Wife

Hope for the Hurting Wife is a thirty-day devotional journey that meets hurting and heartbroken wives right in the midst of a difficult marriage and gently encourages them to find hope that truly lasts.

Through our personal stories of heartache and scriptural insight, we address topics such as:

• Moving forward after trauma
• Loving even when you feel unloved
• Protecting your heart
• Understanding the power of choice
• Trusting God while waiting for redemption

You will never experience a perfect marriage here on earth, but you can experience real hope.

Our God is the God of the impossible!

While the world is quick to throw away marriage and run straight to divorce, we who are in Christ know that our present troubles never accurately reflect our future.

In a day when marriages quickly end in divorce, where do hurting wives who want to stay married turn? Hope for the Hurting Wife is written by two women who have lived through the dark and difficult times in marriage. Through personal stories and biblical insight, they encourage all women to fight for hope in their marriages! hope for marriage|marriage crisis|Christian marriage|devotional|godly wife|unloved|divorce|encouragement|inspirational|marriage book|marriage help

We serve a God who invested His very self into us through the work of Jesus, and He continually works to transform us from the inside out (Phil. 1:6). He continually works to transform our relationships, too.

My marriage of eighteen years is stronger than ever, but not because of me. Only God could take a marriage so messy and so broken and transform it into something truly beautiful. Not perfect, but beautiful.

And I’m more certain now than ever that the Enemy just hates to see what God does when women hand over their lives and their marriages into His trust.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans :3-5 (NIV – emphasis mine)

You don’t have to be a wife who has lost all hope any longer, friend. Cry out to the God of all hope who comforts us in our troubles (2 Cor. 1:4).

Don’t be afraid to hope lest you be disappointed because God’s hope does not put us to shame!

Choose today to fight like a warrior wife for your marriage!

Choose hope over fear!

Jen :)

Marriage Resource Bundle Giveaway

To celebrate the launch of our book, Hope for the Hurting Wife, we’re giving away a four-book bundle of marriage resources! These resources were hand-selected by Rebekah and I specifically for wives who have lost all hope, but they would benefit any and every married woman! Here’s what the winner will receive

1. Hope for the Hurting Wife paperback – see info above!

2. Every Wife’s Choice by Sarah Fairchild (paperback) takes an in-depth look at how our emotions come into play in marriage. Sarah uses both humor and insightful key-word study to examine the famous love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13. I promise you will laugh out loud when reading this book!

3. A Wife’s 40-day Fasting and Prayer Journal by Kaylene Yoder (paperback) is a devotional combined with a prayer journal. It is beautifully designed with spaces to record what you learn from relevant verses, your own prayers, and even how you intend to fast should you choose to use that portion. Kaylene understands that marriages are often under spiritual attack, so she encourages women to fight back by covering their marriages in prayer!

4. Blues to Bliss by Ngina Otiende (ebook version) speaks to those times when marriage fails to live up to our expectations (especially in the early years). Ngina shares from her own marriage, as well as the Bible, about how to navigate areas such as intimacy, submission, communication and even finances!

We're celebrating the launch of our new book Hope for the Hurting Wife by giving away a bundle of marriage books! Enter for your chance to win these four books written for wives! marriage books|Christian wife|godly wife|marriage growth|faith|bible studies|devotionals|encouragement for marriage|hope for the  hurting wife|prayer journal

We are especially hopeful that some of these resources will make their way into the hands of wives who have nearly lost all hope.

Enter for your chance to win below! (And stop by Rebakah’s blog for a chance to win in her giveaway, too!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Sharing with: Salt and Light Linkup

What If God Actually Answered My Prayers?

His words caught me totally by surprise. I looked up from what I was doing to be sure I’d heard him. My husband has never been very definitive about anything, especially pertaining to our marriage, so his matter-of-fact response caught me off guard.

My husband and I have had a rough few years. We’ve had legal, financial and marital issues, to name just a few. The trauma we’ve dealt with has been almost unbearable. My husband has had to deal with some very difficult issues, and while we’ve tried to navigate them together, ultimately they have been his demons to wrestle while I prayed.

I was frustrated at where we were in our relationship – seemingly stuck. The struggles that we faced took us on very different roads than I ever intended. Navigating them has not been easy for me.

I think I said something like, “I don’t like where we are. I want to feel like we’re moving forward. I want to feel unstuck.”

He answered that we won’t be in this position forever. I won’t always feel stuck. No, someday this will be behind us.

“You want to move forward? Then we start today. We start here. We may not know where we are going to end up, but we can start right here and move forward together.”

Friends, I have prayed for this moment. I have prayed for my husband to step into the position to want to lead our family, our marriage.

And there I stood, surprised, uncertain, not sure what to do.

What if…

What if God actually answered my prayers?

His words startled me. Could be be that God actually answered my prayer?

The world is so quick to speak their “truths” into our lives:

You’re not good enough.
Your prayer is too big to get answered.
Your relationship is too broken.
Your God isn’t big enough.

Even those 4 lies right there – they’re huge. We’ve all probably heard them (or a variety of them) at some point.

But what does God do?

God calls us out.

God calls us out – He makes us holy, set apart.

In Exodus 3:5, God called to Moses from the burning bush.

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

And in Joshua 5:15, the commander of the Lord’s army met Joshua near Jericho.

The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

When God is ready to use us, when He answers our prayers and prepares us for what’s ahead, He will set us apart for His purpose.

We may not see a burning bush, and we may not talk with the commander of the Lord’s army, but that doesn’t diminish God’s work in our lives! God’s power to work is as strong whether we have a Damascus road experience, or whether we’re struck by the words of our husband.

God is not finished with my marriage. He still has a plan for us. He is answering my prayers for my marriage in ways I can’t even believe.

What are you praying for today? How can we be praying with you?

We will pray, but friends, I ask you to pray, believing.

 

Rebekah M. HallbergRebekah has been completely overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of the Lord in her life. He has proven His faithfulness in every area of her life, especially in her marriage. She has come to understand the power of redemption and God’s work in her own marriage. Her goal is to be Sharing Redemption’s Stories – encouraging wives who are praying for redemption in their marriage.

The Secret to Being a Warrior Wife

He shuffled into the living room, shoulders slumped, and with a great sigh lowered himself to the couch.  His clothes bore the marks of a man who worked hard for a living.

He could barely meet my gaze, as if he were somehow lacking or not enough.  I knew he needed my compassion and encouragement, but instead of sympathy, I felt only frustration.

After all, I thought, I’m working hard in this season, too. I’m weary, too. What do I have left to offer? It feels like too much, and I have nothing left to give.

Besides, he’s a grown man. I’m busy caring for children and our home all day long, on top of the demands of work and ministry roles that I am responsible for. If I can keep myself going, why can’t he keep himself going?

And just like that I missed the opportunity to be a warrior wife.

Have you ever been so caught up in the busyness and stress of life that you forget who you are or who you were created to be, friend?

Especially as a writer and pastor’s wife, I struggle with balancing my family and home life with the demands of ministry life. Without realizing it, I begin to neglect important relationships because I’m “just so busy.”

I become task-oriented rather than people-oriented, a slave to the to-do list rather than a Spirit-led woman.

And it’s downright frustrating how quickly and easily I slip into this mode of doing rather than being!

We get so caught up in busy schedules and who we think we are supposed to be that we forget our primary purpose. Don't make the mistake of leaving your husband without the helper he really needs. Being a warrior wife is not just a role... The Secret to being a Warrior Wife

At a recent women’s conference, I received a wake-up call from the Lord. One speaker in particular, Dana James, reminded us of who we are created to be as daughters of the one true King in relation to our husbands.

My friend Dana shared with us that God designed us to be “helpers” from the very beginning.

“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ ” Gen. 2:18

Yes, I know we’ve all heard this verse before. Our job is to help, right? That’s our God-given “role,” right?

Wrong!

Dana drew our attention to the original language, which uses the Hebrew word ezer (pronounced ay-zer).  The word ezer is used 21 times in the Old Testament, but the majority of those uses are in reference to God himself, His character.  In such cases, the word ezer is used in connection with words like shield, sword, deliverer, mighty, and hope.

 Thus, ezer refers to the warrior aspect of God’s character – the One who fights on our behalf, our Shield and Defender, our Rescue.

As I looked further into the meanings attached to this word and its definitions, I found connotations of assistance or aid, especially in times of suffering or distress.  It means relief given to someone in need, removing or reducing something that is painful, unpleasant, or even oppressive!

And this very same word ezer is used to describe a helper suitable for Adam.

Do you see what this means for us, my sisters in Christ?

 

Hope for the Hurting Wife - a 30-day devotional to encourage your marriage. Sign up now to grab your free sample chapters! Christian women|marriage help|hope for marriage|free marriage resources|free sample|marriage book|marriage problems|marriage encouragement

When the Lord God chose to create woman, He instilled in her very character the properties of this ezer. He created us to be warrior women, warrior wives, who will bravely fight spiritual battles on behalf of our husbands, who will provide aid and relief to the men in our lives who are worn down and discouraged by the demands of this earthly life.

Here’s the rub: I think we all know this intuitively and most of us truly desire to live this out.

But sometimes it feels like a whole lot of work that we have no strength to do, doesn’t it?

So when I saw my hard-working husband down and out on a day when I was already in that weighed-down place myself, I chose to look the other way. I chose to put my needs first.

I left him without his ezer, his helper.

It was a selfish choice that I’m ashamed to say I make often when I’m already stressed.  And I wonder, why do I make this choice?  What is it that feels so hard about being a warrior wife? What secret am I missing?

The secret to being a warrior wife lies in our perspective.

“It’s who we are, not a role we play!” ~ Dana James

When I see being a warrior wife as a job I need to do, it’s easy for me to let it slide on the days when I’m worn out or discouraged. It’s easy for me to call it “too hard.”  But when I see being a warrior wife as part of my very identity, as a reflection of God’s character that comes not from trying harder, but from yielding to the Spirit, then I’m left with no excuses.

It is who I am called to be in Christ, and it’s who you are called to be in Christ, too, friend. Don’t leave your husband without the helper he really needs.

You were created for this and in Christ, you are equipped for this.

Let’s be warrior wives who fight the right kind of battles, not against our husbands, but for them.

Let’s do battle on our knees and in our war rooms against the real enemy.

Let’s choose to aid rather than to ignore.

Be an ezer. Fight!

Jen :)

~ This devotional is an excerpt from the book, Hope for the Hurting Wife by Rebekah Hallberg and Jen Stults.

*This post contains affiliate links. For more information on Being Confident of This’s affiliate policy, please visit the home page here. Thank you for helping to support this site!

 

Marriage is worth fighting for! Don't fall for the lies of the world and the Enemy that it's easier to just give up. Use this marriage devotional to turn to God and invite Him to be the solution to your marriage problems. Be a Warrior Wife! #marriage #book #devotional #encouragement

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiration for this devotional came from Dana James’s talk “Being a Very Strong Helper” at Tranfsormed 2016 (Central Conference) and was used with permission from Dana.  If you’d like to connect more with Dana, she writes at The Prime Rib, a website for minister’s wives in Tennessee.

For a practical take on how to encourage a discouraged husband (and how NOT to), try this one from Club 31 Women.

Recommended resources for being a warrior wife:

 


Sharing with: Grace and Truth

How to Overcome the “For Worse” of Your Marriage Vows

It’s funny how just a few small words can really change our perspective. No doubt when you took your wedding vows, you were so eager for the “for better” of marriage. Me, too! That’s not the only thing I vowed, though. That phrase had 3 more words at the end of it – ones that we often overlook. So what happens when you feel like you’re stuck in the “or for worse” phase of marriage?

When You're Stuck in the "...or for worse..." Phase of Your Marriage

Please note: I do know that there are times when it’s not safe to stay in your marriage.
This post is written from the perspective of being within a safe marriage.

If you are struggling and not in a safe situation, please do get help.

PRAY
Okay, this seems obvious, but let’s be realistic – so often, we forget about the most basic things when we’re stuck or trying to fix something.

What can you pray for? This list is certainly not all-inclusive, but here are a few suggestions:

Your husband – God knows the struggles he is facing, and He knows any areas that need work. Trust Him to work in your husband’s heart. (I can promise you with great certainty that the way God works will look completely different than the way you might have “fixed” the problem. TRUST GOD!)
Yourself - During this time, you’re going to need to pray for yourself, even if you don’t normally. You’re going to need God to work in and through you, to give you peace, rest and hope.
Your family - If there are children or extended family members involved in your life, pray for them. Ask God to provide for what they need as they go through this time.
Your situation - God knows the specifics of what is going on, of what brought you to this place. It’s so good to know that we can trust our future to God, no matter where we are, or where we hope to get!

God knows all the details of our lives – the good things and even the ugly parts – so I appreciate going to Him to pour out my heart.

God and I have had some intense heart-to-heart conversations as I’ve struggled through the “for worse” parts of my marriage vows.

TRUST
I don’t know your situation, but I do know my own. When everything came undone, there were a million and one opportunities for trusting God. I had to trust God for everything from basic necessities to keeping a roof over my head and keeping my family together.

The hard thing about trust is that, in our humanness, we desperately want the answer we want, at the time we want it. In other words, every night I went to bed without a resolution to the problem was an opportunity for fear…or faith.

It turns out that there truly is only room for one of those – fear or faith.

I cannot promise you that there’s hope for your marriage, but I can – and do – promise you that God will be faithful to meet your needs and to make your heart whole.

WORK
In my own life, when things began to go badly, I needed to get a job. I needed income. You may not be in that situation, but we all have work that we can be doing.

Ask God to make you a blessing. He may choose to do that within your home, or He may choose to do that in various ways with friends, neighbors, even strangers. If you ask God to give you a way to be a blessing to someone, He is going to do it. Personally, I like this because it gave me an opportunity to take my mind off my marriage and focus on a way to benefit someone else.

Work isn’t just a physical act, though. Work is a spiritual act. We’re in a battle, whether our marriage is in the “for better” or “for worse” category. The enemy doesn’t want us honoring God within our marriage, so he’s happy when we’re struggling. He’s thrilled when we’re ready to throw in the towel.

If you’re truly going to work to stick it out in your marriage, then you’re going to need to do some spiritual work. Each day you’ll need to prepare for battle – like you never have before. A wife has a quiet strength that the enemy knows he can’t discount. Sisters, if each of us committed to truly working through the “for worse” parts of our marriages, think of the progress we could make for the kingdom of Heaven!

* * * * *

Friends, I know that often it isn’t completely our fault that our marriage is struggling. Believe me, if you were to look at my situation, it would be very safe to say that everything that has gone wrong is completely my husband’s fault.

But, I don’t want my story to end there.

I have prayed for redemption within my marriage. I have prayed, trusted and worked, and God has answered by keeping us together and growing stronger in Him.

Working through all that I have, though, also showed me that God has a plan for my life – my own life, separate from my husband’s or my kids’ lives. No matter how things might have turned out, I knew that God had a plan for me.

As women I think we can easily get sidetracked by the many hats we wear. At the end of the day, God needed to remind me that I am His. No matter what hat I wear, I belong to Jesus. And I woke up today because He still has a plan for my life!

Whatever you’re facing, even if you’re stuck in the “or for worse” stage of marriage, remember that God has a plan for you. Pray, trust and seek Him for the work He would have you to do.

Rebekah M. Hallberg

Rebekah has been completely overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of the Lord in her life. He has proven His faithfulness in every area of her life, especially in her marriage. She has come to understand the power of redemption and God’s work in her own marriage. Her goal is to be Sharing Redemption’s Stories – encouraging wives who are praying for redemption in their marriage.