Imagine having coffee with a few friends–just the girls. Isn’t it likely that at some point, one of your friends will make a comment about her husband? Soon, everyone is “venting.”  Our husbands are forgetful, they chew too loudly, and they don’t help enough with household chores. We share our frustrations with each other, not feeling overly concerned; after all, no one said she didn’t love her husband or wanted a divorce.

I have been in that very situation. More than once, I have sat around a table with a group of girlfriends and done my share of venting. I am a Christian, but I never gave much thought to whether what I was doing was harmful. But it IS harmful, because it’s disrespectful, and because it goes against what God has commanded of me as a wife.

This is just one of the many ways God has convicted me in our current study, Falling In Love Again With Your Husband, I have been forced to confess to the Lord that for many years, 1 Peter 3 was nowhere on my radar: “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:1-4 NASB).

This passage is specific. Be submissive. Behave respectfully. Consider the hidden person of your heart more important than external beauty. Why? Because it is precious in God’s sight.

If I really take this scripture to heart, I am mightily convicted. On most days, my behavior, my attitude, would not win over my husband. I am not respectful, in word or tone. I am selfish. A gentle and quiet spirit? No. My flesh screams to be heard, to be right, to control.

BUT, I am learning, I have a choice! I can follow my flesh, my sinful nature, the nature we all share OR I can walk forward in the Spirit, trusting God to work all things out.

While we are faced with walking in the flesh vs. the Spirit every moment of everyday, there are times the Lord allows us to see the act of choosing as it unfolds. Recently, I had to leave the house early, and my husband had to manage the morning routine. I asked my husband to ensure something very important was done for one of our children. I left reminders. And then…I got a text from him later in the morning. He had forgotten.

My first reaction, in the flesh, was to fire back an angry text to express my disbelief (and disappointment) that he forgot.

But I resisted. I prayed. The Lord settled my heart and mind. He gently reminded me He was in control. He gently reminded me I forget things, too. And in that moment, I was able to walk forward in the Spirit. I asked my husband to pray for our child. I did not respond out of anger or self-righteousness, as if I would have done better. And my response allowed my frustration to dissipate. I was watching myself, my responses, from a Spirit-filled posture, which was so encouraging!  Please know, I take no credit for my actions. This is the work of the Lord. I cannot, nor will ever be able to, respond in this manner apart from the Lord. In my own strength, I would always fire back an angry text.

All of this helped me to see that I’m not helping my friends or myself by sharing my frustrations about my husband. I can turn to my Almighty Father and lay those frustrations at His feet. Only He can change a person’s heart. He wants my focus to stay on Him.

Another lesson I learned that day? My husband may have forgotten what our child needed, but God did not. He is faithful.

Growing in Grace




I’m very thankful for the review week of Falling In Love Again With Your Husband. Each day of homework takes participants through the other six weeks of homework that they have already completed. It’s amazing to go back and remember truths that the Lord brought to new light and also very sweet to see new growth that the Lord has allowed.

As I went through my first day of review, I went through days one and two of the week “Made In His Image.” There was a question that had me list out my priorities and questioned if there were any that took precedence over the Lord. I had confessed that many everyday home chores took (and can still take) precedence. I read my prayer that I had written to the Lord, “I want my husband to remember how much I loved you over any meal I could cook or how many loads of laundry I could get done in a day and I want my kids to remember that you are always number one over how clean our house was or that they always had clean sheets.”

The Lord used my own prayer that I had written to reveal my sin. I realized as I read my prayer that what it said may have sounded good, but the true motive behind the prayer was not. I have godly wives and godly mommas all around me that their families hold in such high esteem. They exude Jesus and their families recognize it. I realized as I read my prayer that that is what I desire more than to glorify the Lord. I fear what my family will think of me and put their opinions over the Lord’s. I want them to love me, to hold me in high esteem for how “godly” I am, I want their recognition. When I saw these symptoms of sin from seeing my idolatry of self and pride in this new light I was heart-broken; partly because I saw a new way that I was sinning against my God and partly because this wasn’t a sin I could immediately “fix.” I couldn’t immediately take that desire away, I still felt it even if I didn’t want to anymore.

I started to think about this more as I went throughout my day. The Lord brought scriptures to mind that I had been reading thanks to His grace of allowing me to get up to read His word because of commitments I had made to my small group at Thistlebend. Normally seeing a sin like this that wasn’t immediately changeable would make me walk in defeat for the rest of the day. I would feel shame, guilt and would want to try and cover it up before coming to the Lord so that I could confess what I was doing not the current reality. This time was different.

I remembered what I learned about Psalm 63 from a previous study of Thistlebend that David, in his sin, didn’t hide from the Lord, instead he clung to Him all the more. So, by God’s grace, I confessed to Him, this is what I’m feeling and seeing and I don’t know how to stop. I know the focus is on me and wanting to be cherished as a wife and mother instead of cherishing you. I remembered scripture passages from 2 Corinthians 4 and 5 and Colossians 3 that I have around my house because of a another commitment I had made to my Thistlebend small group that talk about our heavenly dwelling and setting our minds where Christ is because things that are seen are temporary, but Christ is eternal. And the Lord brought to mind a scripture from Psalm 25 that I had read that very morning, “My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net” (Psalm 25:15). The Lord kept bringing more truth to mind as I thought and prayed about my sin and I was given the ability to remember the truth. That maybe I do feel as if I want that recognition more than just loving the Lord, but I do not have to identify with that pride. That pride is not who I am, I am now in Christ. When I see that I’m feeling that way I can fix my eyes towards the Lord and off myself and remember that it is Him alone that plucks my feet from the sinful net that I can be entangled in.

Maybe I will continue to struggle to worry what people, even my family think of me. I pray that the Lord relieves me of this sin, but even if He doesn’t this side of heaven, because of Jesus and what He did for me, I live for another. I was created for another and I can openly confess to my family that I want this recognition, but by God’s grace, I want Him to be recognized more and it says that He is glorified in my weakness and so here’s what I struggle with.

I am so encouraged. God is tangibly moving in my life and giving me grace to believe His truth, even if it’s in ways that I wouldn’t necessarily want. I still really don’t like to see my sin, but through seeing this and calling it what it is, I saw God, and truly, that’s all that matters. In Luke 15 Jesus says, “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). God rejoices with repentance, not perfection. I’m so thankful for how He uses Thistlebend in my life.

How have you seen God work in your life lately? Let’s celebrate how God is moving together in the comments!

Planted for His Glory

This past weekend my husband and I were at a wedding. It was gorgeous—the perfectly arranged flowers, the gold chairs, the gorgeous table arrangements, and of course, the breath-taking bride.

The church doors opened, the music played, the crowd stood, and the bride radiantly walked down the aisle.

Anytime I am at a wedding I love to watch the groom during this moment. In this instance, as I looked at him I couldn’t help but get tears in my eyes. He had a soft smile on his face, tears streaming down his cheek, and it was as if no one else was in the room besides him and his soon to be wife.

It was in this moment that I was reminded that I am the Lord’s bride. He looks at me and sees a white dress, perfect hair, and great shoes. He doesn’t see my sin, shame, guilt, my sweatpants and spit up stained t-shirt. He looks at me and sees a beautiful bride and loves me so deeply.

God loves us in the same way He loves Jesus—it’s a sacrificial love. There is no greater love. It isn’t based on what I do or don’t do. I know this truth, but I so often believe the lie instead.

Just last week I was having one of those days where nothing seemed to be going right. I overslept, was rushing around, was frustrated with my husband which led to me blowing up on him, and the list went on. I felt so guilty for the way I treated my husband and I felt like I couldn’t go to the Lord in that moment. In my mind I believed that my shortcomings meant the Lord was going to love me less. Would He even care about my prayer I thought to myself?

Come now, let us reason together says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool (Isaiah 1:18).

How sweet is that? He sees our messy, ugly, selfish sins and in spite of it all He still loves us in that moment because after all, that is why He sacrificed His only son.

Do you see the Lord’s love this way? Do you truly believe the Father’s love for you isn’t dependent on what you do?

Standing on the Word