Is There Hope for the Hopeless?

Couple having difficulties in sitting room at home

This is going to be a really short post, I may (but may not) write more on it later, just depends since we’re entering a REALLY busy time for our family with all the holidays coming up soon and various events we need to attend.

But I just wanted to write something quick in response to this idea that wives can’t work through issues – even very major issues – with their husband.

This post is for women who believe their situation is “hopeless,” because it contains a major key I’ve used in my own life and in helping other women realize what to do when they have no idea what else to try.

It REALLY really works. And this kind of information is what my mother raised me understanding and living out from the time I was 12!

There are many who will tell you that having a good marriage is just good fortune or that you’ve been really fortunate to have picked someone perfect for you – or who you can at least “submit to.”

A happy marriage: That’s a pretty subjective term to be sure, but when you hear about your good fortune often enough, you learn not to take it for granted. If you’re smart, you know full well not to take credit for that, and just count your blessings.”

From Elspeth here

Yes, it’s very very true that you need to be grateful – so grateful – for having a good, happy marriage.  But it’s also not wrong to realize that certain things you’ve done or things you’ve chosen to change about your behavior, have been a credit to creating that happy marriage.  I’m sure Elspeth knows this, but saying it in the way she did, leads men and women to believe that seeing someone else’s good fortune and happiness in marriage is all due to chance or luck, or some other factor.  It leads to believing only the lucky ones got the good deal.

And that’s just not true.

In reality, marriage largely depends upon the WIFE’S behavior ❤

Here is a starting reading material for anyone interested in finding help for their hopeless situation.  I’m not special… ANYONE can manage to understand these truths and learn them, then when they’re ready, walk another woman through them when she may need some help.

Here is reading material, happy reading!

The Secrets of Fascinating Womanhood

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4 thoughts on “Is There Hope for the Hopeless?

  1. This is this is so true. While from the outside marriages or couples can seem lucky, they all share the same struggle to put the “we” ahead of the “me.” That’s a quality I have seen in every “happy” marriage, the couple views the unit as above the self. It’s a good way to approach issues, and far to seldom advocated today.

    I have a good friend who had her husband come home when she was 6months pregnant with their first child and admit he was in love with someone else. She was devastated. And she did ask him to move out. But she never stopped being open to working things out, despite her personal pain. And they did! A few years later, his alcohol use became a problem, culminating with his best friend and drinking buddy dying in a drunk driving accident before he woke up. And again they worked through that. Their oldest is now in college and through all of this and more they remain married and I would say happily so. I didn’t always understand her thinking then, but I see the wisdom now. Their marriage didn’t make it because of luck or lack of struggle. It made it bc they didn’t divorce when others may have! I respect her so much, even more so the older I get. She had her head on right!

  2. Wow, Bloom that is great to hear how she worked through those difficulties! Thank you for sharing that.

    It does take a lot of work. When I hear someone claim a happy marriage is mostly good fortune or luck it reminds me SO much of when Pres. Obama told all the small business owners, “If you have a business – you didn’t build that!” Just amazing the amount of pride he displayed when totally discounting the work that those business owners put in (tons and tons of work!).

  3. Yes, I know a great marriage requires work. But it also requires the cooperation of both spouses, heaping amounts of grace, and a lot of intangibles that we often take for granted when we are not faced with some of the things other couples are faced with. Things which invoke added stress and strain on the individuals and the family unit.

    In so much as a lot of these things truly are beyond our control, and because my desire is to be careful that my flesh does not try to seek glory that rightfully belongs to Another, I write from that perspective.

    I figure there’s really no way I can go wrong by keeping my eyes on Christ first, and directing any praise beyond that to my husband rather than focusing on what I did or didn’t do to get us where we are. There is no where near the amount of goodness in me required to produce the level of blessing we have in our marriage.

    And so…to God be the glory for the things HE has done!

  4. “In so much as a lot of these things truly are beyond our control, and because my desire is to be careful that my flesh does not try to seek glory that rightfully belongs to Another, I write from that perspective.”

    We can control our own behavior and responses though, that is not “beyond our control,” and admitting that is not seeking “glory that rightfully belongs to (God).” It would be dishonest to leave out our human behavior changes – our own choices to treat our husbands with more respect or kindness, when helping other women, but instead try to look morally superior by claiming to be overly concerned with giving God all the credit. To relieve women of their own responsibility to control their responses and actions is not kind or even Christian, even if it “looks” like it’s kinder or non-judgmental. Taking away someone’s responsibility or their perceived responsibility is harming them actually. It’s telling them they’re a victim of circumstance, or that they just had a terrible lot in life and can’t do anything to change it or how they react to it.

    To me the women in this book I linked to are extremely humble BECAUSE they are able to admit their human behaviors have helped create a happy, loving marriage. Even though they are crediting a lot of the changes in their husband’s response to their own behavior changes, their honesty is humility here. It’s good for teaching and giving people hope – because it’s so honest! Dishonesty is saying all the credit goes to God, when you know a lot of how your husband responds to you is directly proportional to the purity of your own heart in how you treat him and respond to him. So no, I don’t see them as self-righteous for being honest and trying to help others using their own examples.

    There’s a real danger of trying to “one up” another Christian woman through acting like you’re more spiritual or giving all the credit to God for every interaction going well. I just had to make a paper air-plane for my toddler… and since my husband or dad aren’t here right now, and since I suck at making paper airplanes I needed to watch a tutorial online on how to do it appropriately. I watched a man slowly walk me through how to make the necessary folds of the paper in order to make it flyable, and you know what? It worked! Copying his human behavior got me a perfectly made paper airplane that could fly. I’ve tried to do it on my own… making random folds here and there and it only made airplanes that couldn’t fly at all. Just before resigning myself to watching the video, I tried to fold one right and it turned out horrible!

    Should I have prayed to God to help me do the folds right so it could have flown? Was it spiritually wrong to have gone online to learn how to fold it right by copying someone eles’s human behaviors that proved successful? Should I have expected God to have given me a miracle in making my faulty airplane fly even though it was folded (by my hands) in the totally wrong, going against math and physics, way? Should I have expected God to have “favor” on me and my faulty air plane while acting like I shouldn’t have to change my own ways in folding the paper? My son expected me as his mom and care-giver, to make it myself. A ton of that process had to do with me being honest with myself and admitting I couldn’t do it on my own. This didn’t require me to act uber-spiritual by getting down on my knees and praying that God grant me the ability and gift of making paper air planes without making any effort on my part to help that happen, it just required me to be willing to admit I had no idea what to do really, and then to seek out the necessary help and follow through with it.

    Acting like everything always always always depends or should be credited to God, is not being honest with yourself. Should I tell you or others that “all credit belongs to God that I was able to find the correct youtube video on the first try, without having to take very long!” No, because it would be dishonest at a very deep level at shirking my own responsibility to seek out truth and knowledge (Proverbs).

    Over-spiritualizing the actions of women trying to help others using their own behaviors (their own “folds” in the paper of their marriage – the airplane) is not helpful or offering much hope. God gives us free will to choose our behavior – and He expects us to choose wisely. We will even be judged on what we did with that responsibility… with our works for Him either burning up in flames or lasting through the fire testing it. It is still our responsibility to do work that doesn’t “burn up.” He will still hold us accountable for our every action, especially when it comes to our husbands. He expects us to take on that heavy responsibility of being an Abigail to a horrible Nabal. It’s not nice it’s not pretty, but it’s life and it’s honest. So no, not all the work or credit belongs solely to Him. A lot of it, even our own salvation depends on our choices and responses to truth when it’s presented to us. It’s not a “good person” thing or not, but still, how can one not be honest and say that Abel was not at least more good or more pure in his heart than Cain?

    Sure we can play a victim and act like the thorns in our way (in our life) harmed our spiritual walk or “made” us choose something evil or not helpful to our marriage or in treating our husband, but it still wouldn’t be honest and God still wouldn’t absolve us of our own responsibility to own our choices and behaviors. Cain was like that. He definitely played the victim while harboring deep abiding hatred in his heart toward Abel, who was working hard to have a pure heart and do things the right way – to take responsibility for how his work appeared before God. You CAN choose to be good and work toward having a “pure heart” toward your husband, and it will work wonders in a marriage that was going South and South fast. Admitting that it is a CHOICE is not self-righteous or taking away credit from God. Nor is it trying to seek glory that rightfully belongs to God. Was Abel trying seek glory in offering the correct behaviors in what he chose to sacrifice to God with a pure heart? I’m sure Cain thought so, which is why he murdered him eventually. Envy, the very heart of it, is the desire to shirk one’s own responsibility to do the right thing – the hard thing – the Abigail to Nabal thing – the taking responsibility thing in affecting our own life’s outcome –
    while HATING the women who choose to treat their husbands right or be honest that these things are affectable, that you have a lot of control over your own choices in life. That hatred is so palpable in the sphere, especially from other Christian women, but from some of the men who claim we’re just the lucky ones who have no understanding.

    If that man’s air plane video consisted of little to no more advice than “either you have it or you don’t” (you should be lucky to have a good marriage), or “I give all the credit to God for me understanding how to make these folds in the paper to make an airplane that flies,” it would either come across as truly unhelpful advice (either you have it or you don’t) or weird, over-spiritualization, bordering on self-righteous attitude (false humility) kind of advice that God somehow is involved in whether or not we choose to fold the paper right. I don’t believe God demands credit for folding paper airplanes the right way, that would be an over-spiritualization and to claim it outloud would be self-righteous behavior couched as humility.

    And no… I don’t think He demands women to give Him all the credit for their changed marriages, while leaving out the most critical part of all – their choice to take responsibility over their responses and behaviors in their marriage. Especially (in the example of this book) how they treat their husbands! It’s still their responsibility – not God’s, and no, I don’t believe it discredits God to be honest and say that their taking on their own responsibility helped make those positive changes that created a beautiful, thriving, happy marriage. Does God play a big part? Yes! And they are honest about that too in this book, over and over again it tells of wives praying while carrying out these actions and behaviors toward their husbands. But it’s dishonest to claim that God wants to take credit for their choice in obeying Him.
    I do understand they are not capable of “doing good apart from God,” but then how do you describe those marriages who have implemented these behaviors even when they weren’t Christians?

    Even in the worst of circumstances or with a truly bad husband. The fact is, no matter who a woman is married to, we still has control over our own actions – I’m not saying a woman shouldn’t divorce an evil man. I firmly believe there are cases where divorce is needed! But even Abigail is a good example of this. Just because someone is married to a Nabal, doesn’t mean she has to be destined to a bad life where she has no control over her own responses. Will these techniques work for women married to evil men? No, but no one is saying that they should. Even this book tells you the limits go only so far. Focusing on the wife’s behavior is giving her control and power to affect her own situation though, and is actually biblical, because it’s calling on her to take FULL responsibility of her every action before God. She’s not a passive victim and to become or appear as a passive victim to her life (things “beyond her control” as you said) is false. Cain played that role, it only got him frustration, anger, resentment, then murder against his brother.

    I believe every person, male and female, has the responsibility to either look at their life through the lens of Cain (envy and comparison) or the lens of Able (I choose to do good – not apart from God because that is impossible, but FOR God because my actions are MY responsibility, because He holds me accountable for them, and I can’t choose to blame (like Cain did) anyone else for my own responses or behavior in choosing to do good.

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