Winsome Wife Introduction

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Hello, and welcome to my first blog, born out of a desire to put my story and recommended marriage blessing/saving resources in one place, to help even more families, as well as hold me accountable for taking my own advice.  There’s nothing like teaching others to learn more and obey God better yourself.

At this writing, fall 2014, I am a wife of 21 years (May 23, 1993), together with my man a total of 25 (Aug 8, 1989), mother of 4, ages 8, 11, 14, 17.  My journey to learn about why romances, especially marriages, break up, started at 11 when my little comfortable world became quite uncomfortable for a time.  My dad moved out.  “Your mother and I are getting a divorce.  I don’t love your mother any more.”  And that was that.

I will get into more detail about my own little love life later, because to understand why love fails, you need to know why it starts, and what foundation it rests on.  But the bottom line is, I learned straight from the Creator of Heaven and Earth Himself, the Creator of Love, the God of love who IS love…why love fails, and I’m excited to be able to share this critical wisdom with all who have ears to hear.  All I had to to is sincerely ask, and I got an instant answer.

Unfortunately, to be willing to sincerely, whole heartedly, expectantly ask this crucial question of God, why does love fail, I myself had to experience that most painful failing of “love.”  Until that fateful day, I only distractedly wondered.  It was the day my husband believed with all his being that we needed to get a divorce, and wanted ME to move out.  Interesting.  Good thing I’m stubborn.  He drove off and I was driven to my knees, my first real prayer, my first real conversation with God, after years of church attendance and Bible study.  Nothing like a serious problem to get you to seriously pray.

So there I was, scared kids hiding under their beds upstairs, (we had been loud, again), husband not there to distract me from prayer, a kind of bumbling prayer, too weak to stand or sit in a chair…”What just happened?  Lord, we started out so good.  What happened to our love?”

Go watch your wedding video.

“Are you kidding?  I do NOT want to watch that, makes me angry just thinking about it.  I don’t even know if I can find it in that mess.”

So I go, and watch, and see all the smiling people, us included, so ignorant of what the future holds. “Love is patient, love is kind,…blah blah blah…Love never fails.”

“Love never fails, Lord?  Well, ours did.  WHAT are you TALKING about?!?”

Get the dictionary and look up love.

I immediately obey this time, very curious…I had never heard from God so obviously before.  In the dictionary, I read about emotions, hormones…hmmm…basically just like and lust, but no commitment of any kind, especially not the lifelong unconditional commitment we promised on our wedding day.   THAT’S IT!!!!!!   I’ve got the wrong kind of love in my heart.   Lord, please give me your kind to give to my husband.

I was soooo excited!  The next morning, I told my husband all about my experience.  He’s not sure if God is even real, and seemed less sure about my new “love”.

“Oh, you’d give up on me if I beat you up all the time.”

No I wouldn’t.  I might have to visit you in jail, but I’d never divorce you or give up on you.  You could cheat on me with 50 women and I’d never divorce you.  I can’t give up on you.  I have unconditional love to give you now.  It’s what I promised, and God will help me.

“We’ll see.”

Boy, I thought he’d get emotional and hug me and it would be happy ever after.  It’s been 7 1/2 years since that horrible day, and I have to say that I JUST this last few weeks decided to end all arguing of any sort, all rudeness, all expectations of anything going my way even if it is much wiser of an idea here and there.  Last November I succeeded in deciding and ending all financial arguments 100%.  We had argued mostly about money all along, but there were other things worthy of being seriously unhappy about that I permitted arguing to happen.  Schedule, parenting, romance, pets, all kinds of things.  You know, it’s NOT possible to be rude at the same time as worshiping God?  I’m still learning how to pray without ceasing, to walk after the Spirit instead of after the flesh (emotions included).

My instant success at ending the financial arguing in a bold unique way last November (2013), gave me confidence to try to eliminate the parenting arguing.  That was a little tougher.  Parenting requires more teamwork than managing money.  I can refuse to be involved with any financial decisions or bill paying to bring peace, but I can’t stop being a mom.  I homeschool them all day, and he wants me to continue homeschooling, and getting them to do their chores.  But I’m learning to do what I can, and let go of the rest, and not do more than I have control over, to keep the peace, rather than pushing pushing pushing for change and help, which usually makes him feel like a failure, which starts the argument.

I want to be a good news wife.  I will give more detail later of my transformation to being a good news wife.  It’s still a work in progress, as well, but the worst of my folly is behind me.  Old habits die hard.  As I take in the Truth in God’s Word more and more, old habits lose their power.  I see the dangers more easily, more thoroughly, more convincingly.  It is critical to learn what the consequences for wrong choices are, to strengthen yourself against the temptations of the devil to ruin your marriage and influence on others.  You can just obey God’s commands for wives without thinking about it, but most people aren’t like that.  Even God welcomes us in Isaiah to come reason with Him, and He promises to cleanse us from sin and make us white as snow, to be a bride for Him, not just our earthly man who may or may not deserve what God commands us to offer him.  No matter.  God rewards the obedient one way or another, not always the way we expect, but it is glorious anyway, glory to God and glory for us, now and for all Eternity.

Come explore what it means to become a Winsome Wife, at any stage of your life, thinking ahead, living now, or to be known as a woman who honored her man even after his death, if that be the Lord’s will that he go first.  I certainly don’t want to be known as wearing him out, sending him to an early grave because of being difficult or not helping him be healthy as far as it was up to me.   I seek to learn more with this blog than to teach.  I welcome wisdom for myself and for the benefit of other readers.  Let the Lord’s Words be on our heart as we share.

In His Grip,  your sister in the Lord Jesus,

Amy West, Ohio

 

p.s.  Since this blog is free, there may appear an unendorsed ad that I don’t know what shows up, so sorry if it is bothersome.

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5 thoughts on “Winsome Wife Introduction

  1. LIsa

    Amy, I have to disagree. To me, your husband sounds like he is verbally abusive. If your children are hiding under their beds in fear, there is something wrong. I am not married, but my dad has been emotionally, mentally, and spiritually abusive the entire time I’ve been alive. He has emotionally cheated on my mom at least once and come close to hitting me and my brother several times. I believe he would try to make it look like an accident. If my dad laid a hand on my mom, I would step in and make sure he didn’t hurt her again. His emotional affairs are wrong as it is and if he had a physical affair, we would have to do something, not just have my mom, who is fighting back, sit there and take it in the name of “God’s unconditional love.” Yes, God’s love is unconditional, but He does NOT advocate nor approve of your husband cheating on you or beating you up. That is abuse, plain and simple. I just gave a TINY picture of what my family has been through and is now fighting our way back from. I hope you consider what I said and reconsider where you’re coming from. I would not someone to be physically injured and put up with it in the name of “loving unconditionally.” That’s just not right.

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    • All people have been verbally abusive at some point in their life, as every incident of rudeness is not loving, but mean and selfish, abusive. Some people are verbally abusive more frequently or more intensely than others, but all are guilty of mistreating others. Our children only hid under their beds the one time, from what they told me, and that was the day before our marriage was saved. It was a scary argument, where divorce was mentioned in anger. I was a very disrespectful wife, willing to argue with my husband, willing to be rude to him and complain about him often. I didn’t understand how to be a wife then. There is a right way and a wrong way to bring up a husband’s faults, and I used mostly the wrong way, because I hadn’t learned a better way, or even IF I should mention something or not. I have gotten a lot of guidance since that horrible day that has never happened again, nor will.

      You are right that God does not advocate nor approve of a spouse cheating on or beating up their spouse, but the Bible is clear that we are to love others as Jesus loved us, and that is unconditional. We must seek ways to be safe without abandoning our wedding promises. God does advocate and condone love without limits, even tough love, but never abandoning our wedding promises where He has joined a couple into one for as long as both shall live. Hosea suffered through loving a wife unconditionally that not only cheated on him, but got into temple prostitution in the name of her religion. He never gave up on her. He promised he would never give up on her, and did what he said. Jesus taught us to let our yes be yes, and our no, no, so if we say “I do” on the wedding altar, and consummate the marriage, then yes it is, no matter what. Anything else is of evil, says Jesus. The Bible also says that there is safety in the multitude of counselors. Most people date without getting much wise counsel first, then end up in an unhappy or violent dating or marriage situation. But once married in God’s eyes, that’s it….loyalty for life. There is much help to be safe and to learn how to win a weak/no faith spouse to treat their spouse better. Rare is the psycho spouse that abuses for the sheer thrill of abuse. God does not condone divorce of that type of spouse either, but protection while still loving them best as they can, even visiting them in jail if need be, even if the abused spouse must be the one to have them arrested and convicted. Sometimes love must be tough. But love never fails, never gives up, for it gives without expecting anything in return. That’s why the AV King James Version uses the word charity in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Love is a gift, not a return on investment. If people don’t want to love like God, then they shouldn’t get married. God doesn’t condone using people either, so they’d have to abstain from all romance if they aren’t willing to marry for life. In Matthew 5 & 19, Jesus described at least 6 ways people commit adultery, whether single or married. There is no permission to divorce based on cheating, if you are using a Bible with no missing verses or 2nd half of Romans 8:1. Jesus commanded us to love others as He loved us, and that is sacrificial. We are not the Savior of the world, so don’t need to submit to beating & death at the hands of our loved ones, but we are to get protection for us and our children, without giving up on our spouse who needs our love and help and the help of others. We have hurt God by our thought sins (from which all action sins stem from) more than our spouse could ever hurt us or the kids, and we need to realize that we don’t NEED our spouse to be amazing, but that is nice if they are.

      To expect our happiness to come from our spouse is to worship the creature more than the creator. We are to focus on fixing the beam in our own eye, rather than the speck in our spouse’s eye. That doesn’t mean our spouse is actually not as bad as we are, only God knows what’s in the mind of both people. What it means is, we need to spend the majority of our thought energy related to complaint, against ourself, not others, and focus our energy on fixing ourself so we are the most loving we can be, and give grace to our spouse as the Lord continually gives grace to us. We are to focus on doing right instead of on what our spouse is doing wrong. Again, seek safety immediately if there is imminent physical danger. But divorce is not an option God is OK with. Now, Hosea did divorce his wife, technically, the paperwork way, to spare her from death by stoning, but in no way did he truly divorce her in the way of abandoning the relationship and being alone or getting someone new. So, God defines divorce differently than humans do, and defines marriage differently than the world does, and defines love differently too.

      We should not lean on our own understanding of love, marriage, and divorce, but trust the Lord for truth, for the best results overall. Salvation is a free gift, as is love God’s way from human to human. You won’t find God’s definition of love in the modern dictionary. You will find business deal love based on emotions and return on investment, and hormones. That isn’t love at all, but like and lust. That kind of love fails more often than not, because it depends on the behavior of the one loved more than the one doing the loving. You don’t have to follow God. He gifted us all with the free will to do things our own way and not His, but if we reject God’s ways, we can’t expect better results, He invented life and love and marriage. Divorce was man’s idea, as is abortion and prostitution and porn and yelling rudely, etc. One day, He will make all things new, and people will not be able to be mean, selfish, disloyal, or murderous, and there will be no thorns or hunger or sickness or death. Until then, we can love irrationally and have the world think we are nuts for loving a jerk or a criminal. God does it all the time, for all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The least we can do is pass on this amazing love. Only in loving those that really don’t deserve it, can we better understand what it’s like to be God loving us, and appreciate the free gift of love and forgiveness that lets us wretches into Heaven. If our every thought was broadcast on worldwide TV, we wouldn’t feel so self-righteous. I am sure that sometimes while my husband is being awesome, that I am thinking something rotten and he is thinking something innocent. God knows our every thought. Jesus said all thoughts count too. Let us wives focus on what we need to do, and not be the unmerciful servant toward our husbands. I am sure that the average angry husband can’t quite put a finger on everything that gets him fired up and maybe keeps him on edge. But insecurity of the romance sure doesn’t help his mood.

      You say you are not married. There is hope for you to choose more wisely than many. But no matter who you marry, he will not meet your expectations, for no one ever does. That is the way with people. We always expect more than is reasonable. And then we start the complaining, without having been trained to be super super respectful and loving if we do mention something we don’t like. We blurt out our complaints and expect grace, but perhaps our husband wasn’t trained to love a wife as Christ loved the church, and the degradation of the romance begins and continues until one of them truly starts following God, though imperfectly. Marriage exposes the worst in us, even more than parenting. Marriage is the best opportunity to see where we need improvement. We should be thankful for the opportunity to grow, rather than resentful toward the spouse who reacts badly to our faults. Even the scared/pouting wife is not respecting her husband as she ought. She needs to learn to face his meanness with loving dignity instead of cowering or pouting. She needs help just as he does. They can have a wonderful marriage. She can begin the healing process, or he can, or both together. Giving up does not help either one. People just take their faults into the next relationship, and usually there is more baggage to deal with, making it even more unpleasant and difficult to heal individual faults, because there are more inconveniences and annoyances and a more difficult schedule, and dealing with ex’s, etc. Unconditional love, with help for faults, leads to the best results overall, a whole lifetime of evidence considered.

      I still make mistakes and kick myself. I know what I do that annoys my husband, puts stumbling blocks in front of him. I don’t pray without ceasing, to get perfect advice for every situation. I wish I did pray constantly and get God’s wisdom for every situation. I just keep trying. That’s all anyone can do, try not to forget God’s constantly available free gift perfect advice & strength to do right. As I realize how much God helps me, and forgives me, I really do want to pass on that love to my husband. God’s love is so cool. I want to share it. It’s my duty to share it. God doesn’t just love us unconditionally and then let us be disloyal or rude to those that irritate or hurt us. God expects us to love like Him, which is impossible without His help, and He does promise to help us 24/7/365/forever. Thank you, Jesus. I can’t even want to love unconditionally without your help. I want to give up. I want to get revenge. What’s cool is, God even lets us get revenge. He knows our every need. Check out Proverbs 25:21-22 and Romans 12:18-21

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  2. Lisa K.

    I don’t want to appear nasty, but if anything, he’s going to wear you out. Sounds to me like you’re condoning physical abuse and adultery, both of which are HUGE no-no’s in marriage. If I were you, I’d get a divorce. I would not want to be your children right now either. I’ve already got an abusive dad. If anything, your kids are very traumatized. Believe me, I’ve been there. Still am there. Don’t put your kids through that, and don’t put yourself through that. Your very soul will be torn apart, and that’s not a healthy place for anyone to be.

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    • My husband can’t wear me out, because Jesus in me loves without limit, can’t be worn out. Love never fails. God’s love in me can’t be worn out. Dictionary love can be worn out, because it gives based on return on investment. In my blog introduction, my story, I told my husband that I’d never give up on him, even if I had to visit him in jail. So I did no such thing as condone abuse or adultery. I did condone love despite abuse or adultery, just like God puts up with us.

      With your attitude about divorce, it would be wise for you to completely avoid romance until you wanted to pass on God’s love to a husband. Those that believe in divorce, usually have that happen in their lives, and traumatize the children by having parents live in different homes, unhappy with each other, dating around which has it’s own set of problems for the children and adults. People who would date a divorced person, and also having a divorce approving attitude, cannot provide security of love, because they don’t believe in unconditional love. Insecurity causes people to not want to invest in the marriage enough. 2nd marriages fail more often than firsts.

      You would enjoy being our child more than a child in most other families on the planet, though you’d enjoy being the child of certain other Christians even better I admit. But still, our children ADORE their imperfect daddy and know he loves them very much, more than most men love their children. We have a much better marriage than most in the world, though there is much room for improvement. You’d have to know us better. Now, 9 years ago, it was a nightmare of arguing, but I’ve worked hard to learn how to do my part, and my husband has decided that evolution is a lie and God is real and Jesus is it, so now wants to follow the God that inspired and helped me love him at his worst. Our four children have been so impressed by the improvements, that they too like this Jesus and think He is the best way to love humans, directly, or from person to person. I really ought to write an update. I wrote that first blog post when I had not yet learned how to no longer enable financial problems or blaming me. I did admit I was still learning. Many women teachers are already awesome now, having learned all their needed lessons a long time ago. I’m 45 now, and only 9 years since I learned that the KJV Bible is totally true and complete and accurate, fully reliable for all needed wisdom for life. Human wisdom isn’t enough. Human wisdom says to cancel the wedding promises. But isn’t that condoning lying? Kind of an important promise. How sad to be at a wedding where those promises are made, and the couple announcing that they are lying and don’t plan on doing those promises. If we could know their future beliefs 14 years later if the misery takes that long to get divorce temptation bad, usually takes less, then that is what we’d know on their wedding day, that they are lying about their vows of lifelong unconditional love. People need to stop making those promises if they don’t mean it. God says he hates lying, and that breaking our promises is of evil (Matthew 5). We are to consider ourselves best friends for life, to reach out to a hurting spouse with God’s love, for that is what really helps them recover from a bad attitude, God’s love to them directly, and also through believers. Many Christians reach out to the most horrible people in jails. We can do that in our own home sometimes, be it a spouse or even a rebellious child. I believe in reaching out to a prodigal of any kind, be it stranger, child, or spouse. The purpose of life isn’t just to have fun or get our way, but to love, to really love. Not to GET loved by people, but to love people. So nice when they love us back, but our love should be a free gift.

      How old are you? I didn’t believe what I do about God’s love to us and through us, until I was 36. Don’t wait that long. Trust God for romance now, and save yourself a lot of drama. Don’t ever think that romance is the way to be happy. Could be happy, but with a divorce attitude, it probably won’t last very long. Ephesians 5 is what Queen Esther did, and her angry foolish greedy disloyal neglectful murderous husband ended up being super inspired by her super respect. She trusted God for romance, even in a forced marriage situation. Ephesians 5 works far more often than not. Few try it with any consistency, if at all. I strive to be like Queen Esther, but keep falling off the wagon out of selfishness and momentary idolatry (expecting a mere man to be my all in all). It is easy for a never married person, with no children, to think divorce is best, but there is abundant research that shows that divorce causes more problems than it solves, the cure worse than the disease. I promised love for life and I just can’t give up on him. I will show the children what love is. Talk is cheap. My words promises were hastily said, but said they were, and I am NOT breaking my word on such an important promise. Who else could trust me after that anyway? I’d be a proven liar, and that is not good for a next relationship, zero trust possible if I still believed in divorce for reason of being mistreated. It’s not like I’m 100% innocent. Who is? No one ever, except Jesus. Who’s to say that the louder spouse was the more hurtful spouse? Only God knows who hurt who more. I tend to think that I was the more hurtful one. He rarely complained about my faults, yet I was complaining nearly daily. He may have been louder when he did complain, but if you add up all my little complaints and not doing things I knew he liked and really wanted me to do, I would say I was the more hurtful overall. He also didn’t gossip about me nearly as much as I did about him. You judge him without knowing me. You’d like him more than me. He also was a more patient parent overall, all things measured. We each have our good contributions to the family. I did keep us together, but unfortunately, I irritated him to the point that he wanted out. Then I won him back. It’s hard to write the whole story in a short blog post. Most men are frustrated because their wives are not the Ephesians 5 wife as they ought to be. Hard for a guy to lead the family if he has no followers, the wife & kids doing their own thing and expecting him to just pay for it all unquestioned, they rather be with their electronics or friends than him. Poor guys. Instead of cry, they yell or leave. Men of God stay and try to fix things best they can, but few guys are pillars of the faith. We should appreciate the guy we have instead of idolizing the husband we don’t. Now if you are single, you can be patient for a guy you can really follow joyfully because he’s proven as a man of God for real that would never abuse his family. That takes a lot of wise counsel to discern the true faith and character of a potential husband, but worth the effort. If you don’t, then you can at least know what it feels like to be God loving a difficult person, which we all are, some more so. There are benefits to a miserable marriage, really. I get to love unconditionally more often than the wife of a godly husband. My faith and character grow as I face each new challenge. And the children are watching, and being inspired, or use their faith to tell me to trust God and keep trying. They believe in lifelong loyalty too. Maybe they will make the world a better place, rather than condone brokenness. It is in security of love that we grow best, us and the imperfect ones we love, family or friend or stranger.

      Some of the best marriages are those that have risen above abuse and adultery and started following God, and forgiven each other. When your marriage is attacked and you survive, you are stronger for it, just as those that survive war together, fight together, are closer than those that never were at risk. Loving unconditionally is right, even if abuse is wrong. Safety is possible even during unconditional love. Divorce or separation with abandonment of the romance, is no assurance of safety from a violent spouse. Now, if that spouse was told they would never be given up on, and the spouse seeking safety says they are eager to get back together and will always be there for them through them getting help with their anger problem, they might just tolerate the safety separation with hope and be motivated to change as much as needed. Threat of or actual permanent rejection does not inspire change very often. Love is right. Rejection is not right. Rejection violates the wedding promises. No one should put up with being physically injured. I never said that. But I did say they could visit their spouse in jail and never give up on them, and I say that they should expect to be assured of safety before being alone together again. Loving unconditionally doesn’t mean taking a beating on a regular basis if there is a way to get to safety. Though I have heard of a wife in a foreign country that couldn’t get away, and her still other religion husband did beat her often, his father too, and she just cheerfully loved and served him anyway, and he eventually was won to her God and stopped beating her and loved her instead. We have more freedom to be protected here in the U.S. though, and a spouse should get to safety as they continue to love their spouse as they promised, best they can as their spouse allows for it. No one should sign divorce papers either. Because that would encourage the spouse to remarry, and Jesus said that is adultery, so we shouldn’t enable, especially if there are children. It is best for children for parents to show loyalty as promised. They need that example.

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