How to Respond when Your Husband Confesses to You

No one's perfect, but how do you respond when your husband confesses to you? Click here to find some practical tips on how to handle your husband's confession!

No one is perfect, and this is especially true in marriage. Marriage is the closest relationship you will ever have with another person. As a result, marriage reveals two people’s greatest flaws.

When you’re a wife, you experience both the greatest joys and deepest hurts that come with marriage. There will be times of laughing and times of sorrow. One example of sorrow is when your husband hurts you (and unfortunately, it will happen; remember, we’re all imperfect). Here are some practical ways to respond when your husband hurts you, and honour God in your response.

1. Don’t say anything right away.

Chances are, whatever it is your husband confesses to you is going to hurt you; maybe hurt you very deeply. You may be able to just take a breath and move on, or you may be left reeling for a couple days. No matter the gravity of your husband’s confession, give yourself a few minutes to process. Personally, I need to internally process something before I can even hope to communicate my feelings clearly in a tense situation. Take all the time you need, but even more importantly, communicate that to your husband.

2. Stay calm.

This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the first point, but staying calm is crucial. First of all, your husband has really just stuck his neck out to confess something to you, and the last thing he needs is to be called all kinds of names or yelled at for doing something so dumb. Trust me: if he’s confessing to you, it’s because he has been convicted and knows he needs to tell you. Now is not the time to preach at him.

3. Pray.

When your husband hurts you, the last thing you are going to feel like doing is praying. Yet it is the best thing you can do. Satan is going to try and use hurts, arguments, and anger to tear your marriage apart. God created marriage, and Satan doesn’t want to see it succeed. You could be strongly tempted to completely shut down and harbour bitterness toward your husband, but you need to say “no” to the temptation. Instead, pray. Even if it’s just a “help, God.”

4. Forgive. And forgive. Then forgive again.

For the longest time, I thought forgiveness was a sweet emotion that came a couple days after someone hurt me, and then all would be right in the world again. But I quickly learned that forgiveness is a hard, often painful choice. It is not easy to forgive someone. Look at what Jesus had to go through so that the Father might be able to forgive us through Him! Yet because of His great love, Christ died for us, despite the pain. It was a hard choice for Him to make, yet out of love He chose the path of forgiveness.

You are going to have to decide to forgive your spouse when he hurts you. And then the next morning when you wake up and remember the hurt, you will have to forgive him again. Then a few days later, you’ll be walking into work and Satan will remind you of what he did, and you’ll have to forgive again. You’ll have to ask God to help you to forgive your husband over and over and over again. It will be hard. But guess what? It will slowly become less and less difficult to forgive him. When we remember how much God has forgiven in us, it becomes an easier choice to make. You do not have to feel forgiving in order to forgive.

5. Talk it out.

Before I got married, I always heard that communication is important in marriage. When I got married, I realized it wasn’t just important…it was crucial to having a God-honouring, thriving marriage.

When you’ve had a chance to calm down and think a little more clearly, listen to everything your husband has to say. Ask questions, even if you’re not sure you want to know the answers. Complete transparency is important. Then share how you’re feeling (calmly) and how this affects you. Please don’t shut down and block out the problem. Be brave and deal with it head-on, relying on God for His perfect strength.

6. Get some support.

Honestly, this is somewhat optional. Depending on what your husband confesses to you, it may be wise to seek other Christian help, such as talking through the issue with a trusted pastor or mentor. If the issue is serious, don’t try to deal with it alone! Talking to others can go a long way to bring you both closer to healing.

This is also a good idea if conversations between you and your husband aren’t going well. If you seem to flare up and speak out of anger, it is wise to have a wise Christian person “moderate” these discussions so that effective communication can happen. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help! We were all made for community, and God often works in our lives through other believers.

7. Stay on your husband’s side.

Remember, he is hurting too. It took a lot of courage for him to talk to you, especially if he knew it would hurt you. Yes, you may be hurting, but you are his wife. He needs your support, especially right now. Try to encourage him, let him know he’s forgiven, and that you’re not going anywhere. No, you don’t need to overlook the offense—it will need to be dealt with—but through that, you still love him. Satan is trying to pull you apart. If he can turn you against each other, he has won. Don’t give him that advantage. Fight for your marriage! A strong marriage is so worth it.

8. Have courage…take heart.

Sister, take heart. The Lord of Lords and eternally-loving Father is near. He hears your cries and feels your broken heart. He will never leave, nor forsake you. He is with you every step, and the struggles you’re going through right now will pass. It is in our struggles that we see His strength.

A verse that has really encouraged me is 1 Peter 5:10:

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

What a wonderful promise! Paul doesn’t deny that we will struggle, but he says that there is an end to the suffering. And not only that, but God will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

I hope this has helped some of you. If you have any questions or comments, you can email me by going to the Ask a Question tab at the top of the page or you can leave a comment below. Blessings!

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Maybe Singleness Isn’t about Waiting for Marriage

So many young adults today endure singleness as a "season of waiting" for the good stuff: marriage. But what if marriage isn't really better than being single? Read more here!

Maybe it’s just me, but lately I’ve been seeing a lot of “marriage vs. singleness” discussions among Christian young adults.

The debate looks something like this: many young adults are still single, and some are married. The married people are on the “WOO marriage is so great and if you’re not married you’re missing out big time” side, while all the singles are either trying to deny their emotions (“I’m single and I will enjoy it/pretend I do”) or just open about their desperate desire to get married.

Disclaimer:

Maybe I have no right to even have an opinion on the matter, since I’m a married, twenty-one year old Christian woman who hasn’t experienced a real “season of singleness.”

I might not understand how hard it is to wait for God to bring someone into your life, or wonder if He ever will.

Maybe I can’t understand how hard it is to trust God, when being a wife and mother is the greatest desire of your heart.

What I have to say actually has nothing to do about the singleness versus marriage discussion. It’s more to do with how God’s will affects the quality of either season of life—whether that’s singleness or marriage.

Maybe it’s not about whether or not you’re married.

Why do so many singles feel that they are missing out if they’re not married? I think it’s a matter of understanding why marriage can be a blessing…and how it can also be quite the opposite.

My marriage is a wonderful blessing to me. My husband is a pretty amazing man. I have more respect and admiration for him than anyone else. But here’s the thing: my marriage isn’t a blessing because my husband and I have forever committed our lives to each other, or even because he’s such a great guy. It’s a blessing because it’s where God wants me.

There are also many unhappy marriages in the world, folks. I know couples who would probably say their marriage is not a blessing to them. Marriage itself isn’t the blessing here.

Likewise, singleness is a blessing for some and not for others. If you are single and you believe that’s where God has placed you for now (which has nothing to do with how you feel about the situation and all about God’s will for your life), you will be—and are—blessed.

We don’t miss out on the blessing because we’re either married or not. We miss out on the blessing when we refuse to stay where God has placed us.

When we look at marriage and singleness and say one is better than the other, we stand dangerously close to the edge. We tempt ourselves because when we believe one is better than the other, we often pursue it relentlessly, regardless of where God is guiding us. It’s so easy to just charge ahead with what we want and ignore the Lord’s leading.

The blessing happens when we choose to be where God wants us. Every step of my relationship with my husband was guided by God. I didn’t push for it. But what if I had believed that no matter what, being single would make me more “blessed”? If I hadn’t married, I wouldn’t be in God’s will and would be worse off.

For those who are married, marriage is a blessing not because it’s a marriage, but because God put those two people there. And for others, singleness is not a blessing because they’re single, but because they are walking in God’s path for them.

Next time you’re wondering which is better—marriage or singleness?—remember that it’s not the circumstance, but the reason you’re there.

It’s not about where you are, but whether you are willing to surrender here & now.

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The “Perfect Guy” List: Why You Should Tear It Up

We've all created the "Perfect Guy" list at some point. But does it really do us any good? Click here to find out why I got rid of my list and how I allowed God to work in my life!

A couple weeks ago, I was talking with two of my friends about “the list”. You know, the list almost every teenage/young adult girl makes about things her future husband needs to be—tall, a solid Christian, loves kids, nice teeth, humorous, will take her out for ice cream.

My one unmarried friend asked me and my other somewhat-recently-married friend about our lists—what they were like, if we married someone with those qualities, and if we thought they were a good idea.

My answer was simple. “If I can be honest here, I think you should take your list and literally tear it up.”

Did I have a list? Yep. I made it when I was fifteen, and guess what? It was completely useless in my relationship and eventual marriage.

Are lists all bad? No, but they can have several not-so-great effects on future relationships, our future husbands, and on our own hearts.

Reason to ditch the list no. 1: You set unrealistic expectations for your future spouse.

Say you have the idea of the “perfect spouse” in your head, on your list, wherever. You have all these amazing qualities you would love to have in a guy, whether that’s “loves to cook”, “spiritually on fire”, or “has blue eyes”. You’ve now said to your future boyfriend or spouse, “This is what I expect of you, and if you can’t keep up, I see you as a failure.” Of course, you’d never actually say that, but you’re saying that he’s not good enough as he is; that you have a high standard he needs to reach in order to have your respect.

What if a guy had a list of criteria you had to meet in order for you to be marriage material? What if a guy turned you down based on the fact that you didn’t cook as good as his mom did? We’d probably call him a jerk and drop him like a hot potato. So why is it as girls we think it’s okay to do this to guys?

Even if he never finds out what you put on your list, or better yet, that you even had one, you’ve still set expectations in your own mind for what you think he should be, rather than respecting and loving him for the amazing, God-honouring guy he already is.

Reason no. 2: You limit yourself.

If you have a list, you run a very large risk of turning down a great guy because he doesn’t meet 3/17 items on your list. If you’re basing your decision on very physical attributes, you’re focusing on the wrong things. Just because a guy says that he’s not into kids now doesn’t mean that he’ll never want to start a family. And just because a guy doesn’t cook his family supper now doesn’t mean that he won’t learn and cook for you on occasion.

People grow and change. You shouldn’t drop a guy because of something he hasn’t accomplished yet or because of a skill he hasn’t become great at.

Reason no. 3: Your list actually represents your own insecurities.

If you’ve made a list, take a look at it. How many of those things are characteristics you wish you had, but don’t? I found that my list was actually a projection of what I saw lacking in my life. I had all these things I needed to fix in my own life and wanted them to be perfect in the guy I would marry.

While there isn’t anything wrong with wanting a guy to have strong character, we can come to a point where God is saying, “Hey, you need to deal with this,” and we instead turn it around and say “I need to find someone who has this figured out for the both of us.”

Go over your list and see if any of the things you’ve written down are things God is calling you to work out in your own life.

Reason no. 4: You limit God.

A little while after I wrote my first list, “What I Want in a Husband”, I wrote another list: “What God Wants for Me in a Husband.” They were a bit different. For one, God couldn’t care less if my husband had blonde hair, but He wanted to make sure he was forgiving. Another thing is that God didn’t care whether or not he was spiritually mature now, but He did want him to be growing. God’s and my opinions on my life differ from time to time…and I’ve learned that His are always right.

And to be truthful, there were so many things that God gave me in my husband that I didn’t even have a clue I needed. And, if you would have asked me, I probably would have said that I didn’t want some of those qualities—and yet, God knew I needed them, even if I didn’t want them. I am not a physically affectionate person by nature; in fact, no one in my family is. William’s love language is physical touch. Oh, boy. Turns out I’ve come to love that about him. Now, we’ll be walking to the car and it’s like, “Um, excuse me; why are you not holding my hand?” (Except I say it nicer.)

One last thing.

When I gave up my list, I was really giving my will over to God. He knows me better than I know myself; after all, He’s God. I got to a point where I didn’t want to pick my own husband—I’d probably really mess it up. When I stepped back and let God take the reins, He was able to work in my life and find a guy who’s not perfect, but who pushes me toward God and loving others.

When you trust God, He won’t fail you. He’s as interested in your love life as He is in your every-day life, work life, school life, home life. Will you trust Him in this area too?

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Is Love a Good Enough Reason to Get Married?

I’m back, folks! I’m sorry for sadly abandoning my blog-posting…I had a crazy-busy summer that concluded with me getting married to my favourite person at the end of September. And now that the wedding, honeymoon, and work craziness is over…ROUTINE. Finally.

Most of us look for our "one true love" to marry. But have you ever thought that maybe finding someone you respect is just as important, if not more so? Click here to read more!

Great. So now that she’s married, she thinks she can give marriage advice. But this is actually something I’ve been thinking about a lot throughout my 3-year relationship with William. In the months and days leading up to the wedding, I asked myself (a lot), how do I know if I really love him? My love for William hadn’t really been tested a whole lot before the wedding. We hadn’t gone through any tragedies. He had never broken my trust. What if I just thought I loved him and we couldn’t make it when stuff really did happen?

I agonized—and by that I mean that I let worry ruin my whole week on more than one occasion—over this. I finally came to this conclusion: I wasn’t 100% sure that I loved him.

But I did know this: there was (and is) no other guy in the world that I respect more than William.

Respect or Love?

Ask someone who is getting married why they’re getting married, and you’ll probably hear, “Because I love him.” But is that really a good enough reason to marry someone?

A lot of us have heard the marriage mantra “Women need love and men need respect”. And it makes sense. Most guys want to be looked up to, while most women have a deep need to be cherished. But have you ever looked at this from a Biblical view?

The passage of Ephesians 5 is a popular one for marriage. You can check out the whole chapter here, but I’m going to just reference the last verse of the chapter:

However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

(Eph. 5:33)

God created men and women, and He created marriage. So He knows what it takes for a marriage to work. And yet, God doesn’t actually say that I need to love William. Of course, we all are to show each other the love of God—but in the marriage context, Paul points out that men need to make it a priority to love their wives sacrificially, and women are to respect their husbands unconditionally.

As a woman, I need to feel loved first. If William provided for me and respected me consistently but I didn’t feel love, nothing else would matter to me. As a woman, I naturally tend to stay in that “love first” line of thinking, since that’s what my needs look like.

But the reality is that in regard to my husband, I need to be thinking “respect first”. When I respect him, everything else flows. When I respect William, I want to please him. I want to check with him before making a decision because I value his wisdom and input. If I have a problem, I go to him first because I look up to him.

The S-word: submission.

Respecting our husbands is especially important because in a Christian marriage, we as wives are commanded to submit to our husbands. I know, some of us don’t like that word. But submission is necessary in a healthy, God-honouring relationship.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

(Eph. 5:22 – 24)

Submission doesn’t mean not having a brain and letting your husband make all the decisions. God gave you a brain—use it! Give your opinion to your husband. Help him to make the decisions. But at the end of the day, you need to support him in whatever decision he makes. Don’t complain about the decision for the next five weeks and refuse to let the matter rest.

When we submit to our husbands, good things come out of it. They feel respected. They know that we’re looking up to them and trusting them to make the right decision. They also feel empowered to do what’s best. When I submit to William, I’m saying “I trust you”, and his response is appreciation and then love towards me.

It’s a cycle that I have the power to start or stop. When I respect William, his natural response is to love me more. When I feel loved, I want to respect him.

Finding someone you respect.

Often we confuse love with infatuation. We think whoever we have the strongest emotions towards is the one we should be with. But the problem is, sometimes those emotions are born out of pity or solely physical attraction. We feel bad for the guy who can’t keep a girlfriend, so we go out with them. Or we chase after the guy who has the best looks without looking at his character.

When I told my dad that I liked William, the very first question he asked me was, “Do you admire this guy?” At first I was like, “Uh, yeah…I like him, so…” But as I thought about it, I realized there was a lot about him that I respected. My dad followed that question up with the comment, “You’ll never be able to respect a guy you don’t admire.” And that has proven to be so true in our relationship.

So look around you. Who do you look up to? Who do you respect or admire? Is there someone in your life who has an incredible servant’s heart? Does he love others unconditionally? Is he the hands and feet of Jesus to the people in his life?

Find someone who you can respect, and the other factors will fall into place.

Is respect important in your relationship with your husband?

What are some ways you show respect to your husband?

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How to Stop Being Critical of Others (and Not Fake It)

As Christians, it's so easy to compare ourselves to others...and so easy to criticize. But what's the line between being honest about someone's issues and being critical of them? Find out here!

 

It’s so easy to become critical. So easy to take one action of someone else and categorize them as a certain type of person, or assume they will be a certain way.

One way Christians combat this attitude towards others is to not judge. “Just try not to be judgmental,” we tell others…and ourselves. We all tend to be critical of others. “They just need to smarten up and get a job, then they would get somewhere in life,” or “If they would just be nicer, maybe they’d have more friends.” On the one hand, it’s one thing to stop ourselves from assuming the worst. It can be as simple as believing the best of people or reminding ourselves that we don’t know what kind of day they’re having.

But here’s what I’ve really struggled with. How do I stop being critical of someone else, when I know that they are wrong? How do I change my attitude when I know that they actually do have some things to deal with in their life?

It completely bothers me when someone clearly has some character flaws, and people just out-and-out ignore it. They say, “It’s okay, they had a hard childhood” or “I’m sure there’s a reason they’re that way”—I’m sure there’s a reason for the behaviour, but that doesn’t make it okay.

Here’s the thing—it doesn’t matter what’s in someone’s past; they have to allow God to work through their lives. We all have junk. But Jesus is bigger than our junk, and He is 100% capable of making us into new creatures.

We all have things in our past. But Jesus has set us free, and we have a bright future. Click To Tweet

All that being said…how am I supposed to look at a person, know their flaws and be completely honest about it, yet still not be critical? How do I look beyond the flaw and see Jesus? How do I see that person as a child of God?

The truth is, we can’t. We can’t see that person as God sees them, because we’re human. We’re flawed too. We are sinful, so we get stuck on other people’s sinfulness.

So how do we love the unlovable?

RECOGNIZE YOUR OWN FLAWS.

We need to recognize that we are also flawed. We have stuff to deal with, too. We need to be humble and treat others as greater than ourselves. Just like Jesus brought Himself low for us, we need to ask God to bring us low so that we can love others.

ASK GOD TO LOVE THEM FOR YOU.

We also need to ask God to love that person through us. It is totally okay to go to God and say, “Lord, I just can’t love this person. I’m incapable of it. But you love them more than I’ll ever know. Love them through me, and use me to show Your love to them.”

We aren’t perfect. God doesn’t expect us to love every person just as He does. We can’t. We literally are not capable of loving everyone by God’s standards. But when we ask God to love someone through us, He shows up.

Today, I want to challenge you. Pick someone in your life who is unlovable, and ask God to love them through you. Watch the difference it makes! When we love others, we are a true image of Christ.

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