Why Your Husband May Not Be The Problem…

nottheproblemAhhhhhh! I walked into the bathroom and slammed the door behind me! I was confident my dramatic outburst would show my husband just how much he was hurting me. I desired reconciliation, but more so I wanted him to understand my perspective. I wanted him to admit that he was wrong and validate my feelings through a sincere apology. Until then I would camp out in the bathroom and withhold my heart from him.

With my back against the wall, I refused to look at the situation from a different point of view. My convictions were powerful, convincing me I did not need to reassess in any way. Motivated by fear, I could not comprehend, nor receive or extend grace for my behavior or his. I just didn’t know how to let go of the emotions swirling inside my heart and mind.

In the early years of my marriage, my husband and I fought daily. I often thought to myself, who is this guy? My husband was not living up to my expectations of a husband and I doubted the love we had. With every contention that boiled between us I stewed in my frustration desiring nothing more than my husband to surrender.

I was convinced that he was the problem for our marital misfortune.

I even prayed to God and asked him to change my husband. I could not stop believing that he was the reason we fought and hurt so much. I also told my husband how he was the problem and how changing his ways would heal everything.

The real problem was me.

I failed to recognize how I was contributing to our marital fights. Living in denial, I was not willing to accept the truth that my character was flawed, that I had sin that was affecting my husband, that I was imperfect.

It took a few years, but God finally got through to me. He unveiled me and helped me get to know the real me. I experienced God’s amazing grace and it felt so good. I grasped an understanding I never had before, that it was ok I failed and that God loved me no matter what, that I had the opportunity to extend grace to my husband, and that grace is a gift that can be given at any moment not necessarily after an apology.

Grace is bigger than fear!

God showed me areas of my life in need of transformation. He also transformed those areas and behold many of my marital fights dissipated. I learned how receiving grace and extending grace could transform marriage!

God also taught me that it is good to pray for my husband and it was necessary. However, it was all the more crucial that I pray for myself and allow God room to move in my heart.

For those of you who may be in the midst of a marital battle or believing that your husband is wholly responsible for your unhappiness, I want to share this simple truth with you today. Your husband may not be the problem! I know this sounds harsh, and I don’t want it to hurt you. I just want you to be aware that marriage is affected by both you AND your husband. I am not saying your husband is not influencing how certain situations erupt, I am simply addressing that you play a very vital role as an influencer as well. The point is not whether your husband is at fault, he very well may be, the point is that no matter who is at fault, you are responsible for you! Only you can make a heart change in your heart, and that ability is invaluable to marriage.

I wish as a new wife that I had recognized how powerful my actions affected our marriage. I wish that someone had urged me not to blame my husband for everything. I wish someone was firm with me and shook me out of my selfish way of thinking. I wish I had always known grace. Yet, I know now and I share it with you now!

I urge you to pray and ask God to unveil you. Ask God to show you areas of your life that need to be transformed and then ask Him to renew you! Receive grace from God for your past and ask God to help you extend grace to your husband. God will honor your humility and your marriage will benefit greatly as God molds your heart. And don’t stop praying for your husband too! Ask God to speak truth into your husband’s life and to transform him as well.

Marriage can either be a tug-of-war led by pride or it can be a river running in one direction guided by the banks of humility.

Have you ever been convinced that your husband is the problem with disregard to your behavior?

- Jennifer Smith    UnveiledWife.com

Letting Down My Walls With God And With My Husband

unveiledwife

He reached for his Bible, a very used hand-me-down from his father. Tucked within the covers of his bible were a few pieces of paper decorated with his handwriting.

“Read these” he encouraged me.

They were prayers my boyfriend had been saving. Desires that were the closest to his heart. Scribbled in the corner of each prayer was a date, all of them noting years before we had ever even met. One prayer in particular stood out among the rest. His desire for a wife was clear, but He pleaded with God to help him be patient for the one who was to be his wife. After reading it, my boyfriend of a year and a half whispered gently,

“You are the answer to my prayer.”

My heart swelled with joy. It was in that moment he proposed marriage, and I excitedly said, “Yes!”

We were young and in love. Our hearts were dedicated to living out an extraordinary life of service to God and we were eager to do it as a team. Only six months later we were married and headed out on our first adventure as missionaries in a foreign land. Our passion to serve God in Africa was explosive! Despite our love and faith to follow God’s call on our life as husband and wife, we encountered a few hardships immediately following the wedding, which we were not prepared for.

We had both saved ourselves from sex until we married. We knew we would need to take some time to adjust, but I never would have imagined we could experience so much heartache in the intimacy department. Pain inflamed my body every time we initiated sexual intimacy, a challenge that lasted 4 long years. Accompanying the physical pain was the anxiety, the emotional repercussions, and the forming of habits that kept my husband and I very distant in this part of our marriage.

I felt broken, inadequate as a wife, insecure, and angry. I turned from God in my despair, frustrated that He would not miraculously heal us and fulfill our marriage completely. When I was in the trenches, when depression and fear seized me, I didn’t know where to get help. I was embarrassed, but more so I felt utterly alone in our marital struggles.

Regardless of my rebellious heart, God never let me go. He pursued me and challenged me to allow our situation to transform my heart for the better.

As I responded to God’s love and turned back towards Him, He revealed the importance of being “unveiled” as a Christian woman and as a wife. Being unveiled is to let the walls down that keep intimacy with others unattainable. Being unveiled is about being transparent with our struggles, so that we may be transformed.

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit,and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. – 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

This message became a vital piece of the healing that took place in my heart and in my marriage. When I was unveiled before God and my husband, I experienced freedom and peace like I had never known before. I also acknowledged things about myself I had never seen before. With clarity I was able to repent of the negative behaviors I had and truly be transformed.

God showed me how many other wives also felt alone in their struggles. He gave me a passion to share this message of being an Unveiled Wife with others, providing a safe place to talk about marriage issues, receive prayer, share marriage resources, and most importantly encourage women to turn to Christ. Unveiled Wife is a ministry for wives and I am honored to be used by God to share His love with the world.

I have experienced true healing and transformation. I am now able to enjoy sexual intimacy with my husband and our relationship continues to mature daily. We also gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in 2012! Parenting adds a whole other dynamic to marriage that has blessed us tremendously. We are in awe every day! My husband and I still encounter challenges along the way, but the UW Community has been a huge support system for my marriage and others all around the world. I am grateful.

Blessings,

Jennifer Smith      Unveiledwife.com

This post is a part of our “Who We Are” Series. For all posts visit,

“Who We Are: The Stories Behind TBM Writers”

Who We Are at The Better Mom

My Family Garden

reapsowWith the arrival of Spring I have found a joy in the art of gardening.  It began with an idea I found on Pinterest to plant seeds in empty eggshells.  I have never tried my hand at growing food, but with my curious toddler rapidly maturing each day, I desired to teach him how we can plant seeds and help them grow into delicious plants.

{Follow me on Pinterest HERE!}

After each breakfast where eggs were on the menu, I saved the shells and prepped them for sowing.  My husband and I have been taking turns watering and placing them in sunlight, checking in often eager to see them sprout! The moment I saw that first glimpse of green bursting out of the soil I literally jumped up and celebrated joyfully.

Gaining the understanding that we have the opportunity to sow seeds and reproduce in this way is marvelous.  I appreciate how God has given us such a beautiful gift.

When my husband and I intentionally give time and attention to our family garden good things happen.  We see the benefits grow right before our eyes.  We till the soil and protect the vulnerable plants from frost and animals.  Our care and concern are vital components to having a healthy garden.

There are other seeds being sown in our family, seeds that are not subject to “growing” season temperatures or classified as annuals or perennials.  Rather, these seeds are being sown all the time, every moment of every day.  The soil is our child’s heart and every seed sown is a characteristic, a habit, a response – numerous varieties of seeds constantly being planted by me and my husband.  With every action and reaction whether in my marriage or in my relationship with my child, I am actively participating in my family garden.  The question is: Am I sowing good seed or bad seed?

These types of seeds have different lengths of time to see them emerge or grow to maturity.  Some behaviors I may see in my husband or child right away, while others I may notice years later, behaviors I planted in their hearts because of choices I have made.   I also realize that my marriage plays a huge role in the way my child will view marriage as an adult.  The seeds I plant today will be the garden of my child’s future!

Just like regular gardening, the art of this kind of gardening also requires intentionality, care, and concern – key components for a beautiful and bountiful array of good produce.  The most important seed we can ever sow as parents into the lives of our children is the seed of knowing God!  I hope my intentionality of teaching my son about who God is will be the most flourishing in his heart!  That is my greatest prayer!

As Spring graces us with splashes of color and good food to eat, think about how you as a mother and a wife are contributing to your family garden! What seeds are you planting every day?

- Jennifer Smith   UnveiledWife.com

One Word That Changed My Marriage {and balanced it for the better}

changed-my-marriageI recently wrote an article about a unique situation I am encountering in my marriage. It has been such a striking experience for me, I wanted to share my discoveries with other wives.  Even with such a short life span of a little over a week, that specific article has become my most popular blog post to-date.  The title may be catching, but my hope is that wives really capture the message I am sharing and the impact a single word can have on marriage.

You can read that article by clicking the title linked here: 

Why I Stopped Saying No To My Husband And Why You Should Too

The one word that has changed my marriage is “No.”  I never realized just how often I tell my husband no.  Whether it is a simple little task or an invitation to cultivate sexual intimacy

I decline, I refuse, I push away, I justify, I just say no…

Most of the time this powerful word slips out quicker than I actually think about the request or invitation. I just respond. I am a busy woman, a busy wife, a busy mom…but sometimes I use my “busy” life to justify why I don’t want to do something.  However, if I am not intentional about balancing my emotions and how I feel from one moment to the next my marriage will suffer…my marriage has suffered.  And if my marriage suffers, so does the whole family.

I never knew the negative impact that word was making on my marriage, until The Lord ask me to stop saying it. Avoiding the word no has been incredibly challenging and extremely difficult. I constantly fail and I am constantly praying for God to transform this part of my heart.

Since my commitment to stop saying no, my husband told me he feels more respected.  I never knew I was disrespecting him.  He also told me he feels like I am much more nice and easier to talk to.  I never knew I was being mean or cold.  He also explained that our overall marriage has seemingly improved as well as our sexual intimacy.  My eyes have been opened.  My heart understands.

I desire to be a “Yes Wife!”  I want to be a wife who supports and helps her husband when he makes requests and I want to be a wife willing to join in the adventure of marriage and the amazing opportunities we have in life.

God has also been showing me how my response towards my husband influences my child.  The more my son matures, the more he will express the behavior he has learned by watching Mommy and Daddy.  My desire for my son is to learn how to use the word no at appropriate times and not just as a response to use towards his parents, his friends, or eventually if he marries, his wife.  I want him to learn the power and love wrapped up in the word YES! Because love does!

Although this has been a difficult area for me to change, I really appreciate the fact God asked me to change.  I value His leadership because it is not only wise, but by intentionally balancing my emotions, my desires, and my responses towards my husband it is tremendously blessing my marriage.  I want to extend the same challenge to you, especially if you are a wife like me that struggles with laziness, selfishness, and hates being inconvenienced.  I challenge you to be a YES WIFE and to bring balance to your marriage by stop saying the word “no” to your husband!  And watch how this one word has the power to change your marriage and balance it for the better!

Ready. Set. Go!

- Jennifer Smith   Unveiledwife.com 

**Also, I invite you to please join me and over 9,000 women as we go through Wife After God together during the month of April! Details can be found HERE!

This post is part of our series Finding Balance as a Busy Mom. 

Please check the series page for all of the posts! 

Finding Balance as a Busy Mom

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