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Need Some Hope Today?

Today is the last of a 3-day series of interviews I had with Bob Lepine and Dennis Rainey on the Family Life Today radio program. I shed a few tears (surprising, I know). But I love how Dennis Rainey chides me at the end not to apologize for my tears, but he encourages me to view those tears as seeds that will give hope to women who’ve lost all hope in their marriage.

If you missed the first of these interviews, you can pull up Monday’s blog post and listen by clicking here. If you want to hear yesterday’s program, click here.

Have you lost hope today? I hope you’ll listen to today’s broadcast and be filled with a fresh awareness of God’s desire to bring transformation to your home:

Click here to download the audio file directly.

Please join me in praying for men and women who hear this broadcast. I’m asking God to reach couples who are struggling in their marriage, to fill them with hope for what He can do, and then give them the grace and power to begin rebuilding their relationship.

18 Comments

  • Annette Downey

    I have been listening to you on Focus on the Family this week and you have truly inspired me to be the wife God wants me to be. I have been married for almost 16 years and have a 10 year old little girl and a year old little girl. Our marriage has not really ever been good or really happy and it scares me to think my girls are not getting the example of what a Godly marriage looks like. We attend church, read the bible, but my husband is very mean to me and sometimes to the girls. He is 9 years older than me and treats me like his child sometimes, so I either lash out or shut down, and the girls see this. I work for a very mean ungodly woman everyday and my husband makes me use what little money I make to pay for groceries, babysitter, my health insurance, gas, etc. I even left work yesterday, after working 8-5, went straight to clean a house for some cash to help supplement this week and didn’t get home until 9:45PM and it still isn’t enough to make any difference. My boss also just informed me today, that the vacation I am getting ready to take, I will not get paid for due to fact I have not been here 1 year yet, even though I am on salary. I only make $22,000 a year and can’t get out of this hole. I made a commitment a couple months ago to tithe, first, then pay the rest of what I have to, so I feel I am trying. I may have to let my family go to his sisters house for our vacation, in VA, while I stay home because I cannot afford to not get paid for a whole week. Anyway, I know none of this matters, what I wanted to know is if there is anyway I could get a copy of the book Fierce Women for free. If you would just lend me one, I will return it to you when I am done. I checked at the library and they don’t have it. If you can’t do that, I understand. But I thought it can’t hurt to ask. Thank you for your honesty on FOF this week, it truly was awesome!! Thank you also for your consideration on the book thing. God bless you and your husband!

  • Lisa

    I heard you today on the radio and decided to reach out to for your wisdom. I am writing with a concern I have for my born-again Christian Aunt and Uncle who have been married 30 years. My uncle suffered a spinal stroke. As soon as the diagnosis of “paralyzed for life” was handed to him, my Aunt decided to withhold all financial help for him. She would not even sign the papers for him to get government disability and she told him that when he got out of the hospital that he would not be welcome back in their home. She is wheelchair bound herself and recently came into some money when her mother passed away. My uncle had no choice but to sue for divorce to get alimony. She is fighting tooth and nail and will not give him any money whatsoever even though she is an able-bodied working person. He has been in the hospital 2 years now and is ready to come home but has no home to go to. What on earth would cause a Christian woman who seemed to be happily married and happy to have her husband help with the laundry, all the shopping and cleaning all of a sudden shut out someone just because of an illness? Yes, he can no longer be of help to her but what about her Christian beliefs? I am Jewish and we don’t believe we will be absolved of any sin just because we believe in G-d. My mother says that my aunt is behaving this way because, as a Christian, she can just ask for forgiveness and since she believes in Christ she will be forgiven. What about her vows? What about compassion? How can my aunt believe that it is ok to give my uncle nothing when he is suffering so much? Is it really true that after the divorce is final she can just walk away from her marriage and G-d will forgive her? I’m really struggling not to judge her but as a non-Christian I really don’t understand that this behavior can come from someone who claims to be born-again. Any insight?

  • Rhonda Tapley

    I just wanted to thank you for allowing God to use you in sharing your experiences to help others. I have been thinking for quite sometime to leave my husband. But this week we are having Vacation Bible School at my church, and my teacher is teaching on Marraige. Then today i heard you on Family Life today. i must say if this isn’t a sure sign from God, i don’t know what is. I am a christian, and my husband is not. The holy spirit has spoken to me thru you and showed me that all this time i have been blaming my husband why i wasn’t happy or our marraige was failing. But now I know it was me all the time, not being in subjection to God’s word and doing as i should. Please pray for me that I will do as I should as a wife and that I can one day by my conversation win my lost husband to Christ. No wonder he didn’t want any part of what I had all this time. I was such a hypocrite. Me expecting him to do his part and me not even doing my own. God bless you and may God continue to use you to touch and reach others.

  • Lisa

    I heard you today with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine. The message was a valuable reminder of what your book is about. Bringing transformation to marriage by transforming me to be the woman God created me to be for my husband. I worked through your book Fierce woman and have been challenged by it! I am very thankful for your open, honest, sincere, authentic and genuine words in the book!
    Thank you for challenging me!

  • Pat

    I heard your interview on Family Life Today. I needed that message 11 years ago, but God has worked out His divine will in my life even so. My husband of 22 yrs. left with our 2 teenage children, divorced me,and has been in a relationship, but has not remarried. My children were damaged during this time, and I am still not able to connect with them, but there are little breakthroughs now and then. I’m glad that you have put into words what I have been through, realizing that it was MY relationship with the Lord and my husband that was most of the problem.
    I’d still like to read your book.
    Blessings~

  • Stella

    Praise God for sharing on moody today. I am where u were at in ur marriage. I pray that someday soon I will be where u r at now. You gave me hope to see my wonderful husband in a new light. Thank u for sharing and helping me understand myself and my sin. I ordered ur book today and God is answering my prayer — seek and u will find. Ask and it will b given to u. Thank u thank u for speaking the hard truth.

  • Ruth

    Be balanced as you follow the Holy Spirit, Rhonda.
    Do whatever the Holy Spirit leads you to do/not do, say/ not say, as the wife of an unbeliever. Don’t heap on yourself a yoke of slavery you are not meant to carry.

    You are responsible to obey God, but you are not responsible for saving your husband. That is God’s responsibilty.

    I lived with an unbelieving spouse for three decades and went from one extreme of being a “shrew”, as Kimberley described herself, to the other extreme of being a doormat.

    What I needed was to be Fierce in a loving way. My spouse started being a bully and I let him. He lost all respect for me because I got so I didn’t speak up at all! He eventually divorced me. I lost all the fierceness I had that drew him to me initially.

    Remember, Kimberley’s spouse was in the Word and was praying for his her! When you are married to an unbeliever, you are not being covered in his prayers, but more likely, you are being persecuted for your faith.

    Remember, be balanced and lovingly fierce!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Annette,

    Thank you for sharing some of your story here with us. I am thankful you were encouraged by the program. It sounds as though you are at a very difficult place right now. I hope you will find comfort in knowing that the Father sees what you are going through, He knows every hurt you face, and He cares. When we respond in a Christ-like manner to the injustice and injury we endure, it allows us to experience the fellowship of His sufferings (Phil. 3:10) and to be conformed to His image (Romans 8:28–29). I pray you will press into those realities and when tempted to give way to anger or self pity, you will embrace the reality of God’s sovereign character and trust that He is at work and respond as He instructs us to in 1 Peter 3:8–9).

    We will be glad to send you a book (and you do not need to return it), as a gift–not on loan. I pray God uses it to minister to you.

    God’s blessings to you dear one,

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Dear Lisa,

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment here and I commend you for the concern you have for your aunt and uncle. I was so grieved as I read your description of their situation. First, let me say, I can not speak with personal knowledge of them, but in general through the decades I’ve lived as a Christian, I’ve met many people who “claim” to be a Christian, but are not living out biblical truth, and may only be “claiming” Christianity, but they’ve never entered into a real relationship with Christ.

    Marriage is a sacred and holy covenant before God, but sadly, many who “claim” Christianity are ignoring what God’s Word says about marriage and divorce.

    God’s ultimate purpose for marriage is not our individual happiness—ultimately His purpose is for the world to see His great lovingkindness and covenant commitment displayed. The amazing grace in all of it, however, is that when we establish the type of marital relationship described in Scripture—we experience great joy and God receives great glory!

    All marriages consist of two sinners. We are all in need of great mercy. None of us deserve God’s forgiveness, mercy, or blessing—yet He gives it. None of us deserve His commitment of fidelity, yet He is unrelenting in it. None of us deserve second chances, or His patience, yet He is long suffering with each of us.

    He has called us to display His character. He’s called us to demonstrate to our mates and to others His mercy, grace, truth, forbearance, patience, endurance and even joy in suffering (Colossians 3:12–19; Philippians 3:7–10; Ephesians 4:31–32). When we forsake our marriage vows (and claim to be a Christian), it is dishonoring to God.

    I can’t speak for your aunt’s spiritual condition, not knowing her, but Lisa, I assure you this kind of behavior is not how Christ instructed His followers to live.

    Lisa, I am praying for you to have wisdom in how you can minister to both of them through this time. It sounds as though your uncle is going to need a lot of practical help. I wonder if your aunt would be willing to read “Fierce Women?” She might not be open to that, but if she would, God might use that to speak to her heart.

    I am pausing to pray for you now, may you have knowledge and wisdom beyond yourself, and may God bring a holy and beautiful reconciliation that only He could orchestrate.

    Blessings to you ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Rhonda ~

    I am so thankful God has been working and speaking to you. I am thankful you didn’t leave your husband. I imagine you must’ve been in a very dark and hopeless place to consider taking that route. I hope instead, you will consider how God wants to use you to impact your husband’s life. I hope you’ll continue to trust that God is at work, He sees, He knows what you are going through, and He cares.

    It is very difficult for me to write what I’m about to tell you, because I know it is much easier to express the beautiful “big picture” truth than to live it out in the messiness and sorrow of a situation like you may be enduring—but the truth is, living out Scripture in your situation is going to require you doing the hard thing. The easy thing is to run, to pack up your bags and get out. That is what any of us would naturally want to do. But by doing that, what are you communicating about the reality of God and His ability to step into the darkest of places and bring radical transformation?

    Let me encourage you to consider God’s heart when it comes to the issue of divorce and then consider God’s ultimate purpose for the marital relationship.

    God’s ultimate purpose for marriage is not our individual happiness—ultimately His purpose is for the world to see the gospel displayed (Ephesians 5:22-33). The amazing grace in all of it, however, is that when we establish the type of marital relationship described in this passage—we experience great joy and God receives great glory!

    God’s heart is one of redemption. Although I am sinful and vile, He welcomes me back when I turn in repentance to Him. He is in the ministry of reconciling hearts to Himself. All marriages consist of two sinners. We are all in need of great mercy. But one thing is true: none of us deserve God’s forgiveness, mercy, or blessing—yet He gives it. None of us deserve His commitment of fidelity, yet He is unrelenting in it. None of us deserve second chances, or His patience, yet He is long suffering with each of us.

    He has called us to display His character with our husbands. He’s called us to demonstrate to our mates and to others His mercy, grace, truth, forbearance, patience, endurance and even joy in suffering (Colossians 3:12–19; Philippians 3:7–10; Ephesians 4:31–32).

    There are no pat answers or easy solutions. The truth is that God’s grace is sufficient for every need, but that doesn’t mean that every situation will result in a happy ending. When two individuals are willing to walk in a state of repentance and humility, depending on God’s grace in applying the truth of His Word to desperate situations—even then it takes much hard work and perseverance to overcome selfish tendencies and begin to reap the joy of a one-souled marriage. When only one mate is willing to work on the marriage, it may take years for the other mate to respond in kind—and perhaps he never will. It is even more challenging when the husband is not a Christian.

    I hope you’ll consider reading and applying the content of “Fierce Women” and also subscribe to receive daily email blog posts (you can do that by filling in your email address in the “Subscribe” gadget in the upper left column). Another resource that I think could be helpful for you is reading Joy McClain’s book: “Waiting for His Heart: Lessons from a Wife Who Chose to Stay.” Joy’s husband eventually became a Christian.

    Finally, Rhonda, your ultimate joy will only be found in a deep and abiding relationship with Christ. I pray you will look to Him to meet your every need. I’m pausing to pray for you now, dear one!

    God’s blessings to you ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Lisa ~

    Thank you so much for that encouragement! I am excited to hear how God has used the book in your life. I pray you continue to see His sustaining grace and power at work in your marriage.

    Please stay in touch and share updates or prayer needs as you can.

    Blessings to you ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Pat,

    I hope you will read the book. It is never too late to begin applying the truth of God’s word and seeking Him to repair the damage our fierceness has caused. If you haven’t done this yet, I encourage you to reach out to your husband and children to ask their forgiveness. I hope you’ll consider reading and applying the content of “Fierce Women” and also subscribe to receive daily email blog posts (you can do that by filling in your email address in the “Subscribe” gadget in the upper left column).

    Thank you for taking time to stop by and leave a comment ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Ruth ~

    Thank you for reaching out to Rhonda. I’m so sorry for what you’ve experienced. Sadly, your story is being repeated by many in the church today. Women seem to be at one of two extremes: a shrew or a doormat.

    Jesus provides the perfect example of grace and truth. He doesn’t ignore sinful behavior and provides recourse for the woman who is being abused. In the book (and under the resources tab on this site) I encourage women to confront their husband’s sinful behavior (according to Scripture) as a demonstration of love. Women who think they are “loving” their husbands by living as a doormat, and thereby enabling their husband’s sinful behavior, are actually not loving their husbands well.

    Thankful to have you on the blog, please stay in touch!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Stella ~

    Thank you so much for stopping by to share how God spoke to you today. I am joining you in praising Him!! I pray you will reach out for God’s grace to apply the content of “Fierce Women.” Don’t allow discouragement to keep you from pressing into all God has for you!

    I hope you’ll subscribe to receive daily email blog posts (you can do that by filling in your email address in the “Subscribe” gadget in the upper left column).

    Please send in an update to the “Your Voice” page on this website and let us hear how God uses the book in your life!

    I’m pausing to pray for you now dear friend. May you experience an Eph. 3;20 type work in your marriage!

  • Sarah de Alfaro

    Thank you for the words you spoke on the last couple of days on Family Life Today. As I listened to you, you could have described the way my husband and I live together. My name is Sarah and I live in Ecuador. My husband is Peruvian and he is a pastor here. We have lived here for 15 years, far from both of our families. I am American, and, although my husband speaks pretty good English, we mostly communicate in Spanish. I think I am can be a pretty fierce woman, and after 15 years of living contentedly (most of the time) in a foreign country, I think I have a pretty strong will. I couldn’t survive, otherwise. However, my strong will and fierceness get me into trouble, just like you described in your interviews. So, I am going to buy your book on Kindle, as soon as I can. I have been praying lately (and I am sure my husband has been, too) that God would help me see where I am wrong, and help me to change. I know my children need to see a humble mother…
    Thank you again for your words. You spoke deeply to me.
    By the way, I listen to Moody radio via WCRF, Cleveland, OH on the web.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Sarah ~

    I am so thankful for how God spoke to you. I hope you’ll check out the articles on marriage on this website and consider subscribing to receive the daily blog post. Check back here on Monday for a post that will have several embedded links for resources that I think will be helpful for you.

    The site administrator will be in touch with you soon to get your contact information. Be encouraged, God is at work, He sees all you are going through, He cares, and He is able to bring transformation for your good and His glory.

    I look forward to hearing back from you after you read the book. I hope you’ll stay in touch!

    Pausing to pray for you now dear sister ~