Ready to Give Up?

Last week, I was amazed by the response from so many who listened to the interviews with Family Life Today. If you missed those, I hope you’ll check them out by clicking here.

I found myself answering more comments than normal here, several private messages on my Facebook page, and responding to emails from people who heard the broadcast and are hurting, ready to give up; thinking things will never improve. In an effort to reach out with some practical help, I found myself repeatedly sending women the link to an old blog post in the archives. I dug out that post for you today and want to offer you this challenge:

If you have a friend who is struggling in her marriage, or know someone who just needs some encouragement today to hang in there when the going is tough . . . send her this blog post.

Often a wife who is in a strained marriage asks me, “What do I do while I wait for my husband to respond? I don’t know how much longer I can take this!” Sometimes the fracture in the relationship runs so deep, that even when the wife recognizes her contribution to the marital mess and seeks to change, in some cases it may take years for him to respond. If you are in that place right now or know someone who is, I thought I’d share with you what I often tell women who are in that painful season of waiting:

Dear Waiting,

I know it is hard to wait. I am so sorry for the pain you’re experiencing. Let me assure you, your wait is not in vain. As you look to the Lord, laying out your need and desire before Him, He is listening and is at work. You may not see all you would like accomplished in your marriage, but if you are looking to Christ, seeking His will, and desiring for Him to be glorified through this, He will transform you.

And isn’t transformation what we all need most?

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. Therefore . . . do not lose heart . . . but we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing power will be of God and not from ourselves . . .” (2 Corinthians 3:18–4:1, 7, and read through to the end of the chapter).

I know it’s hard and sometimes you don’t know where to begin, so consider spending some time carefully working through the resources below:

You might find some practical help by reading through some of the archived marriage posts.  I encourage you to check those out by clicking on this link (there are eleven pages of posts to work through by pressing the “Next Entries” button on each page).

Also, you might consider watching our marriage video with your husband and discuss what you viewed, letting him know that you are willing to work on improving your marital relationship. You can view that video by clicking on this link.

In addition, the book, Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior, has more of our story and provides a lot of practical help for rebuilding a fractured marriage relationship. You can order a copy by clicking on this link.

You might also find it helpful to listen to my husband share his heart on the Revive Our Hearts radio program by clicking on this link.

A resource many women have found invaluable in improving their marital relationship, is the 30-Day Husband Encouragement challenge. You can download a free copy here or order the journal with a copy of Fierce Women by clicking on this link.

If you recognize any way you’ve contributed to the strained relationship in your marriage, I encourage you to ask the Lord to lead you in the timing and words, and approach your husband to seek his forgiveness for specific ways you’ve wronged him. Let him know that you are committed to growing in your understanding of how to honor and love him well.

Finally, as you wait, cling to the Lord as your Redeemer. He alone can transform your marriage. He alone will meet your deepest needs. Ultimately your dependence on Christ and desire to glorify Him is what matters most.

You have my prayers dear one, do not lose hope in all God can do in and through you as you trust in Him and obey His Word (Ephesians 3:20).

If you know someone who is struggling in their marriage today, please share this post with them.


  • Vivian Etherington

    I posted the link on my Facebook status! Very exciting the response to last week’s broadcast! This is a very good follow up to that. I am praying for you, Kim!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hey, Friend ~

    Thank you so much for passing this on. I hope women who are where we once were will take advantage of the resources and links embedded here!

    Thank you for your prayers, pausing now to lift you to the Father. May you sense His grace today in tangible ways!

  • K. Hoop

    Heard you on Family Focus and am reading Fierce Women. Great info but what advise can you give me on being an enabler? (Married 22 years). How do I balance grace, forgiveness and what boundaries can I put in place? I’ve tried written contracts, and even attended Family Focus -“Weekend to Remember”. I’m still his mother. My husband has depression issues which he ignores. His father died when he was 13. He masked his pain through financial infidelity which has resulted in 100s of thousands of dollars of debt. I don’t want my two sons to repeat our mistakes. Help!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello K ~

    Wow, I commend you for not making the choice to walk away from your marital commitment. I am glad you’re reading the book and hope you’ve found the appendix in the back where I have some suggested guidelines to follow when confrontation is necessary. When a habitual pattern has developed over several years it is hard to break out of that “enabling” tendency. I hope you and your husband are involved in a solid, biblical church where you can reach out to your church leadership with help on this. (That is part of the process I recommend in the guidelines.)

    If your husband is a believer, it is important to appeal to him on the basis of Scripture to take financial responsibility, not just for the sake of your marriage and your sons, but for the witness of Christ and the gospel.

    If you’re not familiar with Crown Ministries, I recommend you and your husband check out their website. They have helpful, biblical solutions to financial issues:

    K, I am so sorry for the personal pain and difficulty you’ve walked through because of your husband’s choices, but I pray God fills you with wisdom to walk that balance of grace and truth.

    I pray that you will see God began to do a work of transformation that will be a powerful witness to your sons and others who know you.