Can You Just Let it Go?

Several years ago my husband was considering making a major decision that was going to impact my life dramatically.

Daily.

I felt like it was the wrong decision. I mean REALLY the wrong decision!

I voiced my concerns and thoughts. He listened, but it didn’t change his mind. I was struggling with it all when a friend quietly reminded me of the fact that one day, when I stand before the Lord, He’s not going to hold me accountable for straightening out my husband on all those earthly choices . . . but He will hold me accountable for loving my husband well. 

Her statement challenged me to get me eyes off the temporary and put them on what matters—the eternal. I’ve learned in the years since that conversation with her, that challenging myself with eternal-perspective-questions helps me when I have trouble peeling my tightly gripped fingers open to let go of the temporary.

It helps to ask myself a few questions that can adjust my perspective.

Questions to Loosen Your Grip:

Is this temporary or eternal?

Will this really matter a month from now, a year from now, in eternity?

Who is benefitted by me hanging onto this?

What is the worst that can happen if I let this go?

Am I operating in fear or in faith by holding onto this?

Will holding onto this be harmful to my walk with God? To our marriage?

Is holding onto this worth the potential of crushing my husband’s spirit?

When I stand before God one day, will He commend me for keeping a death-grip on this?

Will “letting go” cause me to be more dependent on God, and to trust Him more?

What if every woman became as passionate about letting go of the little stuff as she is about clinging to her personal preferences or holding onto her power of control?

What if every woman was willing to apply her fierceness to cultivating self discipline for the die-to-self moments?

What if “letting go” became a way of life? How different would your life look?

Portions of this post are excerpts from Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior © 2012• Kimberly Wagner • Moody Publishers

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net



  1. Posted by Caroline

    I’m so thankful I have come across this. My marriage is just like yours (I’m a PW too and my DH wants to quit the ministry because of the “death” of his spirit at my hands).
    I ordered the book. But until then – I really need to know what was the biggest turning point for your husband? What happened when he quit the ministry?
    I anxiously await hearing more & reading the book. Thank you SO much – I cannot express it enough.


    • Posted by Kimberly Wagner

      Hello, Caroline ~

      I’m so glad you found the blog and hope the book will be helpful! Things didn’t improve for a long time after he resigned from the pastorate, but what eventually affected our marriage was a consistent and humble application of the Word. One thing that many women find helpful in changing the atmosphere and relationship dynamic with their husbands is the 30 Day husband encouragement challenge from “Revive Our Hearts” ministries:

      https://www.reviveourhearts.com/media/uploads/pdf/30dayhusbandchallenge.pdf

      I hope you’ll check out other resources they have at their website, lots of great teaching for free!

      Stay in touch an let me hear how God is at work!


  2. Posted by Caroline

    Thank you so much!! I’m in the depths of this dark time… I can see God is at work but he still wants to quit the ministry. I will look into that. Thank you again. Thank you, thank you.


  3. Posted by Carolina

    Its really hard to realize that he was not the only one to blame for the failure of our marriage. I am that same fierce woman, obsessed to control and we are the same room mates you describe in your interviews. But just when I wanted to change, start rebuilding my marriage, discovered that he has been cheating on me with another woman. I know I must forgive, that his adultery is not bigger than the forgiveness I received at the cross by Jesus, but its so hard. And while I might be able to forgive, how can I trust him again? Please pray to get out of this dark place. Dont know where to start


    • Posted by Kimberly Wagner

      I am so sorry. So painful and so hard!! I hope that you have some spiritually mature friends (and biblical church leadership) that can help you as navigate this process. It will take time to rebuild trust, but ultimately, your trust must be placed in God. Trust the Spirit to be at work.

      I am praying for you and hope that you are not trying to walk through this process alone. You and your husband need the help and accountability of spiritual leadership. I am so very sorry, friend. God is able to rescue, may He accomplish His redeeming work in your marriage!


  4. Posted by Caroline

    Another question… an emotional affair is suspected (his affair)… do I still continue to approach him with intimacy/physical affection at this point or is it better to back off? I’m really confused.


    • Posted by Kimberly Wagner

      Dearest Caroline ~

      It’s difficult for me to give you counsel without knowing the entire situation. Generally, I would say that if you only “suspect” an affair, but don’t have proof, do not react based on what you fear but do not know. Continue to love your husband well and use Phil. 4:8 as your guide in how to keep your mind focused on truth. Use 2 Cor. 10:3–5 as a spiritual discipline for your thoughts.

      Do you have anyone who is spiritually mature that is involved in your situation? It would be helpful if you and your husband could receive counsel from someone (outside your church) who knows and loves you and would be a trustworthy source.

      Pausing to pray for you now, dear friend, I am so very sorry for this dark and painful season. Cling to Christ, pray in faith, He is able!


  5. Posted by Carmen

    Kimberly:

    God bless you! I am from Puerto Rico and not fully bilingual; but I will try to do my best with my english in this chat.
    I am Christian as well as my husband but we are now separated since December 2014 and he has the same time that does not serve the Lord. In March, I heard your interview and ordered the book and I realized that I have so many things in common with you, I am a fierce women and now I discovered in how many ways I adversely impacted my marriage. My problem is that he is no longer in our house because I told him to leave with many justified reasons but now I am dealing with many doubts. First of all, I know that as you described in the book, I know I got married to a wonderful man and also knows that his change is the result of many of my attitudes during the past 15 years, however; I also know that he failed to me this last year in so many different ways that although I know that this person is not the same person with which I got marriage and I recognized how I contributed with this new personality; I feel that I cannot continue feeling like if everything was my fault. At this point, he already talked about divorce and although I do not feel that this is the correct decision, he does not want to receive counseling or get back to serve Lord. I am so confused, I am praying, looking for responses in the Bible and reading your book which have helped me so much but is so difficult to work with this since he is no longer at home and I want to keep my faith but the time is running and I do not see any progress. He is no longer talking about divorce, but so not want to talk about the situation either. He refuses to talk with the pastor or other leaders. I really don’t know if I have to continue praying for this marriage or if unfortunately I will have to take the painful decision of a divorce. I feel so sad that I can even explain it, we have two child and this is so hard. I know that your process was long too, but at least you had your husband in your home and he continued serving Lord although was no longer a pastor. I started to receive counseling from a Christian phycologist last week and I hope this can help me but I will like to know your opinion.


    • Posted by Kimberly Wagner

      Dearest Carmen ~

      I am so sorry that you’re marriage has reached this point. My heart breaks to hear your pain and know the desperation you’re experiencing. But let me remind you, you’ve not yet seen the end of the story. No matter how bleak things make look right now, God can still rescue. Don’t stop praying and asking God to work to preserve your marriage and to reach your husband’s heart!

      I encourage you to find one or two spiritually mature women in your church to whom you can safely confide and ask them to help you navigate through this process biblically. I hope you are in a biblical church body and are receiving help and counsel from wise leaders who will pursue your husband’s heart. As much as I’d like to help you, responding through blog posts is a severely limited form of encouragement and accountability. But I pray God will use the words below to give you some direction.

      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 are enduring—but the truth is, living out Scripture in this situation is going to require you doing the hard thing. The easy thing is to give up and “move on.” 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 reconciliation and then consider God’s ultimate purpose for the marital relationship.

      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. Biblical counselors will provide varying responses to the question of separation, divorce, and remarriage. Multiple opinions abound.

      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. 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.

      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!

      Even if your husband is unwilling to go to counseling or seek help from your church’s leadership, I encourage you to find a way to convey to him your desire to work on your marriage. Be specific in confessing to him ways you’ve sinned against him and ask his forgiveness. Perhaps show him our marriage video (go to the video tab on this website, or google Kim Wagner Marriage Miracle) and discuss with him how you recognize that you’ve sinned against him and are committed to demonstrating true love and commitment to him.

      The sad reality is that a wife may do everything possible to exhibit godliness and Christ-like love to her husband without seeing any change in him or improvement in the relationship. But in most instances that I’ve observed, when the wife displays a humble and tender desire to relate to her husband in kindness and appreciation, it greatly impacts the husband.

      My prayer is that God will fill you with hope as He gives you a glimpse of what He can do. I pray that you will communicate openly, honestly and in loving humility, your heart to your mate. Please do not retreat to a world of self-pity and pain.

      No matter what your husband chooses to do, Christ is to be the center of your devotion and affections. Look to Him to fill your deepest needs.

      I pray that your mate will respond in receptivity and humility and with a willingness to make the hard choices of unselfishness and be willing to agree with you to go to whatever lengths are necessary in order to work toward reconciliation and establishing a Christ-centered love-filled marriage that reflects His character.

      I pray that one day, we will hear of God’s miraculous intervention in, and supernatural provision for, your situation, which will bring great glory to Him and serve as a great witness to the power of the gospel.

      I (and hopefully other women who read your comment) am lifting up your marriage to the Lord in prayer. I’m unable to serve as a counselor or adviser for you, but can serve as an intercessor. I encourage you to seek biblical counsel within your church leadership.

      Pausing to pray for you now, dear one ~


  6. Posted by Michelle Barrett

    Kimberly,

    These words are just what I need to read this morning. God brought me right to it. Grateful for you, your wisdom and words of encouragement!

    Blessings!


    • Posted by Kimberly Wagner

      Good Morning, Michelle ~

      I’m thankful the Lord led you to this post. He cares for you and knows all you are facing. Jeanne said you all had a good conversation and prayer time. We are continuing to pray for you! Press into these truths today: The Father sent His Son because of His great love and nothing can separate you from that love (Romans 8:31–39). As you navigate this season, entrust yourself to His care by walking in careful obedience to His Word: Galatians 5:16–25; James 1:19–26; Col. 3:12–17. Cry out to Him for grace to live by the Spirit and to walk in a manner that glorifies Him. Love your husband as Christ has shown love for you (1 John 3:16) and entrust him to God. God can do the work in his life that is needed.

      Praying for you ~


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