It Takes Two

“It takes two, ya know!”

Her words wore the biting effect of the long years of pain. I looked into those weary eyes and I knew I’d never walked her path; felt the sting of rejection that left its mark on her heart. I knew her edgy retort wasn’t so much anger at me, but bubbled up from years of frustration, years of longing, and my intended encouragement had bumped that raw place.

I wanted those hopeless eyes to see what can’t be seen, for that deadened heart to beat with His life-giving dreams, for her faith to be renewed by truth that lives beyond the temporary.

Yes, you’re right, it does take two to make a marriage work. You’re right. You can’t do this alone, you must have the Author of marriage leading, impressing, directing your heart. You and He can impact your relationship with your husband. You have His word on that. He doesn’t hold out false hope. In fact, He anticipated that you would need this passage for this exact moment in your life:

[box]In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:1–4)[/box]

There’s more in this passage than can be unpacked in the limited space of a blog post, but I’ll just touch on a few things for those of you who may be in that painful place.

  • The heart is the issue—always.

Notice the instruction given, wives aren’t told to whip that man into shape, to preach the gospel to them, or to coddle them. They are challenged to IMPACT them. The answer isn’t to run to Victoria’s Secret for the most seductive nightie.

The answer is the heart.

A heart that’s lost all hope is a dead heart and a man can sense that a mile away. 

On the surface things may appear calm, you may not be the shrieker or the witch, but underneath the surface you resent him. You resent that he’s not what you want him to be and that’s taken your heart and sucked it dry.

You want him to relate to you, to understand you, to respect you, you want peace, love, and friendship. I imagine he does, too. He probably doesn’t show it, and he may not know how to reach out to you for that, but he, too, probably doesn’t enjoy the life you share if your hope has died.

Do you believe God can impact your husband? 

Maybe he doesn’t know God, neither did Joy’s husband but God captured his heart. Neither did Edie’s but she followed this passage’s instructions all the way . . . and God heard her prayer. When her husband accepted Christ, she hardly recognized him.

Maybe your husband does have a relationship with God, but the relationship between the two of you is shadowed by betrayal, broken promises, shattered dreams or just empty space.

You can resign yourself to this, or you can believe. 

You can believe that God’s Word is true and one plus One can make a difference. You can believe that because of the gospel—there is still reason for hope. You can admit that by losing hope, you’ve settled for less than what God can do, and ask God for forgiveness.

I’ve never seen a husband be unaffected by the respectful, gentle, and quiet spirit of a wife who hopes in God. That wife has a heart that will impact her man.

Have you become skeptical? How does that line up with the beauty described in this passage; the beauty of the heart that is precious in God’s sight?

Image courtesy of kongsky/


  • Carrie

    Kim, this is the blog posting that started my ‘Fierce Women’ journey. I’m just smiling today rereading this. A little hope goes a long way. God is faithful! ❤️

  • Kathy

    I have been loving this series. Thanks so much, Kim, for sharing these truths. I wish I would have known them years ago. For the first ten years of our marriage I tried to change my husband. I thought I needed to make him into the man I knew God wanted him to be. He shut down and withdrew. I got this message ten years into our marriage, but it took the next ten years for me to really get it and for my husband to come out of his cave and invest in our marriage. We have a wonderful marriage now after 26 years, but it was a long hall. I weep at what God has done and how he has blessed. I really believe it was the concept in this particular blog that would have changed everything earlier on….it took me a long time to trust God with my husband and to trust that he could do the changing in HIS time. Even in that, I was the one that God wanted to change. I had a huge beam in my own eye. I got to the place that I could have joy in my savior, even if my husband never changed. It is such an honor now to realize that our marriage is becoming that wonderful picture of Christ and the Church. Thanks Kim, I look forward to your posts and the opportunity to ingrain these truths even further into my heart—The Lord has entrusted my husband as Pastor of a church(7 years now)and I pray that in time God will give me the opportunity to teach others also. Much love to you.

  • Diane

    Thank you, Kim! Just what I needed to hear as I seek God’s will in a marriage that has been difficult and filled with hurt and sin from the start. God IS faithful – I know that – but thank you for the reminder that I need to obey what God has commanded me to do with a joyful, trusting heart and not try to be my husband’s Holy Spirit! So much pain from our past, but I know that our God is more than able!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Carrie ~

    Wow, so glad He started you on that journey! He is so good, isn’t He? 🙂

    Good to hear from you!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Kathy ~

    Thanks so much for sharing some of your story! I love hearing stories of transformation. May God continue to display His beauty and grace through your marriage and use you in your service to your church family!

    Blessings ~

  • Vicki

    Good Morning, Kim.

    Would you pray with m today for a young “fierce woman” who i so ready to give up on her marriage? There’s lots of specifics I could ask you to pray about but am just going to leave it to the Holy Spirit to direct your words. He knows so much better than I do, anyway!

    Thank you, dear friend. I’m praying for you today, too!


  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Diane ~

    I am so sorry for the pain you’ve experienced. Yes, God is more than able and I hope you are able to experience the joy of an Eph. 3:20 marriage.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, dear friend ~

    I am so sorry to hear of another young woman who is ready to end her marriage. Praying God can use you as a voice of truth and encouragement in her life.

    Love and prayers ~

  • Guerda Bornelus

    Good morning,

    My husband already left and I want to give up so bad. I’m tired of hurting. Some Christians are telling me that I have a right to move on because he abandoned us and my husband has free will. On the other hand, some Christians are telling me to hang in there forever and pray for my husband’s return. I’m so confused and this hurt so bad. The more I pray the more my husband tries to get away from me. What should I do. I’m tired of hurting.