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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

From Fascinating Woman to Peaceful Wife

Dec 2005

In my previous post, I wrote about Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin.

Truth be told, I found April Cassidy, The Peaceful Wife's Blog from Googling 'Fascinating Womanhood' in the world wide web.

Back in my anchoring days - 2012
It was September of 2013 and I was already ripe for the respect journey. I died to myself early that month and told God that I wanted to stop leading, and to start following my husband. I gave up my controlling ways and was looking for resources in the net to help jump-start my submissive journey. I remembered how FW helped me somewhat in 2011, so I wanted to check it out again and try to find fellow wives who might be in the same boat as I was.

A net search for FW led to a related search option by Google of The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle. I read its sample chapter and I was excited by it! This was what I wanted to do at this season of my life! I wanted to give up control! I wanted to surrender! I wanted to be a surrendered wife!

I got so excited over this find that I wrote my husband a stick-on note regarding it. I wanted him to find me Laura Doyle's book. At that time, I still was in an extremely quiet phase  when I dared not speak nor tell my husband about anything that was happening to my heart, lest I hurt him with my words. This was the time when I realized my great disrespect to him and to God, and when God showed me my true-blue sinful self. I was aghast at the enormity of my sins, with pride as the front-runner.


April, 'The Peaceful Wife' and Greg, 'The Respected Husband'
In Page 1 of my Google search for Laura Doyle's book, I also saw the Respected Husband's post on 'When She Became A Surrendered Wife'.  I read that post and clicked on one other post on top of The Peaceful Wife's, April Cassidy's page, and the next post and the next and the next... I couldn't stop!
I couldn't believe my eyes! April was talking about her life, but I felt as though, I could have written it myself!

I then copy-pasted and printed out all posts that hit a nerve, like:


and so much more.

I was reading and copy-pasting and printing every day.

Yellow-marked Bible Verses
Every day too, I would get my yellow marker and my Bible and sit down in a corner reading April's posts while checking and counter-checking with the Bible.

I am Catholic and I am not used to reading the Bible, I am ashamed to admit. I hear about God's Word at mass and we use it for worship, but as an instruction to life? I was too intimidated by it to read it lest I misunderstood it, and so I didn't.

I was greatly encouraged by April's humble yet wide knowledge of the Bible and so, when I started Bible-reading, I just couldn't stop!  I now regret having missed a HUGE part of my Catholic Christian life by NOT opening its wonderful pages! (I did so rarely.) It is not TOO LATE to begin though. I encourage more Catholic wives to start reading God's Word. It is a wealth of inspiration and instruction. Read it with an open heart and mind, pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance and understanding, and be filled with the Word of Life. It really quenches one's spiritual thirst.



After being a "stalker" of April (LOL!) for days, I found the courage to email her.

Here's an excerpt of the correspondence :

Hello April!
I am Veronica Alejar, a broadcaster (TV newscaster/host/singer) here in the Philippines. I just recently gave birth to our fourth child. I have been struggling for years now with my unexplainable resentment and bitterness over wearing the pants in the relationship. I am married to a loving husband who seemed to me, to be soooo passive that he was just happy to see me shine and him, to well.. not shine. I even remember saying in my thoughts: 'He is the wind beneath my wings... but can he do other things besides lift me up??!" Little did I know that no matter how loving I was towards him and how kind ( I am a Christian woman after all or so I thought), I was not respecting him. In fact, I hate to say it, but I think I 'tolerated' him, thinking that his passive phase was just due to my Type A personality and that as soon as he gets out of his funk, he'll maybe, get a life. I was busy living mine after all..

I love your blog. I started my journey towards making our marriage better with Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin. I was still not getting things right to the point, that he told me, "You are not fascinating at all!!!" Ouch! Haha. That time, I sort of prodded (controlled) him to apply at a local TV station as sports reporter, which he did, and he got the job only to hate it so much and resign two months after,and he blamed me for it!

I was clueless coming from a family where my parents were competitive and "not loving" towards each other. Mama died early at 43. Papa died recently at 58. SO, imagine my TYPE A personality coming to maximum capacity! People die, so seize the day! Control the events! Control our lives!!! We die! We die!

So, you get the point. ;)

Previous to Fascinating Womanhood, I read as a newly married bride in 2004, The Lies that Women Believe by Nancy Leigh De Moss. I am reading and rereading it now, and it opened my eyes to the truth. I knew of the truth then, when we still had only one child, but for some reason, I forgot about that truth when I got more kids and more successful in my career.
It's only now that I have realized my pride and arrogance and selfishness that I've decided with God's Help to give up my career for my husband and my four children. I get in the way of my husband's leadership. H*ll, I get in my own way!


I am writing to let you know that it was your blog that made me realize further the truth. Reading your entries feels as though they were written by me! Reading your husband's entries feels as though my husband wrote them himself!

Veronica



The pic I sent April
I was tickled pink when April replied just a few short hours later despite our different time zones!

Veronica,

I am SO PLEASED to meet you! :)  What a lovely family.  I am glad you included a pic!  I love to be able to see the faces of the wives I talk to.

I read Fascinating Womanhood, too.  But yikes!  Yes, that would definitely hurt for your husband to say that!

I can definitely understand why you became controlling.  

So far, I have not found a country where wives are not normally controlling and disrespectful.  I guess we are all daughters of Eve!  And we all have the same sinful nature that hates to submit to authority and obey God.  But what  a HUGE price we pay!

Thank you for introducing yourself to me!

This can be a difficult, painful and frustrating journey to get rid of all the sinful, worldly ways of thinking and to allow God to renew our hearts and minds in Christ.  I'm always glad to hear from you if you need to talk through something!

Thankfully - with the kind of husband you have, I feel sure he will be very supportive as you are learning and patient as you are growing.

Much love to you, my beautiful sister in Christ!


April


That was to be the FIRST of many emails. :)

Before I knew it, one thing led to another, and here I am, upon my own respected husband's suggestion (how cool is that?!), writing a blog as Peacefulwife Philippines (the name was suggested by April herself) in order to spread God's Great Design for Marriage especially for Filipinas (and non-Filipinas too!).

God. Is. Amazing.

What started as a genuine desire to make our marriage better with Fascinating Womanhood, was used by God to lead me to Peaceful Wife's blog, in order to complete and make whole what was lacking. FW for all its feminine precepts was simply too husband-directed and not Christ-centered to make any lasting changes. I dare say it can even be detrimental to the married couple's relationship, once the 'fascinating woman' considers her husband as her IDOL. Idolatry is a GREAT sin! Nobody should be Number 1 in our hearts, except for God for the Lord said:

                                                           Matthew 22:37
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'




                                        Mateo 22:37 
37 At sinabi sa kaniya, Iibigin mo ang Panginoon mong Dios ng buong puso mo, at ng buong kaluluwa mo, at ng buong pagiisip mo. 


                                       Exodus 20:1-17
And God spoke all these words:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
“You shall have no other gods before me.

                                         Exodo 20:
  2 "Ako si Yahweh, ang iyong Diyos na naglabas sa iyo sa Egipto at nagpalaya sa iyo mula sa pagkaalipin.   3 "Huwag kang sasamba sa ibang diyos, maliban sa akin.


Pregnant with our 4th - Dec 31, 2012
In fairness to Fascinating Womanhood, every now and then there were some Bible verses thrown in there to make one think about God, but it was trying hard to be too secular, to actually be deemed Christian. It seemed to me that the Bible verses were just put in as afterthoughts to justify the "submissive behavior". However, when one's behavior stems from the desire to just please one's husband and thereby have a satisfying married life, with God seemingly just thrown in for good measure, it is my personal belief that this is a sure-fire preparation for real resentment. Nobody can fill up that void in our hearts. Only God can fill that God-shaped vacuum. Not one's husband, not one's children. Nobody.
FW stipulated that:

"When we follow the leadership of our husband and we are submissive to his wishes, there comes into our homes a SWEET SPIRIT OF PEACE AND HARMONY."

Yes, yielding to our husbands may create a sort of peaceful (temporary) setup but remember, the peace of this world is NOTHING compared to the PEACE that the Lord can give...


                                                                    John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.


                                                                      Juan 14:27

27 Ang kapayapaan ay iniiwan ko sa inyo; ang aking kapayapaan ay ibinibigay ko sa inyo: hindi gaya ng ibinibigay ng sanglibutan, ang ibinibigay ko sa inyo. Huwag magulumihanan ang inyong puso, ni matakot man.


I am grateful that the Lord has been holding my hand and directing my steps even without me knowing it, all these years! From Lies Women Believe to Fascinating Womanhood to The Peaceful Wife's blog, I believe these were NOT COINCIDENCES. These were God's Incidents.


My correspondence with April is really a divine appointment. Not too early. Not too too late. Just PERFECT in God's Time. :)




    1  Cor 13: 9-13


For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part
At a recent outing with our 3rd and 4th babies (Reuben & Isabelle)- Dec 30, 2013
disappears.
11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.



1 Corinto 13: 9-13 

9 Sapagkat mayroon tayong bahagyang kaalaman at nanghuhula tayo nang bahagya; 10  ngunit kapag yaong ganap ay dumating, yaong bahagya ay aalisin. 11  Noong ako ay sanggol pa, nagsasalita akong gaya ng sanggol, nag-iisip na gaya ng sanggol, nangangatuwirang gaya ng sanggol; ngunit ngayong ganap na ang aking pagkatao, inalis ko na ang mga ugali ng isang sanggol. 12  Sapagkat sa kasalukuyan ay nakakakita tayo ng malabong anyo sa pamamagitan ng salaming metal, ngunit pagkatapos ay magiging mukhaan na.Sa kasalukuyan ay nakaaalam ako nang bahagya, ngunit pagkatapos ay makaaalam ako nang may katumpakan kung paanong ako ay may-katumpakang nakikilala. 13  Gayunman, ngayon ay nananatili ang pananampalataya, pag-asa, pag-ibig, ang tatlong ito; ngunit ang pinakadakila sa mga ito ay pag-ibig.


My prayer is that whatever seed the Lord implanted in our hearts out of our great LOVE for Him, will blossom and bear much good fruit, in order that God be further glorified! We love you, Lord! Amen.
  


10 comments:

  1. Nikka,
    Even though we are half a world apart - I am excited to take your hand and jump into 2014 together with Christ, our husbands and our children and many other women and experience the adventure He has in store for us for His greatest glory. :) Much love my precious friend and sister!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excited too to be with you in this journey together, April! Along with so many women all over the world. May God instill order into more and more homes this year. Hugs too to you, dear sis in Christ! A happy and PEACEFUL New Year to you and Greg and your kids. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. This post really resonates with me because I, too, went on the FW journey - actually it was just about a year ago that I started reading it. While God did use it to open my eyes to my disrespectful behavior and many other important truths about femininity and masculinity, I found that, very quickly, I had made my husband an even bigger idol than he already was in my life before FW. God took me (us) through a couple of hard months where He revealed this to me. And, I don't think the work is totally finished, but I know that He will complete that which He has begun!

    I've enjoyed reading a few posts on your blog (found it from the peacefulwife's blog). God bless you and your family and those who read this blog. John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! :)

      I enjoyed FW so much that I emailed the ebook to just about every woman I knew. In my family, among my friends, even strangers! I hope they got only what was good (tips on improving marriage) and not what was bad (making their husbands as idols). It is a dangerous road we tread when we read secular books (even some supposed 'Christian' ones) and not test it against God's Word. We could be easily deceived. :(

      I praise God that we were both led from FW to PW (Peaceful Wife). All that April writes are really Godly posts. All our focus is on Him alone! Our husbands only come a close second. ;)

      I am glad that you are enjoying my posts. :) I pray that they may somehow further deepen your relationship with God. We are in this respect journey together! :)God bless you.

      Delete
  4. Hi Nikka,
    Regarding FW, I may be mistaken but I think Helen Andelin was Mormon, which would account for some of the not quite biblical things in the book. Her husband's book, Man of Steel and Velvet, also had many good things in them but would require the same biblical filtering. Thought you might be interested.
    Patricia

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  5. I have been through a looong journey reading all kinds of books from FW, to Surrendered Wife, to Created to be His Helpmeet and other Protestant versions. I gleaned some good things, i.e., Biblical / Christian teachings. But just reading the books doesn't help. It has to be a heart change. Also, I too eventually noticed the whole worship-your-husband thing and it is not only ineffective but just plain WRONG. I also am a Catholic and this year have finally, finally, by God's grace really been moving in the direction of making HIM the focus, Jesus, the focus of my life. I realized by promptings of the Holy Spirit for the first time that it is impossible for my H to fulfill my needs to be loved and understood and be protected and cherished. I was so upset for so long that H doesn't love me the way I need to be loved. But he is unable to love me that way. The only One that can be all that to me is Jesus ... my job is to love everyone as Christ has loved me, period. And have zero expectations or hopes from my husband.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If you are Catholic please checkout gotquestions. Org.It explains the differences in what we as Christians believe as opposed to what you believe.
    Read Romans 6:23
    For the wages of sin is death
    But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    John 14:6 says I am the way,the truth and the life:no man cometh unto the Father,but by Me..."
    Salvation does not come thru adherence to the Catholic church rules.It comes thru Jesus alone.
    for God so loved the world,that He gave His only Son,that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."John 3:16
    Also Read Romans 10:9-13

    ReplyDelete
  7. If you are Catholic please checkout gotquestions. Org.It explains the differences in what we as Christians believe as opposed to what you believe.
    Read Romans 6:23
    For the wages of sin is death
    But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    John 14:6 says I am the way,the truth and the life:no man cometh unto the Father,but by Me..."
    Salvation does not come thru adherence to the Catholic church rules.It comes thru Jesus alone.
    for God so loved the world,that He gave His only Son,that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."John 3:16
    Also Read Romans 10:9-13

    ReplyDelete
  8. If you are Catholic please checkout gotquestions. Org.It explains the differences in what we as Christians believe as opposed to what you believe.
    Read Romans 6:23
    For the wages of sin is death
    But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    John 14:6 says I am the way,the truth and the life:no man cometh unto the Father,but by Me..."
    Salvation does not come thru adherence to the Catholic church rules.It comes thru Jesus alone.
    for God so loved the world,that He gave His only Son,that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."John 3:16
    Also Read Romans 10:9-13

    ReplyDelete
  9. Also check out Catholic Answers for the defense of our faith from well meaning but incorrect assumptions about our faith. God bless us all!

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to comment. I would love to discuss things with you. :)