When Our Heart Pushes For What We Really Don’t Want


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The warning signs of pushing toward our wrong wants…

I would venture to say you don’t even need me to help you see them. I think we all know the sense when our heart says, “Don’t go there” and yet we still do.

That feeling when our heart starts beating harder or the mild panic whispering “you might not get your way”.

I’m all too familiar with that feeling. In fact, I experienced it this morning.

Yesterday, I asked my husband a request concerning an upcoming vacation. Something I would like to add, that isn’t Greg’s favorite thing to do. And he said, “We’ll see.”

“We’ll see”. Just between me and you, can I tell you, that’s not what I really wanted to hear. What I wanted to hear was, “Sure, that would be great.”

For me, “we’ll see” means I’m going to have to bring it up again to get my answer. So, with everything in me, I wanted me to bring it up…this morning.

This morning, when my husband was in a bit of a hurry to get to work.

This morning, when he was probably having a hard time started a new work week.

This morning…

Everything in me said, “You had better find out now if you’re going to get what you want. Time is ticking. You need to get it arranged.”

“Thank you Holy Spirit for holding me back from me?” is all I can say. Not that I listen and obey every time. I so don’t. And when I don’t, I end up getting what I didn’t want.

But this morning, with His help, I made my bed instead of opening my mouth.

So, that’s all I’ve got. Hear the warning signs…your heart beat and your heart words. It’s probably the Holy Spirit.

Slow down. Give yourself a time out (make your bed!) and ask the Holy Spirit to give you His peace and power so you don’t get what you really don’t want.




  1. Joni Harris says:

    I just started following you. Thank you for this great message. I am guilty of this sometimes as we’ll. I find myself trying to talk my husband into things I think I want. After I pray about it, and I know my husband prays about it too, because he tells me know, I find that the desire for that thing goes away.

  2. Sometimes I too push my husband for what I want and get my way and when I do the first couple of minutes I tell myself… I won, I won and then realize what have I won? Nothing… We argue and over something stupid and I push Jesus out of the way for my own satisfaction because all I want to do is say I won and get my own way like a baby.

  3. Thanks so much for this! I yell too often at my boys, especially one with ADHD and then, of course, I feel mommy guilt. I needed this reminder to listen to the Holy Spirit. When I feel the frustration bubbling up, that’s when I need to step back and listen, not to my emotions, but to the Holy Spirit and do something to calm down. Thanks again!

  4. That is really an excellent advise. We need to build up that muscle – the “listening & obeying” the Holy Spirit’s voice muscle. I am thankful when I do.

  5. Feels like chaos and I become ‘foggy’ in my thinking.

  6. Lynn, I get the same “We’ll see…” I do the SAME thing. I push and push until it’s discussed and I have the opportunity to explain to him (tell him) exactly why I am right. (WHAT?!) I mean seriously. Am I 10? I think, aside from this being a heart issue, it boils down to Mamas being so in charge of the home overall. The kids, the household, the scheduling, the running, the shopping, the cooking, etc…it’s difficult for us to turn off that switch and step back and let them take the reigns. Whether we’re SAHMs or work outside of the home, (I’ve done both), women tend to lead the home part of things. I tell him I want him to lead, but don’t give him the reigns…or I batter him until he does it my way. I want him to make decisions…as long as they’re the same as mine. I don’t think that’s what the Bible meant. haha!
    My warning signs are similar to yours. I can’t think about anything else until I have an answer for what is on my mind. I need to learn to take a step back, breathe and go do something else! Thank you for this post this morning!

  7. Carlisa Waters says:

    I totally agree! I go through that all the time. I’m learning that obeying that still small voice takes practice and a conscious decision. If I was to rely on what I “felt” like doing, normally I would give in, instead of being obedient. “I’m in”

  8. Stephanie Schwartz says:

    When I’m trying to get what I want,
    I’m not being humble, but rather selfish. My heart
    is cold and I put up walls.
    I VERY recently experienced this and
    so appreciate God’s timing of you sharing
    this devotional.
    Thank you!

  9. Kristin Gross says:

    The warning signs were there for me when I was determined to find out what was going on with my husband. His answer was always, ” I don’t know, I just don’t want to do this anymore”. We have so many issues going on with our relationship and family but I had to push because he wasn’t acting like himself. With me being pregnant and not knowing what was going because he wasn’t talking with me, I pushed. I tried not to push too hard but I did, and because I did my husband and I have been apart for a little over a month. He is out there in the world, lost and confused. Now I’m 37 weeks pregnant relying on the Lord to take care of us all, which is not easy. I saw the signs and I’m still seeing them because of the actions my husband is taking even now. I just keep praying.

    1. Oh how this hurts my heart. “Lord Jesus, you are bigger than any mistake we might make when we push too hard. Please give peace to Kristin that you are on her side and will be faithful to work in her husband’s life regardless of the past. Please convict him of abandoning his family, especially in this great time of need with their baby almost here. Please, reunite this family soon and bless them. And comfort Kristin in the waiting with the truth that You have all things under control. Amen”

  10. Angie Boucher says:

    I’m in! 🙂

  11. Lisa Hovis says:

    One of my professors said, “unsolicited advice will always be received as criticism.” Those words hit me hard that day and I’m reminded of them everytime I want to say something to my husband or children that they did NOT ask my opinion or advice for. Sometimes it’s something that I wholeheartedly believe that they will benefit from, and my intentions are genuine and sometimes, it’s just simpy that I think I know what’s best for them, and I want them to respond the way that I would respond, or I just want my way. Regardless of the reason,
    I clearly hear the Holy Spirit say “No, be quiet”. In the past I’ve always found a way to say what I’m feeling in the end. I’m learning to be quiet, it’s hard for me but I also remember a very wise counselor once that said, “We must not try to take the place of the Holy Spirit in another’s heart and life,
    We must remove ourself (our opinions & advice) and let the Spirit speak and change another’s heart and life.” Ouch again. I’m always cleaning; I’ll try to make more beds and say less words today.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this truth, Lisa! Holy Spirit, help me to remember, “Unsolicited advice will always be received as criticism.”

    2. Ouch, but so needed. Thank you for that perspective!

  12. Sue Payne says:

    I’m in! I find this to all to true sometimes and to make matters worse I see my Daughter doing this to her fiance’. Would love to share this with her.

  13. I’m in! Slowing down is not my strong suit! Thanks for these inspiring reminders! Love and prayers!

  14. This is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you! I’m in 🙂

  15. My husband is a deep thinker and always takes his time to respond and likes to wait on things to make a decision. Sometimes it makes me crazy. I am slowly learning to pause and ask God for wisdom because I so easily can become like Delilah.

  16. stephanie walker says:

    I feel the Lord telling me this in every area of my life. I try and manipulate situations to get my outcome because I feel like if I had control it would not spin out of control. Was praying about this actually this morning. Thank you Lord for your confirmation!

  17. Lisa Griffin says:

    I too have been pushing for what I want…
    Thank you for being so good God, and giving me peace.
    For staying after me…
    I’m in!

  18. I need help. I have pushed my husband of 49 years away with some of these same actions. Please before a separation becomes a divorce

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Jesus, YOU live inside my friend! She can listen to your voice and know the difference between her own desires to push and your permission to go forward. I pray she will be so desperate to walk with you in this area, which time she wants to speak, she will ask for your permission and then obey what you say. Amen

  19. Catherine Seybold says:

    I’m in. When I have practiced grace instead of pushing to respond, things are si much better!

  20. Unfortunately, I let my frustration with my teenager’s attitude get the better of me far too often. My need to be heard, to get my point across, gets the better of me. If there are warning signs, I find it hard to heed them. Most gratefully, I am an “Unglued” Bible Study graduate. 🙂 So with the help of the Holy Spirit (and Lysa) I am making imperfect progress. Thank you, Jesus.
    Blessings, Y’all!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      The key word is “progress” Tracy! My daughter is moving out this Saturday. I found myself last night wanting to hound her: “Did you get your renters insurance? Transfer utilities?” On and on. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I was able to talk myself down from the ledge of wanting to helicopter parent her! She’s got to grow up, right? SO HARD!!!

  21. When I’m waiting on an answer or wondering if my child will see my point of view and take my advice……I become anxious which shows as irritation. I sometimes get so upset that I yell or give the cold shoulder. It then has a domino effect on anyone else that happens to have the pleasure of being around me for the next few hours. They feel the brunt of my selfishness. Most times I do feel I’m right only to find out that I’m not, or that things would have worked themselves out on their own without my butting in with advice that isn’t taken immediately. Your devotion struck home today.
    Thank you!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Thank you so much for your vulnerability, Mandy! I’m right there with you!

  22. I’m in! This is a great teaching and further opened my eyes to how the Delilah spirit can creep in if we are not walking in wisdom and love: “Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful” from 1:Cor 13:5

  23. I”m in “Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful;” from 1 Cor 13:5

  24. Wow!!! I needed the P31 devotional today and your post on the warning signs. I have been there done that and got the horrible t-shirt to prove it! I used to remind myself not to be a “Sarah” now I am going to add not being a “Delilah” too! Thanks for opening my eyes!!

  25. I’m struggling with some pretty big decisions in my marriage right now. I’m not sure if God is telling me my answer and I just don’t want to listen because it isn’t what I want…

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Oh Sarah…I am so very sorry! Keep praying James 1 – when we ask for wisdom He will give it to us!

  26. Stephanie says:

    I’m In. Thanks for the widsom this morning.

  27. Thanks Lynn for sharing about being a Delilah! My warning signs are righteous indignation and not heeding the Holy Spirit’s prompting. Both are precursors to putting myself, instead of Christ, at the center of my life.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Good word, Gail!

  28. I thoroughly enjoyed your devotion today via Proverbs 31 Ministries. Thank you!

  29. Be still. One if the hardest things for me to do. I focus way too much on my feelings vs what is right. Be still and trust that God has it covered and then some :). Thanks for your honesty!
    If I didn’t have women be truthful about their struggles, I don’t know where is be

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      We so need each other, friend!

  30. As for me, I am still learning to distinguish where is the border line b/w perseverance (pushing despite the ‘no’-s until you get a ‘yes’) and ‘pushing too far’…some situations are not as clearly black and white, and i find them the most difficult to deal with. Your devotional today added to my ‘plate’ more food for thought on this topic 🙂

  31. Thank you. What a humbling lesson I seem to be learning. When there is irritation, tenseness or hurry in my home there seems to be this problem of control. Often it is my doing and it causes distance from those I love.

  32. I am delusional if I say I do not manipulate my way and plan my timing for the least amount of blow-back. I’m relieved to hear another Christian woman speak about this. I often feel I’m tip-toeing one day and whining the next. I know what God’s word says; I”m beginning to understand what his forgiveness means for me specifically versus the world as a whole. Duh, I was a little (a lot) slow on that one. What I want has me weary and stymied. God is surely carrying me or I’d be dust by now. I have heard my heart beat (panic). I am waiting for a still, small voice and I want to hear it yesterday! Please pray with me. I don’t want to wear down, lose what God has given me and die. My strength lies in my God. And His banner over me is love. But I am not living victoriously.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Jesus, you hear Suzie’s heart’s cry. Your Holy Spirit lives inside of her. You have given her everything she needs to live in daily victory. Teach her to listen to your voice. Help her to turn her ear from the “pushing” messages of anxiety and turn toward your ways of peace! Amen

  33. Stephanie says:

    This was a good and timely reminder for me this morning! I am beginning to recognize more and more the depth of selfishness that is within me. Never begin thinking that you are “ok” right now, that things aren’t going too bad, that I might be winning the war against sin. (It is Christ who has the victory and we are to stand firm in Him!). I know that my sin is forgiven, but I started to look at others and think that I was doing ok. Was. I. Ever. Wrong. God has been showing me how unbelievably selfish and UNservant-like I have been. I have pushed for my own way, pouted for my own way (honestly, how old am I??), and manipulated just like Delilah. I realize how deep His grace really is, that His mercies are new each and every morning. I had found myself adopting an attitude of “if I don’t look out for myself, no one else will” (especially in position of wife and mother of 3 boys under 4). Lord, give me a humble spirit, a loving servant heart just like Jesus had!

  34. Sometimes I tell myself that I NEED to ask my husband this question about “the next new thing” (car, vacation, etc.) before I forget about it. However, when I listen to my impatient self instead of praying about it first, I end up regretting it!! When I pray about something like this first, I often realize I am acting impulsively and I don’t really need what I thought I needed 🙂

  35. Marylyn C. says:

    Yes Lynn! I feel like many women can relate to this devotion today. I very much can. I have found myself pushing & pressing for what I want in my marriage, how I want my husband to act/what I want him to do, how I want out finances to be handled, what I want him to do and when. Oh Lord help me! I need help to let go of my own selfish wishes and desires. I don’t understand how with my friends – I don’t feel a need to be selfish but with my husband it’s different. My selfishness has led us to a lot of arguments. I always have the need to be right. And when he says, “Your selfish” or “You always want to be right”. I end up getting all up in my feelings. For me – my warnings signs are me getting irritated or anxious. I feel my insides boiling up inside of me and just feel like I just want to burst. I believe that my anger and short temper gets the best of me most times. I sometimes answer to my feelings rather then what God would like to respond and say. Lord please help me to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.

  36. I needed to hear this , so often I “want what I want when I want it” I need to step back and listen to God 🙂

  37. Very timely msg…help me Lord to listen. Thank you.

  38. Kelly Wiens says:

    I constantly call myself a part time everything. I feel as if I spread myself thin w my work, kids, husband, church and friends. Because of this all my decisions seem to be reactive or instantaneous versus intentional. My husband is so intentional that his thoughtfulness is mistaken by me as stalling or taking too long. This was a wonderful reminder to give God the chance to lead us. I am definitely in!

  39. Thank you for this message. I have had a few times lately when I have had the Holy Spirit hold my tongue. And I am truly thankful.

  40. In many instances, I just get a Holy Spirit inspired conviction that what I think I want will end badly. I usually shift my attention to something quickly so that my mind will not process that conviction. Yep! The same way I’d squash a piece of paper in my hands and attempt a slam dunk into the bin. And the pain is usually twice as painful because the Holy Spirit had kindly warned me( goodness I need to obey you more Holy Spirit so that it comes naturally in future, and fun too). I’m convinced with more obedience to the Holy Spirit, I’m going to conquer this useless Delilah trait! Thank you Lynn for this message.I could just alter my destiny through it, rather than appear in the throne room of God and be asked why I didn’t heed it.

  41. I truly appreciate your devotions. They help me so much.

  42. BIG issue for me right now. There is a war going on in my head and in my marriage…it’s very hard to discern the Truth from wants…I have been a manipulator but so is my husband…I’m praying to seek God’s guidance and voice, not mine or my husbands or Satans…

  43. I am the kind of person who sees what she wants and then goes after it, I have a hard time waiting for what I want, this, as you can imagine, has caused many issues in my life. I have been learning to stop and hand whatever it is I want over to God and then do my best to calm my obessive thoughts as I allow God to take control of my life. I have found that doing this has made me a better mom, a better co-worker, and a better friend. Today I can honestly say that while I have dreams and hopes I am not pushing towards anything that I feel is not Gods will for me. I have found an inner piece I had never known before and I believe that only comes from walking so closely with Christ. With that being said I must admit that, that is my testomony for today only, tomorrow could bring something new, but whatever God brings into my life I will welcome it with gracious open hands.

  44. Hi Lynn

    Thanks for the great devotion today. A sure sign for me is when I started “arguing” my side with God. I will hear the Holy Spirit drop something in my heart and I immediately start giving excuses or justifications. I know when I protest to much that I want my way and not his way. It’s funny to me when I Stop and take a moment and take inventory on all this, then I can pray and surrender and be obedient. The key for me is to stop and pray. Busyness can lead me to disconnection from God and self contentedness driving the bus. Thanks Lynn!!

  45. I’m in! I love your blog and piece followed up by the daily bread for today. I’m planning my wedding and I have falling into this trap of not listening to my inner voice (Jesus) telling not to but I do. Day by day I’m getting better at listening to my inner voice. This was a big help to me today.

  46. Thank You one more reminder that I just don’t know what is best for me.

  47. Donna Madden says:

    This all really resonated with me! Just this weekend I got upset with my husband because he pulled up a Queen Ann’s Lace flower I liked. It’s a WEED, for heaven’s sake! But I had told him I liked it, so I turned it into him “not caring about what I want”. Silly. The Holy Spirit kept me from lashing out, but I’m ashamed to say, I did give him the silent treatment for a while. Keep working on me, Lord!

  48. Pertricia says:

    Yes, each of the comments were identifiable. Why is it the hearts wants what it think it wants and needs. When I become to anxious for a thing then I know I’m not in my father’s will. Referring and knowing the word of God helps in all cases when we begin to feel the emotions God has warned us of. Thank God for Godly wisdom and Godly woman.

  49. I came in to work today feeing Needy to get what I want, My heart was racing and I needed answers. I read your blog and I feel like you and I have a similar day. I have never read anything so close to what im going through. my relationship is on a standstill and I my be to blame after reading this. Thank you.

  50. This is a great lesson that I hope I’m able to hold onto in those moments that I need to keep quiet. Most of the time this happens in my interactions with my children. I think I have the idea in my head that I’m the adult, I have more experience, they should listen to me because I know better. It rarely works out the way I think it should, though. I will spend time in pray on the topic today. Thank you!

  51. I am so guilty of this. I say “crazy heather” is about to come out. I know when I get that feeling that I need to walk away!

  52. Thank you for this needed reminder!
    When I don’t listen to the Holy Spirit and begin the manipulation for what I WANT, the Lord ends up showing me in the end what I really NEEDED! I’m working on listening to His voice when the “I wants” start taking over and trying to relinquish control to Him to provide what I really NEED (because I know He knows best, ultimately!).

  53. I did this for most of the 15 years of my marriage, until my husband and I became strangers. Until he withdrew and stopped even communicating his wants and needs and let me do whatever I wanted, and we just started living separate lives. We have now been living separately for the last four weeks. I’m pretty sure I nagged and manipulated until he was sick to death of it. Did I get what I wanted? Nope. I ended up in a very lonely marriage and then, you guessed it, I wasn’t happy and began the nagging about how things “needed to change” because we are both miserable. So are the kids, now mostly grown.
    My husband is you get than me. I was widowed with four kids and rather than be without a man, I found the one I “wanted”, only 22 and just out on his own without a care in the world. In three months I manipulated until I had what I wanted. Him, with a promise of marriage. I have him no choice. I told him I wasn’t messing around with “dating” and bringing new men into my children’s life. If he wanted to be with me he better be ready to be a husband and father. He was no match for my experience and I got what I wanted.

  54. I’m in! Thank you for sharing this!

  55. Oh, how many there are. I aim to be patient with my family but I feel like they tap me out before lunch. I feel like I fill all their needs and I am left empty at the end of the day. I am learning to turn to the Lord to fill me up, before I break down.

    Thanks for this post today. It was lovely.

  56. My warning sign is that I find myself mentally rehearsing what I plan to say in order to either put a good light on it or (worse) set my intended victim up for feeling guilty if they don’t agree! When I start creating a dialog in my mind I know I am manipulating. Am thinking it would be significantly more helpful to ask God FIRST what He thinks of my idea and then if I feel it is a good idea to go ahead, asking Him also to prepare the way for that conversation. I am blessed to have partnered with 3 other wives for over 20 years and we often ask one another to pray about conversations with our husbands or children BEFORE they take place.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Pamela…this is so good! Next time I start rehearsing, (which I do ALL the time!) I will think of your comment!

  57. Warning signs? Which one should I share? Main one is frustration rising up inside me when things do not go my way.

  58. Jessica Blevins says:

    Thank you Lynn! You’re right, we all know when we are trying to manipulate our hubbys in order to get our own way. I love how you clearly illustrated that when we get what we want, it doesn’t really turn out to be what’s best!

  59. My husband and I have had a very tumultuous 3 years of marriage. I have realized very recently that my pushing (generally with the best intentions) wears on him so much that he has stopped feeling any emotional connection to me and that I do not accept him at all. He has expressed desire to leave a few times but is willing to work now. Unfortunately, I don’t see him doing much about it. He gives me the usual “we’ll see” about a really perfect therapist for him and isn’t doing anything differently despite saying something has to change. This is so hard for me because I think quickly and rush in to fix things while he sits and mulls it over. I’m learning to give it all to God and keep my mouth shut when it comes to my ideas for how to fix him/us. It’s really hard and tests my faith in a new way. Please keep me in your prayers.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Karli, when the way we process things is different it is very hard! My husband and I have both taken the strength finders tests. While I am very easy going and can make decisions quickly, his personality needs time and to not be rushed. I am still learning to give him the time his personality needs and not to get in the way. IT”S HARD! 🙂

  60. I spent over half our marriage trying to get what I wanted, because my husband wasn’t doing what I thought was the “right thing” in our marriage. It took 3 1/2 years of Christian marriage counseling and my husband finally telling me in front of the counselor that I was nagging all the time for me to see that he wasn’t the only one in our marriage not doing the right thing. Praise God, we worked through all of it and in one more week will have been married 30 years. Even though I still struggle with manipulation to get what I want, I am doing much better at it because I see that manipulation and nagging are not what God wants a woman to do in marriage. Thanks for today’s post as a reminder!

  61. I’m in! My husband doesn’t argue and wants to think about everything before answering so I truly find myself pushing and making him make a decision now. I also see my daughter that has been married 6 years mirroring this action. I need to stop and then maybe let her borrow the book if and when I get it.

  62. Cassandra Marx says:

    I’m in! You worded this so well. Thank you!

  63. So true! I find myself really wanting my own way and having a bad attitude if I don’t get it. Is it really worth it? I want to be submissive to my husband but then I try to put limitations on it. I need to learn to let him lead more and respect his decisions instead of whining when I don’t get my way! Married 2 years and have so much to learn 🙂 But then I guess we’re still learning after 50! Thanks for the advice & encouragement that we ladies can apply to any walk of life we’re in.

  64. Amy Kropp says:

    I’m in! Last night, as I was driving home to New York from the awesome She Speaks conference in North Carolina, I was driving fast, dodging in and out of traffic – trying to get home to see my family as quickly as I could. As I arrived in PA, I saw a huge storm cloud forming. A gentle nudge told me that I should take that time to stop, use the bathroom, grab some coffee, fill the car with gas, and just let the storm pass. Instead, I decided I was in too great a rush to get home and hug my kids, so I pushed through. Within a few minutes a storm like I had never driven through before was bearing down on me. After 45 minutes of white knuckle driving at 30 mph, I finally stopped to use the bathroom, grab some coffee, and fill the car with gas. I could’ve saved myself some grey hairs if I had just listened to the warnings from the Holy Spirit and stopped.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Amy, I am so glad you came to She Speaks! I hope it was a terrific experience. I know you learned something new about listening to His voice yesterday 🙂

  65. I’m so in. I am the expert at knowing how to manipulate my husband to get what I want. Timing is everything. I used to brag to my girlfriends about it. Now I am full of shame and remorse at how selfish and self centered I have been. I have been seeking the Lord’s help to overcome this unGodly behavior. Now my heart pounds and my conscience speaks very loud to me. I have also confessed it to my sweet, and generous husband and asked for his help. Thank you for this devotion today. It helps me to know I am not the only one struggling with this.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      We’re all humans, right? Yet, on the same path to become more like our King!

  66. I recently felt like I was Samson in a situation where I was being manipulated to not get my way (it was a new car too) even taken into consideration. I began to feel very angry and resentful, but recognized those emotions (it’s been something else I’ve had to work on lately). Anyway, I was able to pray and really let go of “my way” in this situation. And felt an incredible peace about the whole thing. A few weeks later I was able to share with my husband that I just really feel like I need/want to know that he’ll take my opinions, thoughts, desires into consideration when we have a decision to make. He listened and understood. We still haven’t purchased a new car and I really don’t even care which one we end up. I really don’t. 🙂 I know I don’t what to make him or anyone, especially my children feel the way I felt that day. I must listen their opinions, thoughts and desires – just like I want to be heard as well. Gee, I think Jesus said something about that too!! 🙂

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Great example, Renee! So appreciate you sharing!

  67. I am newly married (1 week) after being widowed for ten years. I try to be mindful of manipulating my husband with my attractiveness, words, or any other characteristic I possess because what I use to gain favor in that situation may backfire and repel my husband’s attention when I am being genuine. I know when I manipulating a situation in my favor against God’s will because I hear a still small voice say, “This is not My best for you.” It reminds me to let go of the control I think I have over my life and circumstances and to let God lead me because He only wants me to have His best. Who doesn’t want the best our Father has for us? I know I do! When I look overmy life and the situations I have manipulated in my favor, the consequences were not so favorable. But, when I think about situations I have prayed to God for favor and allowed Him to do His will, I am overjoyed at the outcome.

    Thank you for your post. It reminds me to daily go to God in prayer for everything no matter how small and to wait on His hand of favor over my life. Thank you!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Thank you so much, Tonya!

  68. This is such an important topic and post. Thank you for challenging me/us to think about this. I think I would take the point of “pressing others to do things our way” even a bit further. Sometimes as wives, mothers and friends we want the best for others. We press them do to the “right” thing for the “right” reasons. However, in the pressing, we get ahead of God’s timing. We don’t allow others to grow and blossom at their own pace. For me, this can be a tricky area to navigate…when to pause and wait…and when to speak up and/or put an immediate “halt” to something. I guess examining our motivations is a huge part of the discernment process. This is not easy though when you are in the “gray zone.” Thank you for encouraging me to reflect on this topic some more today. Lately, God has been calling me to meditate on the verse “Love is PATIENT.”

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      So much truth you spoke, Holly!

  69. I don’t push too often but when I do, I know I really shouldn’t. Especially, when it means I just want something and not really needing it. I think at those moments of wanting something, I am lost. But I do find the right path again. It was good to read your thoughts on how we sometimes think we are doing the right thing at the moment but know that deep down we are being led astray. Thank goodness for husbands who take the time to guide us back home again :).

  70. HI Lynn,

    Oh does your devotional touch home with me. I have been praying daily that the Lord will tame my tongue. My fiancée moves slowly and oftentimes I prod…well pester him and he just shuts down and ignores me for seems like forever. He does this to avoid lashing back. And you are right, when I ask the Holy Spirit to keep my tongue, things go much better. I am able to assess what I really don’t want and avoid conflict. Thank you.

  71. I am sooo guilty of NOT holding my tongue and NOT speaking everything on my mind! This always leads to tension and strife in our marriage. I pray that I will stop and remember, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to let that thought go and trust in God to lead my husband in the right direction…and to remember it may not always be what I would do or how I would do it!

  72. Lori Watson says:

    I’m definitely in! 🙂

  73. I get a more stern voice. My husband always says, “Stop yelling!” I have to remind him I’m not. I am just trying to get my point across (don’t you know?!?) Now my little boy is asking me not to get so angry. Again, I’m not angry, just trying to get my point across…I gotta stop trying to force the issue, my agenda. I have to slow down enough to hear the Holy Spirit prodding me. That’s the toughest part. Thanks for the reminder.

  74. This was a great reminder and came at such a needed time for me! I tend to be quick to talk, quick to anger, and slow to listen. When there’s something I really want an answer to or want to discuss with my boyfriend I can’t think of anything else and start the cycle of negative thinking. I am working on slowing down, taking a breath, and not nagging/trying to control my boyfriend. I would like to improve in this area before we get married!

  75. I’m in!!! I have spent many years pushing to make serious various or relationships work out a certain way. In hindsight, often times clearly against God’s Will.
    Thanks for that well-delivered and timeless reminder to Be Still.

  76. As you said, I get a nudging from the Holy Spirit saying saying, “No, not a good idea.” I am working on being obedient to that nudging. If I would, my life would be more peaceful.

  77. I recently found myself in a place of wanting God’s way; but dealing with a man wanting his. So, while I want to continue the relationship, we have reached a crossroads. I asked God to step in and work it out so that I could retain my standing within His will. And, now that He has, it is so VERY life altering. I often get too caught up in making things work, rather than letting God work it out. As Delilah did. This subject is such a reflection of my current situation. I just trusted God with my desire. The situation remains a tender subject for me. But God saved me from the pressure I was under. . .and while it took a bit of disappointment, once I remembered what I asked God to do. . .it was So awe inspiring to realize he did indeed turn my sorrow into joy. Not because I got my way, but because I put my trust in God. . .and He blocked the terrible mistake I was about to make. He saw my heart, heard my cry, and stepped in. I see most of the responses are from married women. . .manipulating their husbands. As a single woman, hoping to find a partner in this physically gratifying world, I am feel like I am trying to manipulate a man to the alter. . .in asking that he wait. The pressure is unreal. But, I see now that God is with me every step of my way and I only need to call on him and trust His will to be done. Thank You for further confirming my resolve with your message. May God continue to bless you and your ministry.

  78. Danielle Z says:

    I wish I got to your blog 1 hr sooner!
    I’m all in!
    Thank you for inspiring me!

  79. Thank you so much for this post..I needed this today.

  80. Mireya Gonzalez says:

    This is so me I am afraid to say. I know that I need to let go and let God be in charge and He knows what I need in my life. But why am I so stubborn . I love God with all my heart and I want to lead a life that is pleasing to him. I just want to have faith and know thatGod knows what plans he has for me, if only I could let go and give him total control.

  81. Thinking beofre I speak, especially to my husband.

  82. I am single again, so I can only relate to this concerning my two daughters. Since I am also a recently retired teacher, I can be very direct and bossy; however, that doesn’t work with my daughters. When I am telling them what I think they need to do, they will accuse me of yelling. Of course, I am not, but I think I have an inflection in my voice that makes me come across that way. The Holy Spirit has cautioned me strongly to stop imposing my desires on them, respect their judgment, and let them learn from their own mistakes. At first it was so hard, but now the responsibility has been removed from my shoulders, which is a relief in itself. Now I keep praying for God to give them His wisdom as they make their own decisions–and praise God, it works!

  83. Angie knight says:

    I am soooo guilty of this! I must say it starts an argument everytime, then I get angry and completely loose sight if God! Thanks for the gut check:)

  84. christy miller says:

    we start, what i like to call, the crazy cycle spining.

  85. Paulette Guajardo says:

    Great inspirational words! I think the everyday chaos of life and our natural “self centered” ways overpower the Holy Spirit’s voice within. Constantly reminding ourselves that He leads us down the right path if we stop and listen is what I try to do when my inner crazy person wants “her way!”

  86. I’m in. Thank you so much for this much needed & timely lesson.

  87. Today’s lesson really hit home for me. I am tired of getting more of what I want and not enough of what God wants for me. The warning signs are all too familiar: panic, fear, anxiety, anger when things are not done according to my timeline. I am standing on Phillipians 4:6: be anxious about nothing, pray about everything!

  88. This morning, when I was dressed and ready to go meet my running partner at the trail for a great run, God had other plans. My car wouldn’t turn over. Yesterday I wanted “my way” for my brother in law to send his son to rectify the issue so I would not have to possibly face this, this morning. Holy Spirit is never late. As I waited for a jump, I also had more time to wait in His presence. My day, even though I still want it all to happen yesterday, today I have peace through whatever lies ahead. Thank you for encouraging me this morning. God has a greater plan for my day.

  89. I have been reminded a few times this week to slow down and LISTEN before I speak, push, demand (yikes) my point be heard. My husband is a ‘we’ll see’ guy also… I.need to be slow to speak! Thank you for this.

  90. Jennifer Holmes says:

    I”m in. Everyday is a new day for me to stay in control. No more defending myself and trust God he’s fighting my battles with my spouse who’s depressed and verbal attacks when he doesn’t get his way. Um letting go the best I can

  91. This message is of the Holy Spirit. Gods timing is perfect. Thank you for sharing.

  92. I know the Holy Spirit tell me a lot not to say that or walk away and sometimes I don’t and sometimes I do. The time I don’t I pay for it because I say something I should have not said then I have to repent. It is so important to obey the voice of the Lord. All God wants to do is to guide my life on the right path. Dealing with the flesh can be something sometimes. My prayer is God teach my words be seasonal with grace.

  93. Stephanie says:

    I am an analyzer, so when my husband is finished with a topic or needs to “let it sit”, I want to dig in, press forward, and keep discussing…often with less than optimal results. The Holy Spirit is always there in the back of my mind prompting me to hold me tongue and let it rest. Hashing things out is not always the best approach. Sometimes I listen to the prompt. Other times, I admit, I don’t. My prayer is that I can be more attentive to the Holy Spirit’s voice and move it from the back of my mind to the front where I have less choice or chane of avoiding it.

  94. Jessica P. says:

    Something I really need to work on. I’m in. Thank you for this post.

  95. Yesterday while looking at the garden, I made a comment about something & my husband was a bit ‘short’ in his remark. Thankfully, I didn’t give it much thought & let it go. A few minutes later, he came to me an apologized for being ‘snippy’. What a sweet gift to my heart! It could have spiraled out of control in each of us wanting to be ‘right’ but God put His finger on my lips & wrapped my heart in love & kept me quiet (& I didn’t push His finger out of the way! (-;) I’d love a copy of the book!

  96. Oh does this one hit home! Sounds like me….so, now, I am off to make my bed (and probably clean out a bathroom or two)! I would love to read this book, and have a sister who I will give it to when I am finished! Thank you for this beautiful lesson this morning!

  97. Good morning! God spoke to me this morning through your devotion. However, it was not about my “pressing” to get what I want in relationships, but in my efforts to create ministry. I left my career of 10 years to see what The Lord was calling me out to do. I have to admit that I have not waited well. I am by nature a “doer” so every chance that presents itself, I try to make it fit. This has resulted in frustration, exhaustion and dread of what I end up committing myself to. So your devotion this morning gave me pause as to how I am waiting on the Lord. In embarrassment, I believe I may be trying to manipulate His efforts and getting in His way.

  98. Niki Noojin says:

    Goodness! What is common to one is common to all. We do not walk alone, and it is such an important message in the Bible. He tells us He is with us, so we can all draw on His strength, which truly is all we have. As a single parent, of course I was used to getting my way. I walked out of my marriage when my husband wouldn’t stop raging when he drank too much. I could do it on my own, thank you. So off I went, carrying a load that was never mine to carry, and boy did it carry me! I did a disservice to myself, a disservice to my son, who had to grow up without a father present all the time, and God walked me through it all, though damage was certainly done. Ladies, work on your marriages. We are to be helpmates, not run the show. Bend in love, listen to His Word. He will truly guide and direct you if you can get your “self” out of the way. Truly, that’s the trick. I wasn’t so good at that. I am waaaay to strong-willed and not flexible enough. If it happens that your marriage does break up and you cannot make it work, then let God be your husband. He will give you all you need to sustain you. But first, do everything you can to work, work, work it out. It is not God’s plan to go it alone, and believe me, it is difficult. Love to all of you who are seeking His face……….

  99. Kim Heilwagen says:

    I ignored many warning signs in my life and it was destructive and caused me extreme brokenness and shame. It also caused me to rely on God in a way I never did before.

  100. Angela Wells says:

    “I’m in.”

  101. I’m in!
    I love this quote about listening to “your heart beat and your heart words”. I need to be a better listener.

  102. I often find myself doing this with God…thinking it’s that “free-will” thing (He gave us free-will because He wants us to actually make decisions right?). But sometimes I forget that He guides those decisions with those “heart racing” moments. He’s apdirecting me to trust Him and His timing. It’s such a tough thing sometimes, but He continues to whisper into those frustrating moments when I feel my trust is turning into missed opportunities, “I am. And my plan for you will bring good beyond anything you can fathom in your anxious and impatient decisions.” Thank God for where I am, and for those heart racing moments.

  103. This message was very good and I have made the same mistake many times. I open my mouth and what I think I’m saying must come out completely different to my husband. The arguments over the small things are not worth the anxiety and stress. Time to “make the bed”! I love reading your messages because most of the time I can relate to the topic. Thanks so much!!
    God bless!

  104. Oh, how your words hit my heart this a.m.! Many more times than not have I heard & felt the nudges & promptings of the Holy Spirit to do or say something or NOT do or say something – & “lived” to either regret or relief of listening to HIM! I’m definitely IN!

  105. Christina says:

    I too get the heart beating fast and heart words. I need to listen to them more instead of thinking I know better because the temporary satisfaction of saying what I want to say comes at a price.

  106. Well, I can say with absolute certainty that this post is a Godwink for me! I’m 21 years old, and I’ve been in a relationship with a young man who doesn’t know God for about a year now. He was not raised with a strong spiritual foundation, but he is full of God’s Holy Spirit (even if he doesn’t know it). Maybe it’s the one year “itch,” but I’ve been stressing so much about whether I’m settling for less than God’s best by staying with him. My fear has been bigger than my faith. I keep thinking if he just accepted God as his Savior everything would fall into place — he’d find direction for his career, he’d support and understand me better, communication would never be an issue — but I know this isn’t true. It’s the toxic spiral I’ve been struggling with daily for the past month. In my heart, I know that all I can do is pray. I pray for him to experience God in a way he can’t deny. I pray for patience, wisdom and clarity. I pray that God helps me want what He wants for me above my own limited desires. Thank you for this devotional.
    It has helped me be still and focus only on the issues of today and not the future. If anyone reads this, please pray for me and my boyfriend Zach. God bless.

  107. Wow! Thank you for helping me realize “just now” my heart beats fast when I am about to push for my way, and without fail it happens, I get what I did not want!!! I’m in!!!!

  108. Natalie Mendoza says:

    I’m in.
    I’m also in a tangle between my emotions and obedience.
    Please pray with me that as I am hopeful and waiting on The Lord , I don’t make judgment or manipulate anything to just hear and see what I want.
    That God please reveal and help me see the certainty of my upcoming decisions and my hearts desires.
    I don’t want to act out of HIS will, for me.

  109. I am going to own my high strung and pushy right here. I don’t mean to be.. but sometimes i just get sideways about things that are bouncing around in my head and open my mouth and it tumbles out. And then it just takes a look from my man or my kids and I know I have made a mess. I am a work in progress.. thank you for your post this morning! I needed to hear that.

  110. This is exactly what I needed to hear today. The Holy Spirit has been speaking to me about being still in these moments when I want my way. I am learning to trust that still small voice that says “Let go”. I know He is in control, however, it is challenging at times to walk that out daily. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  111. I’m so guilty of this. I want acceptance and love from my boyfriend. A commitment of a future but I’m not even sure myself. I think I just want him to see things my way so bad that I’m not wanting to see that waiting may be better.

  112. When I get too busy that I start snapping at my kids when they’re wanting something.. I know I need to slow down.

  113. That extra few minutes before forging my own agenda has proven critical in both small and big moments.

  114. I just prayed for guidance on moving forward with something. After reading this and a few other messages, I think I’m suppose to wait. Thank you!

  115. I’m in! This devotion comes at a timely point in my life!

  116. As I lay here in bed fighting illness I have to wonder if I will ever be able to conquer this. I find that we can become so self absorbed that it’s always about “me”. Far too often then not I have found that if I would just bite my tongue and let God do it his way that I would be able to be free…. Free of the stress of trying to control it… Free of the stress of worry… Free of beating myself up because I chose to have it my way!

    So here I lay… Fighting illness that could have been prevented had I not insisted on things being my way. I hear you loud and clear Father. Thank you for loving me so much and for being so gentle with me.

  117. Christine says:

    I have been “waiting” for, well coming on 5 years now. The bitterness has set in. And after looking back on a comment I made about it a couple weeks ago to my husband…..I am in a terrible state. It comes with what one would say is a simple “want”. A dog, not a huge take over the house type of dog, but a small thing that I could cuddle with and take care of and love……since I am home while my husband is working, and also since he is often (always) sleeping in his chair by 7pm from getting up so early to work. Yes, I am being selfish…….I need something besides our 7 yr old constantly saying “will you play with me”. I am missing terribly some alone quality time with my husband, I know that. But for real……he can’t handle a 6 lb dog in the house? Yes, I do want my husband more than a dog……of course I do. So deep down I do know that the dog isn’t really the issue here…..but for some super selfish reason I just can’t stop wanting one and can’t “get over” it. I do feel that I “settle” for things while he generally gets what he wants. So when we were driving around without a real purpose and found ourselves in a car lot looking at a brand new Camaro, his face was that of a child, like something he has always wanted……it didn’t surprise me that he was contemplating this purchase. He did ask me about it, as in can he have it type of ask. That is when it began…….my flesh coming out. It wouldn’t stop. I began by saying something like “I can see a compromise in the future…” and ending something like this “naah, why don’t we just wait about 5 years and have you think about it every day….like really really want it, then not get it.” I was not sorry for my words……it was about time he knew what he had been putting me thru for the past 5 years right! So now, I know that I’m in too deep. I apparently don’t know when to realize I should shut up. I know I need to pray…..other than that I’m at a loss. Thank you for letting me get this out.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Christine, it is so very, very hard when we don’t feel heard. I really believe that in these situations counseling helps. To have someone in the middle, who isn’t emotionally connected to us, help us process what we are going through. Counseling has helped my family so very much; maybe it would help your’s too.

      God has His best for you and your marriage, friend. Hang in there. Work hard and don’t settle for less than His best!

  118. Oh man…my heart races, I get sweaty and agitated!
    I know the Holy Spirit is saying stop but my wants say go!
    I am a giver… 90% for good but every now and then
    I notice it makes me feel a little too good to give and
    that is when I know I should stop. I am learning to listen most
    days when I am challenged by the Holy Spirit to ask why
    I am wanting to give…purely or with selfish intent? If my heart
    starts to race, I stop!

  119. I enjoy receiving your blogs!
    Thank you!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Thank you so much, Michelle!

  120. Joan Pontarelli says:

    I’M IN!!!

    : ~ )

  121. It is so hard for me to discern whether God is talking to me and telling me to do something or if it is just what I wanted to hear. I do not take subtle direction very well. I want everything spelled out nice and neat which leaves me to do nothing a lot of the time.

  122. Amy Osburn says:

    I had almost the same situation this morning. I got home super late last night and had to be at work early this morning. I went to make my lunch and when I grabbed my plastic dish, I noticed the storage containers were kind of a mess. I was tired and edgy and asked God to help me keep my tongue under control for such a menial issue. My husband was kind enough to unload the dishwasher. So I prayed God would help me focus on the fact that it had been unloaded and not a minor “offense”. Even tnough it’s contrary to my OCD 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your life.

  123. Jenelle Mullet says:

    I loved your part in the devotion where you said that I am going to let you make your own decision but then my actions and comments later are going to prove that I didn’t like your decision. I do this all the time especially to my teen daughters. However, I never really thought much about it until I read it in the devotion. The Holy Spirit so laid it on my heart after reading it that I decided I need to focus on this and pray more about this whole issue of trying to get what I want instead of looking for what God wants for me and my family. I feel like I try to listen to what God wants but I think I am often changing things slightly or doing things without my best effort if I don’t like the path he has set before me. Thanks for your wonderful devotions and Wednesday tips.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Funny how God uses our weaknesses to help each other!

  124. As a card carrying member of “everyday-bed-makers-of-america,” this completely resonated with me this morning. But the funny thing is, my husband slept later than usual due to a crazy work schedule this month. He’s trying to catch up on work since we DID take a vacation.
    After he got up, he gave me a hug and was off to the gym before work and I made a sarcastic comment… the bed still unmade. He left. GUILT! He was gone. CONVICTION!
    Immediately, I made the bed, prayed over my husband as he drove to the gym and then texted him an apology.
    Thank you for preparing my heart!
    I rarely comment on blogs… funny since I love to hear when people are moved by my blog.
    I just signed up for yours after hearing you at She Speaks, sitting on the front row of, “Finding your Niche.” I’ the nerdy math teacher, turned writer.
    I’m all in!
    Thanks for all you’ve motivated me to do.
    Thank you for serving Him so faithfully.
    I have really been praying for Him to guide me in updating my website, establishing my tagline and narrowing my focus.
    In His grace, Lisa.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Lisa, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I LOVED hearing how God is moving in your life!

  125. I’m in! This devotion is coming at just the right time!

  126. I often have to hold my tongue. Sometimes not saying something is the best choice. Life has been very hard this past month for many reasons. But I thank God for the blessings I do have!

  127. Jessica W says:

    Hi! I don’t push for a lot from my husband. But I guess I push him when I think he’s mad at me and he says he isn’t. Then I push to find out what’s wrong and he then will get mad at me for the pushing.

  128. Christine says:

    This came on the right day at the right time for me too. I’ve definitely been guilty of this. Sometimes at THAT moment of getting what I want, I’m happy and feel vindicated only to realize later it’s now HOW I wanted it. When you have to chase someone or something you start to feel less and less good about it, you lose self respect, you feel too needy, etc. As a woman I think we wish and desire to be pursued and that’s normal! But emotions and desires can get out of balance and we can “bow down to our feelings” as Joyce Meyer says. They should not be a god to us but they can be. Sometimes I’ve had LITERAL road blocks to my :PUSHING but other times as you said, it’s that heart beat, that…”yeah I know this isn’t good or right but I’m going to go ahead, after all, God can stop me if he wants to!”

  129. Thankfully, I’m learning to hear the warning signs. I kept myself in a bind for a long time with the “what if it’s really from the devil” fear. By praying and asking the Holy Spirit to teach me, I am learning the differences and no longer have to live with that fear….thank you Jesus!!

  130. Jadeana Colby says:

    My warning signs are a rapid heartbeat and sweaty palms. I know that when those two are happening, I need to step back and ask the Lord for guidance. Then I need to quiet myself and listen for his answer. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I don’t even get to ask God what’s what, instead I open my big mouth and put my size 9 foot in it. I don’t like the taste of feet, they leave a nasty taste in your mouth. And so does not listening to my warning signs. 🙂

    1. Christine says:

      aint that the truth sister! Then we say “WHY, WHY didn’t we listen ..we did “know”..next time, yes definitely next time we won’t miss it” But then, if you are like me, a control freak, a planner, someone who likes to make things happen, you sometimes do..oh Lord knows I’m a handful and he’s been so so good to me despite ME!

  131. Betty Brinly says:

    I’m in……….

  132. My warning sign is just a quite little thought – “don’t say it” – The Holy Spirit is faithful. I am not. I’d be embarrassed to say how many times I just keep going. Please, Lord, let me heed your promptings and obey.

    good word 🙂

  133. Stacy Meyer says:

    When my husband says “we’ll see” it hits my “take things into your own hands” button and I feel even stronger about wanting it. Ugh! I really need to be careful of this – taking a break (making the bed) before responding is a great suggestion! Then pray about it.

  134. I’m in! Thank you for this message.

  135. Amber Chapais says:

    I’m in… thank you

  136. Such a good message! I am definitely guilty of this, and to be honest, I usually don’t listen to my warning signs. But I WILL definitely make it a point to listen, rather than shove them back down. My warning signs are usually increased heartbeat, those anxious butterflies in my belly, and a clenching jaw.

    Thank you for another great opportunity! Many blessings to everyone here today!

  137. Thank you Lynn! That daily devotional spoke directly to my heart (as all the devotionals do!) I can so be like Delilah some days and I really want to change my ways. Whether dealing with my ADHD son, and his many issues, my teenager daughter or just the everyday relationship obstacles with hubby, it can be tough! I need to follow my heart when God speaks to me and ask those important questions–is this what I am going to really want? How will it effect our lives? Is this what God would want of me?? I cherish all of you ladies and your wise words–you are all such a blessing that I look forward to every morning!
    Thank you and God’s blessings!

  138. You had me at stop me! I.m in!

  139. I want to be married but I know I first need to stop and wait on The Lord

  140. I need this big time. Just got home from another hospital stay.

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