Take Your Thoughts Captive

Kate says . . .

I remember a time when I was consumed with sad thoughts about our marriage. I was not sure where we were headed, but it certainly seemed bleak at best. There were days I could think of nothing else. Have you ever had those times in your marriage when your thoughts seem to run away with you? Perhaps they are fears, past hurts or worries. You might be familiar with this verse:

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

I have always loved this verse and yet for many years, I did not listen to it or do what it says. I know that it can be very hard to stop worrying about things in life. Yet, I have also learned that worrying really never does any good. Not only does it not do any good, it keeps you living in a spirit of fear. Fear becomes the motivator and the means of making decisions. When we live in worry and eventually fear, we are held captive.

Held Captive To Taking Captive

If someone hurt us, we can struggle with thoughts and fears until they become crippling. It is normal to experience emotions, to be sad, angry or disappointed at times. These are normal emotions, but at some point it becomes our job to take our thoughts captive. We have a choice to grab a hold of our thoughts and work to change them, or to allow ourselves to be held captive by them.

Perhaps you are not a worrier but before you dismiss this take a long look at yourself honestly. I know I can see my tendencies to allow worry to take a hold of me. Just like hubby’s having the weight of providing for their family on their shoulders, wives have the weight of the health of their family on our shoulders. Not just physical health, but emotional, and intellectual health as well. This stress can add to our worry, fear and lead us to a path of giving in to emotions.

I have been thinking a great deal about “taking thoughts captive” and in talking with others developed ways to stop my runaway thoughts.

Capturing Run Away Thoughts . . .

Write it down

Writing down exactly what is bombarding your thoughts can be a huge release. Writing it back into perspective. Naturally, when we worry and let our minds go, we run down many different “what if” bunny trails. When we put the facts down on paper, we can deal with what is real and what is at this point speculation. Pray over what you have written down.


When you catch yourself going down those trails, stop, take a breath and pray. God has promised that when we call on him he will answer, when we draw near to him, he will draw near to us. He will never leave us or forsake us, not matter how hard the circumstances are that we are facing on earth. Does that mean he will make it “all better”? No! God never promised that we wouldn’t face hard times, only that he would be with us through it all. We talk a great deal about prayer here, but truly we can never seek and lean on the Lord enough!

Talk to your hubby

Whether the worry involves him or not, talk to him about it. It is hard to be vulnerable and do so in the beginning, but once you make it a part of your daily marriage, you will find you cannot function without it. Share what your worries are. Even share with him what you wrote down. Own up to your part in the worrying. Ask his thoughts on how to move forward.

Do you need a plan?

There may be some situations where developing a plan in necessary. For example if your worries are about not having time alone with your hubby. Look at schedules and coming up with a plan for time with each other. If your worries are financial, coming up with a plan, budget or seeking out resources such a Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover are good things to do. I feel strongly that this plan should include your husband’s thoughts, even if he is not directly involved. He will then know what you are worrying about and will be able to help.

If we allow fear and worry to rule our lives, we become a slave to them. No matter if they started out a legitimate concern or not. Don’t allow those thoughts to rule your life and direct your path. Take those thoughts captive!

Are you a worrier? How have you learned to deal with your worry? Do you feel that fear propels your life? Share with us your journey!

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12 Responses to Take Your Thoughts Captive

  1. what about the worrying about your spouse cheating? when they have already with 4 diff ppl? in less that 4 yrs? numerous times w/2 of them? and says they wont ever do it again? and 3 of the ppl were after the spouse accepted christ and was baptized. how do i not fear and worry then?

    • Hi Someone! Thanks for writing and sharing where you are in your journey. My heart breaks for what you have shared. I have known heartache in our marriage, but not to the extent you have. Your situation is a bit different then what I was addressing, in that it is still a reality for you. If your husband is still actively sinning, then you are in a different place. Worrying and fear are natural emotions and are ok. The point I was trying to make is that when your hubby is changing you have to work hard on your end to not let those natural emotions (that are ok to experience) run away with you into huge things that are not what they seem. Also there are many wives out there that are very insecure, yet their husbands have not given them any reason to be, those women too can benefit from taking their thoughts captive.

      I would encourage you to find a pastor or a counselor to talk with. Together would be ideal, but if not, then just you. Your fears and worry are still very legitimate in that your husbands actions are ongoing or recent. When someone has been wronged, it takes time. Even over time those feelings can still come back strong. But there comes a time in the healing process where we need to take responsibility for taking those thoughts captive. Please know you are not alone in your struggles. I am lifting you up right now! Praying for hope and healing. Blessings, Kate

  2. My wife and I have had some major marriage issues in the past year, and though we are getting by them the one major issue that is taking the longest to repair is our financial situation. Not that we are living in poverty, but we dont live on a planned budget, and when I try to implement one it often meets the opposition of my wife. I live in fear because I dont want her to leave, but am afraid that, with all the hardship we seem to face on the financial front, that she will get tired of it all and walk. Last year she had an affair with another man who owned millions and promised her the world. The affair ended quickly and he took his own life, but left her with a fairy tale that I cannot compete with. My only hope is to continue in prayer that the Lord will open her eyes to the fact the HE provides all. She says she trusts in the Lord and knows this, but she still gets mad when finances are running low. Ill just keep praying and try to lay my fear at the Lords feet, and continue to trust that He will provide all, including wisdom that will allow me to handle our finances responsibly.

    • Hi AnonymousMe! I wanted you to know we haven’t forgotten you . . . I really want Brad to respond because I think he will have the best perspective. So he is planning on doing that tonight-so check back then. You are not alone, my friend-please know that! Lifting you up right now! Blessing, Kate

    • anonymousMe,
      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your obviously difficult journey! I can’t imagine the turmoil that you are going through as you are trying to repair your marriage and yet have this “comparison” issue tossed in your lap. (Even if she isn’t saying a word, I’m sure it still feels like that). I am sure that you would like nothing more then for financial issues to just disappear. Unfortunately, I don’t think that will happen unless you can find a different way to approach the situation united rather than divided.

      I understand not wanting to talk about it. I can relate to the feeling of failure that comes when it seems like there isn’t enough money at the end of the month. Unfortunately, when finances are not discussed frequently they are usually only yelled about when this problem happens. I would suggest that you take a positive approach rather then waiting for the negative to happen.

      I would recommend 2 things. First, be proactive and begin to develop a budget yourself. Start simply by listing your monthly income, then list all of your fixed monthly expenses (rent/mortgage, car payments, phone, electric/heat, garbage…). After you have listed everything that has a set amount per month list all of the variable categories you can think of (food, groceries, health expenses, gas, maintenance, entertainment, clothing…) List the categories, but don’t put in monthly amounts yet. Take all of this “pre” budget work to you wife. Approach her in a positive way, asking for her help in deciding how you are going to be spending next months money. Together try to plug in realistic honest amounts in each category and see what happens at the end. If you are over your budget talk together about where you can make changes. Your goal is not actually to “fix” everything. That won’t happen in one conversation or one months budget. Your goal needs to be to highlight the issue and start a conversation together about it!

      After you have done this, use that conversation to spring board into a discussion about getting some financial help. I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace. You can read the book together or better yet attend Financial Peace University which is offered all over the world. You can even find a class offered near you on the Financial Peace University website.

      Having a guide to help make changes will really help in your situation. I can see your reluctance for making hard cuts based on the past. However if this is what needs to be done, deciding together and being able to say “Dave says…” might help give you both the encouragement you need!

      I hope that helps get you started! I would love to hear your thoughts and any more questions! I know you are not the only husband dealing with how to change the family’s financial health! God Bless, Brad

      • Thank you for your advice and prayers. We did go through a Crown financial study with some of the members of our church, but she admitted that she didnt get much out of it, nor did she really care to be there. Even now, nearly a year later, I think her spiritual walk is suffering. She has lost her hope and vision of the future for our marriage. She is convinced that this is all it will ever be. I know there is hope through God, and I will remain in prayer. I am hoping to attend some type of counseling or marriage conference, but she does not want to attend. Web sites like yours give me hope and help me gain insight into what she may be thinking, and I am grateful them! I know hope is not lost, its just a matter of remembering that and not falling into the fear.

  3. Kate, Thanks for posting this. Me and mine had a rough “discussion” this week and it has been hard to keep my mind in the right flow. I appreciate this post, it came at the right time. My husband, I feel, suffers from major bouts of insecurity about himself and it effects many realms of our marriage. I will continue to pray that I can be the wife He wants me to be and that I can be successful in making a great marriage with my husband. Thanks again!

    • Hi Fellowworrier! You are not alone out there, friend! If you keep seeking God on what he wants for you as a wife, and are obedient to His word, I believe you can and will make a difference in your marriage. I believe that God blesses obedience. It is so not easy at times, but with God ALL things are possible! Lifting you up right now! Blessings, Kate

  4. Man, this is just where I’m at. I have lived in the “what if” world for years. I have had PTSD since I was a child; and it became second nature. I turned to alcohol when I was a teen because with that kind of constant fear I needed a coping skill I didn’t have. I have been sober for 8 1/2 years, and rededicated my life to the Lord 8 years ago. I was doing really well, but when my husband cheated, the fear monster took back over. At first, it was a legitimate fear, and I coped pretty well while the “danger” was present, but when he started to do better, the fear monster took over. I think, for me, it is a form of self pity. And it is almost intoxicating. It can be so hard to want to quit even when it is destroying my very soul. So this article is a great reminder of one more tool I can use to change. Thank you for the reminder that fear can be a choice, and there is something I can do to not live in it.

    • Hi Victoria! Thank you for sharing part of your story. I believe there are many women out there who can benefit from your willingness to be vulnerable and share. Please know that we all get stuck in the muck of worrying at times. And as you said, when something happens in your life, that worry is legitimate! But staying in the place is never a good thing. I am proud of you for stepping up and saying now more. Lifting you up right now! Blessings, Kate

    • This is interesting because this is what I was trying to explain to my wife. It’s weird how our flesh gets a morbid pleasure out of self-pity and guilt. Though we often times tell ourselves that we hate those feelings and long to be free from them, we often make the decision to hold on to them rather than let them go, then we cant seem to figure out why. It can be very intoxicating, at times, to feel sorry for yourself or compound your guilt, though it WILL destroy you eventually. This is a big reason why we need to give these things over to God, and not try to handle them on our own power. Once they are out of our hands, he can dispose of them properly! What a loving God we have!