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Sorted by: Leslie Vernick


Does Love Cover a Multitude of Sins?

Author: Category: Uncategorized

A woman struggling in an emotionally destructive marriage once asked me, “Doesn’t love cover a multitude of sins? (1 Peter 4:8).  She continued, “Who am I to hold my husband’s sin or blindness against him?   The Bible teaches us, ‘It is good for us to overlook an offense’ (Proverbs 19:11).  Shouldn’t I just keep quiet and minister to him, and pray that he will see God’s love in me?”

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Counseling Marital Abuse: A Critical Distinction

Author: Category: Uncategorized

Whenever we diagnose abuse in marriage, we don’t look at one single episode of sinful behavior which we’re all capable of. Instead, we must take a careful history of the marriage to see the big picture. We’re looking for examples of abusive behavior and attitudes as well as seeing if there is an overall imbalance of power and control within the relationship.

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Diagnosis Determines Treatment Plan

Author: Category: Uncategorized

Ten years ago my mother became very ill. A persistent cough and difficulty breathing sent her to her doctor for help. Bronchitis was the diagnosis, antibiotics the cure. “Don’t worry,” he said. “You’ll be much better soon.” My mother didn’t feel better, she got worse. She wheezed. She couldn’t sleep. Her breathing became labored. Her doctor now added asthma to her diagnosis and prescribed an inhaler plus new antibiotics.

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When is Joint Marital Counseling Contra-Indicated?

Author: Category: Uncategorized

We like to think that when working with couples or individuals in distressed marriages that when possible, joint counseling is always the best option.  We know it takes two to tango and therefore we want both parties to be present in order to understand the dynamics of the relationship

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Sometimes You Have to Stop Being Just a Servant

Author: Category: Uncategorized

I was speaking at a major Christian University about building healthy relationships recently and a student approached me with a problem.  He said, “You teach mutuality and reciprocity are important components in 

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How and When is an Abused Spouse Called to Suffer

Author: Category: Uncategorized

This week one of my coaching clients shared that her counselor told her that her role as a godly wife was to submit to her husband’s abuse and quietly suffer for Jesus.  She was told that setting boundaries was unbiblical and asking her spouse to change specific behaviors for her to feel safe or rebuild trust was demanding.  Is that true? Does scripture encourage a spouse to patiently and quietly endure harsh and abusive treatment within her or his marriage? The passage that we usually turn to support this thinking is found in 1 Peter 2:13-3:22 where Peter writes to believers who face mistreatment for their faith. 

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Five Crucial Steps for Effective Change in Destructive Marriages

Author: Category: Uncategorized

Last month I wrote an article about superficial apologies, when “I’m sorry” is not the end of rebuilding a shattered marriage but only the beginning of genuine change. But what does that change look like in real life?

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Building Four (4) Essential CORE Strengths

Author: Category: Uncategorized

When we counsel a spouse who reports being in an emotionally destructive marriage, the focus often turns to what she can do better in the hopes that she can influence her spouse to change.  Biblical counsel then usually moves into helping a women to submit more, love harder, learn to communicate more respectfully, becoming forbearing, developing patience, and figuring out how to have a sexual relationship with someone who treats her cruelly or as if the only one whose thoughts and feelings matter are his. 

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Sometimes Words are not Enough

Author: Category: Uncategorized

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I promise, I won’t do it again”, sobbed Cory, a nine year old who was on his way to his bedroom for the evening after hitting his little sister, again.  As parents we’ve all been there.  A ninth hour apology made to avoid the consequences of parental punishment.

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Why We Must Never Forget Even When We Do Forgive

Author: Category: Uncategorized

Working for over 30 years with couples attempting to recover from serious marital sin, I have often heard one of them say, “Why can’t you just forgive and forget?” or “You’re holding onto the past? 

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