Welcome to the
Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum

This is a community where people come in search of marriage related support, answers, or encouragement. Also, information about the Marriage Builders principles can be found in the books available for sale in the Marriage Builders® Bookstore.
If you would like to join our discussion forum, please read the Announcement Forum for instructions, rules, & guidelines.
The members of this community are peers and not professionals. Professional coaching is available by clicking on the link titled Coaching Center at the top of this page.
We trust that you will find the Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum to be a helpful resource for you. We look forward to your participation.
Once you have reviewed all the FAQ, tech support and announcement information, if you still have problems that are not addressed, please e-mail the administrators at mbrestored@gmail.com
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 95
F
frstrtd Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
F
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 95
Hey Ladies,
Thank you for being so patient about this study. I just haven't made enough time or put much effort into the study. I have good reasons, but they sound so much like excuses....I will explain anyway.<p>I have a real dilema. I have just recently started getting involved with a church and emotional 'triggers' are going off left and right. You see, I went through a very serious trauma with another church. I, my hubby and son experienced real, full blown, definable, 'spiritual abuse' at the hands of a corrupt pastor and his church board. This abuse was so bad and so complete that my H and I nearly divorced because of it. Even after 2 years of personal spiritual regrouping, the healing that has taken place since leaving that church situation apparantly still isn't complete. We both still hurt from the aftermath....but I show it more then my H. <p>In all of this, I have put the Bold Love study on the back burner because emotionally, I can't handle it all. I am to sensitive and vunerable to be taking on to much. I am trying to understand how God would have me serve in the Body of Christ/church I am now attending and having a hard time with my marching orders. God says go here,do this and the pain of the past either stops me or stabs me so hard, I get lost trying to do what God asks. I take 2 steps forward and then 2 back...not the way to get ahead huh? Is any of this making sense to any of you??? <p>Anyway, I think I don't want to get overwhelmed right now with taking on too much. Sooooooo, I researched a little bit and found a web site that may be helpful to all of us that includes a Life Study Series on Anger and Bitterness featuring a few Chapters from the book Bold Love. It is a self-counsling web site....give it a look see at Biblical Counsling On-line Workshop<p>Scroll about half way down that home page and see a section entitled LIFE STUDY SERIES(Problem Areas)and go to the section called ANGER AND BITTERNES featuring BOLD LOVE SERIES. <p>It is a self-study series that stimulates lots of thought and bible study. A good way to relate our life experiences, good and bad, to the word of God and get one on one counsling from the Holy Spirit Himself. <p>Take and look and let me know what you think.<p>God Bless,
Bev<p>[ May 08, 2002: Message edited by: frstrtd ]<p>[ May 08, 2002: Message edited by: frstrtd ]</p>

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 95
F
frstrtd Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
F
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 95
Just wanted to put this post at the top so that it will be seen. Didn't know if anyone had read it yet or not. <p>Take care all,
Bev

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 1,168
L
Member
Offline
Member
L
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 1,168
Thanks frstrtd. I took a peek and this sentence got my attention
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>God expects us to choose life and love over self-protection and self-centeredness.
<hr></blockquote><p>Many of us in this corner of the mb world are dealing with men who are abusive or otherwise dysfunctional. This sentence suggests to me that love and self-protection are mutually exclusive. When I separated from H, I felt like I had no other choice if my life were to get back on track. Self protection was imperative or I would have withered away into nothing. I guess I don't see life, love, self protection and self centerness (in moderation of course) as being opposing forces. <p>Hope to hear from some people. I'm off to take a selfish bubble bath now. [img]images/icons/grin.gif" border="0[/img] Does anyone disagree that practicing self care requires moments of self centeredness, so that we put ourselves at the top of the priority list while we tend to our own needs? Perhaps the sentence quoted is referring to people who are in self-protect and self-centered mode every waking moment?

Joined: May 1999
Posts: 3,758
T
Member
Offline
Member
T
Joined: May 1999
Posts: 3,758
Bev
Just want you to know that although I'm not posting much anymore, I've been following the Bold Love study. I think that you should be patient with yourself, it is okay if your Bold Love leadership goes to the back burner ... for a time .... I think you have done an excellent job of helping many understand the principles God has for us to learn.<p>Thanks for the link - but I like your personal touch better!<p>TNT

Joined: Aug 1999
Posts: 6,107
N
Member
Offline
Member
N
Joined: Aug 1999
Posts: 6,107
Hi Bev,<p>If you read my little update, you'll know that I have been a bit angry with God, and therefore have had little interest in a study - not that I don't somewhere inside realize how much it's needed, but I don't want to bring everyone down with my crappola, so I don't. I lurk here, more than post.<p>But I have to tell you that this post of yours touched my heart, because I too suffered spiritual abuse in a church, that included the sexual abuse of two of my three children.<p>I read a book called "Churches that Abuse" but gave it away soon after I read it (highlighted the daylights out of it too) and did a study, which I've kept, called "Recovery from Spiritual Abuse" by Juanita and Dale Ryan. It was excellent... very small (60 pages) and can be done alone or with a group. I woudl encourage you to look for something that deals with the abuse directly, lest you let the baggage get in the way of your new church relationship.<p>Anyway, just know that sometimes there are people, weak people, like me, who read and learn and cheer you on, even if we don't respond.<p>Hugs,
Sheryl

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 417
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 417
Thanks for the link, frstrd. I looked at it too and it looks helpful. I'm familiar with the books they use (Strengthening Your Marriage) and with the counseling institute in Southern Calif. I'll be back to get into it more in-depth.<p>LH - I noticed that sentence also. I didn't spend a lot of time on the site, but I think it refers to the self-protection that is manifested by withdrawal, avoidance, passive-aggressive behavior, silences... What you are doing is taking care of yourself, but you are not avoiding or running away - just the contrary. You are facing the situation and that has led you to make difficult choices. It is ok to protect your heart. You are putting a boundary on a relationship - even God does that. <p>At least that is how I understand it based on all I've read and heard. Speaking of which - when I can I listen to New Life Live radio. It is on once/day and is a call-in show with the guys who wrote Boundaries... Townsend, Cloud (also Steve Arterburn and Paul Meier are on). I call it my "free counseling" during the week. I find it so helpful to listen to their counseling - and I have heard them talk to people about "protecting their heart". Their web site is www.newlife.com and you can find when they broadcast in your area. People call in about all kinds of situations - often marital - with spouses who are addicted to drugs (not uncommon) and all kinds of other difficult situations. It is helpful to hear wise, biblical AND sensible counseling on such matters.<p> As you said, many of us are dealng with abusive or dysfunctional spouses that ARE hard to live with. Situations that cannot be remedied by Marriage Builders alone because we have very unconscious and uncooperative spouses. But when we fix our eyes on God we each can deal with our situations as He leads. <p>My update: seems up and down from day to day, or moment to moment, BUT I am noticing God strengthening me and showing ME new ways to relate and be. He is softening my heart and turning it to look at the logs in my own eye (sounds like where SueB has been, doesn't it?). I am trying to learn to release my husband to God, to realize I can make choices that reflect the person I want to be and be fully myself - even around him. I am working on forgiveness and resentment I have. The state of my marriage terribly grieves me - I'm trying to focus on my part and choose righteous responses. It is VERY hard, but I do know God is faithful to give me that which is imperishable - His holiness and Christ-likeness, if I submit the process to Him. I will leave the results of my marriage to Him as I actively work on what He is showing me.<p>I have a binder full of all kinds of prayers (Prayer Portions) and there is one on forgiving your husband. Part of it is here:<p>"I accept you as you are. I choose no longer to strive with you, demanding that you change, demanding that you love me, demanding that you meet my needs or understand my feelings. I now truly forgive you. I do not judge you, but I do renounce the wrong that has wounded me. I will no longer give your actions permission to wound my spirit or our family. Your actions will no longer have the power to wound me."<p>There is much more to the prayer, but I'm really trying to move to a place of forgiveness - and away from the dance that allows his behaviour to keep wounding me. Not quite sure how to do that, but as I make more choices I feel less a victim and more a separate person who can love and not demand.<p>Oh well, hope that all makes sense. I really got rambling there. No wonder I don't post very often... too time consuming. [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img]

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 1,168
L
Member
Offline
Member
L
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 1,168
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by siftedlikewheat:
LH - I noticed that sentence also. I didn't spend a lot of time on the site, but I think it refers to the self-protection that is manifested by withdrawal, avoidance, passive-aggressive behavior, silences... What you are doing is taking care of yourself, but you are not avoiding or running away - just the contrary. You are facing the situation and that has led you to make difficult choices. It is ok to protect your heart. You are putting a boundary on a relationship - even God does that.
<hr></blockquote><p>My bill collectors would disagree with you! I'm doing such a terrible job in so many areas. Strongholds seem to win out daily. I used to be good at taking care of things, and it hasn't been true for a long time. A counselor at the veteran center said wives can get ptsd from their H's who have ptsd. Along the way, I started dealing with problems the same way my H does, by refusing to acknowledge. Now I have this huge fear of the phone, and I haven't overcome it yet. At least I *know* I need to face the fears and move through them. <p>Well, I rearranged my office the day after my cat died. Yesterday I actually felt pretty good. Today, not so good. I sometimes contemplate finding a church, and then I hear stories like Sheryl's and frstrtd's. I've benefitted from a time of solitude, but now I can see I need to move on. I've become a recluse. The only thing I seem capable of doing is striving toward a clean house. I'm on day 15 of the flylady.net program. <p>Thank you for the prayer SLW. I wonder if I can ever reach a point where my H's words or actions no longer have the power to hurt me. I do acknowledge, however, that I *did* try to change him for many years. In making strides to accept him as he is, the distance between us is greater than ever. So sad. <p>SLW, how was your weekend in the monastery? Any light bulb moments that might be relevant on this thread? Or maybe a new thread telling us all about it?

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 95
F
frstrtd Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
F
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 95
Hello Ladies,
It is so good to read all of these posts...I am so very lonely right now and coming here tonight has given me a much needed lift as I read all of your updates, encouragement&#8217;s and insights.<p>Lonesome Heart, the quote "God expects us to choose life and love over self-protection and self-centeredness." can be grossly mis-understood if we forget that we need to read it in the context of 'knowing God's character". When God tells us about being selfish in the New Testament, we see in 2 Cor 12:20, Gal 5:20 and Phil 2:3 that selfishness is linked very closely with self-ambition and conceit. We need to weigh out the actions we take to protect ourselves against our desire to get ahead or to love ourselves more then we love others. After all, Christ himself commands us to 'love others AS we love ourselves". If we choose conceit or self-ambition, we love others LESS then we love ourselves. If we choose to be abused by others and become a victim, we love them MORE then we love ourselves. With that in mind, read 1 Peter 5:5+6, which tells us to "be submissive to one another, clothed with humility for 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.' Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time"....and then ask yourself...Is what you are doing in your relationship with your spouse being done out of pride or out of humility? Are you humbly making decisions based on God's wisdom or on your own emotions? I am not judging here, just pointing out that we need to understand the nature of Our Lord and how His Wisdom applies to our own personal situation before we make the difficult decisions in our relationships. So many times we take His Wonderful Words out of context and use them unwisely, only to find out later, the Evil One was fooling us. And I too, for many years, prayed for and tried to change my H until just recently. Now instead, I am praying for God to change me. This is a very humbling experience. I know cause my pride is resisting to the point of inner turmoil. I want God to change me yet I seem to rebel against Him continually. It is only because of His Grace and Mercy that I can continue to submit even when I don&#8217;t want to! <p>Trustntruth, Thanks for your kind words. I am glad to know you are here. <p>NewBeginning, I feel for you and the pain you and your family have endured. How many times I have prayed for the wrath of God to wipe out any and all church authorities that are nothing but wolfs in sheep&#8217;s clothing who go around devouring the unsuspecting. But His Ways are not my ways. For 2 years I have been learning from and posting on a bboard which has been set up be Jeff VanVonderen, a well known author, counselor and speaker, who's ministry is all about identifying and recovering from spiritual abuse. In case you are interested the web site is
www.spritualabuse.com I have gone through some very intense discovery and recovery on that site. It is a Godsend. Thanks for your concern and info about the book.<p>Siftedlikewheat, I just love your prayer journal excerpt! That so moved me! I can relate so much. Where you are with your spouse seems to be the same place I am at. Seperating. I have realized that as dysfunctional as my H has been, I have been also. I am discovering that separating doesn't mean that I have to hate him or always disagree and argue with him ..... I just need to recognize that I am a 'seperate' and unique person, special in God&#8217;s eyes. We are not one, but TWO who can become as ONE. We are both special in God's eyes. We are individuals who can disagree, have different tastes, have different friends, etc... And we can still come together in love. This is not easy for me to do right now.... I find that my core values may be the same as my H's but he has a much different way of expressing them then I do. And the memories of our hurtful past together sometimes weakens me, tempting me to hate my H for all the pain he has caused...then I remember how much pain I have caused him and realize that Christ's strength is sufficient, for His strength is made perfect in my weakness. We are moving in the right direction...forgiveness is the key.<p>God Bless You All for being so honest about your lives and open with your love.....<p>Love and Hugs,
Bev

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 417
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 417
frstrd,<p>enjoyed your update and post. Everything you said about learning to be separate - from which point we can CHOOSE to be loving - is where I am too (trying to be there, I mean!). It helps me understand it when I think that is how Jesus lived. He was always in control of His choices - no one ever controlled Him - although they rejected, reviled and insulted Him. He even told Pilate that he had no authority over Him. Jesus lived with a higher purpose that He fulfilled - which drove all His choices and interactions - motivated by love. No ONE controlled Him! (though I'm sure they thought they did).<p>More and more I'm seeing that our motivation is to be love also - for obeying God and for the interactions and choices we make with others. "For the love of Christ controls me". <p>In my Hebrews Bible study this week I was so encouraged as we studied love "Let love of the brethren continue" Hebrews 13:1. On our own we can't love people who have hurt us and may continue with hurtful behaviors, but God often wants to step in and love them through us. He does it, as we surrender and make right choices in our behavior (kindness, patience, forgiveness, etc). That took a lot of burden off me because I know I struggle with this and can't do it myself. The Law (right ways to live) is in our hearts now. It was written on tablets of stone - and our hearts were as stone. Now we have hearts of flesh and the Law is written on them. That showed me the connection between the heart and how we live. Everything is at the heart level. Always choose love for God and for others, and you'll have "fulfilled the whole Law". It also helps prevent resentment because I am not having to do something or being controlled by others - I am making my own choices with the higher purpose of Christ-likeness being formed in me.<p>To untrained ears that might all sound crazy, but I trust you ladies understand. [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img] <p>"Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious hearts, take courage, fear not." Isaiah 35:3,4

Joined: Nov 1999
Posts: 1,063
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 1999
Posts: 1,063
Hi ladies, loved all the updates and reports on everyone. I am always in awe whe I see God teaching us similar things about love and taking logs out of our eyes. The bold love thing is hard but it sure puts a bunch of scriptures right at my heart. To consider a trial pure joy knowing that it not only teaches me perseverence, to keep on keeping on, but to smile because I know that God is faithful enough to not let go of me in my own folly times encourages me to once again practice that soft answer that turns away, to continue to assess my responses so that they are not as acidic as my husbands but sweet enough to heap coals upon his head. To continue to assess what the goal is, that my marriage become strong and a blessing to both of us helps me to stay focused. My long term goal to retire in the state I came from helps me to prractice affirming stements to my husband, asking him what he prefers, etc....This is vital in our case because he is convinced that I am working on the property to leave him. To be able to lovingly state my committment and then to give him info that if he chooses not to have input into the building of the project now removes any right to complain about it later has often left him open jawed and I have heard him in the last few days telling others about our retirement plans...LOL. <p>We just completed a renovation project without major crisis! Something I can brag to others about. He even helped clean up the house after the mess so we could have bible study in our home... I am in awe. Jesus' examples as mentioned before as such encouragement to me to keep on, knowing that many of the parables relate to him pursuing me even when I am lost is helping me to continue to make the effort and... dear ladies, those of you who have been posting awhile know that this is no easy task, to be consistently affirming re my desire to be with him and to have appropriate conversation when he is being abusive and then walking away, to drone on while being attacked a simple "what is" statement when he is accusing me of untrue things in a non-threatening way and being able to ask such things as how can I support you while you are workng through this...note: support does not mean be responsible for...recognizing that he wins if I yell...SO MANY things I am learning, the Spirit is helping me to see the traps we fell into and I am amzed at how often when I hear a zinger comning from himm that makes me gasp and I see red...at how the spirit helps me to recognize it and I can smile...<p>I can smile because I know God is already the victor and oh gosh gals....there are days when I have to ask the Lord to love me husband through me because I can't..if I focused on the relationship, I would throw in the towel, but instead I am focusing ont he one relationship in my life that is good and faithful and true and that is the Lord and from Him I receive happiness and joy and laughter at His sense of humor as I face my responsibilities before me, and I know He is in control and that I don't know what all he is doing in my husband's life, I just keep rpaying for my husband...found out last night in bible study that during the men's prayer breakfast that meets once a month, they are studying "BOLD LOVE" now is that not a laugh or what? Did my H share that with me? NO! But the other men in our bible study did and now I see one more speck of God's hand in our life, the harsh expectations of our relationship exposed and discussed on screen without anyone knowing that it is us, so to speak. <p>I am seeing God's hand in our marriage and I guess that is why we need 30-50 years together to work it all out. Hugs, to you all! Your insights are awesome!

Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 710
L
Member
Offline
Member
L
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 710
Hi Bev:<p>I've experienced the same thing. Long story. Pray for the truth to come out. That's what's happening for me now in the church where I was treated, perhaps, the same way. I have been praying and things are changing. My Christians friends confirm it. We don't just have to stuff our feeligns. We can pray.<p>God bless,

Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 290
B
Member
Offline
Member
B
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 290
Actually, frstrtd, I was relieved to get on after being off for so long, and to find out that I am not as behind as I feared. [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img] <p>I had to catch up at work, then finals week, then family visits, then each day that went by made it harder to get back on here knowing I would have so much to dig through....<p>Weekend company arriving any minute, so I'll get back on probably Tuesday, hopefully with book in hand to go back and respond to the beginning parts [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img]

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 95
F
frstrtd Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
F
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 95
I have been doing some praying and soul searching and have concluded that for reasons best gone unspoken, I will no longer be leading the Bold Love study. If there is anyone at all who would like to take it from where I have left off, please do. It seemed to be a great help to many. Other wise, read the book and do your own personal study,letting God lead +/or go to the web site I posted above to give yourself a study jump start. <p>I do hope that what has been written as a part of the Bold Love study has not been in vain and that those who have used it to their benefit will continue to grow and that those who can use it will.<p>Take care and God Bless,
Beverly


Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Search
Who's Online Now
1 members (1 invisible), 140 guests, and 52 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Qwerty1234, Overcomer4513, caraduke, Convict20, GTNY
71,738 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics133,550
Posts2,322,811
Members71,738
Most Online3,185
Jan 27th, 2020
Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
Copyright © 1995-2020, Marriage Builders®. All Rights Reserved.  |  Web Development by SunStar Media.
Site Navigation
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5