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  • Mark your calendars. I will be doing a free webinar on Monday, August 5th at 12 PM ET and 7:30 PM ET. You can go to leslievernick.com/joinwebinar to register.

Five Good Reasons to say “No!”

By Leslie Vernick

Sarah came to her coaching call astonished that it has taken her fifty years to finally learn how to say “No”. “I’ve always put everyone else first,” she said. “Now I see that I’ve only enabled my husband’s and children’s self-centeredness to flourish.”

One of my relatives recently shared a similar story. At 74 years old, she wired up her courage and said, “No” to her overbearing sister. “Stop telling me what to think, or to do,” she said. “I am my own person and have my own thoughts and my own ways of doing things.” She said it felt really good to say no.

One of the reasons that many of us find it so difficult to say no to people is that we genuinely don’t desire to hurt anyone’s feelings or have them upset with us. Therefore, we’ve learned to please, to placate, and to pretend so that we don’t make waves.

In addition, many of us have been taught that as Christians we should go the extra mile, do more, submit to authority, and always think of others before we think of ourselves. Therefore, whenever we do say no, we feel guilty and selfish.

Yet the Bible tells us stories of people who said “No”. One of my favorites is Queen Vashti. If you don’t know her, she was Queen Esther’s predecessor. Queen Vashti refused to allow herself to be treated as a sexual object for her husband’s drunken friends to ogle. When her husband ordered her to parade herself before them, she said “No.” (See Esther 1 for the story.)

Abigail was another brave wife who did not go along with her husband’s foolish decision. Instead of submitting, she overruled him by taking charge when her family faced the fiery wrath of David and his men (1 Samuel 25).

Earlier in Jewish history we find two midwives who said “No”. They refused to obey the Pharaoh’s orders to murder Hebrew babies (Exodus 1:17).

Jesus himself said “No” when Peter asked him to return to his house and continue healing the sick who had camped out there overnight. Jesus told Peter he needed to move on to Jerusalem to preach. (Read Mark 1 for the story).

Here are five good reasons to say “No”.

  1. Saying “No” acknowledges both to you and to others that you are a finite, limited person. You cannot do two things at the same time or be in two places at once. Jesus couldn’t say “Yes” to Peter’s request and also preach in Jerusalem. He had to choose. All of us have limited resources of time, energy and money. If we say “Yes” to one thing, it means we are saying “No” to another. When we say yes because we’re afraid to say no, we often allow good things to take the place of God’s best.

  2. Saying “No” to others, especially early in a relationship helps you discern fairly quickly whether the other person can be respectful of your time, your needs and your priorities. Try it. Next time you’re on the phone with someone and you’re busy, be honest. Tell him or her, “I can’t talk right now, I have to go.” Pay attention to her response. Does she hear you? Or, is she so focused on her own needs that she totally ignores what you said? Or perhaps he may pressure you to stay on the phone longer, or make you feel guilty for not having the time to talk right now. Noticing these particular patterns early on can help us weed out manipulative and toxic individuals before we get too close to them.

  3. Saying “No” to people, even those you dearly love, helps them not become overly dependent on you to meet needs that they should be capable of meeting on their own. When we do too much for people they grow lazy, self-centered, and self-absorbed. They also begin to adopt an entitlement mindset rather than being grateful.

  4. Saying “No” to sin, injustice, and abuse, is not simply sticking up for yourself, it’s standing up for what’s good, right, and just. Jesus always stood for what was right and against what was wrong. He confronted the legalistic views of the Pharisee’s and healed on the Sabbath, even when it angered the religious rule keepers. Jesus taught that the law of love always comes first.

  5. Saying “No” to foolishness can rescue a person from the error of his or her ways. Abigail not only saved her own life, she saved her entire family’s life. She also helped David come to his senses when she challenged his decision to repay Nabal’s foolishness. James reminds us “if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins (James 5:19).

When have you been too afraid, too nice, or too passive to say “No”? What has it cost you or others?

Ask God to give you the courage to say “No” when necessary for your good, for another person’s good, or for His purposes and glory


30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents (Gifts of Hope)

by Kathy Howard

In 30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents, author and fellow caregiver Kathy Howard offers the encouragement needed as you strive to care for your parents in a way that pleases God and shows them honor and respect while maintaining their dignity. Through Scripture passages, prayer prompts, and Kathy’s personal stories, be strengthened in the knowledge that the giver of all wisdom will empower you in the daily moments when you are caught between being your parents’ child and their caregiver.

Two winners will be selected in our next newsletter (giveaway only available to U.S. residents)

If you would like to enter to win, you can click here to provide name and email address.

The winners of Lord I Just Want to Be Happy are Stephanie A. and Paula M.


Upcoming Events

October 3rd
The Evening of Stories 2019
Spokane Convention Center https://genesisinstitute.org/

October 4th and 5th
RLS Convention
Dallas, TX

October 9th – 11th
AACC Annual Conference

October 25th and 26th
Maranatha Bible Church
Akron, OH

November 2nd
Hawthorne Gospel Church
Hawthorne, New Jersey

Want to have Leslie speak at your event? Click here to find out more information.

How To Manage My Emotions After Disclosure of Porn?

Question: How do I deal with my own emotions after my husband’s recent pornography use? My husband’s first confession of pornography use was in November 2016 which was after our first child was born.

I wanted him to get counseling then and he did have three counseling sessions before he stopped. His excuse was that he saw how much his porn use hurt me and would never do it again.

Well, January 2019 he confessed to actively seeking porn again in the past several months (October-December 2018). His excuse for looking at it was that we weren’t having enough sex and that one time I had a yeast infection. I was so angry I told him to get out of my house and I punched him several times. A week later he confessed to using porn for 3 years from 2016 to 2018.

He is currently receiving counseling and changed his iPhone to another phone without internet access. So far he’s been receiving counseling for 3 months and he hasn’t been using porn.

I don’t know how to deal with my emotions. I feel angry and disgusted with him that this is how he thinks about and treats women. I feel as though I don’t know this man who I married and wish I never married him.

I thought I was marrying a man who is a wonderful spiritual leader but I was deceived. Before his first confession of porn use, we would discuss how pornography, pedophilia, prostitution/sex trafficking are connected and my husband would express grief and disgust over pornography in the world.

So my husband’s confession of it was like a swift kick in my gut. I don’t know how to move past this.

Answer: Dear friend, you are not alone. So many women today face sexual betrayal. They find that their husband has lied to them about past porn and sexual activity, often repeatedly.

And most will have strong emotions which is perfectly normal. Anger, hurt, sadness, fear, disgust, and even shame flood your heart and mind. Shame that your man is that kind of man. Shame that you didn’t know what was going on. Shame that you were vulnerable and intimate with this man.

Please don’t beat yourself up for your strong emotions. They are telling you something is wrong. Your emotions are wonderful informers, but they don’t always tell you the truth about everything.

Here is What People are Saying About Leslie's Introduction to Core Strength Class

I found Leslie at the beginning of our separation after 30 years of marriage. Within 18 months we’d had our 3 children marry, then my husband sold his company and decided to retire at age 52. We were alone at home together and in great distress as we experienced continued conflict without ever experiencing reconciliation. I was in a great state of confusion, because I couldn’t understand what our problem was. As I began to read The Emotionally Destructive Relationship, I finally began to get clarity as to what I had been experiencing for so long. I had always thought, “If he’d just change, we’d be fine.” For the first time I realized I didn’t have to wait for my husband to change, I could do my own changing.

Leslie wasn’t the first author I read on abuse, but she’s the only Christian author that made sense to me and used a Christian perspective to deal with my own issues. Her class especially helped me identify specifically the changes I needed to make. I learned I could move toward my husband with empathy and support for my husband without feeling like I have to FIX him. With repeated practice this has helped me overcome MY problem of owning HIS issues and taking responsibility for my husband's happiness. In the process of owning my problem, it also helped me take ownership of releasing my anger and bitterness because I was choosing not to be a victim of my husband’s unhealthy expectations and demands.


Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Please submit your questions by clicking here.

Then, visit Leslie's Blog as she posts her responses to one question per week.

Note: Due to the volume of questions that Leslie receives, she is unable to respond to every question.


Leslie Vernick PO Box 5312 Sun City West, Arizona 85376 United States