Leslie Vernick
October 27th 2015                                                                                
What's New?
  • Leslie  On The Radio! Leslie is doing an interview with Focus On The Family. Click Here to tune in on October 30th.
  • Thank you for all of you that participated in our Emotionally Destructive Marriage Webinar. We are so excited for our 10 winners. Remember our CONQUER Program is closing registration on Oct., 31st. No new members will be allowed in. CLICK HERE for more information.
 
 
 
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What Does Biblical Reconciliation Look Like?

By Leslie Vernick
 

The Bible tells us, “we all stumble in many ways” (James 3:2). You can’t live with someone very long before they will step on your toes. That doesn’t mean the relationship is broken. You say “ouch”, he or she says, “I’m sorry” and it’s over.

 

But there are other times where someone seriously and/or repeatedly sins against us. There may be betrayal, infidelity, deceit, abuse, or chronic indifference, and with these sins, contrite words are not enough. 

 

Relationships are broken, strained, and stressed when there is repetitive and serious sin. What are we to do when we are the recipients of such destructive behaviors?

 

Relationships are important to God and reconciliation is an important theme in the scriptures. God calls us to be active in working to reconcile relationships that have been damaged but what does it take for actual reconciliation to take place?

 

Are we mandated by God to reconcile with someone at any cost? Or on any terms?

 

The answer is NO!

 

The Bible calls us to be peacemakers, not peacekeepers or peace-fakers. Jeremiah warns against a superficial reconciliation when there is continued rottenness underneath. He says, “Prophets and priests alike all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. Peace, peace when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). 

 

Paul tells us that God has given us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). Therefore, let me help you understand what that looks like in messy and ugly relationship problems.

 

When someone has seriously sinned against us and we seek reconciliation, we’re not merely looking for an apology, we are looking for a change of heart.

 

Below are three evidences or fruits of a changed heart. John the Baptist said it well when he said to the religious leaders, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God” (Luke 3:8). When someone is truly repentant, he or she will:

 

1. See: They will acknowledge and see the hurt they’ve caused you.

 

2. Take responsibility: He or she will work to change the things they have done that have hurt you and the relationship. They don’t blame you for their sinful behaviors or attitudes.

 

3. Make amends: They will work hard to rebuild trust. They don’t expect instant restitution when trust has been damaged.

 

A great biblical example is Joseph (see Genesis 37-49). He was betrayed by his brothers. They sold him into slavery because of their own jealousy.

 

When Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt seeking food from Pharaoh because of the famine in their own land, Joseph immediately recognized who they were although they did not recognize Joseph. We know that Joseph had forgiven his brothers because he was kind to them and gave them food, but he did not reconcile with his brothers. He waited. He watched their actions to see whether their heart’s had changed. It was only after Joseph saw their changed behaviors, did he trust them enough to offer reconciliation.

 

For additional help on this topic, read Sometimes Words are Not Enough

 

And watch my YouTube Video, How Do you Know Someone’s Truly Sorry?

 

PS:  Empowered to Change, our six-month on-line group-coaching program (offered only once a year) will be opening for registration very soon. If you are interested or would like more information when it becomes available, click here. Spaces are limited and spots fill up quickly. 

 

 
 
 
How Do I Center Myself In God?
 
Question: I have been in an abusive and controlling marriage for what I will count as 33 years, as that is the place we were at when my husband’s pornography addiction became exposed.

For the last 2 years, we have been separated, though living in the same house. I’ve been trying to process and work through issues and have not left because of fear of many things, one being church discipline. I have been hammered about how disobedient I’m being because I am keeping my distance and have not hopped right back in the bed with him.

My husband was always angry and yelling and condemning. I got my view of God through him so I always carried around a tremendous amount of guilt and shame and saw God as a hard task master, with a very heavy yoke, a God who was always “out to get me”, who was waiting to hammer me for any sin.

My marriage has been bondage, a prison, as I succumbed to my husband’s headship that has been without love, so much so that I submitted to him cutting our first born daughter off for 15 years now because she left the household and got married against our blessing. She saw what I could not see and got out.
 
Now that I’ve processed the deception and abuse (your book was very enlightening and relateable) that I’ve lived under and in for 33 years, I came to see that my view of God has been wrong and where it came from. You state about living in the center of God’s love in your book The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. I would like to know how to do that exactly.

I have read the Word, though inconsistently over the years, and have definitely cried out to Him almost constantly even though sometimes it was just “God, Help!” There is much more to my story I could tell you but feel time doesn’t allow currently. Can you clarify or help me understand how to live in the center of God’s love?

I also have a second question: does staying in the marriage and rebuilding it absolutely HAVE to take place because the spouse is repentant (seemingly) and stopped doing porn and yelling? I’ve been told that I do not have biblical grounds to begin with and also that because he is repentant, that I cannot divorce, that I have to stay in the marriage, although there is no love or respect or trust or communication.

Answer: I am so sorry for all you have been through. It sounds like you’ve not only gotten a harsh legalistic dictator view of God from your husband, but also from your church through the way they have handled your husband’s problem with you. You ask some tough questions and I’m not sure I will be able to adequately answer both of your questions in this one blog, but I will give it a try and invite others to share their journey with you as well.

How do you center yourself in God and his love? That is a great question and I’m not sure I have the answer. John, the apostle and one of Jesus closest friends said it best when he wrote, “We have come to know and rely on the love God has for us” (1 John 4:16).

That tells me that learning to trust God’s love – to rely on it fully, is a process and not a once and done event. John said we have come to know, and come to rely on it. There must have been times when John didn’t rely on it or know it as fully as he did when he wrote his letter.
What a relief! If someone who actually walked and talked with Jesus in the flesh didn’t always “feel” it or “trust” then maybe God isn’t so disappointed with you and me when we struggle with it too.

I think one of your biggest obstacles in “relying” on God’s love for you is that you’ve been taught that it’s conditional. If you mess up, or make a mistake, if you don’t get it right, or make a bad choice, God’s love for you will stop.
 
Connect With Me
 
 
 
IN THIS ISSUE
 
ARTICLE

What does Biblical reconciliation look like?

 

COACHING 
Accepting Coaching Applications
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WHAT'S NEW? 
Take a look at the upcoming events to watch for from Leslie
 
GIVEAWAY 
CONQUER Membership - 2 Months Free
 
LESLIE ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS
How Do I Center Myself In God?
 
 
COACHING INFORMATION
For more information on Leslie's coaching program, please click below:

 

Coaching Programs

 
 
GIVEAWAY
 CONQUER Membership

A women's only group - will give you just the continued small bite learning environment. In addition you will be a part of an on-going support group with other individuals who know what your life is like, plus you’ll have regular contact with me, which will help you achieve your growth and healing goals – all for less than a Starbucks a day. Sound amazing?! It is, and I’m very excited about it. CLICK HERE to learn more about CONQUER.

 

"Today, I am no longer that wounded woman in a withering relationship, thanks to CONQUER and the work of the Holy Spirit. I was wonderfully made, and I am wonderfully restored (and so was my marriage, although both are "works in progress")!
 
I am a woman of worth - a warrior - better equipped for emotional and spiritual battle in this world. I am not crushed by my fears; I conquer my fears. I am not defeated by my circumstances; I am victorious, because I've learned to conquer, not cower.
 
– Shellie
 

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

Winners of The Heart Of Domestic Violence by Chris Moles are Tona C. and Jennifer A.

 
 
 
UPCOMING EVENTS
 

October 30th, 2015

Leslie is doing an interview with Focus On The Family. Click Here to tune in on October 30th.

 

November 2nd & 3rd

Leslie will fly to Texas to be be part of a documentary on abusive relationships

 

 
 
HERE'S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT LESLIE'S COACHING.
 

"A good friend introduced to me to Leslie about a year ago, by forwarding one of the free newsletters she sends out. This was the 'awakening' that God used in my life to show me that I was living in a very unhealthy marriage, which was completely crushing me.

 

I began to read more things on and through Leslie's website, and realized I needed a bit more help. I signed up for a "Moving Beyond People Pleasing' class, as well as "Getting Rid of Negative Emotions". Both were incredibly enlightening, inspiring and they continued to bring awareness to my life.

 
I also decided to invest in myself by coaching one on one with Leslie, continuing the healing process that had begun. This took much courage and was an incredible opportunity; I feel privileged and blessed to have been able to sit, listen and learn directly from Leslie.
She is an incredibly gifted, talented, intelligent, compassionate and strong woman! I am continuing on my journey and road to healing; I'm not completely there yet, but God is indeed slowly moving mountains."
- Carrie

 

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