Definition of Condemnation: a statement or expression of very strong and definite criticism or disapproval
Condemnation doesn’t belong in any marriage because all it will do is tear down and cripple your marital union.
One wife wrote in dealing with this problem. Here’s her story…
I am in a marriage but there is a lot of opposition because of my past. It really affects my husband because his relatives and parents keep reminding him about it. I fear it discourages him and he’ll eventually leave me. My past depresses him a lot and stresses him, but I really don’t know what to do now. I constantly assure him I love him and it shall be well. He is a believer and he vows never to leave me but he says all this negative talk about my past keeps wearing him down when he is stressed. He ignores the phone calls at times, but this situation has also spread in the church where he ministers. He says he is paying for the sins I did through all the humiliation. How should I act to be supportive but also not to be weighed down by all this negativity?
Click below to hear my response.
Jolene: Okay so, when I read this letter when it came through my email, I’ve got to tell ya, my blood was boiling. I was all bent out of shape. My mouth just dropped open and I thought “Are you kidding me?” You know to have a husband who is:
a) a believer and
b) he’s ministering in the church and is part of the Body of Christ
And I’m thinking “What part of the Body of Christ are you a part of?” because the last time I checked you know, God is a God of GRACE! So I was just fully disgusted and again my heart was broken because you know for him to say that “he is paying for her sins” because he’s being humiliated through all this, then it’s just like, you know what “Man Up!” Be a man of God and tell these people to stop speaking and you know, rebuke them because this is just wrong on so many levels. This gal is forgiven and cleansed and redeemed. And I’m like, “Where in the world is the GRACE?” And why are you letting in parents and relatives and outsiders come between you? And this man obviously is allowing it.
For me, it was just like. “okay, this poor gal” and my heart just breaks for her.
Eric: Well, so let me ask you a simple question, it’s an obvious question, but who reminds you of your past?
Jolene: Oh it’s always Satan
Eric: Okay. and so this man is allowing his parents and whoever else to bring the message of the enemy.
Eric: Which is absurd! Especially when you’re a minister in the Church etc. and you have a first ministry here.
Jolene: Right, and that’s your marriage.
Eric: Absolutely! And so he’s forsaken his first ministry which will nullify any ministry after that.
Jolene: Right. I could tell you that I don’t wanna go to this church, based on this, you know. So the witness has been watered down and compromised as a result of the actions here. So I could rebuke the guy all day long you know, but he’s not listening in, the wife wrote in “What do I do?” Uhm I’d turn around and rebuke him back, that’s what I would do. I’d hold a very hard firm line on that, “That this is not okay, this is outside the Word of God and you can’t treat me like this and this is unacceptable!” It grieves the Lord and if he’s still, you know, throws this “but you’ve done all these horrible things.” I would ask him “So you’ve never had any impure thoughts? Have you never done anything wrong?” You know? And maybe in his pride he may say “no” because he thinks he’s so clean. I guess the next question that I would ask him is “So if you were to get up in the pulpit on a Sunday morning, and every single person could see in your mind all the thoughts that you thought, would you have a different perspective?”
Eric: Look, I mean the Bible’s clear “ALL have sinned..
Eric…and fall short” okay? And the reason they didn’t stone the woman that they brought before Jesus was because Jesus said “The one without sin casts the first stone”
Eric: And none of them, none of them could and that’s the whole point! The point that Jesus was making was that “Look, none of you are clean and none of you are any better than this gal brought before me.”
Eric: And it’s the same here. NONE of these people who are criticizing or bringing up the past are clean and none of them are any better than this gal, even though they have hidden sins.
Jolene: Yeah, right. Their sin is more respectful??
Eric: “I’m so righteous because no one knows my sin” Yeah, that’s just hypocrisy.
Jolene: Right, right! And I think that, you know, a lot of times as a wife, you want to be that respectful and that Biblically submissive wife…and sometimes I think that wives think that you remain silent. “No! You don’t need to remain silent” You can still come to the husband in a respectful way and the Bible talks about “iron sharpening iron” You go to them and if you have to exhort or rebuke or admonish in love, you go do that. Now he may wave the flag of disrespect, but he could wave that all day long because you know what the Holy Spirit will convict him of his actions because what he’s doing is outside the Word of God.
The Bible says “So that now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1.
You know the sad thing is that you’re being condemned in your marriage. The actions that you need to take is, obviously go to the Lord ahead of time, and ask the Lord to give you that softness of heart, that ability to speak Christlike words to your husband and to be able to do it in a way where you’re delivering it in a gracious way and one that is filled with humility, so you could tell him that this is not acceptable. It needs to stop. It is fine for a wife to set boundaries! Okay. It’s in how you deliver it is when it becomes disrespectful and so forth.
Eric: Well, bottom line, and I don’t know if she was expecting this answer, but her husband is the one in sin.
Eric: It’s not her.
Eric: And especially being a minister at a church, that should be brought to light.
Jolene: That’s how I feel.
Eric: If he doesn’t want to address it with his family..
Jolene: Right, right. And again a lot of times, wives feel like their hands are tied because they’re not the spiritual leader of the home, they don’t feel like that they have a voice. It’s like “You have a voice!”
Eric: Well yeah, the Bible says they are “joint heirs”
Eric:…”in Christ” and says that they are brother and sister. Okay?
Eric: So absolutely she’s gotta right to all that.
Jolene: Right. So the steps I would take is that you go talk to him in private and tell him “Hey, this is not acceptable. We’re not going to continue down this path. I need you to not take these phone calls. And basically I need you to “man up” and be that Godly spiritual leader that God’s commanded you to be.” So that whining bit about “oh my past depresses him” and “he can’t handle it when he’s stressed out” well then you need to go to the Lord and pray to the Lord about it. But to blame her, that’s like, no no, that’s not acceptable! So I would definitely go to him and have a heart to heart. If he doesn’t receive it then, again you apply the Matthew 18 principle.
Eric: Right. So there’s one other thing I want to address and we really haven’t talked about it, but his relatives and parents. And I want to talk just a little bit about his relatives and parents uh, saying things about his wife. And frankly, you know how I feel about this.
Eric: I mean the Bible says to “leave and cleave.”
Eric: And here he is regarding or even putting himself in a situation to hear their words.
Eric: Frankly, if they are going to speak that garbage, then he needs to cut himself off from them completely.
Eric: And I know “Oh that sounds really harsh”. Look, the Bible says for him to love his wife as Christ loved the church. There is no command that strong about allegiance to your family or relatives or anything else.
Eric: Especially if they’re not believers, but ultimately he has to start treating his wife the way the Bible commands him to and if that means “Hey! Lose my number, I’m not talking to you, we’re not showing up at family events, etc etc” to protect his marriage.
Eric: Because frankly, NOTHING should come between him and his wife.
Jolene: Right, right. Boundaries. You know boundaries need to be set. You as a wife need to go to him, hopefully and prayerfully, he will be receptive to what you have to say. If he’s not, then again seek out the Scriptures- Matthew 18 and read the next step to take. Especially since he is a part of ministering in the Body of Christ. There’s sin in the camp there.
Jolene: That’s the other thing, not only is there sin in his marriage, but he’s bringing that sin then into the Body of Christ and in the church there.
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