The main ingredient for great communication in marriage is the ability to be vulnerable with one another. But it’s hard to remain vulnerable once your spouse has hurt you. I know I won’t be quick to share my heart with Eric if I feel he’s going to stomp all over my heart.
Being that I want to be emotionally close to him, we’ve sought to create an emotionally safe atmosphere where vulnerability is the norm, not the exception in our marriage.
But before you move forward in this episode, you’ll want to head over to Part 1: How to Communicate in Marriage and then to Part 2: How to Resolved Conflict because if you’re not speaking kindly to your spouse and conflict isn’t resolved, or old wounds are nursed then you can’t create a safe place for communication in your marriage.
Click below to listen.
Eric Engle: Hi, my name is Eric Engle with another episode of The Marriage Mentor. I’m here with my beautiful wife, Jolene. What do you have for us today?
Jolene Engle: I have part 3 in our “How to Communicate in Marriage” that is part of our proverbs in marriage for couples.
Eric Engle: What is part 3?
Jolene Engle: Part 3 is, “How to Create a Safe Place for Communicating in Marriage”. So, part 1 was, “How Do You Communicate”. Part 2 was, what did we say, “How To Resolve Conflict”.
Eric Engle: Right.
Jolene Engle: Part 3 is how to have that safe atmosphere, how to still be vulnerable, like you were when you were dating because we lose the vulnerability because of the hurts, we put the walls up. A fortress goes around our heart.
Eric Engle: So were the guys vulnerable when they were dating?
Jolene Engle: I believe they were, were you?
Eric Engle: Somewhat I guess. Probably not as much as you.
Jolene Engle: Sure, sure, I mean, we’re more of the gentler sex, okay. The Bible refers to us as the weaker vessel, ya know, which obviously is a hard truth for a woman to hear. That’s a hard Biblical truth to swallow. Okay, we are more gentler, therefore, we’re more vulnerable which is why we cry more, which is true. I mean if you were crying as much as I was, I’d be like, What’s wrong with you? What kind of man does that?
Eric Engle: Right. Right. Man up. (laughing)
Jolene Engle: Right. Right. Vulnerability is a huge issue in marriage that I don’t believe is spoken enough about. I don’t think that there’s… We don’t hear enough teachings on it. I don’t even think it’s exposed as much as it should be.
Eric Engle: Well, the Bible talks a lot about being vulnerable to the Lord, being strong in our weaknesses…His strength is shown in our weaknesses, etc. but He’s perfect.
Jolene Engle: Right. Well, and the last thing the world tells us is to be weak especially the radical feminist movement. It’s all about, “be a strong woman”.
Eric Engle: Oh, the radical feminists.
Jolene Engle: Yes, oh yes. But I don’t have to show strength. I can be meek which is not the same as weak, okay. Meekness is strength under control.
Eric Engle: Okay, so you’re a tough chick. How are you vulnerable? I mean that wasn’t even in your vocabulary.
Jolene Engle: I didn’t even know what that meant. Humility-I had no concept of that. So, I was hard as a rock, hard as a rock, so, obviously I had to turn to Jesus and He took my stubborn, hard, stony rock…it’s in Ezekiel…I think it’s in Ezekiel 46:7…26:7…I don’t know. But He will take that stony, stubborn heart; He did this for me; and He will turn it into a softer, tender heart. So, vulnerability…I often say, who you are with Jesus is who you really are. And if I’m walking as a daughter of My King and my identity is in being a daughter of the King, I don’t have to be fearful or demanding because I am filled up with Him; I am strengthened by Him, protected by Him. Okay, so when I get hurt by others which happens because we’re imperfect people. I get hurt all the time. I have to run back to my King, to My Father to be told I’m okay. He’ll get me through this and He’s the One who mends the heart, the hurt. But if I constantly go through life with a hard heart or resentment or bitterness, there’s no fragrance of Christ there, none of it because Jesus was not hard and bitter.
Eric Engle: Ok, but I would say, we’ve already discussed a little bit, but I would say that it might be easier for a gal to be vulnerable than a guy because we’re supposed to be strong.
Jolene Engle: Right. You’re to protect.
Eric Engle: So let’s be tough. How can I be a tough husband, how can I be strong & protect the family & everything else & still be vulnerable with my wife?
Jolene Engle: Well, I feel it’s a wife’s role, and the Bible talks about it part of the husband safely trusts in her. Proverbs 31:10, or maybe it’s 11, but anyways, it’s in Proverbs 31. It starts there. If you don’t trust me with your heart, I don’t believe that you’re going to draw close to me.
Eric Engle: I’m not gonna give it to you because it’s my ball. I’m not gonna give you the ball for you to run with it if I don’t trust you with it.
Jolene Engle: Yeah and I’ll say, well, I’m not gonna share my heart with you because I don’t want you to stomp all over it. It’s my way of letting you know I’m fragile at this moment & I don’t need you to tell me what I need to do. Okay?
Eric Engle: Okay, so how can a gal approach her husband and be vulnerable with him without getting stomped all over?
Jolene Engle: Well, she’s got to start with, “Are you walking as God’s daughter?” “Is your identity in Christ or are you walking as your husband’s wife?”
Eric Engle: So, walking as God’s daughter, there’s a greater strength there.
Jolene Engle: Way more strength. I am firmly planted. I know that I am beloved, chosen, accepted, royal priesthood, set apart.
Eric Engle: So you know that if you do get stomped on that you got a safe place to go back to and you can be restored.
Jolene Engle: Right.
Eric Engle: With the Lord.
Jolene Engle: Right. And we’re never talking about abuse here, emotional abuse, physical abuse. This is not a podcast for any of that that’s taking place if that is your marriage.
Eric Engle: If you have that problem and you can’t call the cops, call me and I’ll call them for you.
Jolene Engle: (laughing) Get out of the house, okay? So this is just the typical marriage of, “He hurt my feelings”, “I don’t know how to get over it”, “I don’t want to share my heart with him anymore.” And then what we do is we close down, we start to develop that hard heart, you know, and that is not what Christ wants. That is our natural reaction so I’m not gonna stick my head out anymore, for you to stomp on it.
Eric Engle: So, practically, conversation, it would sound something like this:
Can I share something with you without you judging me?
Or can I share something with you and have you just listen?
Can I share something with you without you saying anything harsh to me ‘cause this is really hard for me?
Jolene Engle: Yes, and that’s a great place to start.
Some of the stuff I’ll say to you is, “I just need you to listen”.
Other times I’ll come to you and say, “I need you to fix this”.
There are other times when my heart is so fragile that God’s got me so far out of the boat, my comfort zone, that there is no…I’m out of the boat, the comfort zone, the safety net, everything’s been removed and I’m just trying to be obedient to what He’s called me to do knowing that the task in front of me is so overwhelming that there’s an anxiety there, there’s the insecurities…are suffocating me. And I want to turn to you and say, “I’m in this battle. Can you…and what I…I’ll have to say to you, “Ok, I need your encouragement, not what’s your issue, just get over it because here’s what I’ll do as a wife. Great. I got it. Thanks. I’ll check out emotionally from you.
Eric Engle: So, going back to approaching a husband that may have been harsh in the past…First of all we’ve talked about, in a podcast, about setting those standards of what is acceptable and what’s not and you could say, “Hey, in the past, I’ve felt this way”, not you’ve done this but “I’ve felt this way and I’m afraid to share with you but I’d like to. Can I share this with you and without you trying to fix it or without you saying anything to me that might hurt my feelings? Can I do that? Can I trust you? I mean asking, kind of testing the waters a little bit.
Jolene Engle: Well, you’re really kind of asking your spouse, “Will you be a safe friend for me?”
Eric Engle: That’s a great question right there.
Jolene Engle: Right. “Will you be a safe friend for me,” because if you recognize your own brokenness and your humanity and if you as a wife look at your husband and realize he’s got his own battles, his own brokenness, his own insecurities, you’re then able to come alongside of one another, bear each others burdens, consider and just be that encouraging voice in the marriage.
Eric Engle: Yeah. Well, and you can always approach, either way, husbands or wives, say, “Look, I’m a little insecure about this but I want to share something with you.” Okay. As a husband I’d have to say, “Look, I’m supposed to be strong and I’m supposed to be tough but there’s something that I have been dealing with and I want to talk with you about it but I’m a little afraid of sharing that because I don’t feel tough when I do this.”
Jolene Engle: Right, because you’re exposing weaknesses and insecurities.
Eric Engle: Right. When you ask someone like that to help you then it’s very hard for them to stomp all over you when you ask them for their help. Does that make sense?
Jolene Engle: Yes. Yes. And you’re gonna know in your marriage, “Well, does he receive this, does she receive this? I guess the question you have to ask yourself, “Am I an accepting spouse?” Okay. One of the things when I got saved was, and I still do this to this day almost 21 years later, almost every single day I write in my journal about thanking Jesus for accepting me, ‘cause I didn’t feel accepted. So, do you accept your spouse for who she is, for who is, for where they’re at today because is they don’t feel accepted by you, they don’t trust you emotionally.
Eric Engle: Right. Right, and you’re not going to draw close if that’s the case.
Jolene Engle: Right.
Eric Engle: The walls will stay up.
Jolene Engle: Right. So, I have to, as a woman, get my strength from Jesus because He has accepted me so much so that He died for me. So that makes me emotionally stable. When I know God’s Word, the more spiritual I am in understanding God’s Word the more emotionally stable I become as a wife. Okay, because some wives I come across, I recognize that they are emotionally needy.
Eric Engle: That’s a great statement. Say that again.
Jolene Engle: The more spiritually stable you become the more emotionally stable you’ll become. So, really a wife…
Eric Engle: That goes for a man or a woman.
Jolene Engle: Yes. A wife has to, both, their roots need to go down deep in the Word of God to know who they are in Christ, their identity is in Christ. You can’t lose your identity in Christ & you can’t earn it. You can’t get a degree in it. You can’t lose, ya know, any portion of it. Okay. And here’s what’s so interesting: The same identity that I have in Christ is the same identity that you have in Christ. And it’s the same in somebody else. It’s just like, why are we different though? Why? Does one accept it & one does not? Why does one believe that truth & one doesn’t? Do you understand? It’s the same word that God gives to all His kids but some of us believe it and live it. Others question it and don’t walk in it. Okay, so the more you can walk in your true identity in Christ, the more emotionally stable you become. But because we’re humans we get hurt and we have the insecurities.
Eric Engle: And so we look back on ourselves and we’re back to that self centered sort of attitude.
Jolene Engle: Yeah. I want to nurse that grudge or I want to nurse this part of my heart because you don’t understand. You’re a man. You don’t understand and how come you’re not dwelling with me with understanding like the Bible says? Well, okay, well, first off, he’s not a girlfriend. He’s not gonna see all the emotions that we have going on in our heart. You guys have insecurities just like we do; you’re just built different. And the bottom line is, do you create an emotionally safe place in your home where the other spouse feels accepted? Because if you’re making me feel like some loser, like I don’t ever measure up, I won’t want to share anything with you. It ain’t gonna happen.
Eric Engle: I get that. Yeah. Absolutely. So, it’s an easy premise to talk about. What other practical ways can a husband or wife do that?
Jolene Engle: It always goes back to the Word. Who are you in Christ and do you believe that?
Okay, then the next step is:
What does God’s Word say about interacting and where is that safe place?
Can I create, as a wife in the home, can I create a safe haven in the home a safe haven where you feel accepted by me? My choice is either to condemn you, criticize you, or be very gracious in your shortcomings. Okay. Because we all fall short.
Eric Engle: Grace is a great point in this whole thing because when someone lays it out for you, someone says, hey this is who I am, I’m not perfect, I’m not great, I have these insecurities, if you allow that grace, that acceptance, say hey, it’s okay I understand, I feel the same way, let’s be imperfect together, let’s help each other. Let’s not hurt each other.
Jolene Engle: Right. Right. And you’re emulating Jesus there. It always goes back to how would Jesus handle this situation? Is he accepting? And I look at my relationship with Christ and it really just says, if a person that is a true follower of Christ just looks at how does Jesus interact with them, how do they interact with Jesus, what is the Holy Spirit pushing and prodding the heart to do towards righteousness. If we just take that relationship with Christ and try to apply it with our spouse, the marriage will start to blossom. Hands down. Because who is Jesus? He’s giving, He’s accepting, gracious, He’s loving, He exudes all of that, and so if we just take an ounce of how He interacts with us and we turn and we try to pour that out, those actions out on our spouse, our spouse will start to feel closer, kinder, gentler, more loving, because they’re doing that iron sharpening iron concept because…if I’m creating a home filled with peace and love and joy and grace and acceptance and you walk through the door and maybe you’re in a bad mood and I give you that loving word, oh I’m sorry you had such a bad day honey, why don’t you tell me about it, that would diffuse some stuff there.
Eric Engle: Well, you talk about how Jesus is. I don’t remember which disciple or maybe it was more than one instance but he said, do you believe? And the disciple replied and said, I believe, help my unbelief. Basically I’m trying here but I’m still falling short. Jesus didn’t say, you lousy, worthless disciple. He didn’t do that. He met him where he was at.
Jolene Engle: That’s key right there: meet them where they’re at. Meet them where they’re at. Each spouse has to take ownership. You cannot meet all my needs. You just can’t.
Eric Engle: Why not? Aren’t I superman?
Jolene Engle: Well, you could be but you’re not and you’re not my savior. You’re not designed to meet all my needs. A husband is not designed to meet all his wife’s needs.
Eric Engle: I’d make a crummy savior.
Jolene Engle: Well, I think when a wife could understand that concept that her guy can’t be everything for her. He can’t wipe away all her insecurities, meet all of her fears. He can’t and when you learn that concept it will alleviate a lot of pressure, I think, kind of be all this like super spiritual husband because she’s’ got to go to Jesus.
Eric Engle: Well, the same for the husband. You know the husband can think, hey, well I’m strong and I can handle all this and I don’t need anyone and really………..
Jolene Engle: But he does because look at Adam. God looked at everything He made and He said it was good except for the fact that Adam was alone. (laughing) He had to make woman for Adam.
Eric Engle: But the husband, the man has to go to the Lord. We think we’re tough and strong and all that but like Job, everything gets stripped away. I’m sure Job thought he had it going on. Ya know, I got it going on. I got the family. I got the fields. I got the cattle. I got it going on.
Jolene Engle: Job was the man, huh?
Eric Engle: Job was the man. And one after another his servants came and reported that this was gone, the house fell on your kids, they’re gone, ya know, and now you’re sick. I’m sure Job, and I understand it, Job was sitting there going, I’m not as tough as I thought I was. And when Job started to gripe a little bit, God said, hey, answer Me this, basically put Job back in his place.
Jolene Engle: And Job learned the lesson.
Eric Engle: Right but Job’s response was, I am vile.
Jolene Engle: Right. Job’s wife did not learn the lesson. She said, when are you gonna curse God and die? Don’t be a wife like Job’s wife.
Eric Engle: Right. Right. So, hopefully, as men as husbands we can learn to be vulnerable before we get to the position of Job but if you can’t, God can solve that problem by putting you through that.
Jolene Engle: But look at Job. There was none more righteous than him. God used Job as a beautiful example of…I have a love/hate relationship with the Book of Job but I appreciate Job’s testimony.
Eric Engle: Well, there were parts where he was bent out of shape and then humbled and he came out of that when he decided to minister to his friends. He decided to pray for his friends.
Jolene Engle: Yeah, ‘cause they were Debbie Downers telling him he did all this wrong stuff.
Eric Engle: I understand but there had to be a vulnerability there for Job.
Jolene Engle: Yes. And with men maybe it comes more with the humbling of life and for women we’re more naturally open and emotional but I look at how humility can play such a beautiful role in creating such a safe emotional place in the marriage to communicate so you guys could grow together and have really the type of marriage that God intended but …but often times our pride is there and then the hurts and we nurse the grudges. When I wrote the book “The Wives of the Bible”, there’s one wife that the Lord’s telling me, “Go and write about her.” I’m arguing with God thinking why on earth would I write about that wife because surely there is no reason for me to write about that wife. And over and over again, He says to me, “Go back and write about her.” Ok fine, I’ll listen to you Lord and as I’m looking at this woman’s passage I’m still sitting there thinking I don’t know what to pull from her life. Well, she ends up being my favorite wife in the book.
Eric Engle: Which was?
Jolene Engle: Well, I’m not going to tell the reader or the listener who she is but she is labeled as the bitter wife. And God had taught me an awful lot about my heart really more towards God in all of our trials and how, I wasn’t necessarily the bitter wife towards you. I was more the bitter wife towards Christ, a bitterness towards the Lord because I was thinking, “Why on earth would You take us through so many stinkin trials?” I just don’t get it. I’m just trying to live a sold out life for you. You know, it wasn’t like we did all these stupid things and then we had these consequences. But the lesson of the bitterness…I don’t want to be a bitter wife. I don’t want to be a bitter woman or a bitter mom because bitterness will destroy. So how do you get out of that bitterness? Yeah, I’ve got to recognize that God knows better than I do & there was some lessons of humility that I had to go through as well.
Eric Engle: Humility goes in hand with vulnerability.
Jolene Engle: It does. That’s one of the reasons why I hate it. ‘Cause my pride hates it. I hate humility because it is at war with my flesh, at war day in and day out because the opposite of humility is pride but humility opens up the door to wisdom.
Eric Engle: And you can’t be vulnerable when you’re prideful.
Jolene Engle: You can’t. You can’t. So how does a spouse set that tone? Okay. You gotta go to the Lord first. That’s always the first step whether you’re a new Christian, newly married, saved for however many years, every single day I have to run back to the Lord because every single day there is a hurt somewhere, there is my pride somewhere. There is a pain. There is an insecurity whether it’s coming from you or others.
Eric Engle: Well, look, if there’s a strength in the Lord, you say, hey Lord I’m gonna put this out there and I might get slapped.
Jolene Engle: Right. (laughing) Not physically.
Eric Engle: And if I do, I might come running back to you.
Jolene Engle: Well, Proverbs 18:10 says “The Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe. That has to be a daily habit for couples is that they run to the Lord. And you might be, the listener might be married to a non-believer, then that’s what you do, you keep running back to the Lord regardless of what your spouse does or doesn’t do. That is your starting place.
Eric Engle: And they have to be humble in their communication.
Jolene Engle: Right. Right. And it will allow their vulnerability to come out because we long for that emotional intimacy with our husband but we can’t get that. We won’t stick our neck out if you’re constantly harsh. Nope, that’s not safe. Unsafe, unsafe. If Eric was a leper, had leprosy, you know, unclean, unclean. (laughing)
Eric Engle: Well, that’s a vulnerability in itself. If I am too harsh and you say, hey, I don’t feel safe, I’m not gonna share with you. That’s kind of a nice way of saying back off.
Jolene Engle: Right. Right. I try to do little…it’s hard to be openly rebuked or admonished, okay, because again, our pride is at war but I think there are soft ways to say that to one another. Another thing that we didn’t talk about is what we do. When the other person hurts, like if I hurt you, you say, oh you poked me with your sword because we kind of picture each other in a battle with our swords out, but we’re back to back fighting the enemy.
Eric Engle: Back to back not face to face.
Jolene Engle: And every now and then we’ll poke each other with our sword and we’ll say, “you poked me with your sword.” It’s a gentle admonishment without pointing a finger, without making an accusation and that’s something we’ve done in our marriage. And then the other thing that we do now, that I do is, with a smile on my face, is say, “Unsafe, unsafe”, because I’m letting you know I’m feeling exposed.
Eric Engle: What a great way just to say hey, that hurt me and I know you don’t want to hurt me ‘cause you’re a great gal or I know you don’t want to hurt me ‘cause you’re a great husband. Okay, what’s that gonna do?
Jolene Engle: Well, you’re heaping coals on their head to waken up their conscience so they stop and the more you practice these little ways to communicate, to resolve conflict, to create that safe place the less strife you’re gonna have in your marriage. I mean, Jesus doesn’t want you to have strife in your marriage. We didn’t, I didn’t. When I walked down the aisle I wasn’t thinking, “Gee, I can’t wait ‘til that first fight.”
Eric Engle: Oh yeah, I’m watching you come down, soon as she gets here I’m gonna punch her. That’s gonna be great.
Jolene Engle: Right. You always have to look at where is your pride dictating the relationship because pride won’t make room for humility.
Eric Engle: Pride destroys everything.
Jolene Engle: It does. Here’s Proverbs 18:12: Haughtiness goes before destruction & humility before honor. In so many ways we are puffed up; we are puffed up people and it won’t produce the kind of marriage God intended. It won’t produce the type of marriage we walked down the aisle to.
Eric Engle: The world is full of that. I see it on t.v. all the time. It’s “I’m all that and then some”. I meant that’s the attitude I see on all these shows, all these gals, all these guys. I’m a player and it’s all about me and she’s like, I’m a diva and it’s all about me. That’s not gonna work, forever, at all and yet people go through these marriages and these relationships and think, yeah, this is how I’m gonna be and I’m gonna act this way.
Jolene Engle: Well, but, then the flipside, she just becomes some doormat for him to trample upon. That is not how God’s daughter should be treated and nowhere in the Bible is that acceptable.
Eric Engle: But the focus is on God versus myself, either way. For instance, the gal who thinks she’s all that, the guy who thinks he’s all that, I mean, the focus is all on self.
Jolene Engle: Yeah. They’re their own idol.
Eric Engle: Rather than, God is the Head. I belong to Him. Because of that, there are certain standards I don’t put up with.
Jolene Engle: Right. Right. I won’t allow you to treat me poorly. Ain’t gonna happen. It’s not acceptable and we have built some stuff into our marriage where it doesn’t get to that point.
Eric Engle: And if you did, I probably would because of my sinful nature.
Jolene Engle: Your sin tendency would be to trample on me.
Eric Engle: Right so those standards are very important. I know and this may seem a little off subject I always go back to this. When I was in 6th grade, I was not a bad kid; I was an aggressive kid. And we had a teacher…our teacher didn’t show up for the year and so they brought a teacher from 1st or 2nd grade up to 6th grade to teach us. We’re already thinking, oh she’s a 1st grade teacher. We’re gonna destroy her. Right? And we did. I mean, I acted worse there than I ever acted because I could. I got away with it. There was a time I got up. I dumped my whole desk over & I stormed out of the room. I was testing, see what could I get away with.. I wandered around the school yard for about an hour and then I walked back in and my desk was put up and all the stuff is back in the desk and I sat down and it was like nothing happened. I knew at that point I owned this gal. Now, my parents would have never put up with that, had they heard, but they didn’t hear, okay, because I owned her. Okay and so I went as far as I could because that’s what we do because without any boundaries we tend to do that. Our sin nature takes over. We go as far as we can without getting caught.
Jolene Engle: Right, without any consequences. So, it’s hard to imagine consequences in a Christian marriage.
Eric Engle: Well, the consequences go like this: Look, we’re not gonna talk to each other this way. Okay. We’re not going to say these things. We’re not going to act this way. If you act this way, I’m not putting up with it.
Jolene Engle: I want to touch on that. I know we’ve got to close out this episode but there’s a couple things I want to say because there could be a listener who, her husband, I’m assuming it is more of a guy doing this than a gal, but it could certainly happen the other way. But the gal is being trampled upon by her husband. She might be a gentler soul. She might hate conflict & she’s doing everything she can to just keep the peace. And here’s the deal, he professes to be a believer. He’s not hearing you when you say this is not okay. He is abusing his headship position. Okay. And what does the Bible say? Matthew 18. You go tell someone and go confront him. First you start off with hey, you hurt me. Hopefully he’ll change his ways but if he does not you go to Matthew 18 principle and take a brother in the Lord to confront him, hopefully that will knock some sense into him & hopefully that’s enough. But then, it may not be which then means you have to go to the church. Being trampled on emotionally by a husband & he demands you to submit is not Biblical in any way, shape, or form. It’s wrong on so many levels. So don’t buy the lie from the enemy if that’s your case.
Eric Engle: That would never happen to you. Why not?
Jolene Engle: Because I wouldn’t put up with it. I’d be like, “what are you doing?”
Eric Engle: What does that mean?
Jolene Engle: I would confront you and say, no you don’t get to speak to me like this. You don’t get to treat me like this. This is unacceptable. Maybe you’re having a bad day. I’m gonna give you the benefit of the doubt. You had a bad day. Okay. But then if you came back the next day and the next day and the next day and the next day, okay, it is not a bad day, it is a bad character issue that I have allowed to take place in the marriage. No, I would go to a buddy and say “hey, have you tried speaking to my husband?” He’s not hearing me. And the buddy comes and sits down with you. Dude, what are you doing? To confront you.
Eric Engle: And by the way, there are guys out there that need to be that friend. At my wedding I told the guy, my buddies that stood up with me, I said, I am accountable to you. Throughout my marriage, if you see me not acting the way I should you have a responsibility as my friend, as my brother in the Lord, to come to me and rebuke me. You have a responsibility.
Jolene Engle: You’ve exercised enough wisdom to know that hey, this is a Biblical premise. I need this. And I know that I have so many readers from around the world, so many of them aren’t even attending church so they don’t have anyone to go to for the Matthew 18 principle. And here’s what I’d like to say to you: Go to church whether he goes or not. You need the community of believers.
Eric Engle: That’s back to standards. Set up the standard. My husband doesn’t go. It doesn’t matter. God didn’t say that you should only go to church if your husband goes. The Bible says not to forsake the assembly of the saints. That doesn’t mean only if you’re single or only if your husband goes.
Jolene Engle: Way too many Christian couples are like this island off by themselves trying to have a Biblical marriage without having God as their guide. They’re not listening to the word of God. They’re not applying those basic Biblical truths of what to do. You need to be in fellowship. You need to have those friends, those accountabilities, those relationships you can go to someone and I’m not talking about just airing your dirty laundry ‘cause you want to vent, ‘cause the wife wants to vent. I’m talking about some big issues that you don’t know how to handle and if you’re a couple and your marriage is getting stronger on a regular basis, you should be seeking out couples to befriend and kind of take under your wing because again, that is a Biblical premise.
Eric Engle: Look for a mentor.
Jolene Engle: Right. Seek out a mentor but I want to end with this: Proverbs 1:33 says, “Whoever listens to Me will dwell safely and will be secure without fear of evil.” This is the Lord telling you, Hey, I got this… Follow My ways; I got this. If we would just follow Him life would be so much different.
Eric Engle: Wouldn’t that be something?
Jolene Engle: Yeah. All right. Well, those are thoughts on creating that safe place communicating in your marriage. I hope this little bit of a series on how to communicate in marriage has helped. I’m Jolene Engle at joleneengle.com.
Eric Engle: And I’m Eric Engle at ericandjolene.com
Jolene Engle: Until next time.