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This page is stocked full with many Counseling Questions and Answers! Real letters from real people with real answers from Joel and Kathy!

A Miracle Can Happen In Your Marriage!

Rebuild Your Marriage, Recover From Adultery and Abuse, and Enhance any Marriage Using the Life Changing Principles that God Taught us. These Principles Have Given Us an Outrageously Happy Marriage!

If Joel and Kathy Can Do It, SO CAN YOU!

 

 
 

"Letters and Questions from Readers"

Born again in a much deeper, more real way.

Hi Joel and Kathy,

Good things are happening around here! My husband and
I were both surprised at how difficult it has been for
him to hear my heart.

There was much more hurt in there than my husband had
anticipated. He kind of thought, " Oh, this will be a
piece of cake".

My husband shares that he feels as though he has been
born again. Everything in his Christianity is
becoming new. Some day I hope he tells you about it.
I want him to share with you. (Note from Joel: We
often tell men that they have to "really" get born
again.. that their born-again experience stopped at
the outside of their front door! I felt like Bess''s
husband.. that I had gotten totally born again - but
it was not until 18 years after I asked Jesus into my
heart!)

As for me, I keep asking him, "Is this real, do you
mean it?"

Just last night as he was giving me a back message I
began to tear up. I told him that his touch was
bringing healing to my heart.

Also, it is a little difficult for me to realize that
I was not wrong all these years. My desires for our
marriage and for how to serve the Lord were not wrong.
This brings so much hope to me and to my husband.

Some day, we will have a ministry. Praise God! Joel
and Kathy, you are bearing good fruit with this
ministry and message that the Lord has given to you to
give.

God bless and love in Christ,

Bess (and Norm)

P.S. That Pastor''s wives'' web site was so sad.
http://www.rockdove.com/pwsupprt.html
I can''t even read it. My husband has been reading to
see just how much damage that Christian men are doing
to their wives and to learn the hurts that are in
Christian women. He wants to understand to never hurt
me again. (Note from Joel and Kathy: What a smart
husband!)
--

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Healing Emotions

Hi Kathy,

This was a great message and very nice to hear from
you. (Referring to the newsletter: "It is my turn now"
from Kathy)

I am so hoping that I too will get past the pain of
remembering and truly move on.

My husband and I are both very hopeful. Things are
looking good.

Every time I start to get all weepy or angry etc. we
hang tight and go for the ride until it passes. This
is something new for both my husband and myself.

In the past whenever I would go through emotional
struggles my husband would take charge and talk me out
of it, etc. He was thinking that was what he was
supposed to do.

It is a new thing for the both of us to just allow me
to vent and for my husband to simply validate my
feelings and continue to love me through it.

Praise God, we are both learning and growing in this
new teaching and understanding.

In Christ,

Bess (and Norm)


2 Corinthians 10:12
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

After reading these most recent letters sent to us by Joel over the last two days my husband mentioned to me this morning, " Well honey, it could be worse, you could be married to _________(fill in the blank).

I retorted back, "Well, so could you, I haven't committed adultery or left you, and besides the bible tells us not to compare ourselves to one another, only Jesus is our standard, we are to compare ourselves to Him and then we all come short".

I just wanted to remind all of us reading these letters to be careful. The goal is to see men become like Christ and then the women. We are all here to learn and grow and to pray. It is a huge mistake to compare ourselves to others for the better or worse. That is always wrong and will lead to defeat. Jesus is Lord! IN Christ, Bess

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

19th August 2006
This is a letter from Bess. Thanks Bess! This is GREAT!


I hope that it is OK for me to share an issue that had come up between me and my sweet hubby. Although my husband had been calling me gorgeous, beautiful, luscious, pretty, etc., it fell on deaf ears. He was often frustrated and puzzled at my rejection of his compliments. I shared with him that he always gave me compliments with a silent disclaimer. I was gorgeous, but not gorgeous enough, I was pretty, but not pretty enough, I was sexy, but not sexy enough. He always had this playboy standard and image in his mind that I knew he had and that I could not and would not ever measure up to.
I told him that I needed to be good enough. I needed for him to be fully and completely devoted to me as I am right now. I can't be perfect. I am a woman in my 40's with 12 children. I want to be his special treasure. This convicted my husband. He did not deny that he had been doing that to me and placing that kind of pressure on me.
Now when he compliments me I have been accepting them because I know that he has made a committment to give them with "no disclaimer". Praise God!


19th aug
Sent: Friday, August 18, 2006 8:15 AM
Subject: Question for Bess

Question from a (worried) husband!

How did she know this?
Was this because of the way he said it? or how frequent just woman's intuition ?
I think we are all guilty of some form of silent ad ons and our wives are very perceptive, more than we give them credit for.
I am concerned that we are trying to be loving kind considerate and listening to where the need is but at the same time we are sending out completely an unwanted set of unspokens that our wives pick up on instantly.

Answer from Bess:


This is a loaded question and I have been thinking all morning how to answer. Are you willing to ask your wife when was the very first time that you ever hurt her in this area. I can remember in the very first weeks of our marriage my husband rubbed his hand across my nude belly and said, " I want this to be flat". I never forgot those hurtful words. Thus ensued a lifetime project for me to try to achieve a flat tummy (remember I am the mother of 12, interpretation- 12 pregnacies). Do you see a flat tummy in this picture? Has your wife ever found porn in or among your personal belongings? Do you watch t.v. shows or movies with obviously beautiful sexy women? What things might you have said to her over the years that may have implied your disatisfaction with her physical appearance or her sexuality? (If you are truly clueless then ask her and then let her tell you).

A challenge to the men. Jesus warned his disciples that whoever sets his hand to the plow and looks back is not worthy. The apostle James reminds us that a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways and will recieve nothing from the Lord. ( And Norm laughingly says, "and nothing from his wife either!) If you are going to be heading toward this path that Joel and kathy have set before you are you truly prepared to take it all the way to the cross? Your cross. Your death. Don't make this a game. Your wife will know.

-----------------------------------------------


Hey Joel and Kathy, here is an email that I had sent to Norm a few days ago. Thought it may help others to see what a woman may be feeling inside while she is opening up past hurts and feelings. We (me in particular) were going through a rough time.

----- Original Message -----
From: Bess
To: Norm
Sent: Monday, August 21, 2006 8:08 AM
Subject: To my sweetheart!

Hi lover, please help me to heal by staying strong for me. I need you during these difficult times. I love you and I need you everyday. Forever your love, Bess

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Note from Joel. Many times a wife will be afraid that if she expresses too much hurt and disappointment, that her husband will give up and backslide. This is a nice note that expresses a world of emotion. Men, you need to reassure your wives CONSTANTLY that you WANT them to unload on you emotionally. Assure her that though it is difficult for you and causes you to die inside - that you want her to feel free to say whatever she needs to say, whenever she wants to say it - so that she can get closure and you can grow up. Assure her that there is NOTHING that she could say or do that would drive you away - she is safe to express anything and you will not leave her.

For some of you guys who were more abusive, be VERY careful how you say, "There is NOTHING that you could say or do to drive me away." That might come across as a "stalker" threat instead of a loving and compassionate reassurance. So, adjust your words accordingly. This is the world you created and you have to be careful as you seek to repair it!

Blessings!

Joel and Kathy


Hi Joel and Kathy, I want to share with you a situation that has come up with us. Joel, in your DVD seminar you told the men that if they are loving their wife and doing what they need to be doing for her and she has a situation that she is not overcoming then she will call a girlfriend for prayer and counsel.

Well, that is just what happened with me. I had not even realized it until after I called the friend and got the counsel and advice. I was just stalemated and unable to get past a very bad attitude toward Norm even though he was validating my feelings and loving me. Finally out of desperation I made contact with a woman counsellor on line. She helped me to see my way through my circumstances and to come reason with my feelings. Like I said I did not even remember your words on the DVD about such a situation until after I got the counsel and talked to Norm about it. Praise God, Joel you are so right about your counsel to men. Guys, God is faithful. Do your part and the Lord will do His!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Joel and Kathy,

What about the husband who is abusive to wife and kids? What about the husband with a criminal past that yet haunts him and the addiction that he still struggles with? What about the wife who no longer has passion for her husband? What can be done for them?

"Wondering"


Hi “Wondering”,

It would take a long time to address these questions afresh. You will find answers to all of these questions on the questions and answers section of the web page along with the testimony page and in our first book. Just start reading.

As far as the passion, any wife will have her passion re-ignited if her husband gets rid of his other issues, (issues as the ones you refer to) and treats his wife like a queen.

If your husband has the issues you described, your question about passion is a moot point. You cannot have passion for an abuser who is addicted to drugs or alcohol etc. Even God would not want you to have passion for him outside of helping him to get help!

A woman can only have passion in RESPONSE to her husband's love as described in the Solomon and Queen Sheba letter. If your husband is giving you nothing to respond to, then God has not given you a well to magically draw passion up from in the face of abuse. We believe that for God to do this would only be encouraging your husband to further perpetuate the abuse.

That would be referred to as “enabling.” An abusive husband does not need passion from his wife. He needs to be confronted by knowledge from a book, if he will receive it, or he needs to be confronted by someone he respects. If he receives correction, repents and seeks to become Christ like, then your passion will be stirred up toward him.

Hope this helps!

Joel and Kathy


------------------------------------------------

The books arrived today - thanks for the prompt shipment.

My wife and I are currently separated after 21 years of marriage. No adultery or any kind of sexual sin, and no abuse; just me not listening to her heart. She moved out this past weekend. I had always been taught (wrongly now, I see) to take my wife's input, but that the responsibility to make the final decision rests on the husband's shoulders. I have always helped around the house and with the kids, and did not buy into the "I am the king of the castle, and the wife must submit" theory or practice.

We have agreed to start "dating" again; we had our first "date night" last Sunday night over coffee, and had great conversation. Through a conference we went to, I have finally experienced forgiveness from the guilt and shame I have carried from childhood for not living a more "perfect" life. I have learned to forgive myself.

My question is this: how should I proceed? Should I read the book first, and work on me, should I invite her to read it together with me, or what?

Thanks in advance for your input and prayers for us.

Blessings, - Kevin

Hi Kevin,

You reading it and giving her a copy is generally best. Reading it together may be a bit intense... As you read, you will be working on yourself. As your wife reads, she will be getting validated and healed... It sounds like you two are on a good track. Don't be surprised if your wife says that the book reminds her a lot of your relationship. Remember.. a husband should never rely on his own opinion of the relationship, he should rely on her opinion of how things are going.

I assume you are both born again?

Blessings!

Joel and Kathy Davisson

 

 

Greetings from Joel and Kathy!

We received a letter today from Randy. Rand y and his wife Susan have had some serious problems over the years, not the least of which has been that they each committed adultery at least once.

Randy has been trying to win his wife’s heart back but Susan is very wounded from the years of problems. They each read “The Man of Her Dreams/The Woman of His!” a few months ago and Randy feels like they have hit a brick wall.

This letter and our reply is Golden. We asked Randy if we could use excerpts from his letter along with our responses to help others. He said th at would be fine. We cannot spend this much time answering every individual letter but his letter was so important and needed serious attention. His permission to publish it to help YOU or someone you love validated the hours that we spent preparing the reply to his letter.

Here it is:


Hi Randy,

You said:

My problem is that my wife is very often cold and sometimes verbally abusive.... She has been this way pretty much since we had our first child. I still love her very much and would love if we could have that outrageously happy marriage you speak of in your book.


I must admit that I have not always been the man that God has called me to be. Once we had our children I became a workaholic in order to make ends meet. I have always been that way. Much of my work has required that I be out of town all week and only be home on the weekends.

Just to help with the clarity.

Patty became verbally abusive after the first child... about the same time that you became workaholic. (from my reading).

My guess is that as a young husband, you were probably fairly clueless about supporting a young mother. She was knocked off balance by your lack of nurture and support toward her as a wife and mother.

You became a workaholic after you secured her as your wife and had that first child… so your attention went to other things.

It was her job to focus on the kids and home… and your job to go and conquer the world.

Your wife had the wind knocked out of her and became desperate.

She was never ''on balance'' and therefore became out of hand in the verbal department.

She was a young, violated wife who was treated unfairly and she acted out in a bad way. This is very normal. Sad, but normal.

Had you been a supportive husband and understood her feeling of abandonmen t, betrayal and her feeling of being treated unfairly in the relationship, you could have changed then and ministered to her; and lived happily ever after.

You, like I and most other husband were completely clueless though.

You thought that your wife had serious issues and that you were doing your job perfectly as a husband and father because a man is supposed to go out and do the "hunting" while the wife stays home to tend to the kids and home life.

She is supposed to give him total admiration, praise and respect because of his hard work and she is to be the totally content hous ewife and mom who is so grateful to be married to a hard working husband.

You might ask her to go back in her mind and help you remember what you were like when the first child was born.

Did you leave the pressure on her?

Did she need you to make her feel beautiful but you failed to do so?

These are important questions.

My guess is that your being out of town was a huge issue.

Did your wife ask you at the time to be home more often?

Did she tell you that it was not right that you were gone all week leaving her with the responsibility of the kids?

If so, in her mind it would be "Yeah, great. AFTER you quit the job you apologize; after the deed is done.

It is hard for a wife to feel like her husband is sincere if in your situation you resisted her need to have you at ho me for years... and then later wanted to make it all better with a simple apology.

You said:

To make a long story short, I foolishly had a short affair seven years into our marriage and never told my wife about it.


When you were out of town, did Susan have questions about your faithfulness?

Did she express these questions?

If so, I assume you denied any unfaithfulness?

My guess is that for the full amount of time that you were on the road you were indeed unfaithful... not only in the one affair but also in the things that you watched on TV, and the places that you went to kill time.

Even without other actual affairs, my guess is that you regularly connected with other women emotionally while on the road, seeing if you would get a rise out of them.. . in an attempt to develop an emotional connection which would hopefully lead to something physical.

My guess is that you were really out "playing" while your wife was at home saddled with the kids.

These wounds are probably still alive and well in Susan''s heart. She could feel your unfaithfulness in her heart. It was a daily companion though she may not have been able to label it as such. She just ''knew'' something was ''wrong''.

You said:

My wife had an affair with our church choir director 4 years ago. At the time, he was a trusted friend of mine. It absolutely devastated me.


Oh, poor baby.

You were "devastated" after your wife had an affair?

Ten years AFTER you had one yourself?

What "devastated" you was that she was doing something that wa s "out of your site". This had nothing to do with her adultery. How could it? You did the same thing.

Your ''devastation'' goes much deeper than this.

It was because she got out of your line of sight and did something that made you feel like you were losing her. You will understand this more in a few minutes.

When you were out "playing" and knew that she was saddled down with kids you were quite content to be out exploring your world and meeting people ie: other women. You were having fun "conquering" the world of work in whatever line of work you were in.

All the time you were able to assure yourself that Susan was safe at home, straddled down with the kids. You KNEW that she could not do anything that you did not know about.

In essence, you were secure at all times that she was right where she "needed" to be.... at home with the kids.

When a young child is crawling and beginning to explore his/her world, they want to get down out of mommy''s arms. They want to crawl away and begin to explore.... touching things, putting things in their mouths, looking at pretty colors.

When the child is about four feet away from mom, he will turn around and look for her. If she is sitting in her chair watching him, he is content and happy. So he crawls further. After four more feet, he turns to look again. If she is there, he continues to crawl and begins his journey of exploration of his world.

As long as he knows that mommy is right where he left her... sitting in the chair, then he feels safe and secure and confidently goes to conquer all of the new and exciting discoveries in the world around him.

What happens when this child looks back for that reassuring view of mommy and the chair is empty?

Panic sets in.

Everything stops.

He begins to cry, to lift his hands up and cry "mommy....... "

Nothing can console the child until Mommy is back, holding him in her arms.

As soon as this happens, the child relaxes and wants back onto the floor. His world is safe. Mommy assured him of her love and he is now safe to begin exploring ag ain.

He restlessly communicates that he wants to be back on the floor and the journey begins again. He looks back and sees mommy in the chair. All is well.

This is why men do what you did. They get married, create babies and then conveniently create a life where they can go out and play while they know that "mommy" is at home with the kids.

When she is not doing exactly what he wants her to be doing, he flips out, just like he did when he was a little child crawling on the floor.

So, you went and played. You went and had an affair. As long as you knew where mommy was and what she was doing, all was well; you were content.

Your wife responded to what you were doing and not doing and then she had an affair.

Yes, she knew you were being unfaithful in her "woman''s intuition."

She was reacting not only to the unfaithfulness but also to the neglect and passion she saw that you had for everything else that came before her in your heart.

The NORMAL reaction would have been for you to say,

"Sweetheart, I am sorry that this happened. We need to get away as a family to recover. Sure, it might be bad that you had an affair but our problems are much worse than that. I had one 14 years ago and thought it would be best to hide it.... but in light of what you just did, you need to know that I am just as guilty as you. Let''s seek God and figure out how to fall back in love with each other again."

Instead, you acted out at your emotional age.... threatening suicide, feeling suicidal. Poor me. Mommy did something that was out of my site.... and my world is no longer safe. < /span>

Now you are trying desperately to get Susan back into your heart and you into hers and she is not buying it.

The question is this: Are you trying to win her heart so that you can go out and play again once you feel safe and secure with her? Or have you matured beyond that?

This is a question for Susan, and Susan alone to answer. You cannot know this yourself. You of course are confident that you have matured beyond your issues.... a normal guy concept of himself.

Susan KNEW in her heart for the years that you were on the road that you were being emotionally unfaithful. Women can tell. She probably also could tell that ''something'' more was wrong during the time that you had the affair.

Again, my guess is that she probably said things to suggest that these things might be going on. You probably assured her that nothing was going on.... it was all her imagination. You possibly acted righteously indignant and "hurt" that she would ''mistrust'' you in that manner.

The suicide "threat" is an abusive husband action. "I have the power of life and death and if you don''t act the way that I want you to, I will use it."

The hidden message is, "I have the power over life and death.... it might be my life... or it could be YOURS."

Thus the abusive man intimidates his wife and kids. His wife and children are afraid of him. This same man is often the one who will break things in the home (Not his things mind you. He will break her things, the kids'' things or things that are special or owned by them as a couple) or he will abuse a pet or kill a pet.

You did not say that you did these type of things.... they would just be normal actions for a man who did what you did with your affair and then the "re action" of feeling suicidal in response to her having of an affair.

You said,

The discovery of her affair followed about a year of terrible treatment towards me including her watching TV in bed to force me to sleep in the guest room. I became quite verbally abusive at the time and also physically pushed her around when I found out. It was terrible.


Why did she treat you so bad?

Women KNOW inside their hearts that they enter into an affair in response to their husband being a disaster. She got into her affair and you blamed HER! The paradox is that you probably blamed her for your affair too!

In Hosea, even GOD says that he does not hold wives responsible for committing adultery but he holds husbands responsible for their wives affairs. Why? Because the men were committing adultery first or putting other things above their commitment to God and to their wives. In other words, they had false idols in their lives. They commit harlotry literally or symbolically and their wives react by doing the same thing. God says it is the husband''s fault.

So, whe n you found out about the adultery...... and then blamed HER, of course she would respond by treating you horribly. You should thank God every day that you are married and not dead!

(People Magazine front cover last week:"Why did Mary do it?" Mary of course being the Pastor''s wife who shot her husband.)

Your wife responded to you by committing adultery. Mary shot her husband!

I cannot express to you how deeply you violated your wife when you attacked her about committing the adultery.

The truth is sad; she may never recover.

You have ONE JOB for the rest of your life.... and that is to dedicate yourself to bringing about her healing. If you can ever do this, you can have a happy marriage. If you cannot ever accomplish this, you have to accept it as a fruit of the seeds you have sown. The Holy Spirit will help you and Susan by minimizing the bad fruit.

Your focus needs to be on becoming the man that God has called you to become, which is Christlike. If you EVER bring healing to Susan and you have a happy marriage, then you can take pride in the fact that you have reached that goal of becoming Christlike. Th e proof that you have arrived will be your happy marriage and the fact that Susan will be totally healed, secure, happy, content and madly in love with you!

You said,

"I am too young to be living like a senior citizen."


You are still in the "poor me" stage.

This is not about you Randy. This is about Susan.< /div>

You devastated Susan.

This is about her getting healed.

You said:

"About 2 years ago the conviction in my heart was so great that I told my wife about my affair 21 years ago. I really want us to be open and honest with each other. Needless to say she was devastated. She holds the fact that I didn''t confess my sin at the same time I discovered her sin but at the time I was close to su icide and not thinking rationally."


Do you notice that your "confession" had NOTHING to do with Susan and her well being?

It was all about YOU. It was your conscience that was bothering you. Your confession was for your benefit.. not hers!

Even you said, "needless to say she was devastated."

Yeah.... you caused her hell for a year for doing something that you yourself were guilty of. She is married to a king of hypocrites! Remember? The hypocrites wanted to stone a woman for doing the very thing they themselves were guilty of.

I cannot imagine that you have FULLY repented for these things.

The proof is that your wife has not felt that you have changed. I addressed the suicide comment already so I won''t repeat myself.

You said:

Anyway, I have always tried to treat her like my queen.

Randy, this is not true. You neglected your wife and committed adultery. You did not always treat her like your queen!

You said:

and have now been obsessed with (treating her like a queen) for many months now after reading your book. I have asked her time and time again if I am meeting her needs. Often she doesn''t have much of a response. I compliment her as much as I can. I hold doors for her. I take her out to dinner. Recently, I took her to Italy for our anniversary. She has little desire for me. She says she doesn''t feel like making love. Lat ely she has been blaming her lack of desire on menopause, although this has pretty much been a given all through our marriage. My wife is absolutely beautiful. She is 48 but looks about 38. The only physical relations we have are in the pitch black maybe once every 2 weeks. No adventurous stuff here, and no talking about it either. All she wants to do is watch TV when we are in bed, then go to sleep.


So, she is not healed yet of the abuse that she has endured. That is understandable. Your job is to bring her that healing. You are working toward it and if you stay on the path, the healing will come. It is amazing that we guys who have beautiful wives wound them so deeply.

Your wife obviously had a desir e and enjoyed making love in the VERY beginning of your marriage. She lost interest after having the first child and you began pursuing other interests in life, leaving her feeling left out and abandoned.

You said:

This is killing me. I love her and want to treat her like my queen but I feel like a doormat. She is not responding. Lately I have been having a very difficult time not feeling resentment towards her. I have tried to calmly tell her how I feel but she always seems to escalate the conversation into her screaming voice.


Okay... that is a good thing. You were supposed to have "died" when you received Christ.

Like most of us guys, you are anything but dead. You are alive and well. So, we get to learn to die by laying our lives down for our wives to meet their needs.

In reality, this paragraph reveals a continuation of the "poor me" attitude.

Do you see how this is all about you... how you fe el... you are trying to tell her how YOU feel, you are trying to not feel resentment toward her.... you feel like a doormat...

I do not see a lot of stuff here about how deeply you know that you destroyed your wife as a woman and wife by your actions of the past and the deep wounding that she has because her dream of a wonderful and happy marriage to a great guy was so destroyed.

I see in the above excerpt that you are trying to tell her how you feel... like you think that she cares!

This leads us to the next excerpt from your letter:

She grew up with a verbally and sometimes physically abusive father and 3 older brothers. Needless to say she learned to dislike the opposite sex early. She seems to project these abusive non Christ-like traits into me even though I know I am not that way. She says that she’s afraid of me. When I ask her why, she can''t really tell me. She just doesn''t seem to be able to trust her man and truly let her guard down.

Oh, so your marriage issues are really HER fault? She is wrongfully projecting unChristlike attitudes onto you? The problem is her childhood? Sorry. You yourself said that you were abusive to her after the adultery.

I cannot imagine a greater example of emotional abuse than to do what you did to your wife. Of course she is afraid of you. She is not projecting abusive behavior onto you... you abused her and she does not feel like you have ever fully repented.

Of course she cannot fully let her guard down and trust her.

You proved that you were totally untrustworthy. Would YOU want to be hurt again if you were violated as deeply as she was?

Think about it: You committed adultery, pushed her into responding by getting into adultery herself and then abused her horribly by blaming her... all the while knowing full well that you did the same thing yourself.

Then you finally tell her about it years later at a time when it could do the most damage... and you told her about it NOT with the intent to help her... but with the intent to ease YOUR conscience. It is all about YOU!

You are really not much different than the average guy. You are trying... but you are just really clueless about your wife (or any other woman) and what makes her tick.

If someone were to come along and take a shotgun and point it at you and blow you away.... just enough to put you in intensive care.... and succeeded in maiming you for life.... and at the same time they shot your children, you would be pretty upset to say the least.

Let''s imagine that a few years later they came and said they were sorry because their conscience was bothering them. They move in next door and try to build a friendship.

You however want nothing to do with them except to tolerate them. They should be glad that you do not buy a gun and shoot them!

The next thing you know, they come over and want to tell you how bad it makes them feel that you do not want to be best friends. They feel bad that you don''t "trust" them.

Then they go to counselors and drag you along. They tell the counselors that you have issues with trust; you do not know how to open your heart to develop friendships; and that your issues stem from problems in your childhood when your elementary school f riends abused and rejected you.

The counselor would look at them like they are complete and total idiots!

Helloooo! This is exactly what you are doing! You emotionally maimed your wife so horribly and it was a culmination of years of neglect, emotional abuse and your chasing after other women emotionally and at least one physically.

Now you want to blame HER for being afraid of you, not opening her heart to you fully and you want to say it is because she was a victim of abuse as a child!

Hello.... it is time to wake up. Randy.

Your heart is doing well to have read the book and put things into action but your understanding of how deeply you violated and wounded your wife is not even close to reality.

Your wife knows this and this is why she has not received "closure" "healing" and is why she is unable to forgive you to the extent that she gives herself to you in full abandon and trust.


Then you go on in your letter to say how you "end up feeling frustrated and d epressed because she does not seem to care that YOUR needs are not being met."

AGGHHHH!

As ludicrous as your position is of worrying about your needs being met, I will help you to analyze it:

You are seeing yourself as a reactor... which makes you a wife.

Remember, a husband is the initiator and a wife is the responder.

When you are responding, you are not acting as a husband.

In reality, your wife is in a responsive position. She is still responding to the past wounds and to the areas that she does not feel closure in. You initiated her actions... and now you are responding to her.

You have to take responsibility that your actions initiated her heart attitudes and bring closure and healing to her pain.

In truth, she probably has a huge internal rage about how unfairly you treated her concerning her adultery. How can you expect her to ever respond warmly to you? It is going to take a total miracle of God.... That miracle will come as you earn enough trust so that she will open her heart to you and reveal her pain and rage... so that you can bring closure to her.

You created this world that you are living in.

You are doing good in opening car doors, giving her flowers etc. and you should continue doing that. However, you have to convince her that it is safe for her to expose her true feelings of mistrust and hurt that you created when she committed adultery and you blamed her.

Have you ever taken full responsibility for her committing adultery? Sure, she has to clear her account with GOD for her sin in her heart but in your marriage, the fault lays squarely at your feet.

She committed adultery in response to your unfaithfulness as a husband. Her adultery sin is between her and God. How unfair for a woman to be pushed to adultery by her husband and then she has to take responsibility for her action... but that is a result of a man''s hard heart... and again, your wife is the victim.


You said that your two older daughters say you should leave because she is so cold to you.


How long have your two older daughters been married to qualify them to give you marriage advice? Have they been emotionally abused and neglected and dishonored by their husbands for years on end yet? I doubt it. They are still innocent and think dad is the hero for surviving their wounded mother.... who is wounded by everyone except their wonderful father.

You need to set your daughters straight and apologize to Susan and to them for allowing them to maintain their distorted view of reality.

To your credit, you said that you know that this is somehow your entire fault. When you said t hat, I can tell that you had no idea how it was your fault but that you at least were willing to acknowledge that it must be if someone could explain it to you.

Hopefully this letter has begun to give you that explanation.

Our next book will be covering many of the things that we have written about in this letter. You will want to order the DVD set from Bradenton.

We discuss these things in that seminar and you desperately need to understand them. A book that you also want to get immediately is "Discovering the Mind of a Woman" by Ken Nair. There is a companion book called "Discovering the Heart of a Man." It is also a good book for you to read to understand your own heart and motivations.

Susan will probably not want to read it and it would be offensive to her if you were to ask her to do so. She knows that you have caused the problems in your marriage and her heart is too wounded to want to venture into reading a book that would help her to understand you.

Fortunately, the bible tells husbands to understand their wives and not vice-versa. Someday she will be interested in reading the heart of a man book if you stay on this path of restoration.

Whatever you do, NEVER let anyone pressure her to read books that tell women that they need to offer their husbands unconditional respect, forgiveness and love. (I will not name the current popular titles since this letter is going out to 4500 people!)

Any book that puts the responsibility as 50/50 between a husband and wife needs to be burned in your home!

There may be a time for books like those someday and they won''t cause damage but for now, the responsibility is yours and yours alone to help Susan to trust you enough to open her heart to you and let you bring healing to her.

You said:

I love The Lord and want to follow his plan for my life. I serve in the music ministry in my church.


I do not get the connection. The Lord''s plan for your life is to meet your wife''s needs and bring healing to her for the wounding that you inflicted over your years. (Private note: Are you listening Alaska? and Kissimmee?) It is also to bring healing to your daughters'' confused hearts.

The Lord''s plan for your life has nothing to do with music in the church. That is something that you do for fun. It is a playground for you. There is nothing wrong with it but it does not have anything to do with the Lord''s plan for you as a man. (We ourselves Pastor a church but do not see that as very important in God''s plan for our lives. God''s number one plan for our lives is to reflect the HIS glory in our home!)

Then you said that Susan does not serve in the church. At least she is being honest! If she were to be serving in church, the hidden message is that she has a semblance of a good marriage relationship. She knows that is not true and does not want to misrepresent herself or your marriage.

No wonder she wants to go to a different church. She sees you up front leading the church by playing in the P and W team and yet she knows how angry, hurt and violated she still feels toward you.

Hi Susan: We hope that we have hit some nails on the head here in a way that has validated things that you have not been able to communicate to Randy and that this will give you a new platform to work from.

We want to thank you that you are still married to Randy even after all that you two have been through.

The ONLY suggestion that we would have for you right now is that you would try (even if you fail sometimes) to just speak clearly and directly to Randy. Tell him directly and clearly like we have in this letter why and where he is not seeing things clearly and let him know clearly the areas that are still open wounds of pain for you. (We are asking you to try speaking clearly and directly instead of screaming.. even though screaming is better than other alternatives.. so if screaming is the best that you can do then forget we even mentioned it!)

You will have some major areas of pain at first and if Randy is able to fully own them and you begin to feel some healing, then other areas of pain will emerge. You may feel like you will never get over all of the pain as each "next" wave of anger and hurt comes to the surface (kind of like "space invaders") but if Randy can handle his adult respo nsibility to comfort and apologize to you and bring healing to you in these areas, then you will eventually get healed up... and you will one day again have a desire for him.

Try this one on for size: How about the accusation that you think Randy is abusive... not because he has been abusive... but because you were abused when you were little! Wow. That is a monster mountain of unfairness to you. I used to do this same thing to Kathy and what a crock of injustice that was!

I was abusive and then I wanted to blame her extreme frustration and reactions on her childhood! AGGHH! I also am fortunate to be alive! Thank God that Randy and I did not get married to Mary!

Randy and Susan, You can come out onto the other side of this. Hopefully this letter is step one of a REAL new beginning.

Blessings to you!

Joel and Kathy

 

Well, Guess what? "Randy and Susan" attended our first intensive and got their miracle! Here are their testimonies:

Dear Joel & Kathy
,
This is just a quick note of sincere thanks and gratitude for allowing Susan & I to be a part of your marriage intensive weekend. What a wonderful way to bring in the New Year.

We both felt the hand of God was in the entire weekend.

As you know, I have read your books and feel that you are “right on the money” about the common misconceptions most men have (especially in the Christian Church) regarding what the Bible says about the marriage relationship.

The weekend with you and Kathy and the other couples brought me to an even further understanding of the importance men play as the “source of life” (or death) for a marriage.

It’s a major responsibility we men have to make sure that our wives and families are able to draw positive and nurturing love and kindness from us.

The only way for me to truly be the husband that my wife needs me to be is to die to myself, and my innate selfishness as Christ died for all of mankind. What an awesome truth from the word of God.

I’m excited to see Susan blossom once again as the beautiful self-confident woman she once was, the woman that I fell in love with and married 28 years ago. Already the change in her is obvious.

We will continue to work through our past issues that I have caused, and continue to see God’s hands work to bring full restoration to our marriage.

Blessings to both of you...

Randy

=============================== www.godsavemymarriage.com

Here is another letter from the intensive.. from Susan!

"Thank-You Joel and Kathy for a life changing weekend.

When I first read your book last year, it was like nothing I had ever read before. It was what I knew all my life was truth. That truth was in my heart, planted by my savior.

Thank you for presenting the truth in a way that couples in crisis can understand and apply in a very real way. I know we will make it, correct past mistakes - and have opportunity to share this message.

Most of all, thank you for your love and obedience to God."

Susan

Greetings Joel & Kathy,

What a pleasant surprise! All went well with getting your book through
amazon.com. This was actually my second copy of the book. I let someone
borrow the first one, and apparently they really like it because I've yet to
get it back. Instead of asking for it or waiting for it, I decided to bless
myself and your ministry by just purchasing another copy. I love it so much
that I've told several married women about the book, and have plans to
present it to the Praying Wives Ministry Bible Study that I'm apart of.


Kneeling In Order To Stand,
~Courtney

Dear Joel and Kathy.

Our church gave out your books as Christmas presents...

I've read it and am reading it again. My problem is an unsaved wife (I was backslid when we married twenty-four years ago , then came back to the Lord last year). . Don't think that topic is addressed is in the book. It definitely has taken a lot out of our marriage and life together..

Sincerely,

Bryan
Huntingburg, Indiana

 

Hi Bryan,

You would have to give us more specifics. Your bottom line though is the same that faces wives of unsaved husbands.. and that is that 1 Peter admonition for a Christian who is married to an unsaved spouse to win them without a word, by their lifestyle.

For Christian women, this is a most difficult position to be in. It should not be as hard for you, though you will want a lot of prayer support. Peter wrote that verse, not as a recipe for a happy marriage but as a way for a saved husband or wife to get their unsaved husband or wife saved. After they are saved, the rest of the marriage can be worked on.

If you will treat her as Christ would treat her in every way, she will not only open up to you, but she will end up getting saved.

As a starting point, just take the attitude that any marriage problems that you have are your fault, in one way or another. This is the right attitude to start with, so that you can seek for ways that you can do things differently to make things more smooth. Remember, insanity does the same things over and over, expecting different results. For example, saying to a wife, "Why do you do that?" seldom if ever gets good results!

Here are questions for you to ask her:

1. Have you ever felt pressured by me to act differently to conform to my Christian beliefs?

2. Have you ever felt manipulated by me and felt like I was using my Christianity to justify it?

3. Have you ever felt like my positions as a Christian were just a good excuse to hide tendencies to control you, put you down.

4. Do you ever wonder how I can call myself a Christian and yet be clueless in any way as a husband or dad?

5. If you were to compare me to Christ, in what you know of him, would I fall short in any way?

These questions should help you get to the heart of the matter of why your wife is not saved and why you may be having marriage problems. She is a woman and woman, saved or unsaved, generally know how their husbands are or are not treating them in comparison to how they would like to be treated.

Yes, there are occasions when a non-saved woman is just a wicked woman and there is nothing that anyone can do for them. They are champions of NOW or other various demonic woman's organizations and they simply hate men. I doubt that this is your wife though.

Glad to hear that your church gave the book out at Christmas! What is the church and what is the Pastor's name?

Blessings,

Joel Davisson

 

Here is a series of questions from a husband who is asking his wife how they are going to make decisions when they have a disagreement. To be totally candid, this husband is not really looking for answers, in our opinion. For various reasons, we believe that his questions reflect a challenge to his wife trying to get her to back down on team leadership and mutual submission. This is a couple that does not have a good relationship. The husband has rejected most counsel and our function has mainly been life support for the wife. This series of questions though gives us an opportunity to answer other husbands who are right now, being the devil’s advocate to their wife. Linda asked us to help her answer her husband. The answers are hers, but reflect her heart.

Linda,

I hear you telling me that you want us to make decisions together and that I am not the head of the household but that we are supposed to be a team.

Please let me know what you mean by this.

If I tell you I am ready to retire does that mean I have to keep working even though our assets can support our family if we manage them correctly and no one works?

No. If you will show me and help me to understand that we can make it if you retire, and if you will promise me that I can keep going to school, then I will be supportive of you retiring. You also have to tell me what you are going to do though. It makes me fearful to think that you might just sit around all day, complaining and yelling at me and the kids. If you want to Kayak every day, no problem. Just help me understand what it is that you want to do and I will support you.

If you want to go to a church and I want to go to church a different church, how do we decide which church to go to?

Ron Adams makes me very afraid. I would like to go to The Church of Champions, but you feel just as strongly against going there. So it would be wrong for me to demand that we go to The Church of Champions and it would really be wrong for you to want us to go to Ron Adams. I feel like if we go to Ron Adams church, our marriage will be over because he does not believe everything right about marriage. If you care at all about me and my feelings you would not ask us to go there. Let's go to Northland or another church. Do you think that you are being Christlike to make me feel afraid and insecure by going to Ron's church? I like to go to The Church of Champions to visit once in a while and if you want to go to visit Ron's church by yourself once in a while then that is fair. But you are not treating me fair to ask me to go to his church as a family.


If I want to boys to stay in community school and for me to monitor their progress and for you to finish college and get a job teaching, who determines whether we will take this course of action?

Isn't this what I also want, Paul? I want the boys to stay in CS and I want to finish college and become a teacher. We are in agreement on that.

If I want to hire a bookkeeper for the office and you want to keep doing the books at home, who gets to decide?

If it makes me feel valued to keep the books and if it makes me feel insecure to have someone else do the books, then you should meet my need to feel valued and secure. So you would decide that you would like me to do the books because you want me to feel valued and secured. If I ever get overwhelmed and ask you to get a book keeper, you would want to get a book keeper to relieve me of the stress. This is being a husband who cares about his wife.

If I want to take the boys to a bible study and you don't want them to go and they want to go, who decides?

As you know, I am very unhappy with Ron Adams. How would you like me to take the boys to The Church of Champions for a bible study? You would not. The golden rule is for you to do for me in all things as you would want me to do for you. Ron makes me very afraid. He is a male chauvinist who uses the bible to validate his ego and pride. It makes me VERY insecure for you to be with him and take the boys to see him. You should decide not to make me feel insecure by doing this. You can take the boys to a bible study or youth group at Northland, or another NORMAL church. That would not make me feel insecure. I am very hurt that you keep looking for people who believe the old way about marriage and that is what you found in Ron. So, if you would be like Christ, you would honor me and not take the boys to a bible study with him. If you really want to go by yourself to see Ron once a week, I can handle that. Just tell him that you do not want to talk about what he thinks a wife should be in a marriage. I know what he believes and I reject it.... and if you come home telling me that you are my head and I have to submit to you, then we do not have a marriage.

If I want to go to Ft. Lauderdale for the weekend and you don't want to ever go again, who decides?

If you can assure me that you are not taking me to Ft. Lauderdale to leave me alone in the trailer for hours like you did last time and that you are not taking me there to try to get me to learn to submit like those women, then I do not have a problem going on trips with you there. The problem is that you use this, just like you use Ron Adams and his wife, to try to put me in my place and you do not honor me. I just want you to make me feel safe and honored and quit trying to get me to look at you as my authority. I want us to be a team, like the bible teaches and I want you to honor me and make me feel safe and loved.

As far as I am concerned, I have been more than willing to find common ground.

You have not been willing to find common ground. First you rejected Joel and Kathy and said you wanted to go to the counselor at Northland and then you quit seeing that counselor after one appointment and went to Ron. Ron and Vickie keep trying to get us to be a couple like they are.. and she wanted me to study a horrible book on submission with her. You are not trying to find common ground. You are trying to force me to get onto your ground.

Joel and Kathy were very nice to us and all that they asked you to do was to love me, quit being mean to me and honor me. Common ground would be for you to apologize to them and let them help us again. We were doing good when you were listening to them. I was so happy the few times that you listened to them and tried to love me. I even told Joel and Kathy one weekend that I felt like I was in heaven because you were treating me so well. If you treat me well and I am being mean to you, you could tell Joel and Kathy and they would tell me to be nice. They just want you to be nice first and to quit doing things that make me feel unloved, dishonored, hurt and insecure. .

Good afternoon Joel and Kathy,

I have been praying for God to put someone in my path that could help me and my husband as we are going through a divorce and today Angela
Milliken walked into my office and told me she had met you and referred me to write to you.

I pray that this is the answer I have been looking for. I am going to buy your book tonight and I am excited at the
possibilities that may come.

My husband and I have been married for 7 years together 8 and two months ago he left out of the blue saying he wasn't happy and hasn't
been in a long time; that he fell out of love with me.

I begged for him to stay as he is my world and the father of our 2 yr old son.

I realized soon after he left that there is another woman, a married friend of
ours who he has fell in love with although I don't know if he would
admit it even now.

They are having a relationship and it is devastating me. He is being hateful and mean to me and all I have to pull him back
in to our old life is our Son. That is a tool I don't want to use, but admit I have been.

Last week I persuaded him to attend faith based counseling at my church (he does not have God in his heart, and I have
been recently saved). The counseling is only for us to learn how to co-parent our child and get along.

It's strange we need counseling to get along, since we never fought in 7 years and now we can't be nice. I only got him tocounseling by promising more visitation if he agreed togo. Of course I hoped this would help him find God, me or the errors of his ways but it doesn't seem to be helping.

I know God is shining his light in my husband's heart but he is running as fast as he can away from it. I need a miracle to bring him back and I need a miracle for meto move on if he doesn't.

My husband was my life, my soul mate, my best friend and I depended on him more than I should have. I still love him
with every ounce of my being no matter what he has done. I feel like one day he woke up with a demon and he hasn't been able to shake him loose.
Satan has gotten a hold of him and he is lost, making poor choices with life, alcohol, woman and work.

This is not my husband- he may be full of pride and too arrogant but he is good man. He is falling and he knows it, but how do I get him to see the
light? What do I do from here?

I am so lost and confused on what to do. Can you help us?
Can you guide me on where I should go from here?

I don't know if by moving on and letting him see the strong side of me he will want to come
back, or if I should rather let him know I am here and will be thus showing him the real compassionate side of me.

I appreciate any advice you can give and I look forward to reading your book.

Thank you and God Bless,

Lonnie Taylor
Arkansas


Hi Lonnie,

It is certainly early in this crisis. If you can hang in there for at least a year and be available to accept your husband back, you will be doing him and your son a great service.

As you know, he may choose to stay away. If he chooses that, you will be able to go on.. but do that later.

For now, it would be good for you to look back and be able to say, "I stood, and prayed, and waited for a year.. and he chose to discard his family." On the other hand, the other woman might go back to her hubby and leave your husband stranded. Not the best way to get him back but we can deal with him later..

Your letter shows that you have a good grasp on some things. God puts a desire in wives for their husbands. They draw strength from their husbands, or their husbands drive them crazy. Don't let that happen to you. Keep reading good books etc. and attend a good church to help yourself stay on track.

Our book will help and strengthen you a lot. It also would be a good book to get to your husband.

He is indeed in great deception, and it will take a miracle to get him out of it. If you begin to get many people praying, God can put strife between your husband and the other woman.

You are probably still in emotional shock. Just stay there. You can get healed up later if he comes home.. or when you decide to close your heart to him.

For now, just draw on the grace of God to survive.. and pray in tongues a lot if you have a prayer language.

Do you have an attorney? Is your husband paying child support? In some states, you get nothing unless you are divorced. Tell an attorney to "take him to the mat." He needs all of the 'reality check' that he can get.. and he needs to know that if you two divorce that he will be forced to fulfill financial responsibilities to you and to your son for many years to come.

That will help to take the 'shine' off of the grass on the other side..

If he is not paying support to you and your son, and if your state does not require him to when only separated, then you can push the divorce so that he has to start paying. You can get re-married if he comes back. That is the easy part.

Let your attorney go for blood... don't let compassion get in the way there. Being held responsible legally may be the only hope that your husband has of growing up. If he begins to grow up, then you might find that he starts to change his tune.

As far as your personal approach to him? You can let him know that the door is open for him to return.

The attorney can let him know that a divorce will cost him a lot of money. and finally, you can assume an air of independence. Always look FABULOUS... as good as you possibly can look, yet project that air of independence and separation from him.

Your unspoken message is: "I am good looking, I am going to get snagged by another man, and YOU are going to pay the bills!"

Obviously, you are not looking to get snagged by another man.. you want your sons dad to come back home.. you are just trying to get him to see you in a way that says that you are going on with you and your sons life.

Don't yell, scream, argue etc. Just say things calmly and directly. Don't 'threaten' the lawyer idea.. just get the lawyer.

Hope this helps!

Joel and Kathy

 

Dear Joel and Kathy,

Thank you soooo much. This is what I needed to hear.

I told my counselor about the book and he is recommending it to another couple.

I am worried that my husband will never come back, worried he will find true love with her and maybe even have more kids. Something I could not provide for him. Im just flat out scared about everything but in all I know I will be Ok and my love for my son will make him OK as well.

Its just the now, that scares me to death. I do struggle getting out of bed some days and cooking dinner and just depression in general, but I go to counseling when that happens and it puts me back on track.

I will ask all my friends and family to pray for him, to find God since I feel he is searching and running from him at the same time. Maybe God will cause strife between them, it sure would be nice. Thank you for your advice. It is much appreciated. If you have any more words of wisdom, please send.

Sincerely,

Lonnie Taylor

 

Hi Joel and Kathy:

I just want to tell you that this past weekend was like we were in heaven! :)

But this morning, Paul started to relapse into his "old self" by complaining about his business. I told him to lower his tone of voice.... Then he would say, "if you let me be the head of home then things would be running smooth and that sort of thing....".

Well, later on, he wrote me some business letter with 'love, Paul' at the bottom. I guess he began to realize that reverting to his old nature was not working....

Okay, talk to you later.
Love in Christ,
Linda

Linda,

I am glad to hear about this "Progress." I do trust that you are "Responding" in a positive way to him. Thank you's, etc.

Also, please do not expect Paul to do everything right; to speak totally correct and respond correct all the time.

Just nicely inform him when he is talking to you wrong. Be direct in a nice way.

Maybe because of his "Good behavior" have dinner on the table waiting or have his favorite meal ready, or something like that to help encourage him to keep on doing the right thing.

Remember, he is coming from a full life of being negative, being rude, and fighting the "Melancholy" blues.....Woe is me attitude.

You are going to have to help him out. Keep responding in a good way, and even, on occasions, respond with "Oh, you seem stressed, can I get you a cup of tea?" Also, ask him what you can do to be a blessing to him right now?

Your responding positively to his efforts in ways like this will encourage his good actions.

God bless for now,

Kathy of Joel and Kathy D~

Note From Joel and Kathy: "Linda and Paul" are a couple who represent the most severely of troubled couples. Paul has been entrenched for over a year in a very abusive mind set and has consistently rejected counsel. In addition, he has tried to stop his wife from even communicating with us! Finally, when "Linda" started talking about her need for him to move out, he actually softened and we had a long counseling session. Thank God for the changes that he is working on making. If may sound small to you, but one weekend of feeling loved from her husband made it seem to Linda like she was experiencing heaven on earth!

Hi Paul,

You are REALLY doing great.. keep it up. It may feel unnatural sometimes to speak words of love to Linda as you have been doing.. (and especially when you know that 'people' are watching) but you are doing great.

Don't say things to her like you might not need more counseling.. that may be true, but don't voice it.. let Linda tell you if she thinks you do not need counseling.. if you say it, that only makes her nervous.

Here is a note we just wrote to her:

Hi Linda,

Don't worry about temporary, momentary lapses. Paul is obviously putting forth a good effort. He is showing that he is capable of being loving and kind in most of his communications.

Praise him for the communications that he does that are positive and loving.

He will get together with us again.. I have no doubt of that.

However, if he will hang in there and keep being loving and kind, it might just be a victory celebration...

that is a lot to ask.. but he is very intelligent.. and he has the right idea.

He might just be able to do this without lots of counseling. I personally figured it out after getting SHOVED in the right direction by Paul Hegstrom. Maybe Paul is just confident that he also can 'work out his own salvation' like I did...

We are available though.. for counseling if it becomes obviously necessary again.. or just as friends if Paul is able to keep up the honey and sweet stuff!

Blessings!

Joel and Kathy



Paul,

One thing you might anticipate and prepare for: If you stay on track, Linda will start feeling a pull inside herself to drop her guard and begin to trust you. At this point, a normal reaction would be for her to scream 'no' inside.. and she may enter a SHORT period of trying to get you to blow it. If you are prepared for this, and you only respond with love and kindness, then it will go away quick and she will be like putty in your hands!

So, if and when this happens, hallmarked by her seeming to be trying to pick arguements.. even with you treating her nice, you have to respond by saying things like this: "I realize that you are still hurt from me not treating you right in the past and I want you to know that you have every right to be hurt and angry. All that I can say is that I am sorry for the past, that I was not a loving husband to you all of the time, and if you will give me the chance, I am committed to being a loving and kind husband to you for the rest of our lives." and just hug her and show her some affection...

If this moment comes and you blow it by reacting back at her in anger, you will set your progress back to square one.. it is such a vital moment.

I think you are a couple weeks away from it.. as long as you keep treating her with love and kindness. On the other side of this though, it is all downhill.. (in the good sense of the word)

Resist the temptation to just throw caution to the wind and go negative... fight that urge. That is that 'thing' that we men have to die to.

A glorious marriage is the end result.

If the subject of further counseling with us comes up, just say, "If you feel like we need counseling from Joel and Kathy in a few weeks Linda, no problem."

The truth is that even if you do not need the counseling, she may just want to get together as friends to keep the connection... and to bolster her inner feelings of safety.. which is something that you want to nurture, nurture, nurture!

Have a great day!

Joel


Hi Paul:

Thanks for helping in disciplining the boys this morning..... And thanks for being so sweet and kind to me! Also, thanks for working hard for all of us!

Love,
Linda

-----------------------------------

Hi Paul,

I think it is important for you to 'see' into Linda's heart and into what we are counseling her. This is a copy and paste of two letters back and forth from today. We are investing a lot of time because we feel like you two are going to make it and have a wonderfully happy marriage.

The bottom line that you will want to take away from these letters, is that in addition to being sweet and communicating your commitment and love to Linda, which you are doing a great job of, it is time for you to start apologizing for the past times that you have hurt her.

When you do this, you will have to do it while being 'dead'. This means that you cannot apologize while at the same time telling her that the things you did to hurt her were her fault! and you cannot justify your actions. You just have to apologize, for one memory at a time, over a few days or week or more..

This is where the rubber meets the road.. and what our book will help you to do now.

By the way, as you will see, we are standing directly on Linda's toes.. and telling her that she needs to read the book again now.. because now is the hard part for her... you will see what I am talking about in our letters to her.

For you though, the hard part is letting Linda tell you when you have hurt her feelings and offering apologies.. even if you do not agree that she is justified in having hurt feelings. Even if your memory of something is different than hers.. what is important is her FEELINGS.. not the facts... and feelings are not wrong or right... they just are.

Your job as a husband is to bring healing and closure to the multitude of hurt feelings that Paul has.

Blessings!

Joel


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Linda,

The lady I hired and spend much time getting up to speed yesterday did not show up but called in and said that the job was too overwhelming.

I called Lori Spitz and asked her to start work tomorrow.

Other lawyers I have talked to and explained what I am going through understand but exclaim that they would go berserk to have to go through something like this. (Note from J and K: Paul has a huge work load and cannot find good help that will stay on board because of the word load.)

Love,

Paul


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Paul,

So sorry to hear that. That is awful!

The boys and I appreciate you and your hard work.

Love,
Linda


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Linda,

Now this was a perfect response to Paul.

You showed empathy for him by saying you are sorry to hear it, then you validated how bad it was by saying it was awful and then you let him know that you and the boys appreciate his hard work and sacrifice to earn the living..

Keep it up! and then overlook it when he occasionally bombs...

it is going to take a while for him to get totally over the hump.. look at it like a six month recovery from an accident or something... and make it a project!

If you both can keep feeding each other positively like this, you will eventually start having warm feelings of (yikes) love for each other again!

Blessings!

Joel


Dear Joel and Kathy,


Well, when I got home from grocery shopping today, Paul begged me to help him look for SUV keys. He cannot find it anywhere. So I looked for it for a few minutes.

I have tons of work to do around here. I need to clean up the family room since the ceiling now has been repaired (yesterday). It is a mess in that room. So I loaned him my extra key for SUV Ford Explorer.

We did have an argument before he left. He said he had to go to office for something. He accused me of running around with my handyman, Rob. Christy said the other day that Rob was flirting with me. But I did not even paid attention to him. Rob is a good man and he has his own girlfriend. He helps me a lot around the house. Paul is a real jerk! He hasn't really counted his blessings that God has given to him seriously! God may just take away everything from him if he doesn't treat me right. He needs to hit rock bottom to realize what a real jerk he has been to me!

I have been so good to him for the last 20 long years! I am sick and tired of him. I get no respect and honor from him. I have been faithful to him and never looked for another man in all my married years. He had been accusing me when other men looked at me of course. What did you expect? What can I do?

Blessings,
Linda

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Linda,

Okay, okay... we know how hurt you are from the years. However, Paul is making what appears to be real and genuine efforts at repairing your marriage and repairing the way he treats you. Don't worry about him suggesting that you might be 'running around with someone'.. Take it as a compliment! He knows you are attractive and this is his way of saying so!

In our book, we ask the question of wives: "So, what will you do if your husband reads this book and begins to change? You may not WANT him to change! You might be so hurt that you feel you cannot forgive him. We understand. However, you will have to let him change and forgive him... responding positively."

You and Paul both should read the book again.. Paul to keep changing, and you to begin to allow him to change and receive his changing graciously. This is what you have wanted.. and it seems to be happening.. so let it!

God Bless!

Joel



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Paul said,

What a strange woman Linda is. Due to her deafness she does not pick up things and of course her sensory perception affects the way she views her surroundings and the world.

She needs to understand this so she can better deal with the hearing world.

Our response:

We are not talking about her dealing with the hearing world. We are talking about your marriage. The bible does not tell Linda to understand you. The bible tells you to understand Linda. It is not Linda's responsibility to realize that she misunderstands you. It is your job to understand how to relate to Linda so that she does not misunderstand you.

Linda's relating to the hearing world will be just fine when she feels understood, valued and loved by her husband.

Linda will take full responsibility for any issues that she may have after you have dealt with your issues.

Interesting note Paul: All men who have bad marriages have two things in common: They ALL want to blame their wives, and they ALL want to explain their understanding of marriage.. thinking that they understand how to have a great marriage.

These marriages only get healed when the husband does what I did, which is to accept responsibility for the problems and realize that I do not have a clue about relationships... and then fix it by listening to my wife's heart and meeting her needs.

When husbands do this, their wives issues magically disappear.

So, do yourself a favor.. drop all of the platitudes.. and work the program... you will have a happy life so much sooner.

What do I mean by platitudes? These ones.. along with the pointing to Linda as the problem..

Paul said:

Again, human interaction and behavior is not about psychology, it is more about our relationship with God.

**

Just to see Linda email every situation to someone is most bizarre. She has no loyalty to me at all. It is a Character defect and I am not responsible. (we address this below. J and K)

**

Any philosophy that denies individual responsibility is suspect. If your take is that the man is always the instigator as the initiator, I cannot agree. In fact, that whole concept is quite masochistic.
**

The goal of marriage is simple. Two become one. If one of the two is unwilling then marriage will not work itself out as per the purpose of God.

Its really simple what the Bible teaches. Linda does not understand your teaching really, or the basics of the scriptural marriage requirements. She is selfish and does not want to become one. She sees your teaching as a way to control me and get her way.

**
I love her and want to be one with her as the scripture teaches, but, sad to say, It appears to me that she is selfish and manipulative.

We said:

See the pattern? Linda is the problem and you have the answers.. but you are the one in a problematic marriage. So, do what I did.. realize that your ideas, right or wrong, have not produced a good marriage.

The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again, yet expecting different results this time.

Keep working this new program and you will get the results you want... but you will have to die to the way that you think things should be to get there.

By the way, Linda forwarding e-mails is not weird.. it is a normal reaction of a wife under duress. Most women call everyone.. Linda e-mails. This is VERY, VERY, VERY normal. Just like your failures are repeated in homes all over the country every day, Linda's reaching out in desperation is a wife reaction that is also repeated in millions of homes every day all through out the world.

Blessings,

Joel and Kathy

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Joel:

Paul came home tonight and gave me the note that John Smithton (our neighbor in another subdivision) wrote. I found out that they went out to eat tonight.


(Paul, I must jump in here.. going out to eat without your wife without calling and asking her if she wants to go.... BIG MISTAKE. A lessor wife would have your bags on the street and have a locksmith changing the locks! end)



Linda continues:
The note says: "Linda, let's get together for church this Saturday...you, Paul & Barbara & I. John."

Well, they had been talking about me and trying to save our marriage. That is what I assume. For many years, I have tried to be a friend to John and Barbara. They completely ignored me many times. No more from them this time! They don't know Paul like I do. There is no telling what Paul said to Jim tonight.

Yes, you are right. I am being revengeful.

Paul needs to realize what he did me wrong in all of these marriage years. He treated me as a servant/employee.

He was controlling me and I had no one to help me..... I begged for help many times from my so called friends and even my own and Paul's families. They did not help me.

My own parents abandoned me many years ago. I have nothing to do with them.

My grandparents were wonderful to me and now they are with the Lord Jesus Christ. They raised me like I was their own daughter. They gave me everything and they treated me very special.

During these marriage years, I was so deeply hurt. Paul never really loved me.


(I have to jump in again.. remember.. this is how Linda FEELS.. it is irrelevant as to whether you loved her or not.. Linda FEELS like you did not.. your job is to apologize for MAKING her feel that way.. and reconfirm that you are committed to making her feel loved for the rest of her life. end)



I was his scapegoat. Paul needs to apologize to me what he did me wrong in all these years.

He pretended he did not do me wrong even tonight. NO WAY I will not accept that! It is almost like no one cares for me except JESUS. That is very hard. Then I met Connie. She is my best friend and she understands me well and accepts me as a person not just some stupid servant. I am sick and tired of people walking all over me.

I just need a break from Paul. I really do. I don't want him around me for a while. I need to focus clearly. I cannot think right now and cannot have peace when he is around me.

He is trying to save our marriage. Sure, I cannot blame him but I was doing that too for so many years. And now this????? I did not get credit for what I have done for him. He did not give me credit at all.

Right now, I am hurt and unloved all because of Paul. Paul needs to realize what he has done to me in all these marriage years. He did the same thing to his first wife. And now, I heard she is in a very bad shape. He nearly destroyed her.

He rarely gives me credit, compliments, or lets me give my input.

He hasn't given me birthday and Christmas presents for the last 10 years or so.

Last year, Connie took me, Paul and the boys out to eat for my birthday. Paul made a statement saying that I did not deserve this. Connie paid the bill

(are you getting all of this Paul? This is a list of things for you to begin apologizing for and correcting in the future!)

He betrayed me and even wasted my life! That is why I hate him now! He doesn't seem to take that responsibilities for what he did to me!

He still thinks it is partly my fault.

I feel good about myself when I am in college and made some new friends there.

I feel accepted there where at home, I don't feel accepted at all.

I will always be a servant to Paul until he realizes what he is doing to me. I will not help him anymore or do what he asks me to do. Never again! He did not want to be a husband to me or he did not know how...... What a real jerk he is!

Blessings,

Linda


Hi Linda,

As far as the church offer for Saturday, you can just kindly decline the offer.

It makes you feel nervous and uncomfortable because you do not know what their intentions are.. so just respectfully decline and thank them for the offer.

I wonder what church they go to? It sounds like they do not have a church and just want to have a house church... otherwise I would think that they would be inviting you to their church on Sunday morning wherever they attend.

We look forward to seeing you and Paul on Sunday night at 5 and at the seminar next week.

To register, go to
New Church of Freewill Deliverance Praise Outreach Ministries :: Upcoming Events

As far as your feelings about Paul,


It is understandable that you feel this way... HOWEVER, you have to be a Christian. What that DOES mean is that you have to extend grace to Paul as Jesus extends grace to you. (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.)

This is your battle: Now that Paul is making some efforts, you HAVE to respond positively to him.

Remember your prayers and pleas for help? You wanted Paul to respond to the Lord and begin to change his attitude. Now your prayers are being answered, apparently, and you have to now hold up your end of the 'deal' .. and that is to respond.

What happened is that Paul pushed you so far emotionally that you began to imagine life without him. That seemed very appealing to you and you began to 'live' there in your mind and emotions.

Now that Paul is making some efforts you will go through a period of grieving as you realize that you cannot just walk away from Paul when he is putting forth a sincere effort to change.

Paul had to make a choice.. and has to continue in that choice every day...

now you have to make a choice... are you going to be a Christian or not?

As a Christian, you have to forgive. We are not asking you to forgive and put up with continual abuse with a man who is not trying to change. We are asking you to forgive and make allowances for some mistakes by a man who has decided to let God change him.

Sorry.. but now you have to do the right thing.

It was easy for you when Paul treated you like crap... you did not have to do anything in the marriage. Now you have to react positively to him.

You have to stand before the Lord with a pure conscience.. and the ONLY way that will happen is for you to release resentment and walk in a responding love toward Paul..

I bet you had no idea how hard it would be for YOU when Paul began to make a turnaround... did you? This is why you as well as Paul need to read our book.

Blessings,

Joel and Kathy

 

Joel and Kathy,

Please pray for Paul. He has had a run of bad luck on secretaries right now. He hired one last week and she came in on Monday and did not show up yesterday. A week before that, he called to hire someone but never heard from her. Now Lori Spitz sent an e-mail this morning demanding more money claiming she has a better job offer......

Paul and I made up this morning.....

Paul wants to die right now and is very depressed due to no staff.

Blessings,
Linda



Dear Linda,

Thank you for being so kind. Lori called and decided to come in half days and not be demanding about her salary.

She really likes you and you should stop by the office to greet her whenever possible.


From,

Paul

Your one and only true love.


 

Dear Joel and Kathy,

I found your web site by searching the web.

My marriage is in shambles and it seems like I can not do anything right.

I love my wife, but we both can not go on living like this.

Tony

Hi Tony,

There are reasons that you cannot do anything right. Please order the full book, it will teach you how to start. Your wife is hurt from the past, either from you or from others and you are trying to do right on top of all of that. You have to work to bring healing to her first as you are doing what you can do to try to do things right.

You have to be totally dead. For example, take your wife out to dinner and let her know that you want to learn to be a great husband. Ask her if there are things in the past that she feels wounded from that you need to own and apologize for. Ask her what you can do differently in the relationship to help the marriage be successful.

You cannot tell her what she needs to do or what she is doing wrong. You are the initiator and she is the reactor. You need to initiate the forward progress (which sometimes comes from acknowledging and apologizing for the past.) Sometimes you have to apologize multiple times until SHE feels closure.

To have a great marriage, it cannot be about how YOU feel, it must be about how SHE feels. When SHE is happy and feeling good, then she will start to respond back to you with what you need. (Amazingly, when she is happy and feeling good, you will have grown so much in the process that your hurt feelings will have dissipated already.)

Guys have deep feelings, but they are usually centered on themselves ie: "Poor me." You have to forget about all that and focus on your wife's feelings.

This is all easy for me to write. For you to do it will be excruciating to your flesh, pride, ego, however you want to describe that 'thing' that has to die so that you can be Christ like toward your wife.

Joel



 

Hi, Joel and Kathy.

I found your website through a link to Book 22. I am looking forward to reading your book – I have been married nearly forty years and the last ten years have not been the greatest.

Our pastor has met with us several times after I gave an ultimatum to my husband (which probably was not the right way to go about it) that either he ‘fess up’ to his addiction to porn or take “the highway”. (We are both born-again, Spirit-filled Christians). This has led to Pastor removing the TV from our home (with my husband’s permission) and we have been able to, to some degree, hash out differences from 28 years ago.

Right now as I write this my heart is aching because there are some things we just don’t seem to get past. Hopefully, reading your book will help.

Sincerely,

Ruth



Hi Ruth.. you actually did the exact right thing.. and Kudo's to your pastor... Pastor's like that are few and far between.. Our book is exactly what you need to bring the rest of the miracle... you will not believe how perfect it is and how it addresses everything you are going through as far as the past issues and your getting closure and feeling safe etc.

Please keep us up to date on the progress. This will be a slam dunk miracle of completion!

Blessings!

Joel

Hi Joel & Kathy,

It is late and I am discouraged with our marriage situation.

It's wonderful how God brings so many couples back into a radiantly happy marriage and that both spouses are willing to read and apply your book to their lives! I am led to believe that things are really going to change and then the same old habits and patterns of selfish living raise their big ugly head and once again all hope fades.

Sometimes I wonder if you've ever met anyone as difficult to relate to as my husband. If I stay home and do what he tells me to do, go where he wants to go, be un-active in church(except Sun. morn.), live by his financial rules, I would probably be the best wife to him.

For example of our evening. My sister and I went Christmas shopping today, since I had a day without babysitting our grandson. We didn't get home until after 8 PM. which means my husband only had 3 hours to himself until I was back home. My sister came in with me to keep things light, but after she left hardly any words were spoken as to my good time with her. Moodiness again set in and he soon shut off all the lights and went to bed without acknowledging my presence.

I CANNOT BUILD ON A RELATIONSHIP THAT CONSISTENTLY ''SPANKS ME'' FOR NOT MEETING HIS EXPECTATIONS! I even called him from one of the stores and told him I didn't know for sure when I'd be home.

I find it hard for me to put in words my feelings about issues and processing anger issues but am trying to wade through it. At my age (56) I have been wounded in spirit, emotions, feelings, etc. time and time again. I feel that time has basically run out for major changes to take place in our lives, and that all most people think of Jim and Sharon is problems problems problems!!!!!

I'm SO TIRED OF REACHING OUT FOR HELP OVER AND OVER! This past Monday we even went to counselling and it's like we never went!

I don't know how much longer I can keep trying in such a dysfunctional relationship and also with a daughter to also wear me down emotionally.

It was so good to hear your voices reading your book which I started listening to. God bless you in your ministry to others.

Love,
Sharon

Hi Sharon,

Hang tough! Hopefully Jim will listen to the CD's.

You are looking for signals of growth...the first six months after reading the book are hard for a man because he has to die so much to the right to treat you like cr..

However, if he is going to mature he has to quit.. (treating you that way) and it is excruciating (for a man to quit treating his wife poorly. Amazing, but true!)

Did he read the book? If not, he is not even started yet (in the process of change).

In the meantime, you can speak up, NICELY.... "Jim, it was not fair to me that you ignored me when I got home last night. I do not appreciate being treated that way, and I would appreciate it if you would consider my feelings and treat me nice the next time I come home from an evening out."

Don't look for a response, or an apology.. remember.. he is very immature. Just to hear you and not start defending himself would be a miracle! If he just listens and grunts.. then let it go at that.. it is like teaching a baby to walk, sad to say, but true... this is just where he is at.

Blessings!

Joel and Kathy

Hi Joel & Kathy,

Thanks for responding to my email. I needed to hear those words, "hang tough" and to speak my feelings NICELY. I did get to tell him why I was so frustrated at 2:30 AM, but he said he didn't know anything was wrong and that he wasn't mad at me for being out with my sister.

(Note from Joel: Amazing, isn't it? A husband can indeed be so totally 'in the dark' about how he is affecting his wife. This is why we ask wives to speak up.. nicely. Some men will respond and begin to change if their wives will speak up. In these cases, all that they have needed is direct and specific information about what their wives need from them. Other men, those who are the worst cases, will tell their wives to be quiet... the ego and insecurities in these men are so highly developed that they cannot stand to hear anything that suggests that they might be missing it as a husband.)

I feel so strongly like you wrote in your book how a man should treat his wife, that when it does not happen feelings of rejection and other negative responses set it. I have tried to remain positive in such a negative environment but it has drug me down too.

Yes, he read into chapter 11 of your book weeks ago. I pulled it off the bookshelf yesterday and left him know I found it again. I actually couldn't find it and was so HAPPY to have it again. Now we have both! (the paperback book and the Audio CD)

God bless and keep you all in His care.

Love,
Sharon

Here is a review that we wrote for a book on Amazon that had some pretty rotton advice for women in serious marriage situations:

Your Review of
How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage
by Erin Thiele


Just be careful with some of the advice, April 30, 2006
Reviewer: Joel M. Davisson "Joel and Kathy" (, USA) -


I have not read this book. We only got a letter from one of its readers who asked us a question. The answer that she got from Erin Thiele's book so concerned me that I feel it necessary to caution a reader. Please note that Erins book is praised by 12 other reviewers. I am only commenting on this one section of her book.

The writer to our ministry is a woman whose husband has left her for another woman and filed for divorce. Here is an excerpt from her letter to us:

Early into this, someone sent me a book called "God can and will restore your marriage"...where Erin Thiele gives Scripture that run right along with the same ones God gave me. Her approach is pretty radical, in that you do not argue with your adversary, when he asks, you give him more than he asks for, etc...do not hire an attorney, take whatever child support/alimony he offers...and give him more than he asks for. Scriptural principles. Her husband did eventually come back to her, but has left her again. Though she believes God has told her He will bring him back this year.

I am not interested in commenting on Erin's husband leaving her again. As much as Erin is dedicated to her marriage, her husband sounds like a classic heel. I am so sorry for Erin that she is 'stuck' with a man like this!

What concerns me is the counsel that our writer got from the book. When a man leaves his wife for another woman and files for divorce, he is acting like a toddler in an adult body. He has fled from his marriage which is one of God's agents of growth for a man. In this case, the only way a man will ever have a chance to grow and mature is for a wife to do exactly opposite of what Erin reportedly recommends.

A wife in this situation should hire an attorney and authorize the attorney to take her husband to the mat. The goal is to get the court to FORCE him to grow up by his being FORCED to pay as much alimony and child support as possible. Tell your attorney to ignore your pleas to take it easy on your husband when he calls to whine to you how much you are hurting him.

The goal is to get your husband to grow up and accept some responsibility with an eye toward restoration. After all, you don't want restoration with a toddler. If you get him to come back following Erin's advice, you are setting your marriage up for failure again... he will find another woman and go off again, leaving you penniless and in tears.

If he is pinned against the wall by the court system, (a tool in the hand of the Lord) then he may eventually come to his senses and truly repent. If he does, and then comes back to you, he will have matured some as a man and you have something to begin to build on.

By the way, this is being written by a man who was a pastor, committed adultery and later repented and our marriage was restored. That was in 1991. It took a few years to get to a good place but we have been living an outrageously happy marriage since 1994. We wrote a book in 2004 detailing the things that God taught us; why I committed adultery, what the problems were in our marriage for the previous ten years and what we have done differently for the last 12 years that has given us a breathtakingly happy marriage. (Hint: I committed adultery for the only reason that any man commits adultery.. and that is that I had a lack of character. Hint: Our problems were not caused by Kathy's lack of submission. Hint: The solution was not for Kathy to learn how to be more submissive and show me more undeserved respect. The answer was for me to GROW UP!)

That's all. If you want more, you will have to order the book.
"The Man of Her Dreams/The Woman of His!" Available on Amazon or at www.joelandkathy.com



Dear Joel and Kathy,

I am about finished reading your book. Quite the eye opener.

I was wondering if you go to churches around the country to speak. If you were visiting in the Northwest at any time in the future, I would surely be interested in attending a meeting like that. Do you have video teachings that churches can show?

Thank you for your transparency in the book. I know I am agreeing with many in that department. I have felt a lot of sorrow for many hurting women for a long time. Not that there are not a number of men who also are hurting, but so many women are in a position of feeling "stuck" in a bad relationship simply because they are women and not men. It takes a real man to confront so many issues like these as honestly as you do. And I think it hurts the devil in a big way when zero-ing in on the core issues that are so in "hiding".

Thanks for ALL you are doing to be a huge help in the church today!

In Christ,
Lisa James

Hi Linda,

Thanks for writing. We love hearing from our readers. We have a CD seminar teaching style set and the book on audio CD. We do not yet have a video seminar, though we should have one in a few months.

We do travel and do seminars. We do not have anything scheduled in the North West, but will come when invited. Perhaps you know a church that would be a possibility?

Keep in touch.
Joel of Joel and Kathy

Amen and Amen!! I already have read your book, but can tell you that I had convinced myself that if I were just submissive to my husband, God would honor my obedience and help my husband be the man he was destined to be in Christ. .
Bzzzzzzttt. Wrong answer. Sadly he is now defrocked we are divorced and our children are utterly confused, angry, and rudderless.
The fact is that I a) did not want to face the anger I would get when I confronted his sin, b) was afraid the congregation would not believe he could possibly be wrong and no one would believe me if I confronted him and he dragged others into it and c) because he was influential and well-liked he would make good on his threats to separate me form my children. But I was guilty of the sin of unbelief, all the time I was so sure I was being the holy, obedient Christion pastor's wife. The truth is that Jesus is the Truth and would have backed me up in bringing loving discipline to our marriage, church and home.

Keep following His lead and bringing the message of truth and redemption! In Jesus, Lynne O'C

Thanks Lynn for the great letter. So sorry to hear that the kids are floundering. As they age, perhaps our book will bring healing to them. You have a very good understanding of these things and you will be able to help other ladies who are currently in that same boat.

Keep in touch!
Blessings!
Joel and Kathy Davisson

Joel and Kathy:


Someone forwarded an Email you had sent to someone else I think it was.... .anyway it reached us somehow. We have quite a story ourselves. We are not a marriage ministry. We are two musicians who have a healed marriage. However, we almost always share our testimony in a nut shell even in concerts and we minister a great deal on "Forgiveness" issues. If you would like to read our story, go to our web site and click on "Testimony" (available in both English and Spanish). www.lornematthews.com


It is very difficult to minister to marriages these days, even in the church. We believe strongly that it is one mate until death. Everyone seems to develop their own theology about these issues and unfortunately so many of them do not agree with what the Word says. There are so many high-up people in the church who have dumped one mate and gone on to have a supposed 'successful ministry' with a new mate..... this causes a lot of confusion in people's minds as it goes contrary to what the Word teaches and it has caused havoc in the church. The "examples" speak loudly and they have a tremendous impact and influence on our young people.


We live in Lakeland six months of the year.....in fact, we will be heading there this Monday. Our schedule is also at our web site and I hope someday we get to meet you two since I see you live in Florida as well. We are also going to Africa.....we leave December 9th for Nigeria for a large Camp Meeting there.


We will be celebrating our 43rd anniversary this coming December 28th ..... THERE IS A GOD!!!! I would not go back to what we used to be for anything. In spite of the pain, I am happy to say there has also been great gain and the Lord has given Lorne and I a tremendous life together. It is a privilege to represent the Father and His plan for covenant marriage.

BLESSINGS!

(Mrs.) Jimmie Ruth Matthews
Ministry Coordinator

Hi Jimmie Ruth and Loren!

Hallelujah! We have heard your name a number of times. Your testimony has impacted many lives. We would love to meet you. We will be in Orlando next week for the National Christian Counselors Association conference.. and then we are conducting a seminar the first weekend of December near Bradenton.

It is very disappointing about the big names in the Body of Christ who have done just as you described. Clint Brown just divorced after a number of affairs.. and is still at the helm of his 5000 member church in Orlando. It just keeps going on and on and on.

Our cell numbers are Kathy 386-334-7873 Joel 843-298-0211

Maybe you can call us and we can meet for lunch of a dinner.

We would LOVE for you to carry our books to your ministry engagements and sell them. We can give them to you on consignment... obviously after you have read it and would like to carry it. We are self published and need all of the help that we can get.

We send the e-mails out.. they bless many.. and then some people say, 'remove me from your list'. We have dedicated our ministry lives to reaching marriages. It definitely has its challenges.. but lives are being transformed.

Thanks for writing!

Joel and Kathy

Joel and Kathy,

Wow! I continue to be amazed at how you nail it on the head!

Everything women are taught are just as you described: walk on egg shells and don't upset the baby. (the husband!)

The truth is this has nothing to do with respect. If this is respect, then the only way it can be achieved is by a wife keeping her mouth shut and doing as her husband says.

(The message is this:) Don't ask him to do anything; and if you do (ask him to do something) and he doesn't, it's his prerogative to not do it.

Isn't that the issue? Men believe everything is their prerogatives. And tell me, where in any of those books is there anything about giving a wife honor as a human being if not a co-heir.

(the writer copy and pasted the following red copy directly from our e-mail letter:)

If our wives would:

1. Never critique us.
2. Never mistrust us.
3. Never disrespect us.
4. Never question us.

.... our response would be to never get angry at them.

Ooh.. that makes you a real man now, doesn't it?


I love this. You're so right. How hard would that be?

There is a book for ladies on the best sellers list right now. I believe it's called "The Lies Women Believe." Even though I haven't read the entire book, the cover suggests it is not addressing the real lies at all.

And you are so right about 'false hopes'. Because if it is up to a wife to make a good marriage and then it doesn't happen, it's her fault and she is left in despair on a treadmill of trying harder and harder, crashing emotionally, as you say.

And you are right; it is all about accountability. The false teachings must finally be identified as nothing but an underhanded way to escape accountability and women are abused and beaten down and robbed of their very soul.

I encourage you Joel and Kathy to bust through all the walls with this teaching.

Thank you for your updates and just to let you know, I am focusing on ministry to women to once and for all reveal the lies and walk them out of bondage. I covet your prayers as I even plan to write a book on women's issues.

Blessings,

Rebeccah Sorenson

Hi Joel and Kathy,

I just read your testimony! PTL! Thank you Jesus for a Godly couple that choose the Word over the flesh!

I see by your testimony that God restored your marriage. Neither one of you were previously married before marrying each other?


Praise the Lord, keep up the great work of destroying the works of the devil! Go! Go! Go!

Let the blood of Jesus speak for us all,

In His name,

Karen


Thank you Karen!

We are both married only once. The one free, easy year, followed by ten hard years, and then ten fabulous years. We were both saved and had a pure relationship leading up to the wedding day. So glad you took time to read the testimony. We are doing our best out here. The e-mail we sent yesterday has not sold many books.. but it sure has generated some interesting e-mails! We are going to compile an e-mail from a few of the responses we received.. wow.

Joel and Kathy

Thank you for your love of God to hang in there and let the Lord restore your marriage . . . It is wonderful to hear about this!

God bless us all,

In His name,

Karen

 

 

Dear Joel and Kathy

I have been honored to receive your emails and latest adventures in your traveling.

I have this question, even after all the wrongs my ex-husband caused me, he divorced me last year. I went to him during our time of separation (months before he divorced me) and told him I apologized to him for all hurts that I caused him, but yet he never acknowledge to me any signs of forgiveness.

He is still singing to God and writing these songs praising God, etc. Etc. I had spoke recently to my ex-mother-in-law, she had mentioned to me that she had told him, he needs to forgive me, because he think he is on his way to heaven and going around singing about it, yet he refuses to ask, me to forgive him.

Robert said some horrible things to me during the divorce, how he just scammed and used me.

I had asked him to leave in March 2004, when I found out he was talking to another lady at the church he was going to and he was not spending time at home with me.

I married him in prison (2000) and when he came home (2003) all those things he said, just changed. He even stopped telling he loved me, like he did in prison.

When I asked him to leave, he went around telling folks I was jealous, which was a lie, I wanted him here with me. He was only home for a couple of months and he was gone most of the days, so we did not spend time together, After we separated he never came around to try to mend or give our marriage a second chance, he just went around talking to other women ( worldly women) then the next thing I knew he wanted a divorce and got it.

His mother told me he does not want to hear my name mentioned and he gets upset when my name is brought up. This is still hard for me to believe that after all the wonderful things he said and after he claimed he loved God that he could totally turn against me; When I did all I could out of love for God and my love for him, to treat me like I never meant anything to him We were married for 3 years while he was in prison, then 5 months after he came home. After he came home, he seemed like a different person.

But the strange part is that he has started talking to his first wife, whom sent him to prison the last time. She was very hateful and they fought all the time, yet, he has communicated again with her, while refusing to make any contacts with me.

Robert is 52 years and has been in and out of prison since age 19 years. He and his first wife did drugs together and lived together. Before he started messing around, they had one child, and he told me he would never go back to her.

I was the first Christian woman he knew and he asked me to marry him and I thought he was sincere, when I met him .

So I heard he is trying to get back at me, for telling him to leave and blames me. But the real truth was because he was spending time away from me, and I found out he was talking and giving more time to someone else than me, and that hurt. He is not telling his friends and family the real truth.

His mother said she has told him the bible says if you have ought against anyone, go and make peace, ask for forgiveness and that he needs to come and do that. It doesn't mean he has to get back with me, but he needs to do the right thing in God's eyes. But Robert won't , he just ignores her, and keeps on singing praises To God while refusing to make amends with me.

He tells people when they ask about Evelyn, "Oh, that is in the past." He does not want to talk about me.

Thank you for your advice and words of wisdom to me

God Bless you both and the work you are doing

Evelyn


Hi Evelyn,

This is really not about you. This is about him. Robert is a man who is rotten in his core being. Only God knows the state of people's salvation, but according to what we see in God's Word, Robert does not have the fruit of salvation.

There was a man (who was a minister) in Africa who was taken to a Reinhard Bohnke meeting three days after he died. He had been embalmed and everything. He rose from the dead as he lay on a table in the basement of the church while the meeting was going on!

When he was dead, he was told by God that he was not coming to heaven but rather would spend eternity in hell. The man was shocked. He said, "But God, I love you. I am a minister. My life was completely dedicated to you."

God told him that he could not go to heaven because he had refused to forgive his wife for something she did. He tells the story that they had been in an argument and he told his wife he was not going to "forgive" her because he needed to "punish" her.

God told him that he could not be forgiven because he refused to extend forgiveness.

The interesting part was that the wife had done nothing wrong. He was angry at her for doing nothing wrong and would not forgive her because he thought she did. (She was hurt that he had been gone to meetings for a few weeks, home one day and leaving again.. so she asked him to stay home. He got angry and told her that she was wrong for making it an issue and they argued.. then he refused to "forgive" her.)

He was saved, yet going to hell because he would not forgive his wife.

It is doubtful that Robert is even saved. He is a con artist. The bible tells believers not to have anything to do with a man like Robert who claims to be a believer.

You are a victim of a con artist. He will continue to be a con artist and you can do nothing to change him. If you go before him and alert others to the fact that he is a con artist, it will only make you look bad.

As a victim, you have been violated and abused mentally and emotionally in the worst of ways. You need to realize that and let yourself be vulnerable to God and the pain so that the healing process can begin that all victims of wrong have to go through.

God can heal you totally. You are a free woman. You are not bound at all by marriage vows that you made to a con artist who shows no signs of being saved (except for playing music which is just a way to get attention in his case so that he can further con people). The bible says that if an unbeliever wants to depart, let them and that you are not in bondage to your marriage vows in this case.

Jesus was pretty clear when he said that if a man puts his wife away and she remarries that she commits adultery in the courtroom of heaven, however, Jesus lays the fault and blame at the foot of the ex-husband. Robert not only bears his own guilt, but he will bear the guilt of forcing you to re-marry.

From what we understand, you are free to get healed, re-marry and God's blessing will be on your re-marriage the same as if the marriage to Robert never even happened.

You did make one huge mistake that you need to repent of and be sure that you never do again. That is marrying a man who you met while he was in prison. When a man gets saved in prison, there is no way of knowing if he is sincere unless he gets out and lives a couple years as a Christian on his own. You really made a "dumb" mistake and I bet that many people told you that you should not marry him. For this you do need to repent and change yourself.

Another huge mistake you made might be this: You say that Robert is now speaking to his ex-wife. Is she single or did she re-marry? I understand she is probably not saved. Here it is:

If she was still single, and Robert truly was saved in prison, he should have dedicated his life to restoring his relationship with her until he either was successful or until SHE decided to re-marry someone else.

IF she was still single when you married Robert, you did nothing more than commit adultery with Robert. He was and is still bound by his marriage vows to his ex-wife and his life will never be right with God unless he goes and makes things right with her.

Robert is a con artist though. It is doubtful that he will ever repair ANY of the damage that he has done to ANYONE in his life. Con-artists hurt people because that is what they do.They are con artists.. Period. Why apologize for being who you are?

Your job now is to distance yourself from him. He is a train wreck and you should avoid ever being in 'his world' or you will get hurt further.

When I was 15, and high on drugs, I drove myself and some friends to a concert. There was a car in front of us by just two car lengths swerving in the lanes. In my drug induced state, I just kept driving and even got closer for a look at who was driving. The high but very intelligent honor rolls student sitting in the passenger seat next to me said, "Joel, slow down and let that car get as far ahead of us as possible.. just let him go on his way so he does not wreck into our car."

Duh.. that thought never occurred to me. For some reason I had been "drawn" toward the car from some morbid, drug induced fascination. When he said that it was like the lights went on in my head and I realized that what he said was perfectly logical.

That little experience made such a deep impression on me (because I almost got us killed) that it has stayed with me all of my life. When I see someone who is a train-wreck, I just try to get out of their way and let them go and crash without affecting me.

Robert is that car that was swerving. You saw him in prison and you were drawn to him by some morbid attraction.

The bottom line is that you were drawn to a man that was in prison and is a con-artist because you are very damaged inside from something in your past. We are attracted to people at our 'same level'.

If you will realize that you are damaged inside to the same degree that Robert is damaged, then that is a first step toward healing.

The difference is that he is a bad person, a con artist. You are a wounded person who is reaching out to find someone, and Robert was someone who seemed 'safe' for you to marry.

Internally, there is this emotional 'thing' that is like a radar in people. This makes them marry someone at their same "level". I don't mean that you are a con-artist. I mean that you are hurt as deeply in different ways. So, if you will recognize that and ask God to bring healing to you, you may be able to attract a better man in the future. Remember, anyone you marry in the future will be at your same "level" in one way or another.

Our book will help whoever your "future man" is to grow and mature. As he grows and matures in your marriage then you will be further healed.

So, bottom line is this:

Let Robert go. Forget he exists. Stay far away from him. Don't go to any places that he goes to: church, towns etc.

Seek God for healing for yourself. Be sure to be in a good church with a loving and reachable husband and wife pastor team. Make sure that the Pastor is still on his FIRST marriage. You need to be around whole and healthy people. There are many pastors who are in the pulpit who have a trail of hurt women in their past and they have never repented. You do NOT want to be in one of those churches.

We hope all of this helps you. You are a victim. Don't ever expect Robert to come and apologize. Just consider him a thief who stole from you and has gotten away with it, never to be seen again. Grieve and get healed and go on and live a good life, far, far, far away from him.

You can come through this successfully Evelyn,

God Bless!

Joel and Kathy Davisson

 

Hi Joel and Kathy,

It's Jodi from Australia, I have a bit of a dilemma.

Can you please tell me where in scripture it says the man being the high priest has the final say in everything?

I need to know because I don't know of anywhere in scripture it says that, and our pastor keeps telling this to Scott.

I know he means well and I love them very much.

I need clarification, he is a man who says he knows the word better than most and yes I do believe he knows it well, he also says that he lives by the Word because he has to give an account to God one day, this is true.

But where does it say;" the husband being the high priest of the home has the final say"?

I am really looking forward to coming over and meeting you guys.

Anyway it will be a huge blessing getting together with you both.

Love in Christ
Jodi from Queensland, Australia.

Hi Jodi,

No, the bible does not teach this anywhere.

There is an old testament reference about a wife or daughter making a vow.. and that the husband or father can cancel the vow. However, the New Testament does not teach anything to bring that type of authority over into the new covenant concerning daily life with a husband and wife.

The last I looked, the bible does not teach that a husband is the high priest of the home. The bible says that all believers are priests and kings unto God. This is one of those traditional ideas of Christian marriage that has doomed the marriage experience in the Body of Christ.

To make it real simple, does it pass the 'Golden Rule' test: Would ANY MAN want to have to submit all final decisions to his wife? Absolutely not. So it is not scriptural.. period.

A husband and wife are to make decisions TOGETHER, decisions that are MUTUALLY agreed upon.

Anything other than this is not a marriage.. it is a dictatorship, and God does not want a dictatorship... he wants a marriage; a partnership.

We are looking forward to you coming.

Your pastor might be a good Word of Faith, Hagin type pastor.

That is my background also. We were all fed the "Husband is the priest of the home." wrong teaching... but most Word of Faith guys will give it up if they are confronted with the fact that the NT does not teach the idea. After all, we are Word of Faith, and we will give up wrong doctrine if we find out that we are believing 'sacred cows' that have no biblical basis.

Ask your Pastor if he has ever heard of Ray Mossholder.

Ray was THE MAN for teaching marriage in all of the Rhema/Word of Faith circles in the seventies and eighties... divorced today. Ray was real strong on the man being the priest of the home, ad nauseum.

Feel free to forward my e-mails over to your pastor. I enjoy meeting Word pastors.. we are all in this together!

Blessings!

Joel


Dear Joel and Kathy,


Thank you, for that it is as I thought.

There's another thing regarding the scriptures that say the man is the head of the wife; can you please explain what they really mean in the Greek and Hebrew.

I am collecting all this information to present to our Pastor, as he is of that convenient wrong teaching and there are allot of suffering marriages in our church, (It doesn't help when the Pastor is putting his wife down over the pulpit in front of the whole church.)

How does a man that is suppose to know the Scripture like the back of his hand get it so wrong in this area?


You guys are a mighty blessing. I'm so glad Joel that God cracked your brain open. Kathy I really don't know how you put up with that for soooooo long, I know that I couldn't have.
But praise God you did or we would never of had the awesome ministry saving marriages that God has given to you both.

Love in Christ

Jodi Millett

 

Hi Jody,

Putting his wife down from the pulpit. Uggh. Kephale, the head, is used in greek literature to mean source of life, source of strength. It was never used in greek writings to mean a military, leadership ranking. There is a different greek word that is used for that in greek writings. Thank God that Paul was careful NOT to use the greek word for head that would have meant 'rank' etc.

Kephale, used as "source of life" makes perfect sense. When a man's wife is not treating her well, she has a hard time functioning. When a man is building, valuing and honoring his wife, she shines with self confidence and great self esteem.

God is the source of life for Jesus, Jesus is the source of life for the church, the man is the source of life for his wife. This is why we speak to MEN to get it right FIRST. It is impossible for a wife to function successfully long term if her source of strength is putting her down.

Paul also said, at the end of that commentary on the head, that he was speaking concerning the church and that what he said was a great mystery.. so, we CANNOT use kephale to tell women that they are second in rank to their husbands. It is a misuse of something that even Paul said was a mystery.. kind of like, "I know what I am trying to say, but I cannot put my finger on how to say it right." Our next book will include three chapters dealing with Ephesians 5:23-33. We are writing it right now.

Blessings!

Joel and Kathy


Dear Joel and Kathy,

(From Suzanna:)
I'm not sure how I received this email...I have no
clue who you are...

You come across as VERY self-righteous...that your way
is the only way...and in the end all this is, is an
advertisement for you book...that you are the know-all,
be-all, end-all on answers for fixing relationships...


Response from Joel and Kathy:
Hi Suzanna, The letters we have received back from really grateful, suffering wives have been overwhelming. Thanks for the insight about the attitude though. We will work on that.

Continued from Suzanna:
and your example of the story of the woman that ripped
her husbands shirt off his back because she didn't like
it...she was SOO VERY wrong! She has no right to
dictate his clothing...as he has none to dictate
hers...

Response from Joel and Kathy:
A man is instructed to lay his life down for his wife. We tried to communicate that she had been asking him for a long time to quit wearing these shirts. His refusal was a loud slap in her face, letting her know that he had no interest in valuing her... much less laying his life down for her.

As for a wife... certainly she should also want to dress in a way that pleases her husband.

Someone who feels that they should not dress to please their mate may want to consider not getting married. This is a small issue that points to a huge problem.. selfishness instead of wanting to please our spouse.

From Suzanna:
you were right that the woman cannot fix the
relationship...but neither can the man...the COUPLE
TOGETHER needs to fix their relationship...


Response from Joel and Kathy:
This is a common misconception. We suggest that a (Christian) wife is ready and willing (depending on how long she has been mistreated) to respond positively if her husband will simply treat her like a queen. This is universal.

From Suzanna:
and just out of curiosity...what is your educational
background & training?


Response from Joel and Kathy:
One 'free' fun year of marriage, ten years of hell in marriage, ten years of an outrageously happy marriage. Someone with an argument cannot argue with someone with an experience.

We have been cautioned about coming across in a 'know it all' way. Obviously, we have not mastered that art yet. We really do appreciate your alert. This particular e-mail was aimed directly at men.. trying to reach them and help their suffering wives. With men, we find it best to speak boldly and directly.

We would love to keep you on our e-mail list simply to get your critiques in the future. We welcome your sensitive spirit to anything written in an offensive manner..(and we will be here for you if you do find yourself trapped in a bad relationship in the future!)


God's best to you.

Joel and Kathy Davisson

Dear Joel and Kathy,

You tell 'em, folks! Sic 'em! Amen and Amen!

We're not babysitters, we're supposed to be co-heirs with Christ.

Yeah, let's rule and reign by deception, weasle-itis, chicken livered attitudes, patronizing, feeble practices that breed weak rulers.

If we worship our God in Spirit and truth, why wouldn't we be married in Spirit and in truth as well? The strength of truth and honesty far surpasses phony methods of placating people, male or female.

The problem with the entire Body of Christ is that they want to stuff all of the issues in gender wrappings, when they are actually mostly SIN issues. Live in the fruits of the Spirit instead of the works of the flesh and the issues slowly fade. The whole thing is infuriating.

You are marvelous- keep up the great work!!!!!

Faith Haynes

Joel & Kathy,

I agree with some of these responses. Many of us wives have been suppressed, oppressed and left to doubt, even our own salvation. It is time that the emperor discover that he has not clothes on. However, I hope that women to not take this to the extreme, as a license to just exchange places with their domineering husbands.

There is freedom for some of us in just the knowing that we are not crazy and have no hope. Your teaching is right on! But, as you are seeing by other responses, when you are spiritually right on in a dangerous territory, you will get flack from the strong army of believers that follow the deceptive path. But, as I'm sure you are aware you are not alone on this one, Dennis Cramer with BREAKING CHRISTIAN CURSES has stepped out there, as well. It is so nice to see godly people hearing the heart of the Father and speaking out to free the captives in this day & hour.

My prayers will be with you two as you blaze this path that soooo needs to be blazed. I applaud you Joel for speaking out on this, as a man, your words carry weight and validity that blessed me tremendously, as I'm sure it did others.

God speed, protection, continued boldness & lots of favor mixed with a good portion of blessings to you both. :-)

Sunny Baker



We received a remove request from someone with a screen name that is a variation of AnswerHisCall@aol.com (not the real e-mail address)

We replied with a note:


Hello Answer His Call!

Would you consider using our e-mails to help you answer the call of reaching hurting people?

Thanks for the consideration

Blessings,

Joel and Kathy

Our new friend wrote back, stating that she bought our book and gave it to a friend whose husband had committed adultery. She read the book and decided that it would not help her husband. She said that her husband was having trouble forgiving himself and had lost his sense of having any destiny in God. She did not give him the book because she did not see that we addressed these things in our book.

We wrote this as a second reply:

Hello again to Answer His Call,

Thanks for the input. The missing link is that your friend read the book and did not have her husband read it. The things she is looking for are indeed in the book... but they will only scratch that place for the man that needs to hear that message from the book.

I am wondering if your friend has a sincere desire for marriage restoration? If she does, she will want to get her husband to read the book and let God work the miracle in him that He has worked in so many other men.

The whole book is designed to help a man get back on track in his relationship with God, and his wife, ultimately leading to the fulfillment of other plans God had for his life before he fell into sin.

A man who commits adultery does not have a self forgiveness issue. He has a growing up issue. He is stuck at the emotional age of four or five years old. The self forgiveness will come as he grows into an adult by meeting his wife's needs.

Tell your friend to have her husband read the book.. and watch God do a miracle in him.

Blessings!

Joel of Joel and Kathy

Answer His call replied:


Pastor Joel,

Thank you very much. I should have read the book before believing my friend so readily. I refuse to doubt her sincere desire for marriage restoration since I am standing in agreement with her for that restoration. She has come along way. I will tell her to give the book to her husband. And I expect to report back to you with a great testimony.

Thanks,

Answer His Call


Thank You so much! This is what we live for... marriage miracles!

Blessings,
Joel and Kathy


After this we received a call from Trish, the writers friend. She said that she drove two hours to take the book to her husband. He looked at a page and said, "Yes, I think I will read this!"

Later, we received the following letter from Trish:

Hello Joel and Kathy,

UPDATE

My husband Jim called me this afternoon. He said that he is reading your book. He's says the book is interesting and that you must be telling the truth because of the depth you go into your life.

Trish from Ct.
(The Friend of Answer His Call)

We await a report of God working a miracle in the heart of Trish's husband.

Dear Joel and Kathy,


I read the infamous email yesterday and didn't respond because I felt like I had gutted myself enough with my issues, knowing there are so many others who also need ministry. But I wholeheartedly agree with what you're teaching. I think it's important that we maintain a godly attitude (out of our relationship and accountability to God) in responding to these husbands but there is no way around the fact that there are 2 people in the marriage. We start off loving and honoring and trusting our husbands until we've been violated to such a point that it's a struggle to maintain respect and as a result it may very well need to be "earned." In the meantime, walls go up because it hurts so bad.

And the fact that the church teaches a formula for submission and promise that all will be well is just not true. Of course, the Word is true, so we need to seek the Father's heart, and as Christians, we are to submit to one another. Both people in the marriage need to be honored and loved, not just the husband. These "ministers" who suggest the success of the marriage depends on the wife must really have it good. Many husbands know how to relate and respond to others outside the marriage in a kind an considerate way. When they get home, kindness and consideration are out the window.

I even went to a program a few years ago and the woman ministering "flipped" on us and started talking about wives just need to do whatever the husband says (she veered from the message). I'm sitting there wondering about what kind of marriage this woman must have. Just then, my friend who invited me to the program, leans over and whispers in my ear that this minister left her husband. Go figure. It's bad enough when men turn this trick, but when women teach it also, I just have to shake my head.

I just pray God's blessing on your life and thank God for your testimony.

Jerri Newkirk Barber

Thanks Jerri,

This phenomenon has surprised us also. The overemphasis on a wife submitting was originally propagated by men, and then in 1971, Marabel Morgan really embraced the message in the huge best seller of that day, "The Total Woman". The die was set... and so many women still teach these things in their women's groups.

We APPRECIATE your letter. Can we use it in our web site etc. and would you like us to change your name or leave as is?

Thank You,

Joel and Kathy Davisson

Dear Joel and Kathy,

I need help bad...As an assistant Pastor, I really don't know
what else to do in my marriage. My wife who is a
prayer warrior and a student of the word, has at this
point allowed the enemy to come in. We have been
separated for nine months now. I'm praying and praying
and praying---I know prayer works but where are the
results....


Our reply:
Hi there friend,

Help is on the way. First you will want to read our book. Then you will want to pass it on to your wife. Then it will be a process of winning her heart back...just like you won her heart in the first place. We will work with you and her.. first step is reading the book. Have you done that yet? If not, you will want to order one. There are things that you need to understand before you can win her back. If finances allow, you will want to order a second book: "Understanding the Mind of A Woman" by Ken Nair.

Actually, you are better off reading one at a time. If you try both at once, you will probably get overloaded.

As for prayer... yes, prayer works, and is an important part.. but God does not change your wife's will... however, God has given YOU the ability to change her will.. these two books will teach you how. Actually, they will teach you how to grow and change first, which will cause your wife to come toward you.

It ALWAYS works if you work it, assuming your wife still has some sense of a desire to please the Lord... it will be a process though, requiring time and effort on your part.

Your move!

Joel

Dear Joel and Kathy,
Thank you for promoting Happy Marriages especially women and men
who have stuck it out and made a go of it with God's Grace.

"In most cases, she has been waiting and praying for the day when he would treat her like a queen.. and it takes so very little change in him for her to respond favorably.

Most Christian wives pray, counsel, beg and plead for this day to come.. the day when her husband treats her with honor and value."

My husband and I have been married for 51 years .
Life is good. We treat each other "with honor and value".
AND lots of forgiveness and LOVE.
Good Luck,
My Best,
Mimi Baruch

Dear Joel and Kathy,

I wish you continued success with your book and your ministry. I do read the testimonies and have given several of the books to clients. I know that none of us have all the answers, but you seem to be touching many lives. I back you 100%. I will make good on my promise to write that recommendation for you soon.

I will miss getting to see you both in Orlando. I wish you much success.

Dr. Ron Hamm

Hi Dr. Ron,

We have had good success with the marriages. Getting the guys to do what we ask is hard. Of course the guys always think their wives are at fault. Even in a case like we are dealing with right now, where it seems like the husband might have a case that his wife lies etc.. we cannot get him to treat her correctly based on the idea that if he will quit keeping her off balance that she will get healed... so their problems continue.

So.. until we find situations where husbands do what we teach and their wives do not get healed of their issues, we just keep standing on the guys toes! Our challenge to them is to prove us wrong by doing what we ask.. .and if their wives don't get healed of their issues then we will try another tactic.

Have you ever read Ken Nair's book, "Understanding the Mind of a Woman?" I just read it. Wow. It is like an expansion of our theories. Amazing. That book is ten years old.. it should have been a worldwide bestseller.

Have a blessed day!

Joel

Pastor Bill,

Here is Joel and Kathy's website: The Man Of Her Dreams The Woman Of His! by Joel And Kathy Davisson.

I FULLY support and endorse their ministry ... There are too many marriages ... YES even "Christian" Marriage going "down the tubes"! For the past Forty Five years whatever "marriage counseling" was offered DID NOT WORK!! (I am living proof!) .... Joel and Kathy have a new "oblique" on the dilemma! They are saving hundreds ... maybe even thousands of marriages across the country!

Whatever was "tried" in the past .... did not work. It's time for unity .... the churches to come together and tackle this problem "head on". Joel and Kathy are "just" a couple that is living the perfect marriage ... and is sharing their success .... they were on the verge of Divorce after an adulterous affair! Today, they act like to teenagers in love!

The "Church" NEEDS to hear their message! I wish I heard it 13 years ago! It could have averted my first divorce. I wish I heard it 6 years ago ... it could have averted my second divorce!

Blessings,

John

Hi Darlene,

Hopefully you will order the book etc. as that keeps us going!
Here though are some of your thoughts with our reply:


Hi,
I just 'stumbled' onto your link, and am curious about your book.
I am intrigued by the phrase about 'traditional teaching about marriage' in the Body of Christ.
I feel this very thing has been the fuel that has wrecked our marriage.

Yes, the traditional marriage teachings are what have wrecked so many Christian marriages.


When we were in church together (he has since left), (and it is a really good church!), the only way marriage was counseled was that 'the husband is the head, and the wife is the neck that turns the head'. (whatever that means)

Yep... that in a nutshell is what is wrong with the traditional teachings... We teach mutual, team leadership... and the bible is where it comes from. We do a thorough job of fixing the 'husband is the head' error as it is currently taught... and we teach wives that they have a right to speak up very directly to their husbands.. they don't have to try to manipulate them secretly as seems to be encouraged by the neck theory. If a husband and wife are two equal partners, then he has to receive her opinions etc. as completely equal to his.

My husband has been a very macho man, very European-style family teaching, where the husband is the head, no-ifs-ands-or-buts. If something is wrong with your man, then the wife is doing a lousy job of being the neck.

Every culture has its own justification for enabling men to be control freaks... and blaming the wives for the problems that the husbands create!

Also, when we were dating, we went to a church that was Christian, but it was on the edge of the shepherding movement, where the leadership heavily advised people. The pastor told me over and over that it was obvious that I should marry this guy, but I was never totally convinced. I really liked him, but something just bothered me. Plus I had left-over emotions from a guy I had been engaged to, and never really got over. I tried to break up with my this man (my husband), but it never felt right to totally be away from him, either. So I just married him, figuring that this church covering would help things go right. Ha! Well, truthfully, in a very very tiny way, I felt love for him, but his treatment of me soon put that out.

We teach men that they are to love first, lay their lives down first, and any good Christian wife will respond with joy and happiness and become his dream wife! It is a dificult challenge to get men to accept, but when they do, really happy marriages emerge!

I am so weary with trying to submit to him, and it has never been enough. He has strutted around our home like a member of the Taliban.

This is repeated in millions of Christian homes.. thus the need to teach MUTUAL submission.

He supposedly gave his life to Christ, but has backed away from church totally. To see him, you would totally enjoy him. He is very successful and has a huge leadership personality, and it has dominated whatever gathering he has been in over all these years. He has turned his personality on and off like a switch, and most everyone has been wrapped around his little finger.

This is very common. Controlling and Manipulative men are often very sauve.. very good in public.

We have opposite personalities. His sin is being too controlling, mine is being cluttered with my housework, sort of an ADD thing.

His is a sin, yours is a personality weakness.

We have lived through 25 years of this, raised our kids with them hearing the yelling, and they don't know how to really trust Jesus. I feel like a bombed-out shell.

This is definitely the way that women who suffer in this type of marriage end up feeling. You might also feel like you are going crazy sometimes.. and he will verify that for you regularly!

I have never felt led to leave, althought I've had enough excuses to and advice to.
So, with all that behind us, I wonder about your book. I couldn't take it if it is the kind that says buy a new nighty and initiate great moments. If it is like that, then I'll pass.

Would it help if I bought it and read it alone? In the past, he has read nothing, for he has not doubted himself to even feel the need to read.

The book will strengthen and heal you. It will give you courage to call him to accountability. Chapter 20 is aimed at a better sex life, however, we are very clear that he cannot expect this unless he 'buys into' the other 19 chapters!

Some wives read chapter 20 to their husbands and that gets them interested in reading the book. Others have left their husbands or kicked them out until they agree to read it! Others have read the book to them. The book is also on CD if he would listen in the car. In other cases, men who normally do not read will read it because it starts with a pastor who committed adultery.. and that is fascinating. (Yours Truly) Then they get hooked. It is a hard book to put down once you get to reading.

Either way, the book will help you.. and it might give you a miracle if he will read it.

We feel for you. Kathy lived through ten years of hell. God finally got hold of me.. but it was through a man who directly confronted me.. it was not her submission etc. that got my attention. That only enabled me to stay as an ogre.. thus the error in the 'wife only submit' message.

Blessings!
Joel of Joel and Kathy
www.joelandkathy.com

Thank you,
Darlene,
from near Baltimore

Dear Joel and Kathy;

I saw the headline of your web page and immediately want to know more about what God did for you. So I am ordering your book.

This is because my husband was introduced to me as the 'man of my dreams' but became abusive, committed adultery,(although he still denies it, others have testified), and was the pastor.

He sat me down at our kitchen table three and a half years ago to give me divorce papers. Like Joel, he thought he would 'get away' with this, in fact he thought he would keep his pastorate. He had created a cult-like group within the church that believed and went along with everything he said, and excused and/or covered up everything he did. I kept believing we would not get a divorce but it finally went through. In the mean time however, sexual misconduct charges had been filed against him and he lost his job and his credentials. The people who once said he could do no wrong turned against him and he could do no right. At this point, he is far away from God and almost never sees our three sons, yet it seems he still has no desire to change. Our two older sons have completely lost their faith, and for all intenets and purposes, have no father.

Many of us have prayed for over four years about this whole situation. I wasn't looking for answers when I found your web page, but for information about the hurricane area. It seems that perhaps God led me to your story. Yesterday in bible study, some of the women were saying how they just knew that their husband was 'the one' shortly after they met. I found myself thinking, 'I knew the same thing about my husband.'

I know there is nothing God cannot do. I wondered if Joel were to talk to him if it would make any impact. He isn't looking for answers, and is not even willing to talk with me. I have heard of other pastors doing this sort of thing, but rarely hear of a true repentance and redemption in a situation this extreme.

I look forward to reading about your story
Rosa St. James

Hi Rosa,

Yes, God can still reach your husband. He has to be willing to swallow lots of pride though... a huge task. I will certainly call him.. can't hurt and might help. Kathy is out running errands. You can send your husbands phone number back to us.

Blessings,

Joel of Joel and Kathy

Greetings Friends,

Here are answers to questions from two of you that are included in this mailing...


Question: PRAY FOR MY MARRIAGE MY HUSBAND HAS REBELLED, THOUGH I KNOW HE LOVES GOD BUT HE BATTLES GENERATIONAL CURSES OF INFIDELITY AND REBELLION, SELFISHNESS. I URGE YOU TO HELP ME PRAY FOR HIM I NEED PRAYER FOR STRENGH TO KEEP FIGHTING AND NOT GIVE UP AND LEAVE. ITS BEEN 20 YEARS I NEED GOD TO INTERFERE AND BRAKE BONDAGES.

Our answer:
We lift your husband up... in truth, the only way he will come out of this is to be either confronted directly by a man that he looks to as 'above him' in spiritual things.. or from reading a book like ours. Be sure to get a copy and ask him to read it. Without a direct confrontation from a man or via our book, he will stay in his state of mind indefinitely. God has the answer to your prayer.. it is one of these two solutions..



Question: My husband just recently divorced me because his girls did not want him to reconcile our marriage. I pray God intervention in this situation. we were separated one year, before they forced him to divorce me, using guilt for him not being there for them when they were growing up, these are my step-daughters.

our answer:
Your answer is the same as the last answer. If he is a believer, you must try to find a man whom he respects that will confront him. The other solution is to send him our book. I assume that you have been praying for him.. and that you have had many others praying for him. Prayer does many things.. however, God cannot change a man's will through prayer. A man's will is only changed when he is confronted by truth; and that confrontation must come directly from a man whom he percieves is greater than he is spiritually.. or it must come from a book.


Both of you have the same problem.. a man who is in total rebellion and deception. These two solutions are the only hope that he has of getting out of this type of stronghold/deception.

Part of Kathy and my frustration is that so many wives just want to pray and do not ask another man to CONFRONT their husbands. They are afraid that their husband will get worse. This is a 50/50 chance. He will either get worse, or he will repent if he is confronted by a man he respects. On the other hand, if you get him to read our book, you also have a great opportunity that he will repent.. however, he may reject the truth that we confront him with in the book.. and of course when a man rejects truth.. he gets worse.

Just praying will gaurantee only one thing... he will stay exactly as he is! God is not in the business of changing wills.. but God will give you a resource like our book or God will show you a man that will be capable of confronting your husband. As we all know, if God could change a man's will just by prayer, there would be no war, no murder, no sin, and every man would decide to go to heaven! So, God will do what he can, which is to give you the resources that YOU can utilize to have a chance of seeing your husbands repent.

Blessings!
Joel and Kathy Davisson

 

Dear Joel and Kathy:

Well, it's about TIME someone hit a "nerve!" The heresy running rampant inside the church that marriage is, in essence, a means to feed a husband's narcissism MUST be exposed. Itruly believe your book is being used to expose this heresy.

It is not easy to have the prophetic gift you two have about marriage. You will come under deep scrutiny and criticism. Keep going anyway!

Michelle Ward

Thank You for the encouragement Michelle! Please keep us on your regular prayer list!

Thank you !
Joel and Kathy

Dear Joel and Kathy

Thank you very much for the excerpts - you are the first couple I have come
across who approach marriage from the angle of a Christian husband
fulfilling his role! Thank you! Sounds like a great book. I wanted to
read the excerpts before I went ahead to purchase a copy.

God bless you,

Love,
Anoma

Question From Vickie: I need help to walk right and not be arrogant and bossy.

Hi Vickie,

You are halfway home by simply recognizing this. The fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness. The other half way home is to ask God to help you to stay in peace, patience, kindness and meekness. Our book will help your husband (if you are married) to be sensitive to and to meet your needs, which will also help you to relax.

Blessings!

Joel and Kathy Davisson

Dear Joel and Kathy,

Yes, I pray you can help me understand more clearly. First I know God said He hates divorce, but he loves the person, it is divorce he hates. Next I was told divorce is the end of the physical, emotional and spiritual involvement between the two people. God said the two shall become one flesh. If God said it, doesn't this mean until death do you part, not a piece of paper? My next question is, if a divorce is a separation of spirit, emotions and body, why is it the same two people remarry, maybe years later.

Am I missing something, my husband (51) just divorced me recently only because he did not want to be committed and take responsibility as a husband. I have heard divorce is a death of a marriage. If divorce is the death of a marriage, then why don't I feel good about this?

Others have told me to move on with my life, yet I take God's Word seriously. God said marriage is a covenant; My husband thinks it is only until you don't want the other person.. and then you are free to leave and move on. Thank you both.

God Bless
Elyssa Harper

Hi Elyssa,

We are so sorry for your pain. Your husband is loo-loo in saying that a marriage is only until you don't want the spouse and then you are free to move on.

Your beliefs are correct. God allowed divorce only because of the hardness of man's heart. Your husband is demonstrating this hard heart by his actions.

The will of God would be that your husband would grow up, repent and get right with God and with you.

Oftentimes people re-marry one another later. In your case, this would happen if your husband were to repent and begin to treat you as Christ would treat you by honoring, cherishing and valuing you.

You do not feel good about the divorce because God put a desire into you for a successful marriage according to Genesis 3:16. This God given endowment is what enables wives to withstand years of neglect and ill treatment, yet still have hope for their husbands to turn around and love them.

In cases like yours, we normally suggest that a wife wait patiently, asking God to turn the husband around. If a year or two passes, we feel that the scripture which applies is that which states that if an unbeliever chooses to depart, you are free to re-marry. You are not under bondage.

A husband who abandons his wife may claim to be a Christian, but his actions are the fruit of an unbeliever. Jesus said that we will be known by our fruits. If a man abandons his wife, his fruit says that he is an unbeliever. We believe that after a wife is patient for a year or two and he does not repent, then she is free; free to go on with her life and free to re-marry. We do not believe that this husband will get any of the benefits of being a Christian.

At the worst, if our belief and interpretation of scripture is wrong and a wife re-marries after patiently waiting for a season, Jesus said that her HUSBAND causes her to commit adultery.. laying the guilt at his feet, not hers. Either way, you are not in bondage for the next 30 years if your husband continues to be non-repentant.

Our suggestion is to pray for your husband, trust him into God's hands, and enjoy God's comforting presence for a season. You are a victim of your husbands rebellion and God offers special comforts to your heart.

Blessings to you,

Joel and Kathy

Dear Joel and Kathy,

I have been receiving e-mails from you both and as I read through some this morning, I realized I was facing a situation similar to some mentioned here.

I've been married for almost 10 years now; got married @ the age of 14 and I'm still married by the grace of God to the same man.

Although I have seen God move in our lives throughout the years and know from the bottom of my heart he has always been with me (or us), I must say there have been times that I've felt I'm alone in the battle.

I identify myself with testimonies like "if I were just submissive to my husband, God would honor my obedience and help my husband be the man he was destined to be in Christ."

Sometimes I wonder "Is this enough?" "Will he change just for the fact that I'm being submissive?"

Another question and maybe the most important one always remains - "How long will I have to be submissive? Am I going to spend a lifetime waiting for him to change and never realize or find out what it is to be in a happy marriage?"

I have gotten to the point where I have told him that if I have to die living the way I do with him then so be it, but at least I can say I have done my part.

Deep in my heart I know this is not what I want.

I want to be able to come to work confident enough to know that my husband is not out there having an affair, looking for what "he doesn't have at home."

I want to come home and know that there's someone there waiting for me and that they are wanting to know about my day at work, not wondering the same thing to themselves about me: "Has she actually been at work all day or was she out doing something else?"

I don't know why I'm telling you all of this, I guess I just had to say it to somebody, just anybody. I want to be heard.

I know the One in whom I've trusted is always with me, never leaves me, and this is when I ask myself "Are you really trusting God?"

Well Joel and Kathy, I have to stop somewhere and I guess this is it for today. May God continue to bless you in every way.

I am so sorry I didn't even introduce myself. My name is Elizabeth. I live in Galveston, Texas. I have two beautiful children, a boy and a girl. I work Mon-Fri 8 am - 5 pm at an attorney's office (I'm a paralegal).

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior a little after I got married to Bill and have developed a more personal relationship with the Lord during the last three years.

God bless,

Elizabeth



Hi there Elizabeth,

This is Kathy. Sorry it took so long to email back. I am glad you wrote. Everyone needs someone to turn to.

You didn't mention physical abuse, so I am assuming there is none of that. Obviously there is mental and emotional abuse, and neglect.

I hung in there 10+ years before I got my miracle. My submission to Joel's mental, emotional and verbal abuse did not bring the miracle... for that matter, in retrospect, as we share in our book, it only enabled Joel to NOT change and extended the agony.

A lady I know has hung in there for over 30 years playing the submissive game and her husband just continues to be abusive.

What did cause Joel to change was finally being confronted by a man who did not believe him when he said that all of our problems were my fault!

Your young and you don't want to spend the rest of your life, not having your needs met. Understandable. So, how long do you wait? It really depends on how much you can handle. We suggest that you begin to do some things to encourage change.

Your husband promised to love, honor, cherish and be faithful to you. He obviously is not cherishing you, honoring and loving you. This in itself is a breaking of a man's marriage vows.

I am not for divorce, I am for HAPPY HOMES, GODLY HOMES!!!

You do not want your children to grow up thinking this is how married life is.

You don't want your son growing up to be a husband who acts like his dad, not meeting his wife's needs.

You don't want to have your daughter growing up and marrying a man who doesn't meet her needs or cheats on her, etc, so you have to do something, or not, depending what you are willing to accept.
Your husband may simply need information that will teach him how to honor, value and nurture you.

If your husband reads our book, I think that he will see himself in it and change like so many other men have. Just tell him that you want to become the woman of his dreams and that you want him to be the man of yours and this book tells how... and so you both need to read it.

You might find out that he is actually interested in having a happy marriage and no one ever taught him how!

I would pose this question to him...."Are you the husband you want your son to grow up to be and are you the man you want your daughter to marry?"

"What would you do, if your daughter came over and said that she found her husband in bed with another woman? Maybe he is neglectful, abusive in some way to your daughter. How would that make you feel?"

Girls tend to marry men like their fathers, and boys become like their fathers.

Our children learn by our example how to be husbands and wives.

I am sure that your husband has simply gotten the wrong message about what it means to be a husband.

We encourage Christian wives to step up to the plate, and say, "We are somebody, and deserve to be treated as such. I didn't get married to be neglected and treated poorly."

We teach a husband that if he opened the car door before you got married, he can open the car door after ya'll got married. If he bought you flowers before you got married, he can buy you flowers after too!

It comes down to being calm yet direct in telling him what you want and how you want to be treated.

We teach, team leadership, running the home as a team, raising the children as a team; NOT " Me TARZAN, You Jane, ME BOSS, YOU SLAVE!"

We encourage wives to be calm, yet direct with their husbands. Otherwise, a wife enables her husband to stay a child and not grow up to be all God called him to be.

God has called and equipped your husband with the ability to love you as Christ loves the church.

Our book teaches him how to do that, and teaches you how not to keep enabling him.

After you two read the book, you can call us if you have questions. Actually, you may get all your questions answered, by reading the book.

Do you have a home church, and if you do, does he go?

Have you talked with the Pastor?

You will want to ask your Pastor to check out our web site and hopefully read the book himself. Who knows.. maybe he will love the book and have us come do a seminar!

I will look for your email back, and hopefully your ordering the book, and going from there.

God bless,
Kathy D~

Hi Joel and Kathy,


I have been reading your emails and I have a ministry here in Houston and have been sending it to everyone in our ministry and people love your emails.....

That email blessed me and I am so thankful someone in the body is addressing these issues..and the issues about Women coming from a Married Man is a powerful tool and testimony....so praise God for what you are doing...I was so blessed by that email...

In Him,
Deborah Quick


Thank You Deborah!

It is people like you who we are here for!

Blessings and thanks for helping to spread the word!

Joel and Kathy

Note of introduction to the next series of letters and comments:

The following is a quick letter that we wrote to a couple who were in the midst of an ongoing instant message argument. In this instance, a wife is reaching out for help by forwarding copies of instant messages. These are very sensitive things and we are not including the instant messages. However, the responses that were given to this couple are universal and the letter from the husband with our responses are universal.

All names are changed to protect identities as is true in most of the letters in this column. These are real letters, from and to real people. No one should be reading this column for kicks. These letters are only for consumption by real people who are looking for real answers.

Often, our responses to couples, due to time restraints are connected to issues that they have addressed in previous e-mails and they address issues that are specific to the couple. Therefore, at times a reader will need to read between the lines as you go.

Paul and Melinda,

I have to be quick in addressing the ongoing issues that you are presenting via e-mail. Here goes:
Paul, what can you do to quit calling Melinda names, etc.?

Melinda, you will want to go on vacations.. (Melinda had threatened to stay home from some upcoming vacations) but you are right, not if Paul is going to be harassing you.

Paul, Melinda consistently tells you what you are doing that is making her feel unloved and devalued.. .it is time to grow up and begin treating her as your queen.. and not your whipping post.

Melinda, it is important that you give Paul "kudos'" every time he does well. If he goes ONE DAY without harassing you, thank him for the pleasant day.

This is a deeply ingrained issue you are dealing with Paul, (in treating Melinda poorly) but you must try to be nice to your wife!

Melinda, I know it sounds ridiculous, but this is very hard for a man who has deeply ingrained abusive tendencies to just treat his wife with honor and respect.. it is excruciating for him because to do so, he has to admit that you are just as valuable as he is.. and just as worthy of honor.

Paul, if you are willing, you can begin to grow, step by step.

Melinda, you will need to be patient and forgiving of past injustices if Paul shows evidence that he is trying.

Come on guys.. you can do this.

Blessings,

Joel and Kathy

The following are excerpts from a letter to us From Paul in response to our preceding letter. The excerpts are broken up by our responses:

Joel,

Thanks for your reply, for taking the time to write and care. I don't believe, however, that I have deeply ingrained abusive tendencies. I am under a lot of stress and need someone that will communicate, share my life, and take the time to listen and care.

There is a lot of domestic disharmony and other pain I this world. My emails to Melinda simply are telling her that things are tough for me and she does not seem to care.

You make good points and take time to deal with a random email, but I cannot agree with all that you say, especially (concerning my having) abusive tendencies.

Hi Paul, Two things that you are addressing above are this:

1. Melinda does not seem to care/does not understand you.

On the surface, this seems like a legitimate complaint against Melinda, or any other wife.

However, the bible does not tell Melinda to live with you according to understanding.

This responsibility is yours and yours alone... to live with Melinda according to understanding.

Why does the bible command you to live with her according to understanding and not vice versa? Because a woman is designed, BY GOD, to automatically reflect and respond to the way her husband treats her.

Melinda not understanding and not caring for you is simply a reflection of how you are treating her emotionally. When you are successfully caring for and understanding Melinda, she will automatically reflect that back to you.

You do not need anyone to grade you on how well you are treating Melinda. You can see your grade every day in the way that she treats you!

What you do not want is to 'break' this reaction in Melinda. What I mean is this: If you go too far in persisting to not understand nor express concern for her, she may totally turn off.. and then if you ever do begin to support her emotionally and spiritually, it could take a long time for her to respond.

I do not sense that Melinda is there yet though. My sense is that Melinda will respond positively IMMEDIATELY to any emotional and spiritual support that you offer her.

2. You do not like the 'abusive' word. Neither did I. However, until I accepted the excruciatingly painful fact of the possibility that I might be abusive in nature, I had no hope for change and recovery.

As painful as it is for you, it is vital that you receive outside input concerning how you express yourself to Melinda. She feels it is abusive, and we concur. Not to hurt you, but to help you to 'own' it and begin the journey of change. This is the most difficult project that you will ever embark on... which is changing yourself. Your goal is to be like Christ.

Again, you cannot grade yourself on this. You must ask Melinda to honestly tell you when you are coming across abusively.. and you must not defend yourself or argue your point. Who cares if you are 'right' in a fact if your wife feels that you are being abusive in the way that you are communicating your point?

Think of it this way: What if you were communicating to a judge, in a hearing, in the same way that you communicate to Melinda? Would you win your argument, or would you be ejected from the court?

Your letter to us was very well thought out, was written in a very kind tone, (even though you were presenting a disagreement), and did not have a single abusive tone toward me. (Even though some ideas you present are classic 'abusive men' ideas and are helpful in understanding your heart... your presentation was not abusive.)

If you would communicate to Melinda in the same kind, respectful tones that you use when you communicate to a judge, or that you wrote in your letter to us, things would change rather dramatically.

You might not always 'win' the argument, but your care and concern for Melinda, and your carefulness at communicating in a loving and respectful way, that exhibits a deep honor for Melinda as your wife will go a long way to giving you what is REALLY important.. that being a strong and happy marriage to a happy, fulfilled and contented wife.

So, the bottom line is that it is IMPOSSIBLE for you to rightly judge as to whether you are being abusive. This is a judgement that only Melinda can make, and God has given her to you to help you to isolate this tendency and 'crucify' it in favor of becoming more Christ like.

As an 'aside', you will probably not get Melinda to quit school, regardless. The schooling is very important for Melinda to build her self-esteem and self reliance... especially until you have become proficient at supporting her emotionally.

Paul wrote: I have done more for Linda than anyone else in this world yet she fails to see this.

Joel's reply: In our book, we talk about the 'rescuer'. "We" abusive men all have something in common. We all feel at some time your exact sentiments. We feel like we rescued our wives and have done or are currently doing more for them than anyone else in the world. Another viewpoint that would be helpful in helping you to 'own' this is Paul Hegstrom's book, "Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them."

Our 'rescuing' is proof to us that we indeed feel like we are better than our 'pitiful wives' and that they should be grateful for what we do for them.

Paul writes: I have read most of your book and you have some very good points. On the other hand, I don't see that anyone is dealing with the deeper issues.

From Joel: It goes no deeper than this. We have to die to ourselves, become like Christ in how we treat our wives, and lay our lives down to meet their needs in the same way that Christ did for us. This solves EVERY marriage problem.

Paul writes: I have a wife that wants to live in a fantasy land.

Joel writes: Your job is indeed to fulfill her fantasies!

Paul writes: I have resisted several women that were attractive and offered emotional support as well. At times this has been a struggle, but it is my love for God that keeps me.

Joel writes:

Now you must go the next step. You must become like Christ in the way you treat Melinda because of your love for God.

Paul Writes: The times I e-mail Melinda is not to berate her but a cry for help. I am not looking for a subservient woman and have no problem with mutual submission, however, that term can be misapplied like anything else.

Joel writes: Paul, the only solution is to focus on yourself becoming Christ-Like in the way you relate to Melinda. It is not productive to try to focus on areas that you feel Melinda is falling short. Melinda will deal with any issues she might have after you have dealt with yours. This is hard for us men to swallow.. but it is true.

Paul writes: If I was more Christ like, I would not lash out at Melinda when she isolates me, abuses me emotionally and turns from the reality of the pain associated with the real world I have to perform in to support her and my children. My reaction comes from this and not abusive tendencies.

Joel writes: This is the bottom line. It is your job to respond in a Christ like manner to Melinda regardless of how you feel she is treating you. The easiest way to do this is to realize that she is simply a God given reflection of how you are treating her. "As a man sows, so shall he reap."

This verse is most true in marriages. Melinda 'isolates, abuses emotionally and turns away from YOUR pain' (if she indeed does these things) as a reflection of how you treat her.

So, you can see very easily, from her reaction, (which is a mirror or your treatment toward her) that you 'isolate her, abuse her emotionally and turn away from HER pain.'

The solution? When you begin to embrace HER pain and meet HER needs and when you quit emotionally abusing her, these are the things that you will get back from her! (or the things you will NOT get back from her as is sometimes the case here.)

God has designed marriage so that you make the first move. If and when you as a husband begin to treat your wife correctly, then she will reflect that.

The upside down message is that a wife should treat her husband correctly first.

However, a woman is not equipped with the ability to do this long term... and is the reason that it does not work. You however, are equipped by God to lay your life down for your wife and meet her needs first... God would be unjust to require this of husbands if it were not possible.

Your wife is (only) equipped to 'respond' to you... or in other words, to reflect back to you the care and concern that you show for her. Yes, a wife CAN agape love and lay her life down for her husband for a season from sheer determination.. but she is not called, nor equipped to do this and if done for too long will drive a wife crazy, or to an early grave.

So.... if you do your part, which is to INITIATE love, concern, compassion and care for Melinda, in the ways that SHE receives and defines as love, concern and compassion. ... she will respond to you in kind.

I personally take it as an honor. Think of it:

"We men, as the husbands, have TOTAL control over our happiness in our marriage. We can treat our wives like a queen and be totally happy.. or we can treat her poorly, have a resultantly unhappy marriage, and blame her for acting poorly without ever acknowledging that it is our actions that she is reflecting."

I choose the first of the two options... and it is a wonderful, wonderful way to live! I had to die to get here... but now I am TRULY alive.

God Bless,

Joel

ATTENTION MEN! Every man reading this can live this life that I am living. Read and re-read that last paragraph. You have total control over the happiness in your marriage... but you have to die to yourself and become like Christ in the way that you relate to your wife. Jesus says, "Come unto me, all you who are heavy laden, burdened, and I will give you rest." Can you say that to your wife? "Come to me sweetheart, and I will give you rest. Cast all of your cares upon me. Tell me all of your fears, are of your hurts, all of your wounds... and I will give you rest. Ask of me, and when you ask of me, you can be confident that I will hear you. Ask anything of me, and it will be done unto you."

The following is a letter that we wrote to the author of another book on marriage:

Hi Terri,

I finally was able to complete the book. We are still on the road.. with all four kids! Try finding private time when you are in a hotel room with four kids! Sent them to a movie last week and hid in the bathroom another time!

Family bonding!

Well, if you read our book, (The Man of Her Dreams/The Woman of His!) you know that we love a lot of your book.

God has been teaching your husband to love you as Christ loves the church and you have found how easy it is to respond to that.

What really thrills me is the part of your book that is addressing the gift of making love and enjoying intense romance, the chapter on forgiveness, 'the wives said' chapter, tips for lovers etc.

I was glad that you acknowledged that the extremes of the 'wife submit' message has caused abuse in some Christian homes.

If you have read our book, I am sure that you realize what our thoughts are about some of the other parts of the book. (Only about 15% of it.)

We are combating the traditional 'wife only submit and husband only lead' message that is so prevalent in the church. As you now know, our book documents our findings about mutual submission, team leadership and husbands and wives truly being 'equal and one flesh' with equal value placed upon the thoughts, feelings and opinions of both.

It seems that some of your chapters were written out of your earlier year experiences and beliefs.. and some of the chapters are revealing that God is more recently teaching you exactly what He taught us; That being that if a husband treats his wife right, she will (almost and usually) automatically respond.

Christian women simply do not leave husbands, or commit adultery, when their husbands treat them like a queen; valuing them highly... just like God has been teaching your husband to do.

In our 'bad days', we taught all of the traditional teachings about marriage (as pastors). "Wife only submit, husband make the decisions with his wife's input, husbands lead and wives follow, and we taught that a woman who tries to 'usurp her husbands authority' was probably influenced by a Jezebel spirit."

We all were innocent in our teaching of these things. Innocently mistaken.

Here is what God showed us concerning the Jezebel Spirit: Yes, there is a true Jezebel spirit. She is found in the book of Revelation and she is a spirit that teaches that sexual sin is OK. We see this in churches like the (Lutheran and Episcopal?) that have sanctioned gay marriage, gay clergy, and teach that it is OK for couples to live together.

However, the way that we have used the Jezebel and Ahab template in relation to the average Christian marriage has been totally wrong.

We, and most of our favorite ministers of the Gospel made the same mistake.

One day, God challenged me to simply look at the Word concerning Ahab and Jezebel. I was a bit surprised by this request, as I was sure that I knew all about Ahab and Jezebel. After all, everyone knows that Ahab was a wimp who married a wicked woman. She controlled him and made him be party to wicked things.

I was shocked when I saw in 1 Kings 16:30 that Ahab was the most wicked king who did evil in the sight of the Lord more than any who went before him... and this was before he ever laid eyes on Jezebel.

The truth is that Ahab was a very strong willed and wicked king, the most wicked ever, who attracted a wife who was equally as strong willed and wicked.

This is exactly what we believe and teach. Couples marry at their same level.

Therefore, we have made it a part of our seminars to take five minutes and bring a gentle correction to the doctrine of the "Ahab/Jezebel" syndrome. We ALWAYS start by being transparent about the fact that we ourselves used to believe and teach it and that many of our favorite ministers offer ten and twenty tape sets on the Jezebel Spirit!

We were all innocent in teaching these things... and were caught up in the favorite messages of our 'times'. However, sometimes we have to discard the excesses that came to us in the Charismatic movement. (Think 'Pigs in the Parlor') You pointed out the 'excess error' that was the submission message quite aptly yourself.

Even though we do not subscribe to the idea that a strong willed and vocal wife is 'usurping authority' and has a Jezebel spirit manifesting in her strong personality, I must point out that some of the issues you address about wives who are overbearing toward their husbands behind closed doors must be addressed and you do a great job doing that.

"Headship". We have totally discarded the thought that this means that a husband has 'authority' over his wife. (Unless that authority is limited to extending protection over her through prayer.. in the same manner that a wife extends protection over her husband through prayer.) This also makes it impossible for a wife to 'disrespect or usurp her husbands authority over her.' After all, if a husband is not 'God's delegated authority' over her, then a wife is not in rebellion to nor is she usurping authority over her husband when she is expecting to be treated as an equal partner in the marital team. If a husband and wife BOTH submit and also both have authority over one another, then much of the weapons that are used to villain-ize Christian wives is done away with.

We have chosen instead to embrace the thought that 'headship' means 'source of strength'.

Smarter people than we have written very long dissertations that elaborate on FIVE different ways that 'headship' can be defined, and really good people disagree as to which of these are correct. (In much the same way that good people can argue endlessly over pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib, pre-wrath etc. concerning the timing of the rapture.. and of course some even argue as to whether or not there is a rapture.)

In these things, we each have to come to our own conclusions as to which of the seemingly equally possible conclusions are correct.

When it comes to 'headship', we have chosen the legitimate option of believing the 'source of strength' instead of the 'authority' definition. (We feel like the authority option is way off track concerning what Paul is communicating... even though Paul says it is a mystery, and we are all trying our best to understand what he meant! Even if 'source of strength' is not the 'end all' of perfect understandings of headship, we feel like it is a MUCH better understanding than 'authority over'.)

If I draw strength from the affirmation and love that I receive from Christ, I can extend that offer of strength to my wife as I affirm, validate and love her.

Again, if you have read our book, you already know some of these things. I write now in hopes of helping to clarify these things.

God also challenged me concerning First Peter 3. 'that even if some do not obey the Word, they without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives." (NKJV)

In my background, 'not obeying the Word' could be defined as "a believer who is living in sin." However, we believe that God challenged us on this. I feel like He presented to me that in the days of the New Testament, this designation referred only to an unbeliever.

This answered so many questions. For example: "How can a wife 'not say a word' to her husband, their Pastor, or to a friend, if she is married to a Christian man who is treating her abusively? (Mentally, verbally, emotionally)"

It seemed like God was being an unjust ruler. Certainly, God is not unjust.

So, we feel like God taught us that this verse is ONLY applicable to a Christian woman married to a NON-Christian man. The most important thing is his salvation.

After he gets saved, he must begin to be renewed in his mind, will and emotions and begin to become Christ-like. The way for this to happen, for many a husband who has abusive tendencies, is for his wife to speak up to him, and if necessary, to call in reinforcements, such as their pastor, or other trusted friends who the husband respects and who will be willing to speak into his life.

When 1 Peter is applied to a Christian marriage, it enables a man to stay as a child, living selfishly, and acting abusively toward his wife. We believe that God taught us that our former belief about it was wrong.

So, again, let me say a GREAT BIG WOW! over 85% of the book. You have so well captured and presented so many really great things. It is so important for Christian couples to enjoy an intensely romantic and passionate love. It is also so very, very important for forgiveness to be extended again, and again, and again! It is also very real that people must forgive parents and others who have hurt them lest that root of bitterness springs up and defiles many.

God bless you so VERY, VERY much Pastor Terri. It takes courage to share our books and open ourselves to critique! Thanks for asking us to review yours!

Have a blessed day!

Dear Joel and or Kathy,

Greetings in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I was doing some research on the Internet (divorce and remarriage) and found your web-site. You have a good deal of information, but I was not able to find answers to a specific set of questions.

Do you believe that Scripture permits folk to remarry after a divorce? If you do not believe Scripture allows for remarriage, Why? Do you believe that Scripture permits a couple to reconcile after a divorce where one of the partners has had a subsequent marriage?

Does you book address these subjects? If so, I will most likely be placing an order soon.

I have lost my wife to divorce. She has remarried. I seek her hand (and heart) in reconciliation. Do you support that cause?

Thank you. God Bless,
Clay Allen


Note: We sent two answers in response to this. They are as follows:

Hi Clay,

Have you been a believer long?
Were you both believers when you were divorced?
Have you 'owned' your issues from the first marriage concerning your failures?

We do not recommend that a person in your shoes would pursue reconciliation with your ex, outside of your owning your issues that might have contributed to the divorce and bringing healing to her heart by offering apologies and recognition of your failures toward her.

The man that she is married to picked up the pieces that you dropped, and we do not feel that you would be 'doing unto others as you would have them do unto you' if you were to pursue his wife! (regardless of a theological position regarding whether or not God recognizes their marriage)

If you are still single and she would find herself divorced, we certainly would encourage you to pursue re-marriage if you have owned your issues that contributed to that marriage failing.

Our book will mainly help you to own any issues that you had in the first marriage that contributed to the divorce. We believe that 95% of the problems in marriage are initiated by the husband not meeting his wife's needs and expectations as he promised to do when he asked her to marry him. Most women respond by acting out in various ways and that is the root of the divorce. (His not meeting his wife's needs is the root)

So, most important for you, as a man of God, is to discover why you lost her in the first place.. and then to grow as a man so that you would be successful in a re-marriage to her.

I do not know enough about your situation to comment further on re-marriage etc. except to say that you never want to consider re-marriage to her, or anyone else until you have taken care of your heart issues.

If you indeed were the cause of the divorce, the word teaches that you have caused your wife to commit adultery, and that you bear the guilt of that. These are heavy things. Certainly there is forgiveness for these things... divorce is not the 'unpardonable sin'. It is very serious though.

My suggestion is to wait a few years, in purity, and grow as a man of God by reading books like ours that will help prepare you to be a good husband. If her marriage is successful to this man, then at some point, you might feel a release from the Lord to find another wife. Your repentance must be VERY complete though, as well as the ownership of the things that you did wrong in your first marriage.

We do feel for you.. and I know that the Lord does also. Jesus said some hard things about your situation; things that take some soul searching and doing some business with the Lord for you to rectify for your future.

Our concern is when a man, (like an acquaintance we have who got re-married)..does not ever 'own' the fact that his first divorce was his fault. Within two years he started acting abusively toward his second wife, and within five years she had to put him out because he was so abusive.

Don't be that man!

Our book does not address divorce and re-marriage much except as part of people's stories. Our main concern is teaching people how to be happily married to their current spouse, and finding healing from past issues, including past divorces and sour relationships.

Blessings,

Joel and Kathy Davisson
www.joelandkathy.com

Hi Clay,

We are praying for you. Divorce is brutal.. I write letters fast as we are so busy.. hope that our response to your question was not too quick and to the point for you. By the way, to clarify the example I gave at the end of that last letter: It was within two years of re-marriage that the man I referred to began exhibiting the same attitudes that had destroyed his first marriage. After five years, his wife had to ask him to leave... and he was a PASTOR!

So, take comfort. No trial comes your way that is not common to many other men... and the Holy Spirit always gives a way of escape and restoration.

If your divorce has been recent, and your wife's new marriage is young, I personally would sit tight and see if it crashes. If you learn how to be a fabulous husband by reading books like ours, you could be there to catch her if it falls out. It has happened before. To reiterate though, you do not want to ever do anything that would expose the fact that this is what you are hoping for. That would be totally wrong... and would make you guilty of coveting another man's wife! Not a good thing to do!

If they crash and burn on their own.... who knows? My mom and dad actually got re-married to one another after he married and then was divorced from the woman that he had committed adultery with and subsequently married. The sad part is that he still had not learned how to meet a woman's needs.. and their re-marriage subsequently failed.

This is why we emphasize that it is most important for you to become the man that God has called you to be.. and that work is complete when you are successfully meeting your wife's needs.

Blessings!

Joel and Kathy Davisson

Dear Joel and Kathy,

I have been blessed receiving the good news of Marriages being restored and the Word of God changing lives via your newsletters.

I have a question, the Bible says, God hates divorce and husbands "do Not divorce your wife". I am aware there are grounds that God allows for divorce and every situation may be different. However my thought is this. Who does God hold accountable, my husband divorced me cause he just did not want to try to work this out and felt he is better off living as a single, doing what he want to do without being committed to me. although we were separated for a year, and doing that time he went around other people who were making things comfortable and babying him, he completely stopped all communication with me, and then decided he wanted out, so he "Divorced" me.

I am a believer and believe in what the Word of God says, although when I met him he stated he believe in the Word of God, yet he backslide out of his church. The people he hangs around, are negative and I am sure they help influence his decision he be better off without me. The only reason we separated, (he got out of prison) he was not spending time with me, other people came before me, so he thought I was pressuring him.

We were married 3 years, doing great while he was in prison. Then he was with me only 5 months after he got out. Then he left and moved in with his sister. After about one and half years, he decided he didn't want to restore the marriage, so he got his divorce.

He is 52 years and has been in and out of prison almost 24 years since the age of 19 years old for 2nd degree murder, assaults charges, and being a habitual offender.

When I met him through bible studies in 1999, he was on fire for Christ. He asked me to married him in 2000. He came home 2003, separated in 2004 and divorced me in 2005.

This man had the word on God so rich in him. I still cannot believe it. He now acts like he never knew me. When he was in prison he thanked God every day for sending me into his life and he claimed what a difference I made to him. He never was involved with a Christian lady before.

Before the month of the divorce he had came around pretending to wanted to start over with our marriage. When we went to court, I mentioned to the judge he had come around and told me he wanted a fresh start, he rudely interrupted and told me in the court room that he didn't want me, that I have nothing that he wants. He said that he only came around because he wanted some money and have sex with me. He said that he came over only to "Scam" me.

So Joel and Kathy you can imagine what that did to me. For him to say this to me publicly, in court, after having told me on my birthday that now, after a year of being separated that he wanted to start over. Of course he was granted his divorce ( we are in a no fault state)

Sincerely,
Blesstobless

Dear Bless to Bless,

Your story is duplicated hundreds of times across the country. Kind women begin to communicate with a prisoner who claims Christianity. (Jailhouse Conversion) She gullibly believes his claims of love for her and the Lord and marries him. When he gets out, he backslides from the Lord and leaves the wife.

It is only a matter of time until your ex- lands in prison again. You should stay as far away from him as possible. No attempts to communicate with him etc.. and it would be best for you to move and make sure that he never finds out where you live. The chance is strong that his next crime might be a crime against you.

As far as your marital status: The bible says that a Christian wife is to let an unbeliever depart and that she is not under bondage in this case. There is no question: You are not in bondage to your marriage vows. He has broken the vows, not you. You are free to re-marry.

However, it is very important for you to grow in some areas before considering entering into a new relationship. There are reasons that you married a man who was in prison. These issues will not allow you to attract and marry a quality man.

So, in order to begin to grow beyond these issues, here are your marching orders:

1. You must be a regular member/attender of a good church that believes and teaches the bible.

2. You must be a tither.

3. You must hold down a full time job for a period of time, successfully.

4. Begin to read positive books such as ours, books by Joel Osteen, Kenneth Hagin, Charles and Frances Hunter, Paul Hegstrom and others. Stay away from books that distract you from personal growth such as end time books, fiction books, etc. Your goal is personal growth. Even reading secular books that encourage a good self image would be helpful.

If you stick to this plan for a few years, your self-image will begin to change and you will then attract a more quality guy. If you look for a guy now, you are going to attract an abusive man.

Have a blessed day!

Joel and Kathy Davisson


Hi Isaac and Christina!

This is Joel of Joel and Kathy. We had a great time meeting with you two.

Are you reading the book? Are you practicing it? Are you doing well?

Pastor Sammy told us about the cell phone incident. He said that Christine was deleting phone numbers and names from your cell phone that she was unsure as to who they were and that you took the phone from her. Then Christine reacted by biting you on the hand or arm in her attempt to get it back from you.. or to convey her unhappiness?

The bottom line on this Isaac is that it was imperative for Christine to have total access to your cell phone.. to delete names that you do not have a good explanation for and to have total freedom to verify the phone numbers you might call etc. (After all, there should not be any questionable names and numbers that you are wanting to hide from her.. right?)

This is not for the purpose of checking up on you, because we are confident (AHEM) that you have discarded your girlfriend(s?). This is for the purpose of Christine being able to reassure herself, with proof, that you are being faithful to her, God and the kids.

A wife must be confident of this, and this will take a couple years of your building trust by being totally transparent for Christine to get to the place of being able to rest in trust of your love for her and only her.

This is totally normal in marriages that have had trouble and especially when adultery has been involved.

So, for Christine to 'flip out' on you and hit you or bite you or act out in any other way to get the phone from you is really a VERY normal reaction from a wife who is not feeling valued, honored and safe.

In our book, we talk about how Kathy sometimes acted out.. .but her acting out was only an emotional response that she really could not help.

Thank God for this. If our wives could be perfect, regardless of how we acted toward them, then we would never have to face ourselves when we are not treating them well... because they would not be reacting negatively.

God MADE women in a way that they CANNOT help but get emotionally unbalanced when their husbands do not treat them well. Thank God for it. Without this, we would never have to grow up and mature as husbands and men.

On the other hand Christine, do your best to be calm, cool and collect, and plain spoken to Isaac about things he does to hurt your feelings or that makes you feel afraid. This will help your relationship.

It would be good for you both to go to our web site. You can spend hours reading testimonies on the testimony page and also letters with our counseling replies on the questions and answer page.

www.joelandkathy.com

We look forward to hearing from you soon with an update.

God Bless!

Joel and Kathy

Hello Joel and Kathy,

I don't even know how I got to this web site but now that I am here and have a failed marriage after 15 years, I have a question.

Is there help other than God for a marriage that he walked out on after 15 years and we don't even talk?

He does have a girlfriend that he left me for and on one occasion when I called him he said, "You have never said anything to make me come home."

I know not what to pray for anymore. He acts as if I never existed.

I feel used. I hurt deeply.

I am a believer but I pray and seek and know I should just let it go but I said for better or worst and hate divorce but it seems that they are ruling the world these day.

How stupid, I still want my marriage to work. Do, I just give it up and more on?

Can your book really help?

Laura

Hi Laura,

Can our book help your situation?

It will bring healing, validation and strength to you. If your husband would read it, certainly he could turn around.

Outside of that, I am sure that you have been told this many times: You may have married for better or worse, but that does not include THIS type of worse.

For better or for worse means sickness, unforeseen problems that you as a couple must face, poverty etc., one of the two get over weight etc.

Your husband has left your marriage, and he is not a believer.

He has chosen to leave God and to leave you. The bible tells you to let him go and that you are not under bondage.

Your husband violated and ended the marriage. Not you. You are therefore free to live single or to re-marry.

You are responding to the desire that God have you for your husband... that is why you still love him and want him back.

God made you this way, however, he also gave you clear direction as to when you can let that desire for your husband diminish and eventually disappear altogether.

You certainly could order a book as a last ditch effort to be sent to your husband.

Any man can change and so many do when they get the knowledge that is in our book. You can read letters from some of these men on our testimony page on the web site. (Men don't like to write so it is a small miracle when we get testimony letters from men!)

Keep us up to date.

Joel and Kathy

Dear Joel and Kathy,

Please help. I''ve cheated on my husband time after time because I thought I wanted something new or better. But after being apart from him for one year. I realize that I need him in my life. I just want a chance to prove to him that I've changed my ways.

Darla

 

HI Darla,

If your husband is mature at all and a believer, you will not need to prove to him that you have changed your ways.

He will welcome you back with open arms and he will search your heart for answers about anything he might have done or not done in your marriage that encouraged you to look elsewhere.

If you are not Christians and if you were just led by lust, yes, you do have to change that completely. We find that this is not often the case though.

Your adultery is not justified regardless. You do need to repent, however the larger issue is to figure out why you were not happy with your husband. This is what he needs to learn, if this is a normal situation.

Again, if you were just driven by lust, yes, repentance and prayer for deliverance and begging for another chance are in order.

Be real though. If your husband was ignoring you, treating you poorly, dishonoring you, being lazy etc. then you would not help anything by begging for forgiveness etc. You would only be further damaging the situation. You need to own your issues, but if your actions were a response to his treating you poorly, he also needs to own his issues. Your sin is not worse than his if this describes your situation.

Joel and Kathy

 

Hi Joel and Kathy!

I am thrilled to hear about your trip to Africa.

Praise God. Praise God. Praise God.
"You are well able to go and possess the land"!
I speak increase into your lives. The Lord is increasing you.....and "every place on which your foot shall tread He has given unto you, no man shall be able to stand before you".......go......you are well able to possess the land!

Rick and I just read your book together. Praise God!

The truth about God's will concerning relationship between a husband and wife needs to be taught BEFORE THE WEDDING...
The principles of God's word as explained in your book need to be known before "I DO" to prevent "WHY DID I DO THAT"?

Satan attacks marriages. Healthy marriages are vital to a community, to a city, to a state, to the nation.....ONE NATION UNDER GOD!

The reason we read "The man of your dreams, the woman of his" is because we are prayerfully considering marriage and I won't marry a man who doesn't understand the principles of marriage according to the Word of God which are so clearly outlined in your book.

While spending time with Rick some interesting things took place.

Rick is a very Godly, compassionate and generous man. Prayer and a personal relationship with Christ are "core" to him.

He blesses me continually. It didn't take long to recognize that his blessing me though was when he decided to and not when I needed him to.

Of course his acts of love and kindness were welcomed when ever he expressed them.

I began to think I was too needy. (surprise...not!)

We hadn't finished reading your book at the time and so when I experienced emotional pain, rather than talk to him about it, I journaled the things that emphasized my "neediness" like:

1. I recently bought some new clothes.. a new dress, a new skirt, new pants, a bathing suit etc and like a little girl I got excited and said "let me go and model what I wont be able to wear". He was getting ready to change the oil in the car.

When I walked the runway (entered his garage), he was sweeping and I asked him how he thought I looked. He never even glanced and said "You look great".
I said "you didn't even look". He laughed and said you always look "okay". (okay is not a crown polishing word)

A sucker for more punishment....I came out with another outfit on and asked the same thing again, he never looked up and said "those things are not important to me."
I changed back into my jeans, swallowed my pain and cheerfully kept him company while he changed the oil.

Afterwards he said "you're great, I can't believe that you came out into the cold and kept me company. I really appreciate that."

I retreated, wrote down the incident in my journal and thought....Elaine, you need too much attention, get over it.

2. Another entry in my journal included me asking him if he thought I was pretty, he responded by shaking his head and saying "how many times do I have to tell you?"

3. My journal includes a second time that I asked him if he thought I was attractive. He asked me if he had to write it down.

4. Lastly, one beautiful sunny afternoon I looked over at him while we were driving in the car and said....Love me? Rick said "what is the matter with you? I have already told you that I love you. Do I need to write that down for you too?".

One evening when I asked him how he thought things were going, Rick said that if he married me, he didn't think that I would be happy. He said that he obviously hurt my feelings too often, almost daily.

I said do you think I am too needy? He said ya.

After reading your book, I told him that I had written those "needy things" down.

I pointed out that if he had replied with "yes honey, I love you" or "what's not to love" or "baby, I love you", "you look great", "wow" ... or.....1 to 5 words that would meet my need rather than 5 to 10 sentences of why I shouldn't ask him what I already know.....it might be easier on both of us.

I asked him if he really thought that everything about our relationship was wonderful except this one thing....would it really be too much to reply with a kind answer?
Rick hung his head, smiled, looked up at me and said "No, it isn't too much. I am an idiot."

I assured him that he was not an idiot and made reference to the things you teach in your book that explain the importance of responding to a woman's emotional needs.

By the way, I found a miniature doll like the guy you have....it brings lots of smiles to Rick's face...humor is such an awesome gift.

I'll keep you updated.
You are blessed and are a blessing to me.
Love, Elaine


Dear Elaine,

You did well.. and RIck did well in receiving your request. Yes Rick, that tendency to shut Elaine out when she asks for a compliment/reassurance is that 'thing' that husbands have to die to. All women need these things... if you stay receptive to Elaine in these type of things you will go on to have a good relationship. If you decide to shut her out.. which would be you in your worst carnal state, then you would have a really lousy relationship.

You would not believe how many men treat their wives in the 'shutting out' ways that you started to exhibit... the difference is that when Elaine explained how she felt, you listened and agreed to change.. You have much hope!

Blessings,

Joel and Kathy


Note: As always, we add these letters to our web site to help hurting couples. The following series of letters are back and forth with a couple whom we will call Matt and Cindy. Matt and Cindy funded 85% of our first trip to South Africa in January, 2005. Cindy's mom died right before we left and Cindy is from a different country. Matt could not go home with her to her country because of certain circumstances. When Cindy returned, all hell broke loose in their relationship. When we returned, we spoke with them and there were a couple days of peace and then all hell broke loose when Matt took a new (young) secretary to a one day business conference...not inviting Cindy because she had made it clear in the past that she did not enjoy the conferences.. however, this time, Matt was taking a young secretary. Thankfully, after this crises Matt and Cindy are now experiencing a relationship that is so great that Cindy says that she feels like she is floating! In addition, Matt and Cindy sowed another $1200 toward our second trip to Africa. Hallelujah and thank you SO MUCH "Matt and Cindy"

Hello Joel and Kathy,

No wonder we have been hit hard by the enemy in our family life because of what we did for your ministry. Reading the newsletter below, I realized things happened this way because we funded most of your trip to Africa and you have made a huge impact in people's lives. Someone is kicking and screaming and we got the after math.

We were clueless as to what was happening in Africa and here we got nailed in America. We basically bit the bait and fought and were ready to throw up our hands and said "it ain't worth it'

That is my take on what has happened to us since my mother died. While you were having a great ministry, we have been attacked.... because we made a huge impact in people's lives.(By sending you to Africa)

We have to be more in tune with the spirit and recognize the attack when it happens. I think we have been blaming each other (Matt and I) like : who hit me...? you did..? why did you do that for..?
hope you get the picture of what I am trying to say.

Love,
Cindy


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Matt received a copy of this e-mail and replied to Cindy:

This is a good assessment Cindy. Thanks for the input.

Matt

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Here is our reply to Cindy and we CC'd to Matt:

Hi Cindy,

Yes, we most definitely understand what you are saying, and it is so true. We should have had people praying for you as much as for us. As you said, if it were not for you, we would not have been there.. and while we are there bringing miracles to hurting couples, you are getting attacked royally.

We will fix this in the future.. and ask people to pray for you and any others who make the trips possible as much as they pray for us.

We were really sorry to hear that you all got under such attack. live and learn, that is for sure!

Kathy and I are so careful all of the time to give each other grace and space to make mistakes without criticizing one another. it is so important to live carefully (circumspectly) when we are reaching other couples with the message of how to be outrageously happily married.

God Bless!
Joel and Kathy


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After a couple days of calm, the business seminar situation arose. Cindy called us crying divorce! Matt was taking his new young secretary to a business conference and did not invite her.. on top of that she was still grieving over her mother's death (9 weeks later!) and still could not function at her job in their business. After we spoke to Cindy, Matt wrote to us:


Hi Joel and Kathy,


I understand that you spoke with Cindy today and as she put it, you are "on her side". So, if you don't mind, here's the rest of the story.....


Perhaps I should have asked Cindy's permission to take one of my employees to a RE/MAX function? Perhaps I should have asked Cindy to go?


Fact: Cindy has not gone during a daytime ______ Awards event in over 10 years. She has no interest.


Cindy never wishes to attend the ______ Christmas party gatherings (700 people usually attend). I go to these with my entire staff.... that is, everyone but Cindy. I have been asking Cindy year after year to attend. She got mad 5 or 6 years ago because I drove with my assistant and met Cindy there. So she has not wanted to go. I kept asking anyway. The last one (held last November) Cindy said "Don't ask me again.... I am not going".


So I had some basis not to ask her for to come to the event. She down plays them and has no interest in them. So.... I don't ask. I did not ask her to attend the event today either.


Now she wants a divorce. She goes on and on about how much I hurt her. You see, I can't do anything right. Everything I do is wrong. Damned if I do, or don't.


I am so exhausted from her behavior of insecurity. I am just tired.


I never can do anything right and am criticized regularly each day about something. She is not happy with me and wants out and as hard as it will be to go thru, it will be fine in the end.


We have so much going for us. This is the only issue:


The relationship.


Bad communication, no respect, A.D.D., anger, unforgiveness, etc..... all bottled up in one unhappy woman. It is all my fault. So letting her go is fine. Then she will find her illustrious happiness.


Thanks for listening.... I hope I don't sound mad, I'm not.... just disheartened and tired.


Matt


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Our reply:

Hi Matt,

I left you two voice mails..I trust that you got them. It is not a question about taking sides.

I stood directly on Cindy's toes concerning her mother and the unending grieving. I told her that there is not a husband in America who would understand her carrying on and on and not being able to function. In this, all you can do is try to comfort her.. but realize that you are in the same boat with the rest of the world in not understanding why Cindy is so messed up over this.

Concerning the ______ meeting... it is simply a new curve in the road. Had you considered it beforehand in the light of "How would any wife view my taking a new, young secretary on a private day out together?"

So, having this thought in mind, you would have said, "Cindy, I know you do not like the ______ events, but I need to take the new secretary to it, so would you come with us so that I am not alone with her for the day?"

Think back to when you were first married... how did Cindy act? When did she change? She changed when she began to feel unvalued and dishonored in her relationship to you.. this is universal with women.

So, your job, to grow as a husband is to daily re-build her feeling of value and honor in your sight.

Will you and Cindy each read the book again? You and she will both be amazed at what you have forgotten.

Got to run..

blessings,

Joel and Kathy

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Here is a copy and paste of one of Matt's comments that we wanted to reply to:


She is fine now today, after removing her ring last night after midnight. Crazed world ha ha.


Our Response:

Dear Matt,

So goes the emotional life of a woman! By the way, the best books that I have read next to ours are by Ken Nair: Discovering the Mind of a Woman and Discovering the Heart of a Man.

Would be worth going to Amazon and ordering them.

I am glad you and Cindy will read the book again.

Blessings!

Joel and Kathy


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Dear Joel and Kathy,

We had a good day at church this morning. Day is going well. In love again....

Wild.

Matt

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Dear Matt...

Yeah.. who better than you and Cindy to end up with a wildly, happy in love marriage...

hold onto this moment the next time things seem to be crashing.. hopefully will not happen again.. but reality says that it probably will...
just do your best to consider Cindy and how she might feel about every situation that you are considering doing, saying, etc. etc. etc.

Ask yourself, 'Is there any potential for Cindy to feel insecure or not valued in this situation?' If the answer is yes, then be proactive in including and reassuring her..

I will give you two recent examples from our life of this dynamic:

About a week ago, we got an e-mail from the daughter of the 'other' husband (the husband of my fling from 1991.) Occasionally he calls me, oddly enough, for encouragement or counsel.

We had not heard from him for about three years. Kathy is always knocked off balance if she thinks he is in touch with me because
she feels this could be an open door to the possibility of seeing them again...

so, being pro-active, I showed Kathy the e-mail and said, "Why don't you get on the phone and we will call him together?"

We called, got his voice mail, left a message.. and we have not heard from him and we have not called him back. Kathy's moment of insecurity was completely healed because I validated that she had a good reason to feel threatened in her emotions even though the facts are that we will not see them.

By validating her emotions, and acting in a way that gave her security...... her emotions were healed and she was fine. All of this took place in a couple hours.... and it has never been mentioned since.

In the bad days of course, I would have told Kathy that she should not worry.. that I can talk to him and we will not get together.... and I would have told her that she was over-reacting to be worried.

Another recent thing was that I saw an ad on OUR amazon.com site for our book, saying that someone who bought our book also bought a book called 'suicide girls'.

I was curious and went to the site... oops.. a girl with no shirt on! The next day I was counseling someone on the phone and Kathy just happened to hit the arrow button on my browser and saw suicide girls.. clicked on it.. and I noticed it. I immediately cupped the phone and told her exactly what I just explained and reassured her that I had immediately gotten off of the site.

The situation therefore was a complete non-issue.

In the bad days, I would have ignored it, hoped and prayed that she would not mention it.. and just let her go through emotional swings for days, knowing full well what was causing it... but just glad that she did not mention it... and hoping that she would 'work through it" herself.

If she did finally mention it, I would have gotten onto her case that she has been 'holding onto this' for days and should really just drop it because it was not important and it was just a fluke... so leave me alone!

Life is so sweet when you proactively validate and minister to your wife's insecurities.

Regardless of whether there is a legitimate reason for a wife to feel insecure, she feels insecure. (Feelings are not 'right' or 'wrong'.. they just 'are'.)

When you leap to her rescue immediately by being pro-active, the insecurities vanish and life is so good... literally heaven on earth.

When a husband avoids, denies or tries to escape from his wife's insecurities, then the downward spiral normally results in one level of 'hell on earth' or another.

Blessings!

Joel

From Joel: Someone told me that I was being "uxurious" toward my wife. I had no clue what that meant, so I looked it up and found this humorous series of entries in a blog:

By cyst on Monday, November 29, 1999 - 02:04 am:

today I learned the word "uxoriousness." excessive love for one's wife.

K. stopped by, and we talked for about fifteen minutes. The entire conversation was about [my] being an ______. I was contrite and agreeable, but I think she was frustrated [by]my failure to say the words "sorry" or "apologize".

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By heather on Monday, November 29, 1999 - 10:14 am:

how can you be excessively fond of your wife?
(the definition when i looked it up)

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By agatha on Monday, November 29, 1999 - 11:44 am:

god forbid you are fond of your wife. that's just wrong.

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By droopy on Monday, November 29, 1999 - 11:48 am:

the definition for uxurious in my dictionary is:

doting upon, foolishly fond of, or affectionately oversubmissive toward one's wife.

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By cyst on Monday, November 29, 1999 - 12:26 pm:

I bought a '50s vocabulary book at a thrift store or a garage sale, and the author, wilfred funk, is really sexist.

that's where I learned the word "uxorious." I guessed that the noun form was "uxoriousness."

oh. I'm looking at it now. it's from 1942.

"words have changed the direction of history. words can also change the direction of your life. they have often raised a man from mediocrity to success."

"7. are you apt to say: 'no other nation can hold a candle to my country. we are the supermen, the chosen people. every other race is inferior to mine and they are destined to be our slaves when the day comes'? this is not patriotism. or, rather, it is patriotism carried to an illogical and ludicrous extreme. do you happen to talk this way? then you are a chauvinist..."

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By cyst on Monday, November 29, 1999 - 12:29 pm:

words about your fellow men

the coquette - this girl promises much, flirts egregiously and delivers very little

the circe - her greatest pleasure comes from luring men on to their destruction

the virago - she is the loud-mouthed, turbulent, battle-axe type

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By Rhiannon on Monday, November 29, 1999 - 12:40 pm:

uxorious: excessively fond of or submissive to a wife

uxoricide: murder of a wife by her husband

virago: 1) a woman of great stature, strength, and courage 2) a loud overbearing woman

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By Bk on Thursday, December 16, 1999 - 02:44 pm:

"the virago - she is the loud-mouthed, turbulent, battle-axe type" and "virago: 1) a woman of great stature, strength, and courage 2) a loud overbearing woman"

Virago- A hugely over powered motorbike manufactured by Yamaha.

I wonder who picked the name for this bike?

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By Joel and Kathy on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 10:29 pm:

You guys are very funny.. Someone referred to me as 'uxorious'today.. and I did a google search and found you! I loved this "God forbid you should be fond of your wife... that's just wrong." If you know a man who needs to learn how to be 'uxurious'... buy him a copy of our book! www.unchainedhearts.com

Hi Kathy,

I bought ''The Man of Her Dreams The Woman of His'' a few months back.

Naturally my husband refused to read it cause he thought it was a male basher book.

Well, after I read the first 4 chapters to him, he actually finished reading it on his own. All went well for the first month or so.......just like I expected. I'm not sure how to make a long story short, but I will try......

In a nut shell I guess, he has started to use the book against me. Now, every time I try to talk to him I get the answer...'' what more do you want I do everything you ask the first time you ask me''.

My question is, why do I have to ask him to take the trash out (which is now my 11 year olds job) mow the grass and weed eat? Those are pretty much the only things he does or did around here. And the only time I don't get grief about asking is when it doesn't interfere with his weekend sky diving trips.

I know this sounds all very petty, but believe me this is just skimming the surface of a 12 year relationship. His first priority is himself and his ''me'' time. Everything else comes after that. If he isn't at work he wants to be sky diving. In the past it was golfing and hunting. He would golf every evening and this is a man who will set in a tree for 13 hours in freezing blustery weather to hunt. A year ago he finally finished the trim around my kitchen counter...that took him 10 1/2 years. And he just finished my siding on the house after 10 years. And that was only cause the mortgage company forced him to in order to refinance. It took him approximately 11 hours to finish it. And he only finished it after he screamed at me on the phone. Then he called and apologized but I am not allowed to talk about him screaming at me.

I just told him last night that when he is obsessed with the things he wants to do. I'm at the point that I have completely shut down from him. I tried once again last night to talk to him and all I got was I'm throwing things in his face.

When he says he is sorry that should be the end of it. I'm not allowed to discuss how I feel about anything. But, he certainly doesn't have a problem pointing fingers and throwing things up in my face.

We have a large family, 6 girls between the 2 of us. The 2 older ones are out of the house now. All I want him to do is make us a priority for a change.....And when I try to talk to him about it I get the '' I'm doing everything you ask'' speech and then it goes into the ''nothing I ever do is good enough'' speech into ''what time of month is it? what's the date? ''.

I work full time and 2 of my days are 11 1/2 hour shifts....plus I take care of the house, laundry, kids, cooking...well, I'm sure I don't have to tell you what all goes into being a wife and mother...... Plus I do a lot of the work I feel he should at least be helping me with.


I started going back to church about 4 months ago. And I am active in helping with the youth group and other things at the church. I love it....to be honest, it is the only place that I feel safe at this point in my life. He actually had the nerve to tell me last night if I'm so tired that I should stop doing all the stuff I do at the church...and I almost said back to him...''why so I can do the mowing too''. Which right after he read the book and he was making the change I actually did start doing the mowing for him but I quit. Cause I felt it was just another game. Why should I be mowing plus all the up keep of the house and tending to the kids and working full time while he is out having his ''me'' time.

I do love my husband, but at this point I'm not liking him a whole heck of a lot. I found out recently that he has lied to me in the past and he did break a promise to me. It all revolves around him rubbing snuff. I understand the addiction to it but he doesn't have to lie to me about it. So, now I set and wonder what else has he lied to me about.

I asked him last night if he felt bad that he told me I would have to scrub the siding down with a scrub brush while he was out having his good time. I didn't get a response.

Am I being selfish for wanting some quality time with him? Quality time that I don't have to ask for? or Some help around the house? or wanting to be a priority in his life instead of an after thought? or some sense of feeling safe? I don't want to be a whiner...but if I am in the wrong I will do my best to correct it. Or am I making mountains out of mole hills? I don't know where to turn or what to think anymore......

After he read the book he admitted to me that he always manipulated arguments into making them my fault. Knowing full well that I had legitimate complaints he turned it into making me feel guilty for thinking those thoughts. He is still doing that but he has put a new spin on it.....

I'm tired of trying to be honest. I do everything by myself why not be by myself? At least then I won't have the anger towards him for not being here. It'll be my choice that he isn't here......

Maybe I am jealous of the fact that he can come and go as he pleases and not have to worry about anything. I don't know........

Well, thanks for listening.......

Tammy House


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Hi Tammy,

Nothing you said in your letter is wrong. (Except that you are not being jealous!)

The best thing to do is to give a copy of your letter to your husband. If he is a good, but confused guy, he will respond and make movement toward change. If he is not a good, basic guy, he will get mad, ignore or turn the things around that you said in an attempt to make you look like the bad guy.

Remember.. this is how Joel would have responded in our bad days but your husband read our book and needs to be acting like he has a clue.

Joel would be willing to call your husband if you want to send his name and number.

The only problem with that is time. If Joel gets his voice mail, he will leave a message but then it is up to your husband to call him back.

The best move is to give your letter to him first.. and then they can use that as a starting point.

Again, all of your questionings about how your relationship should and should not be are completely correct and legitimate

Your only hope of seeing a change is indeed to be very direct and do things like having him read your letter.. your only other choice is indeed to separate.. for the purpose of restoration.

The best plan is to first be clear spoken, calm and direct about these things. Remember, your husband is about three - five years old emotionally. Sadly, you have to expect him to act his age until he begins to grow. Nothing about the way that he is treating you is abnormal for a three or four year old in an adult body.

He will only grow by your holding him responsible to the things that he read in our book.

He has obviously forgotten most of what he read.. so you will want to re-read it and highlight things that you can remind him of.

Blessings,

Kathy and Joel




Dear Joel & Kathy:

I'm not sure how I came across your website, but I am so happy that I did. I thoroughly enjoy reading everything on the site and enjoy getting your newsletters. Thank you so much!

Here is my issue...my husband and I will be married 3 years next month (August) and this is the 2nd marriage for both of us. I have 1 child (son, 8) from my first marriage and he has 2 (son, 9 and daughter, 14).
My husband and I will be married only 3 years on August 16th. We were actually 'together' 3 years before we even got married. We did live together before we got married, so it wasn't like we were 'thrown' into a completely new way of life. All the kids were used to the atmosphere and routines. My husband and I had every-other weekend to ourselves because the kids were at their other parents’ house. It was so wonderful and we did so much together. We would go on short trips (Biltmore House, Cincinnati, etc.) whenever we could. We got along wonderfully. Now, our marriage and life before we got married was not without problems and issues don't get me wrong, but nothing like it has been the past 1 & 1/2 years. I have had a long battle with depression and mood swings and my husband has had a long battle with depression and OCD. So...we are definitely quite the mix! However, My husband has always been much better at "hiding" his depression and OCD than I have been with my mood swings. It is such a struggle every day to stay 'level'. Medication helps, but it is still work! My husband has never handled my mood swings very well, but I think he has done a lot to help me and I am very thankful of that. However, I would get to the point where I would be in the "I don't need anyone's help" state of mind that I know it had to drive him up the wall (and, probably out the door)!!!
We bought a house in May of 2004. We love the house...it was in our price range (at the time) and it had what we needed. In November of 2004, we/My husband bought a fundraising business. It was a 40-year-old business and was doing OK, but not great. My husband was going to buy it and save the world with it!!! The fundraising business is not an easy business as I'm sure you can imagine. When my husband first took over, he went in and 'renovated' everything. Bought all new computers (3 or 4), new cubicles, printers (color and b&w), etc., etc. So, right off the top, there was a big mistake! The business was not in the best financial situation, but he went in and 'promised' a lot of money without any real idea of what the success of the company would be.
Then, in January of 2005, his daughter came to me and was telling me that she didn't particularly care for her stepfather because he was doing things she didn't think that he should. When all the info came out, her stepfather was molesting her. It wasn't a severe case (of course, every case like this is severe), but enough that she did not want to go back to live with her mom. So, from the end of January 2005 until they left in May, we have had his 2 children with us. There was a huge, long, expensive custody battle all of 2005 and it is still some-what going on. During all this time, I had 2 surgeries (one for a cyst and was off work for 5 weeks then I had a hysterectomy and was off for 10 weeks), My husband was working extremely hard at the business and we were barely keeping our heads above water. The business started to go downhill really fast. I helped as much as I could as well as my parents and sometimes his parents, but it just wasn't enough...it just wasn't holding it's own. So, I was trying to do as much as I could financially to make ends meet. My husband would help as much as he could, but it wasn't as much as I know he wanted it to be. We had 3 vehicles at the time (all had loans on them) and our house payment as well as the 3 children (with no child support for any of the kids at the time), food, utilities, etc. It was really tough and it really weighed on our marriage...big time!

The further the business went down hill and the more expensive the custody battle got, the further my husband would run away from me. He became bitter and cold and didn't confide in me about much (if anything). It became extremely difficult at home and my mood swings started to get the best of all of us. In October, My husband got a job working for a mortgage company and tried to run the business as well. Then, in November, the business was totally lost due to lack of paying rent. We were locked out of the business and everything (except personal items) went up for auction. There is still a huge debt owed to the landlord.
The money situation never got any better. My husband was on a commission only payroll and as we all know, the mortgage business isn't the best right now. Our truck was repossessed and they tried to repo the other two vehicles at one point. It was getting uglier and uglier. I was having some problems paying utilities and in May, the water was turned off (it was turned back on the next morning). My husband decided to take the kids and stay with his parents for the night and decided not to come back. He and the kids have been gone ever since. Now, our house is being foreclosed on.
So, as I'm sure you can tell, we have been through more than our fair share within the last 1 & 1/2 years. We didn't even have time to get our feet wet as a married couple, let alone have to deal with such serious issues so quickly into our marriage. I know that there has been a lot weighing on his mind as well as mine, but I just feel like he is giving up. I can't help it. I feel like he is trying to 'bail' out of any financial issues that are happening. Almost like he thinks they will all go away if he doesn't pay any attention to them! He borrowed some money from my parents to buy the business and has not paid them anything back. My parents are retired and don't have a lot of money, but they were trying to help US succeed as a married couple. I knew nothing about this until about a month ago when my father finally told me.
The worst part about all of this is that man that walked out on me and my son back in May is not the same person I married. I realize how things can really have an effect on us and change us, but everything he has done since he lost the business and since his daughter's issues are extremely out of character for him. The man I married would not give up so easily. That is what I'm having a really hard time dealing with. I know that the man I married is still there, somewhere, but he won't come out of hiding. I pray every day that the Lord helps him find his true self again and soon! Maybe that is why I can't give up. Maybe I am holding on to something that may not happen, but I can't give up...not yet. It doesn't feel right.
I have always been a Christian, but since my husband and step-children have left, I have devoted more of myself to the Lord and my church. I feel much better about myself and I know I am a much better person. As far as my husband, he has always gone to church (he actually got me going to the church I now attend), but I don't think he has totally committed himself to God. In all honesty, that is a subject we usually didn't discuss. We were pretty much on the same page as far as religion was concerned. I have asked him to attend Christian counseling with me with one of our pastors at church, but so far, he has refused.
So, I guess the biggest question I have is what do I do now? If I can't communicate with him, how do I make any attempts to work out the problems/issues? I have written letters and e-mails to him, but I get no reaction. It's like he has decided that I do not exist anymore. He has even gone as far as saying that we have nothing left to discuss about our marriage. There have been no papers filed (separation or divorce) at this time. I refuse to file because I am not going to go back on a promise I made to my family, my husband and God. I do not want to be another statistic of a marriage that didn't work. I feel God does not want me to give up on this marriage and having the family back together again. HELP! What can I do?
I appreciate any guidance you could give me. I am looking forward to reading you book.
Thank you, and may the Lord always be with you.
Sincerely,
Karen

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Hi there Karen, nice to hear from you. You sound like a very outgoing person, that is nice.

Your situation: Very, Very negative. I am very sorry that this situation is happening to you. Our book will start to bring some healing , and validation to you.

As far as your husband is concerned, if he will not talk to you, email or have any contact with you, I don't have a lot to offer as a solution. A husband has too be willing to communicate, and too want the marriage to work. He is acting like a man that is NOT walking with God....backslidden....and the Word says that if the unbeliever wants to leave, let him leave....but, if he is willing to stay, let him stay, but that you as a Christian wife will have to win him over without a word. He is not willing to live with you right now.

I know you say that you have always been a Christian (I have always been a Christian,).....When you guys were LIVING together, you were not LIVING as Christians at the time.....Fornication....not good, an open door for the enemy. He definitely is not and was not committed to Christ ( but I don’t think he has totally committed himself to God), the proof is the fact that ya'll were living together, and his actions right now.

I am glad that you have made a deeper commitment to Christ, and to your local church. I think Joel is going to send you an extra copy of our book and you can give it to your husband and hopefully he will read it.

Other than that, is your husbands name on the mortgage? Cars?

Sounds like you are going too lose your house. He is just hiding right now. You may end up filing for bankruptcy, and moving back in with some family members., hopefully, he will read our book and decide to grow up, meet your needs and become the man that God has called him to be.

Until next time, God bless, Kathy D~of Joel and Kathy


Dear Joel & Kathy:

WOW!!! I am so impressed with how quickly I received a return e-mail. How do you do it. It is a separate job in itself trying to keep up with my e-mail at work, I can't imagine having to reply to all of the e-mails you must receive daily. What a team and inspiration you two are!

I have to agree with you and the fact that my husband is hiding right now. Honestly, I think he may be running from himself. I know that sounds strange, but with everything we have been through in the last 1 &1/2 years, I think that he thinks running and hiding is the only answer. However, we all know that isn't going to make the mortgage payments and it isn't going to stop the car from being repossessed. It isn't helping any of our children. If anything, what our children are learning is that running is the answer to your problems. How wrong is that?!?!?! Also, the children are learning that if a marriage doesn't work, you just get a divorce and the problem is solved. I know I have been trying my hardest to keep my son on track (as much as you can with an 8 year old) and making sure that he is aware that 1) none of this was his fault in any way (he keeps asking me why his step-father and "brother & sister" went away) and 2) running from problems is not the answer. If our marriage was an abusive one (as in my first marriage), that would be another issue, but there is no history of abuse in our relationship (at least not physical).

Every year during Lent, our church studies a book. Last year, it was The Dream Giver. WOW...did that book hit home. It honestly made me stop and think what my dream really is...it is to have my family, have a good marriage and to be the best mother and wife I could possibly be. I know I tried to do all of these things, but, with the way our lives go sometimes (work, running kids everywhere, housework, etc.), we sometimes loose sight of that dream. I have to admit, I may have done that from time to time. However, I do know that having a family, THIS family, is my dream. I honestly feel that is what the Lord wants me to do. I feel as though this is my calling. Maybe that is why I can't give up on this marriage. Maybe we are going through this time of separation so that he can find his way back to the Lord...I don't know. What I do know is that I feel as though I am not supposed to give up on my marriage or give up on my husband. I have this gut feeling that I am supposed to help him find his way back to the Lord. I believe this so much that I won't even take my wedding rings off (he has taken his off...and I have it)!

As far as the finances and expenses...I am on the mortgage and only 1 of the vehicles is in both of our names (the one I am driving and making payments on). There are so many other expenses that have piled up due to the business. If I had to put a figure on it (excluding the mortgage), I would have to say it is in the ballpark of $35,000. Unfortunately, the business was acquired after we were married, so that makes me 1/2 responsible. Gotta love living in a "no fault" state! I am in just as deep as he is, unfortunately! And, neither one of us can file bankruptcy. We both filed in 2000 due to our previous divorces (we both had our homes foreclosed on at the end of our previous marriages). It has not been 7 years, so bankruptcy is not an option.

However, I do believe that there is a reason we are going through all of this. I haven't put my finger on it yet, but there is a reason! One thing that someone told me keeps sticking in my mind. They told me that sometimes a marriage has to hit rock bottom before it can be the best. Maybe that is true...

In the interim, I keep praying and contiue to ask for prayers from my family, friends and my church. I am in a support group at my church (and my son is in one as well designed for children) and it has been helpful. So, I just keep praying, hoping and believing!

One last question...how do I know that the Lord is speaking to me? How do I know that I'm not just imagining that he wants me to do a specific thing? I know that is a strange question, but I just want to make sure that my mind isn't playing tricks on me!

In love and prayers...
Karen


Hi there, sorry it has taken me a few days to get back with you, I have been doing a lot of counseling and getting the kids ready for school.

I am going to answer you statements. Have you read our book?

However, I do know that having a family, THIS family, is my dream. I honestly feel that is what the Lord wants me to do. I feel as though this is my calling. Maybe that is why I can't give up on this marriage This family is your dream, because in Genises, the Word of God says that a woman will have a 'DESIRE' for her husband. When a woman gets married, her heart turns toward her husband, and it will not shut off, unless he does something so hurtful that she completely shuts down. We have several ladies whose husbands have had soooo many affairs, that even with that they still want to have their family restored. You want this marriage to be restored, because God has given you a DESIRE for your husband.


What I do know is that I feel as though I am not supposed to give up on my marriage or give up on my husband. I have this gut feeling that I am supposed to help him find his way back to the Lord. I believe this so much that I won't even take my wedding rings off (he has taken his off...and I have it)!
Again, God has given you that desire. That is fine if you want to fight for your marriage. We don't tell ladies to just walk away. I was just letting you know that he is acting like a non-Christian, by his actions, and you have a way out, perse, if you feel that you have no other choice. I am NOT for divorce, but for restoration, and for men to "Grow up" and take responsibility for their actions.

However, I do believe that there is a reason we are going through all of this. I haven't put my finger on it yet, but there is a reason! One thing that someone told me keeps sticking in my mind. They told me that sometimes a marriage has to hit rock bottom before it can be the best. Maybe that is true... Well, in his first marriage, he hit rock bottom and it did not become the best it can be. What will change a marriage is by the husband "Growing up" and being the Man that God has called him to be. As you can see by his Actions, he is acting like a CHILD. Running from responsibility! That is what CHILDREN do, NOT adults. There was something that happen to him as a child, at a young age, that stunted him in growth, that he has never grown past. His parents may have divorced, argued alot, been abused in some way, and he has never recovered. Let me know what you come up with, and maybe I can help you come up with what AGE he is emotionally.

One last question, how do I know that the Lord is speaking to me? How do I know that I'm not just imagining that he wants me to do a specific thing? I know that is a strange question, but I just want to make sure that my mind isn't playing tricks on me!

Well, you are in a place where the enemy wants to play tricks with your mind. First of all, stay in the Word of God. What I do, is I went to Wal-mart and bought for $5 a cassette player, that connects to me and has headphones. I got the bible on cassette, and I play it in my ear throughout my day. I keep it low enough to be able to hear my children and do my work. You can also do that with CD's. Cassettes are just a cheaper way to go.

Also, are you spirit filled? Praying in tongues? If so, make your prayer language your number one language, and see what God does on your behalf. You will be praying the will of God when you do.

The thoughts that you get, need to line up with the Word of God. God will never tell you to do something that does not line up with his word.
If you are in the WORD and the WORD is in you, you may ask what you will. You are not going to ask God to do something that is contrary to his word. If you are in the Word, then you can be confident that your thoughts will begin to line up with the Word of God.
Start to call those things that be not as though they are...as the Word of God tells us to do.
Start to declare and change PS. 118: from, "I shall live and not die...to: "Our marriage shall live and not die, but will declare the Works of God....as in Psalms 118: tells us..

I hope all this helps, it is time to answer some more emails. We get a lot from ladies, (and men),


God bless,
Kathy D~of Joel and Kathy

Dear Joel and Kathy;

I believe the real reason marriages are in so much trouble in America is because Americans are conditioned to only think of sex and very little of romance.

One time I was teaching masters class in a seminary in Bulgaria and the Lord spoke to me to teach about romance.

Now we would assume that every married couple would know about romance but this is also something learned as children watch their parents. I am from an Italian family and romance plays a large part of our lives. When I was young, I saw my father show outward signs of love towards my mother all the time not realizing that it would lead to sex later.

Well after my class in Bulgaria, the woman of the class elected a spokesperson and they thanked me and told me there was no teaching at all in Bulgaria or their churches about this subject.

The following year when I went back I had the same class and I asked them if the teachings on romance helped their marriages. They answered with a resounding yes.

Right after that first class, the Pastor who was interpreting for me asked me to do two evening seminars about the subject of romance in his church the next two days. The church was packed with no room for any more. In fact they were standing against the walls.

After this experience I realized about the Americans. In my humble opinion, romance is more important than the actual sex because it fulfills the souls craving for love and affection. Sex is the outcome physically of the romance in the soul.

I have such a desire to help married couples and the families because they are disintegrating off the face of the earth.

Most churches never teach these things to their couples and yet we are called to be the showcase of the Lord.

We should have the best marriages in the world.

Thanks for allowing me to share my heart.

Dr. John Brancato


Hi Dr. John,

Thanks for your great letter. We are definitely in agreement with that! Your experience in Bulgaria is quite eye-opening. When we were in South Africa, we took five-ten minutes before each service to play musical chairs and get all of the husbands to sit next to their wives.. and then we got them to hold hands or put their arm around her.. and then give her a quick kiss!

It was a riot. They were laughing, the kids would be cheering... Most of the couples had never even sat together in church before and it was the first show of affection that many of the kids have ever seen.

How do you like the 20x3 concept for building romance in marriage? Melancholy men seem to be the biggest 'common denominator' in the marriage problems that we end up personally counseling. The ones I have suggested this to so far have taken to it real well. Possibly because it gives them a 'task' that they can set out to do everyday? and something that they can count and keep track of?

Being more of a sanguine personality, I have to work REALLY hard to point out the positives of some of the melancholy husbands to their wives... of course we get the worst of the worst case scenarios... so the positives are harder to find than in a spirit controlled melancholy.

Blessings!

Joel and Kathy

Hi Joel & Kathy,

A terrific email. So very true and so very DIFFERENT from the usual message of just what you cited.

I have heard it over and over. When someone tells the truth, what we have been told for so long seems so ridiculous! Just submit and love your husbands and everything will be alright. Hogwash! I thank God for your ministry of bringing the truth to the masses who are so mislead. Keep it up in the name of Jesus.

May our God continue to pour out His richest blessings upon you and yours,

Dr. Elizabeth McCullough

National Christian Counselors Association

Hi Dr. Richard,

Thanks for sending us your seminar info. Do you live in Jax? Have you read our book?

If you would like to, you may write up a nutshell thought about the most important idea or two you feel a couple needs to know and we will put it in our guest forum with your contact information.

We have come to the conclusion that a happy marriage emphasis that works is:

1. Mutual Submission and Adaptation

2. Teach the husband to "go first".. pro-actively listening to his wife's heart and meeting her needs.

3. Teach the wife to respond positively (90% of the time a wife does not have to be taught this.. it just happens.)

4. Team leadership. A couple makes all decisions together with equal deference to one another.

5. A husband matures as he lays his life down to meet his wife's needs; A wife gets healed as her husband matures, becoming the man that God has called him to be (Christlike) by becoming the husband that his wife needs him to be!

We have discovered that the traditional ideas of :

1. "Wife Submit (only) and husband lead (only)
2. "Wife submit her opinions and husband (only) makes the decisions"
3. "wife show unconditional love and respect to your husband"

is a recipe for failure.

Obviously there is so much more for a couple to get help with.
These main keys are our focus.

We focus on the husband and don't really have much faith in the theories that tell a wife that she can be the key to a happy marriage regardless of her husbands efforts. This theory sells a lot of books because women are so desperate (95% of women) to have a great relationship and they will try anything.

Instead of the "unconditional respect, agape love and unreturned submission" message these books teach women, we encourage women to speak very clearly, calmly and directly to their uncooperative husbands, let him blow his stack, wait patiently, and when he is done blustering, simply repeat her requests. An uncooperative husband can literally be forced to grow, one inch at time, screaming every step of the way, yes, but growing.

In the case of a very abusive husband, we of course recommend separation as an extremely abusive husband only gets worse, regardless of which "method" a wife chooses to reach him. We believe that an extremely abusive husband can only change if a man that he respects (or a strong woman counselor/pastor) nails him to the wall and holds him there, demanding accountability and change before his wife lets him come back home.

That is our aim, in a nutshell. There are lots of variables, but couples can read other books and draw from other ministries to fill in the other areas as needed. We try to stay focused so that we don't disappear into the huge melting pot of marriage ministries!

Blessings!

Joel and Kathy


Aloha Joel & Kathy,
I got your newsletter in my mailbox and don't know how it got there but have been reading it for a couple of months now. It has shed a lot of light on things for me. I have a question that I rarely hear addressed by marriage ministries.


I have been married for 2 years now and this is my 3rd marriage. I have 2 boys from my first, father left us and was on drugs.(boys 2 & 5 at the time) 2nd marriage 8 years later husband abusive to me & kids (he was a Christian worship leader) and he finally left us.

I am now married to a wonderful Christian man but I think he is clueless about children even though he has a son of his own who doesn't live with us. He has told me when we argue that he feels like he is paying for what other men have done to me in the past. I think that is so unfair because I especially take care not to compare or judge anything he does by my past. Our biggest argument is my kids. He says he married me, not my kids and because they are now 20 & 21 (18 & 19 when we married) they are adults and should be on their own. He has been married 4 times and has only taken care of his son for 1 year straight during that time when he was about 8.

I have told him he has to establish a relationship with them before he can order them around because he is only creating friction that will erupt soon and mostly I feel caught in the middle because he always complains about them to me making me feel like I'm a bad mother. Lately I have heard the scripture from Malachi 4:6 over & over and I brought this to his attention as well as the pastor happened to preach on it this past Sun. He is not getting it.

I explained that as the "father figure" and head of the household he needs to reach out and form relationship with them. (Note from Joel and Kathy: A better way to say it is that he needs to do this as the source of life) He doesn't feel this is necessary. This brings me much grief as I hate the tension in the house and the arguments he keeps picking with me about it.

I have heard many teachings on younger children in a household but not much about older ones. My boys have been emotionally damaged by the "father figures" in their lives and I'm sure they are not wanting to trust another one that is trying to come into their lives. What advice do you have such situations?
Please don't publish my email if you use this story.

Mahalo for your help,
Sandra

Joel and Kathy reply.

Hi Sandra, You said:
He has told me when we argue that he feels like he is paying for what other men have done to me in the past.

I explained that as the "father figure" and head of the household he needs to reach out and form relationship with them. He doesn't feel this is necessary. This brings me much grief



Hi Sandra,

Can only answer quickly. First, you really need the DVD and book. The total cost for both is only $68.

Your husband is supposed to bring healing to you for your hurts from the past husbands. Don't disagree with that. This is his job as a husband. The problem though is that he is still a child. He is way, way too immature to handle this responsibility.. and this is also why he resists your heart about your kids.

Our book and DVD will help him to grow.. if he is willing to learn. If he refuses, you are stuck with a toddler for a husband.. sorry about that! He CAN grow though. Many men just like him grow and change when they read our book and watch the DVD set.

I have to wonder what made you marry a man who has gone through three women already? The blunt truth is that if you were to talk to the other three wives, they would all say the same things.... he never grew up... he resisted their needs.. he told them that they were too needy, too demanding.. too controlling.

I hate to paint a gloomy picture... but we have to be like a doctor.. we have to face the facts. Your husband is a man who was suave enough in his dating days to convince FOUR women to marry him... but then he never met any of their needs.

See, I can talk like this because he is in Hawaii.. and will probably not fly over her to knock me out!

So..unless you get him to read a book like ours.. and watch a DVD set like ours.. there is not much chance of him ever growing up... you will basically have to give up the idea of ever having an adult for a husband!

If you will spend time in the questions and answer sections of our site, you will find ideas of ways you can try to get him to grow.. basically, speaking directly to him, making your expectations very clear.. and not letting him wiggle out. Sad to say, if he will not read the book and watch the DVD set, you will have to relate to him as you would a young child.

We encourage women to not accept this reality.. but to push their husbands to read and watch. If you do this, you will get one of two results... a happy marriage.. or all hell will break loose. If you don't do this, you will get the third option.. a life of misery as you will be dishonored, devalued and your needs ignored.. for the rest of your life.

Because we are in a great marriage now, and know the rewards, we encourage wives to take the risk and push their husbands to read the book and watch the DVD.

Blessings,

Joel and Kathy



-----------------------------Andrew's reply to Sandra, copied to Joel and Kathy:



Dear Sandra;
What an interesting letter that you wrote to Joel & Kathy. I am glad to see that you are concerned about your marriage.

There are a few things that bother me about the letter tho. Like for instance the area you left out when I tried to reach out to Matty on a few occasions, that I really don't have too much opportunity to reach out to Mark (unfortunately), because in his eyes according to what you told me, we sent him to Tennessee so that we could get married.

Then there are the times that we have discussed the area of how you have frequently ignored me after you come home from work, but you believe that it is my sole responcibility to make the first move. Then there is the sunday incident at church, where you went to the preacher after you wrote the note, showed it to him and gave him a hug that I have never ever gotten from you. You went to him with tears instead of your own husband, when you supposedly wrote the note for me. When I tried to talk to you afterwards about the note, I was trying to reach to you for answers.

Regardless of the past. After the wonderful weekend that I thought that we had, I was more than willing to move forward. Your reply to me was that I was trying to argue with you and you shut me down right then and there. You can give all other people your undivided attention, you can give them hugs, you can cry with them,but when it comes your husband, it's not so. Even when I told you that I have to care about you, you told me that you didn't need me to care about you. Sandra, I could probably go on and on, but because I do Love you, I won't.

I probably shouldn't have addressed the issues that I already did, because you will probably not forgive me for that either as you said about your family embarassment. I have forgiven a lot of things and I keep quiet about a lot of things because I Love you. I try to move on and hope for the better and try not to make the same mistakes. So I pose the question again to you.

What makes you think that I can have a relationship with Matty and Mark when you yourself told me, as well as told Joel and Kathy, that the boys won't want to trust another father figure. Really encouraging words when you condemn someone right at the door.


Love
Always
Andrew



To Andrew, from Joel and Kathy:

Andrew, you said:

What makes you think that I can have a relationship with Matty and Mark when you yourself told me, as well as told Joel and Kathy, that the boys won't want to trust another father figure..

Andrew, this is your opportunity for growth. You can be a good father figure.. if you want. That means loving their mom.. and being loving toward them when you can be around them physically.

You are very fortunate to have a wife who is willing to communicate like this. Your job is to be Christlike in laying your life down for her.. She is pointing out clearly to you that she does not feel heard.

We believe that you two can easily have a great marriage. Read our book Andrew... and by the way, we don't need to hear "both sides of the story" in all cases. When you read our book, you will see that I myself was the master at turning things around and making kathy look like the bad guy. Every counselor we went to allowed me to air "my side of the story" before confronting me with the issues Kathy would raise. They all believed me... I believed me.. that is why I was so convincing.

When someone FINALLY told me to shut up.. before hearing ANY of "my side of the story" and confronted me head on... that is when I FINALLY began to wake up.. after putting Kathy through ten years of hell.

The bible tells you to live with Sandra with understanding.. not vice versa.

Your job, to have a happy marriage.. is to hear your wife's heart and minister to her.. by meeting her needs.. it is not to defend yourself.

You can do this.. you failed with 3(?) or was it 4(?) other wives. It is time to grow, mature into the man that God has called you to become.. which is Christlike.. and you do that when you die to yourself (your ego, pride and 'my way') in order to meet Sandra's heartfelt and clearly expressed needs.

Sandra's job is to express her needs to you clearly... and figure out how to forgive you for past violations.. if you are ever able to fully own up to your issues and ask for forgiveness.

We are not against you. We want you two to have a happy marriage. We are against the carnal nature, ego and pride in husbands that block this from happening.

Blessings to you,

Joel and Kathy

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hi Kathy

I just don't know what to do with this guy!!

I am okay. The hernia has not been an "issue" since last Friday, when Dan prayed for it instead of going to the hospital... Awesome. We are still waiting to hear from the surgeon, who is trying to "call in a favor" from a different OB, to attend at surgery...

I really am having trouble with figuring out how to "encourage, and thus to MOTIVATE" my husband. Every time I do something anything bigger than a hug, or a pat, he seems to regress. I can be frank with you, right? We hadn't had sex in a while, because of the three weeks of PAIN from this hernia... we were both a little nervous about doing anything physical..

So, I guess it was Friday, I started making very outward advances toward him, and then Saturday, we had sex... And it was very nice.... But it seems like everytime I "encourage" him, in anything--- he gets an attitude. He gets mean, and he stops doing the good stuff. I just don't understand. It's like he realizes that he must be doing something good for me to be happy with him--- and then he wants to stop............ It makes me not WANT to "respond" nicely... It makes me want to yell at him.. the thought actually went through my mind the other day "well, if this is what I get for having sex, you can forget it!!!" I didn't actually say it, I thought it would not do any one any good, so I stuffed that one...

I just don't understand what I am supposed to do, when I make efforts to encourage, and motivate him to keep going, or do better, and most of those efforts seem to backfire... It's like he feels he has to go and prove that he's NOT worth all that... It's really very frustrating.

The little things go somewhat unnoticed. I can say thank you, or give him a hug. But anything bigger has the unsaid guarantee of an attitude from him to soon follow. I don't like it. And I have brought it to his attention, and he "sees" it -- after the fact, but never during or before it starts...

WHAT DO I DO WITH THAT????

Mary


-------------------------------------------------------

Hi Mary,

Many abusive guys "crash" after making love. Dan is growing but still has to overcome this tendency. The worst guys will pour on the emotional and verbal abuse after making love. Making love is a bonding moment if it is not just a quick "wam-bam-thank-you-mam." This bonding moment is too much emotionally for the emotionally arrested man. (There is a "reverse" polarity to this: For the man who has lost his wife.. and is desperate to get her back - this man will bond greatly until he wins his wife's heart back. After he wins his wife heart back and feels "safe" that he has recreated his kingdom, he will again turn on her after making love.)

The answer for Dan, and every other man who does this, is firstly, knowledge. You said that you have pointed this out to Dan. That is good.

Dan, your job is to be aware of this and deal with it internally. How do you do this? After you make love, you must pay attention to this emotional compulsion to pull away from Mary. If you will notice it and not let it have any power over you, it will begin to die.

How do you not let it have any power over you? You "catch" it by noticing it. Then you say, internally, to yourself, "No. I will not crash right now. I will not emotionally pull away from or abuse my wife. I will, right now, force myself to be extra nice to her. I will smile at her. I will give her extra hugs. I will tell her how much I appreciate it when we make love. I will make a conscious effort to be positively pro-active in doing nice things for her and being pleasant in word and attitude."

If you will do this for about 30 minutes afterward, the compulsion to look down on her, push her away, find a reason to be disgusted with her etc. will go away. Every time that you do this, the compulsion will lose more power. Eventually, after a few years, you will not have the compulsion anymore. (Remember... the brain has to build the new synapses and the protectors have to begin to protect and defend the new you.)

Right now, you are still in a life and death struggle to kill the old you and emerge as that new man that the bible talks about. This is part of it.

Guys often ask for specific examples of how to "die to themselves."

This is one very specific example.

Dan, if you ever wonder in what other ways that you have to die to yourself, just ask Mary. A wife always knows. This does not mean that you rely solely on her to tell you. As you mature, a mature man will catch himself in the process of being carnal, immature, childish... and will make changes himself. In the beginning, most husbands need a lot of help in understanding when they are being carnal, immature and childish.

Blessings!

Joel and Kathy
===================================================

Guys, if you can see into the hearts of other wives, and then see other husbands fairly clueless responses, we feel this will help you. Often, you will find yourself relating to the guy, saying, "I would have felt the same way!" This should help you isolate your own wrong attitudes and resistance to meeting you wife's needs.

Blessings,

Joel and Kathy

From Sandra to Joel and Kathy about her relationship with Andrew, her husband:

Aloha Joel & Kathy,

I got your newsletter in my mailbox and don't know how it got there but have been reading it for a couple of months now. It has shed a lot of light on things for me. I have a question that I rarely hear addressed by marriage ministries.

I have been married for 2 years now and this is my 3rd marriage. I have 2 boys from my first, father left us and was on drugs.(boys 2 & 5 at the time) 2nd marriage 8 years later husband abusive to me & kids (he was a christian worship leader) and he finally left us. I am now married to a wonderful christian man but I think he is clueless about children even though he has a son of his own who doesn't live with us. He has told me when we argue that he feels like he is paying for what other men have done to me in the past. I think that is so unfair because I especially take care not to compare or judge anything he does by my past. Our biggest argument is my kids. He says he married me, not my kids and because they are now 20 & 21 (18 & 19 when we married) they are adults and should be on their own. He has been married 4 times and has only taken care of his son for 1 year straight during that time when he was about 8. I have told him he has to establish a relationship with them before he can order them around because he is only creating friction that will erupt soon and mostly I feel caught in the middle because he always complains about them to me making me feel like I'm a bad mother. Lately I have heard the scripture from Malachai 4:6 over & over and I brought this to his attention as well as the pastor happened to preach on it this past Sun. He is not getting it. I explained that as the "father figure" and head of the household he needs to reach out and form relationship with them. He doesn't feel this is neccessary. This brings me much grief as I hate the tension in the house and the arguments he keeps picking with me about it. I have heard many teachings on younger children in a household but not much about older ones. My boys have been emotionally damaged by the "father figures" in their lives and I'm sure they are not wanting to trust another one that is trying to come into their lives. What advice do you have such situations?

Please don't publish my email if you use this story.

Mahalo for your help,

Sandra

In a message dated 8/7/2006 4:55:38 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, orders@joelandkathy.com writes:

He has told me when we argue that he feels like he is paying for what other men have done to me in the past.

I explained that as the "father figure" and head of the household he needs to reach out and form relationship with them. He doesn't feel this is neccessary. This brings me much grief

Hi Sandra,

Can only answer quickly. First, you really need the DVD and book. The total cost for both is only $68.

Your husband is supposed to bring healing to you for your hurts from the past husbands. Don't disagree with that. This is his job as a husband. The problem though is that he is still a child. He is way, way too immature to handle this responsibility.. and this is also why he resists your heart about your kids.

Our book and DVD will help him to grow.. if he is willing to learn. If he refuses, you are stuck with a toddler for a husband.. sorry about that! He CAN grow though..many men just like him grow and change when they read our book and watch the DVD set.

I have to wonder what made you marry a man who has gone through three women already? The blunt truth is that if you were to talk to the other three wives, they would all say the same things.... he never grew up... he resisted their needs.. he told them that they were too needy, too demanding.. too controlling.

I hate to paint a gloomy picture... but we have to be like a doctor.. we have to face the facts. Your husband is a man who was suave enough in his dating days to convince FOUR women to marry him... but then he never met any of their needs.

See, I can talk like this because he is in Hawaii.. and will probably not fly over her to knock me out!

So..unless you get him to read a book like ours.. and watch a DVD set like ours.. there is not much chance of him ever growing up... you will basically have to give up the idea of ever having an adult for a husband!

If you will spend time in the questions and answer sections of our site, you will find ideas of ways you can try to get him to grow.. basically, speaking directly to him, making your expectations very clear.. and not letting him wiggle out. Sad to say, if he will not read the book and watch the DVD set, you will have to relate to him as you would a young child.

We encourage women to not accept this reality.. but to push their husbands to read and watch. If you do this, you will get one of two results... a happy marriage.. or all hell will break loose. If you don't do this, you will get the third option.. a life of misery as you will be dishonored, devalued and your needs ignored.. for the rest of your life.

Because we are in a great marriage now, and know the rewards, we encourage wives to take the risk and push their husbands to read the book and watch the DVD.

Blessings,

Joel and Kathy

-----------------------------Andrew's reply to Sandra, copied to Joel and Kathy:

Dear Sandra;
What an interesting letter that you wrote to Joel & Kathy. I am glad to see that you are concerned about your marriage. There are a few things that bother me about the letter tho. Like for instance the area you left out when I tried to reach out to Matty on a few occasions, that I really don't have too much opportunity to reach out to Mark (unfortunately), because in his eyes according to what you told me, we sent him to Tennessee so that we could get married. Then there are the times that we have discussed the area of how you have frequently ignored me after you come home from work, but you believe that it is my sole responcibility to make the first move. Then there is the sunday incident at church, where you went to the preacher after you wrote the note, showed it to him and gave him a hug that I have never ever gotten from you. You went to him with tears instead of your own husband, when you supposedly wrote the note for me. When I tried to talk to you afterwards about the note, I was trying to reach to you for answers. Regardless of the past. After the wonderful weekend that I thought that we had, I was more than willing to move forward. Your reply to me was that I was trying to argue with you and you shut me down right then and there. You can give all other people your undivided attention, you can give them hugs, you can cry with them,but when it comes your husband, it's not so. Even when I told you that I have to care about you, you told me that you didn't need me to care about you. Sandra, I could probably go on and on, but because I do Love you, I won't. I probably shouldn't have addressed the issues that I already did, because you will probably not forgive me for that either as you said about your family embarassment. I have forgiven a lot of things and I keep quiet about a lot of things because I Love you. I try to move on and hope for the better and try not to make the same mistakes. So I pose the question again to you. What makes you think that I can have a relationship with Matty and Mark when you yourself told me, as well as told Joel and Kathy, that the boys won't want to trust another father figure. Really encouraging words when you condemn someone right at the door. Then on top of it all, I read Joel and Kathy's reply saying that "they can say those things because I was in Hawaii and probably won't get on a plane to go knock them out." Well if that don't paint a pretty picture. Makes me feel that I am the one that beats you up, beats up the boys, and beats everyone up for what ever reason. Especially seeings how I have never entertained that thought whatsoever. Also some real good Christian Marriage counseling. To already attack one spouse put them down before even talking with them. Seems like all they want is for there product to be bought. If you think that is the way then buy it. I think that we need to get counselling right here on the island, from a christian Counselor who can see the two of us and listen and help solve. That is all I have to say for now. I am sorry that it had to come to this.
Love
Always
Andrew

---------------------------------response to Andrew after receiving his e-mail:

HI Sandra and Andrew,

Andrew, you are very fortunate to have a wife who will write her heart out and then let you read it.

Responding to Andrew's letter:

Then there are the times that we have discussed the area of how you have frequently ignored me after you come home from work, but you believe that it is my sole responsibility to make the first move.

Hi Andrew, It is your responsibility to make the first move... when your wife comes home from work, you do want to be the one to go and welcome her home.. open the car door for her.. bless her...

Then on top of it all, I read Joel and Kathy's reply saying that "they can say those things because I was in Hawaii and probably won't get on a plane to go knock them out." Well if that don't paint a pretty picture.

Sorry about that Andrew.. I was not saying that in reference to anything that your wife said in her letter. I was very direct to you... and I was saying that "tongue in cheek"... it was NOT a reflection on your character.. though I fully understand why it felt that way.. My saying that gave you a legit reason to be tripped up.. as you did not understand that I was not suggesting that you were actually a physical abuser. If you will accept that it was indeed tongue in cheek, and forgive me for not making that clear, then you can let this stumbling block go and focus on the truth that was in the letter.

We do work with both husbands and wives.. when a husband is willing. If you are willing, we want to work with you both.

We are leaving today for a trip.. but we will have "spotty" e-mail access.. over the next ten days. Our cell numbers are 843-298-0211 and 386-334-7873 Again, we will have spotty cell phone reception.. so if you get a voice mail, leave a message... if we lose connection in a phone call, we did not hang up.. just call back and try to get us again in a few minutes. Always leave your phone number if you call to leave a message.

God Bless,

Joel

I am going to add you to our mail list.. you will receive a welcome note from our injesus mail service.. at the top of that page is an "archive" link.. you can click on that and read 5 very helpful teachings to get things moving. Also, our site is www.godsavemymarriage.com

And, yes, we do want to sell books.. so please buy one! (tongue in cheek) In truth, we invest 100% of book sale money back into more product and helping people.. sadly... we look forward to the day when we can withdraw funds from book sales to help with our personal income.. as of now, we receive contributions from those we counsel.

We are very good at this.. so, if you want a great marriage, your wife found God's answer.

----------------------------------------------Sandra's reply to Andrew:

It is very interesting how you see things and interpret them. See answers below....

The black is Andrew's original letter and the red is Sandra's comments to Andrew.

Dear Sandra;
What an interesting letter that you wrote to Joel & Kathy. I am glad to see that you are concerned about your? marriage. There are a few things that bother me about the letter tho. Like for instance the area you left out when I tried to reach out to Matty on a few occasions, that I really don't have too much opportunity to reach out to Mark (unfortunately), because in his eyes according to what you told me, we sent him to Tennessee so that we could get married. I told you this to let you know where he was coming from and what you were dealing with. Developing a relationship takes a lot more than "reaching out" a few times and then how you reach out is another thing. Then there are the times that we have discussed the area of how you have frequently ignored me after you come home from work, but you believe that it is my sole responsibility to make the first move. Addressed by Kathy & Joel Then there is the Sunday incident at church, where you went to the preacher after you wrote the note, showed it to him and gave him a hug that I have never ever gotten from you. You went to him with tears instead of your own husband, when you supposedly wrote the note for me. I went to Pastor to thank him for the message and tell him that that same scripture had been on my heart for the past 2 weeks. It so happened that when I hugged him to thank him I started crying uncontrollably and I held on to him out of not wanting anyone else to see that the Holy Spirit had moved me so deeply because I don't like to cry in public. The note, as I tried to explain to you, was a prophecy that the Lord gave me and could & did apply to more men than just you and that is why I showed it to Pastor. He agreed that it was a now word from God for this time. When I tried to talk to you afterwards about the note, I was trying to reach to you for answers. You asked me what I got from the service and I told you it was pretty straight forward and it was everything I had been saying therefore confirmation. I explained that the word I wrote was not my words but the words the Lord had me write. You didn't like that answer and kept trying to push me to say something else, I don't know what , and so I finally said let it go because I realized you didn't understand the whole message when you said you got something about marriage and writing notes out of it. Regardless of the past. After the wonderful weekend that I thought that we had, I was more than willing to move forward. Your reply to me was that I was trying to argue with you and you shut me down right then and there. Your voice was raised and you were angry and not understanding anything I said so I decided we were going no where except for you yelling at me and didn't want to continue the fight so I told you rather than arguing with me, to take it up with God and let him give you the answers because you didn't like anything I said. You can give all other people your undivided attention, you can give them hugs, you can cry with them,but when it comes your husband, it's not so. I cannot communicate with you. I have tried but you don't HEAR me or choose not to. I have told you this many times before, so how can I go to you when I know I will not get understanding. Even when I told you that I have to care about you, you told me that you didn't need me to care about you. Sandra, I could probably go on and on, as I could too but because I do Love you, I won't. I probably shouldn't have addressed the issues that I already did, because you will probably not forgive me for that either as you said about your family embarrassment. I have forgiven a lot of things as I have too and I keep quiet about a lot of things as I have too because I Love you. I try to move on and hope for the better and try not to make the same mistakes. So I pose the question again to you. What makes you think that I can have a relationship with Matty and Mark when you yourself told me, as well as told Joel and Kathy, that the boys won't want to trust another father figure. Really encouraging words when you condemn someone right at the door. That is so unfair. You know I told you that to let you know where they are coming from so you know how to approach them not to condemn you. Then on top of it all, I read Joel and Kathy's reply saying that "they can say those things because I was in Hawaii and probably won't get on a plane to go knock them out." ease up. Sounds like something you would say yourself jokingly. Well if that don't paint a pretty picture. Makes me feel that I am the one that beats you up, beats up the boys, and beats everyone up for what ever reason. No one ever mentioned physical abuse. Now you are just retaliating at anything. Especially seeing how I have never entertained that thought whatsoever. Also some real good Christian Marriage counseling. To already attack one spouse put them down before even talking with them. Seems like all they want is for there product to be bought. If you think that is the way then buy it. I think that we need to get counseling right here on the island, from a Christian Counselor who can see the two of us and listen and help solve. That is all I have to say for now. I am sorry that it had to come to this.

We would have a hard time being counseled on island because of my position and the fact that I am friends with most everyone in the ministry and you probably would then feel they are on my side. I am willing to pursue Joel & Kathy's offer but like they said you have to be willing too.
Love
Always
Andrew
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

23rd aug

Date:
Wed, 23 Aug 2006 12:17 AM

Hi Kathy

I just don't know what to do with this guy!!

I am okay. The hernia has not been an "issue" since last Friday, when Dan prayed for it instead of going to the hospital... Awesome. We are still waiting to hear from the surgeon, who is trying to "call in a favor" from a different OB, to attend at surgery...

I really am having trouble with figuring out how to "encourage, and thus to MOTIVATE" my husband. Every time I do something anything bigger than a hug, or a pat, he seems to regress. I can be frank with you, right? We hadn't had sex in a while, because of the three weeks of PAIN from this hernia... we were both a little nervous about doing anything physical..

So, I guess it was Friday, I started making very outward advances toward him, and then Saturday, we had sex... And it was very nice.... But it seems like everytime I "encourage" him, in anything--- he gets an attitude. He gets mean, and he stops doing the good stuff. I just don't understand. It's like he realizes that he must be doing something good for me to be happy with him--- and then he wants to stop............ It makes me not WANT to "respond" nicely... It makes me want to yell at him.. the thought actually went through my mind the other day "well, if this is what I get for having sex, you can forget it!!!" I didn't actually say it, I thought it would not do any one any good, so I stuffed that one...

I just don't understand what I am supposed to do, when I make efforts to encourage, and motivate him to keep going, or do better, and most of those efforts seem to backfire... It's like he feels he has to go and prove that he's NOT worth all that... It's really very frustrating.

The little things go somewhat unnoticed. I can say thank you, or give him a hug. But anything bigger has the unsaid guarantee of an attitude from him to soon follow. I don't like it. And I have brought it to his attention, and he "sees" it -- after the fact, but never during or before it starts...

WHAT DO I DO WITH THAT????

Mary

-------------------------------------------------------

Hi Mary,

Many abusive guys "crash" after making love. Dan is growing but still has to overcome this tendency. The worst guys will pour on the emotional and verbal abuse after making love. Making love is a bonding moment if it is not just a quick "wam-bam-thank-you-mam." This bonding moment is too much emotionally for the emotionally arrested man. (There is a "reverse" polarity to this: For the man who has lost his wife.. and is desperate to get her back - this man will bond greatly until he wins his wife's heart back. After he wins his wife heart back and feels "safe" that he has recreated his kingdom, he will again turn on her after making love.)

The answer for Dan, and every other man who does this, is firstly, knowledge. You said that you have pointed this out to Dan. That is good.

Dan, your job is to be aware of this and deal with it internally. How do you do this? After you make love, you must pay attention to this emotional compulsion to pull away from Mary. If you will notice it and not let it have any power over you, it will begin to die.

How do you not let it have any power over you? You "catch" it by noticing it. Then you say, internally, to yourself, "No. I will not crash right now. I will not emotionally pull away from or abuse my wife. I will, right now, force myself to be extra nice to her. I will smile at her. I will give her extra hugs. I will tell her how much I appreciate it when we make love. I will make a conscious effort to be positively pro-active in doing nice things for her and being pleasant in word and attitude."

If you will do this for about 30 minutes afterward, the compulsion to look down on her, push her away, find a reason to be disgusted with her etc. will go away. Every time that you do this, the compulsion will lose more power. Eventually, after a few years, you will not have the compulsion anymore. (Remember... the brain has to build the new synapses and the protectors have to begin to protect and defend the new you.)

Right now, you are still in a life and death struggle to kill the old you and emerge as that new man that the bible talks about. This is part of it.

Guys often ask for specific examples of how to "die to themselves."

This is one very specific example.

Dan, if you ever wonder in what other ways that you have to die to yourself, just ask Mary. A wife always knows. This does not mean that you rely solely on her to tell you. As you mature, a mature man will catch himself in the process of being carnal, immature, childish... and will make changes himself. In the beginning, most husbands need a lot of help in understanding when they are being carnal, immature and childish.

Blessings!

Joel and Kathy





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Further note from Joel and Kathy:

Andrew, you said:

What makes you think that I can have a relationship with Matty and Mark when you yourself told me, as well as told Joel and Kathy, that the boys won't want to trust another father figure..

Andrew, this is your opportunity for growth. You can be a good father figure.. if you want. That means loving their mom.. and being loving toward them when you can be around them physically.

You are very fortunate to have a wife who is willing to communicate like this. Your job is to be Christlike in laying your life down for her.. She is pointing out clearly to you that she does not feel heard.

We believe that you two can easily have a great marriage. Read our book Andrew... and by the way, we don't need to hear "both sides of the story" in all cases. When you read our book, you will see that I myself was the master at turning things around and making kathy look like the bad guy. Every counselor we went to allowed me to air "my side of the story" before confronting me with the issues Kathy would raise. They all believed me... I believed me.. that is why I was so convincing.

When someone FINALLY told me to shut up.. before hearing ANY of "my side of the story" and confronted me head on... that is when I FINALLY began to wake up.. after putting Kathy through ten years of hell.

The bible tells you to live with Sandra with understanding.. not vice versa.

Your job, to have a happy marriage.. is to hear your wife's heart and minister to her.. by meeting her needs.. it is not to defend yourself.

You can do this.. you failed with 3(?) or was it 4(?) other wives. It is time to grow, mature into the man that God has called you to become.. which is Christlike.. and you do that when you die to yourself (your ego, pride and 'my way') in order to meet Sandra's heartfelt and clearly expressed needs.

Sandra's job is to express her needs to you clearly... and figure out how to forgive you for past violations.. if you are ever able to fully own up to your issues and ask for forgiveness.

We are not against you. We want you two to have a happy marriage. We are against the carnal nature, ego and pride in husbands that block this from happening.

Blessings to you,

Joel and Kathy

We have spent about two hours now working on your behalf.. and I truly do not recall at this moment if Sandra has bought a book... so, yes... we want you to BUY THE BOOK!.. and the DVD... Christian Counselors who "hear the other side of the story" before commenting also charge about $75 per hour.. we have sown into you for free.. so cut the talk about us wanting to sell books! Of course we do.. your life won't change unless you read it!

=================================================================


Born again in a much deeper, more real way.

Hi Joel and Kathy,

Good things are happening around here! My husband and
I were both surprised at how difficult it has been for
him to hear my heart.

There was much more hurt in there than my husband had
anticipated. He kind of thought, " Oh, this will be a
piece of cake".

My husband shares that he feels as though he has been
born again. Everything in his Christianity is
becoming new. Some day I hope he tells you about it.
I want him to share with you. (Note from Joel: We
often tell men that they have to "really" get born
again.. that their born-again experience stopped at
the outside of their front door! I felt like Bess''s
husband.. that I had gotten totally born again - but
it was not until 18 years after I asked Jesus into my
heart!)

As for me, I keep asking him, "Is this real, do you
mean it?"

Just last night as he was giving me a back message I
began to tear up. I told him that his touch was
bringing healing to my heart.

Also, it is a little difficult for me to realize that
I was not wrong all these years. My desires for our
marriage and for how to serve the Lord were not wrong.
This brings so much hope to me and to my husband.

Some day, we will have a ministry. Praise God! Joel
and Kathy, you are bearing good fruit with this
ministry and message that the Lord has given to you to
give.

God bless and love in Christ,

Bess (and Norm)

P.S. That Pastor''s wives'' web site was so sad.
http://www.rockdove.com/pwsupprt.html
I can''t even read it. My husband has been reading to
see just how much damage that Christian men are doing
to their wives and to learn the hurts that are in
Christian women. He wants to understand to never hurt
me again. (Note from Joel and Kathy: What a smart
husband!)
--
Healing Emotions

Hi Kathy,

This was a great message and very nice to hear from
you. (Referring to the newsletter: "It is my turn now"
from Kathy)

I am so hoping that I too will get past the pain of
remembering and truly move on.

My husband and I are both very hopeful. Things are
looking good.

Every time I start to get all weepy or angry etc. we
hang tight and go for the ride until it passes. This
is something new for both my husband and myself.

In the past whenever I would go through emotional
struggles my husband would take charge and talk me out
of it, etc. He was thinking that was what he was
supposed to do.

It is a new thing for the both of us to just allow me
to vent and for my husband to simply validate my
feelings and continue to love me through it.

Praise God, we are both learning and growing in this
new teaching and understanding.

In Christ,

Bess (and Norm)

2 Corinthians 10:12
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

After reading these most recent letters sent to us by Joel over the last two days my husband mentioned to me this morning, " Well honey, it could be worse, you could be married to _________(fill in the blank).

I retorted back, "Well, so could you, I haven't committed adultery or left you, and besides the bible tells us not to compare ourselves to one another, only Jesus is our standard, we are to compare ourselves to Him and then we all come short".

I just wanted to remind all of us reading these letters to be careful. The goal is to see men become like Christ and then the women. We are all here to learn and grow and to pray. It is a huge mistake to compare ourselves to others for the better or worse. That is always wrong and will lead to defeat. Jesus is Lord! IN Christ, Bess

19th August 2006

This is a letter from Bess. Thanks Bess! This is GREAT!

I hope that it is OK for me to share an issue that had come up between me and my sweet hubby. Although my husband had been calling me gougeous, beautiful, lucsious, pretty, etc., it fell on deaf ears. He was often frustrated and puzzled at my rejection of his compliments. I shared with him that he always gave me compliments with a silent disclaimer. I was gorgeous, but not gorgeous enough, I was pretty, but not pretty enough, I was sexy, but not sexy enough. He always had this playboy standard and image in his mind that I knew he had and that I could not and would not ever measure up to.

I told him that I needed to be good enough. I needed for him to be fully and completely devoted to me as I am right now. I can't be perfect. I am a woman in my 40's with 12 children. I want to be his special treasure. This convicted my husband. He did not deny that he had been doing that to me and placing that kind of pressure on me.

Now when he compliments me I have been accepting them because I know that he has made a committment to give them with "no disclaimer". Praise God!

19th aug

Sent: Friday, August 18, 2006 8:15 AM

Subject: Question for Bess

Question from a (worried) husband!

How did she know this?

Was this because of the way he said it? or how frequent just woman's intuition ?

I think we are all guilty of some form of silent ad ons and our wives are very perceptive, more than we give them credit for.

I am concerned that we are trying to be loving kind considerate and listening to where the need is but at the same time we are sending out completely an unwanted set of unspokens that our wives pick up on instantly.

This is a loaded question and I have been thinking all morning how to answer. Are you willing to ask your wife when was the very first time that you ever hurt her in this area. I can remember in the very first weeks of our marriage my husband rubbed his hand across my nude belly and said, " I want this to be flat". I never forgot those hurtful words. Thus ensued a lifetime project for me to try to achieve a flat tummy (remember I am the mother of 12, interpretation- 12 pregnacies). Do you see a flat tummy in this picture? Has your wife ever found porn in or among your personal belongings? Do you watch t.v. shows or movies with obviously beautiful sexy women? What things might you have said to her over the years that may have implied your disatisfaction with her physical appearance or her sexuality? (If you are truly clueless then ask her and then let her tell you).

A challenge to the men. Jesus warned his disciples that whoever sets his hand to the plow and looks back is not worthy. The apostle James reminds us that a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways and will recieve nothing from the Lord. ( And Norm laughingly says, "and nothing from his wife either!) If you are going to be heading toward this path that Joel and kathy have set before you are you truly prepared to take it all the way to the cross? Your cross. Your death. Don't make this a game. Your wife will know.

Hey Joel and Kathy, here is an email that I had sent to Norm a few days ago. Thought it may help others to see what a woman may be feeling inside while she is opening up past hurts and feelings. We (me in particular) were going through a rough time.

----- Original Message -----

From: Bess

To: Norm

Sent: Monday, August 21, 2006 8:08 AM

Subject: To my sweetheart!

Hi lover, please help me to heal by staying strong for me. I need you during these difficult times. I love you and I need you everyday. Forever your love, Bess

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note from Joel. Many times a wife will be afraid that if she expresses too much hurt and disappointment, that her husband will give up and backslide. This is a nice note that expresses a world of emotion. Men, you need to reassure your wives CONSTANTLY that you WANT them to unload on you emotionally. Assure her that though it is difficult for you and causes you to die inside - that you want her to feel free to say whatever she needs to say, whenever she wants to say it - so that she can get closure and you can grow up. Assure her that there is NOTHING that she could say or do that would drive you away - she is safe to express anything and you will not leave her.

For some of you guys who were more abusive, be VERY careful how you say, "There is NOTHING that you could say or do to drive me away." That might come across as a "stalker" threat instead of a loving and compassionate reassurance. So, adjust your words accordingly. This is the world you created and you have to be careful as you seek to repair it!

Blessings!

Joel and Kathy

Hi Joel and Kathy, I want to share with you a situation that has come up with us. Joel, in your DVD seminar you told the men that if they are loving their wife and doing what they need to be doing for her and she has a situation that she is not overcoming then she will call a girlfriend for prayer and cousel.

Well, that is just what happened with me. I had not even realized it until after I called the friend and got the cousel and advice. I was just stalemated and unable to get past a very bad attitude toward Norm even though he was validating my feelings and loving me. Finally out of desperation I made contact with a woman counselor on line. She helped me to see my way through my circumstances and to come reason with my feelings. Like I said I did not even remember your words on the DVD about such a situation until after I got the cousel and talked to Norm about it. Praise God, Joel you are so right about your counsel to men. Guys, God is faithful. Do your part and the Lord will do His!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hi Joel and Kathy,

Homefront still isn’t too promising. I am so tired of hearing him say to the kids, “It doesn’t matter what your mom says, it’s what I say!” If he only knew what they truly felt. Yes, they love him. Kids naturally love their parents, even when they aren’t that great. He doesn’t believe it when I tell him that the kids have often said, “I don’t want to be with Daddy, all he does is get mad and yell at us.” Personally, I don’t blame them! I am really struggling with the twice a week “duty” in bed. I can barely keep from screaming and crying out. But, if I don’t, things at home are far, far worse. The Lord bless you mightily on your trip and even more mightily bless all the marriages that you’ll come in contact with!! Danae

Thanks Danae,

Personally, as you probably realize, I would suggest making the "Listen to me and not mom" thing a crisis. He is usurping your authority as a mom. So, you sit him down privately in a restaurant or something and read him the riot act. This will stop and the yelling at the kids will stop. You will not allow him to run roughshod over yourself or over the children anymore.

If you do this in a civil and straightforward, almost business like manner, then he will have to make a choice. Do not raise your voice or lose your temper - that will allow him to change the focus from the issue over to your losing your temper. That is why a public place would be good. You can keep it businesslike.

You don't need to issue an ultimatum. you just inform him that those actions and attitudes are over. You can tell him that you know he will make mistakes and that when he does, you will bring it to his attention. It will be his job to immediately stop.

Just lay it out as being non-negotiable... with no threats. This is just the way life is going to be for now on. Period.

You did not agree to this treatment when you said that you would marry him, and you will not be abused, nor the children, any further.

If he resists, then you will want to get a video camera and record him yelling at them. An attorney will let you know if that would be admissible in a custody case.

Remember, none of that is in the conversation though.. you just speak directly, calmly and clearly.. but very, very firm. You are setting boundaries. Period. If he violates those boundaries and does not back up when you point it out, then you can simply deposit his belongings onto the sidewalk and lock the door the next time he is gone for a day. No warning. You just do it.

You have to of course pray these things through. Remember though, the patience of God does not mean that you allow yourself or your children to be abused in this manner.

We are lifting you in prayer.

Blessings,

Joel and Kathy


==========================================

 

Hi Joel,

Well, we finally put the kids to bed early last night
and tried to approach the questions below that you
have been after Morris to ask me. I told him that I
didn't think he was ready but what I didn't realize
that I wasn't either. I wasn't repaired for all the
hurt that it dragged back up- YUCK!

Once I got started I couldn't stop telling him
specific ways he hurt me, just in the first year and
then I went on about the next 4 years, by this time I
could see it on his face he couldn't take it anymore.
He was totally closing up- not talking and the jawline
was clinched so tight it was not possible to get any
tighter. So I just came to a screaching halt and did
not talk anymore. I went to bed without even speaking
to him.-- NOT the evening I had planned for when I was
putting the kids to bed early!!!

All he could say was "I'm sorry I treated you so
badly. I was a real *astard." Now what kind of
apology was that.. Oh poor Morris... Was that really
suppose to make ME FEEL BETTER after all the trash I
just had to pull up from the darkest depth to which I
had buried it???? Instead, now I feel like the trash.


I told Morris this morning that I didn't know what I was
really looking for from him but something more on the
lines of ..."I'm sorry, I treated you so badly, I
never even realized it but I'm glad you are telling me
about it now, so that I can spend the rest of our
lives together making it up to you and hopefully some
day you will trust me and love me again."

I don't know what to do- now I have all these YUCK
feelings for him AGAIN! What am I suppose to do?
Pretend that I forgive him with his lame apology?
Tell him to try again- it wasn't good enough? Having
to ask for an apology is just not the same as getting
one GIVEN freely. Please help me!!!!

Emma
"I'm sorry, I treated you so badly, I
never even realized it but I'm glad you are telling me
about it now, so that I can spend the rest of our
lives together making it up to you and hopefully some
day you will trust me and love me again."

You have the answer yourself Emma. This is a perfect apology and one that you can let Morris read. We know from working with Morris that he will say this sincerely and mean it.

You were right to recognize when Morris could "take it" no longer. Men do get very tired when working on emotional things.. so don't be bothered by that.. it is normal.

Ken Nair's "other" book, Understanding the heart of a man" talks about this.. that many guys will start to involuntarily begin to fall asleep after about thirty minutes of a wife sharing her heart.

Remember, it is hard for a guy to say these things.. sometimes it will seem robotic.. but that is normal. A man is crucifying his old man by verbalizing this type of thing and one day, the words will connect up with the heart. So, be glad that Morris is willing.. and working.. and growing..

So, make tonight a fun night!

Morris did well to listen.. and will do well to say or (even read) the apology to you. So, accept that.. and reward him with a "sweet" night.

Blessings,

Joel and Kathy

26th aug

\HELP ME please! Please help me understand. Why Morris
can't make me FEEL loved?

He is helping more with the kids, trying to actually
accomplish things on his list of procrastination, and
buying me 2 dozen roses weekly and taking me lunch 2-3
times a week and a date night once a week. Okay, most
women would say-I'll take him! I don't know why, but
I just can't FEEL THE LOVE!

I don't know if the years of hurt run too deep, or I
can't believe in him and feel like it it all just an
act. I know that he is trying to win my heart back
with his deeds, but his words and actions tell me
otherwise.

Like the other night, we were talking about Lorna's
email, and he makes a comment like- "Yeah but while
he is waiting for her to turn her heart to him what if
some other girl shows him attention or affection". I
just replied back "that's why you're suppose to die to
meet her needs not your own!"

Then last night at dinner (and this happens all the
time at lunch too), but last night I had had it,
especially with his comment the night before. He was
soo busy "people watching"- he purposely sits so he
can always see the door/restaurant. That he wasn't
engaging in any conversation with me, only if I asked
him a question. He wasn't even LOOKING at ME. I
can't stand it anymore, if he wants to people watch
then he should go to dinner by himself! Luckily for
me, we had driven 2 cars because we just picked up
mine at the shop. Soo, I left him there- alone to do
his people watching, right in the middle of dinner. I
cried the whole way home!!! He makes ME FEEL so
unimportant and unloved!!! He thinks because he BUYS
me dinner that he is showing me LOVE but the way he
TREATS me during dinner shows me otherwise!!!!

I've told him since we were dating- YOU CAN'T BUY ME!
I need to SEE and FEEL your LOVE! I've been having a
VERY stressful week. He knows that. I have expressed
it to him repeatedly. He keeps saying "I feel for
you". But I need ENCOURAGEMENT to keep going, SUPPORT
to show me I'm not in it alone, and LOVE to let me
know whatever the outcome, He will still be beside me!

I told him about Nancy’s letter where when they were
dating he knew what to say and do to make her FEEL
special, then once they got married it was like he got
amnesia! My goodness is this an epidemic??? Why
can't he make me FEEL LOVED????

Please help me, I'm still crying.

Emma


___


> It's hard because it's not about the things that
> seem to become
> routine" -- well, I will buy her flowers twice a
> week, and take her out to
> eat. And I will try to do these other five things
> on a regular basis...
>
> Its about a heart connection. And I think (correct
> me if I am wrong) that
> is EXTREMELY difficult for Morris, you said he
> basically shut down when his mom
> died.. And he has been "absent" for the last eight
> years since... He
> probably doesn't even realize that his mother's
> death has anything to do
> with how he is treating you... Especially through
> this, because it happened
> when he was already grown... But he had (obviously)
> some sort of MAJOR heart
> connection with her -- especially with the fact that
> she was fulfilling the
> wifely roles in his life for awhile, while she took
> care of Roddie and
> cleaned house and all that stuff... and then she
> was gone. his heart was
> burned... It may sound sick, but imagine what it
> would feel like to have a
> spouse who took that good care of you (as his mother
> did of him) and then
> they die on you... That would hurt A LOT. And it
> would affect you for the
> rest of your life -- OR UNTIL YOU DECIDED TO MOVE
> ON....
>
> I know that with Dan, even though his mother is
> alive, he can't have the
> relationship with her that he wants, and that
> definitely affects our
> relationship too.. He wants the close bond with his
> mom, and she is
> completely unwilling to really have any bond --
> since he got married... She
> doesn't even call him, or answer his phone calls.
> And you can see the pain
> in Dan whenever she comes up.
>
> They have to learn how to move on from there....
>
>
> I don't know if this helped at all, but I am just
> looking in from the
> "outside"... and giving my thoughts..
>
> Sending this to Joel and Kathy too, so they can
> add,or correct it if
> needed...
>
> talk to you soon. Hang in there.
>
> I am in the same boat, hon. It ain't fun... But we
> can both see it getting
> a little better -- so it's worth keeping going,
> right? This is the first
> time EVER (for me) that change started, and hasn't
> just completely stopped..
> That has got to say something!
>
> Mary

I can see that a little but he does know- because we
told him- that he shut down and needs to get back in
life. Come on it, been 8 years since her death. I
think he need to make those new synaposis to connect
the heart to the mind. But I'm not seeing any
progress there, and I see frustration growing in him
as to why I'm not responding to him positively yet.

Emma

-
-------------------------------------------------------------------

More from Mary

hey,

I feel like we are all in the middle of the "trenches" so to speak right
now, in the middle of this huge battle... We are all getting muddy. We
are all being shot at, from one point or another... Our guys are the ones
who don't know what their job is without
someone telling them... And our guys (at least mine!) are the ones who DON'T
want to listen.. I guess
they are lucky... If we were in the army/military, we could "dishonorably
discharge" them, and send them away, back to their family...

BUT since we are MARRIED to them, we have to stick it out in these trenches
with them, and get behind them with a cattle prod or something, to push them
along.... Eventually, they will look back and thank us for making them
become a grown up, and they will have the utmost respect for us, and even
love us for it...

Not fun, but HOPEFULLY, worth it in time...

Mary

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, and they say that takes like three years!! (to build the new synapses in the brain) UGH.

I guess (like they keep telling me) that we have to trust that because they
are willing to change the actions, that the heart change will follow...

Maybe he doesn't realize it when he's in the middle of it, enough to force
himself to do something different. Like with Dan, he admitted he could
see it "looking back on it" but NOT during the times when he turns into a
jerk right after I try to "respond" to him...

Maybe for now, you have to see the "heart connection" in that he is willing
to turn around and realize that he HAS hurt you, and he is apologizing when
he does something like last night... Just like Dan -- they keep telling
me "he is growing, but this thing is going to take awhile to get there."
It's frustrating I KNOW. He has to understand your frustration and your
hurt over this, and you have to try and "firmly, directly, but LOVINGLY"
communicate with him, when HE is ABSENT yet again. And trust GOD, that He
will finish this work he has begun... He apparently wants you two together!!
Otherwise, all those times you have tried and wanted to go to the
lawyer ---- one of them somewhere would have succeeded.

Positively respond where you can. And communicate WHY you can't, when you
can't... "I can't respond positively to someone who is sitting directly
across the table from me at this 'special dinner' and paying more attention
to everyone else than to ME, HIS WIFE!!" Maybe if you tie the two together
FOR HIM, he will be able to see it a little easier, and thus, change it a
little bit quicker.

Just make sure you do that BEFORE you are outright yelling at him . : )

Mary

From Emma:

I did tell him how he hurt me, but he does it so often
and I tell him so many times, that this time, after
the stressful week, I couldn't JUST tell him again. I
never yelled- I just cried and couldn't stop after
telling him. Then he thinks he can just apologize and
I should be fine- WRONG! He thinks that I should
accept his apology like it never happened and then
everything should go back to the point just before he
screwed up. I CAN'T. Having my feelings hurt does
hurt and thus requires time for healing. The apology
is not just an INSTANT bandage for the pain. Now he
gets frustrated- AGAIN with the TIME thing for HER.
UGH!


Note from Joel and Kathy: In the beginning, it takes days for a man to realize that he is wrong and can work up the courage to apologize. As he matures, this time will grow shorter. Eventually, a husband will be apologizing within an hour or so. This is a HUGE step of maturity. When he gets to the place that he is apologizing immediately, and can stop and acknowledge his failure in the heat of the battle - then he has reached a place of maturity.

This is not an original thought for us. We received this knowledge from Ken Nair in his book, "Understanding the Heart of a Man”


=======================================================================

=================================
Christine has been reaching out to us for help with her husband, Glenn. He is very abusive mentally and emotionally. He is in prison. We THANK GOD, that she finally admitted that they are not married. Cheri can now save herself from a sure living hell on earth - and she does not need to divorce or anything! She simply must say goodbye. Janae has been helping us with Cheri by being her friend and offering great counsel and insight.


===================================

From: Christine
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2007 4:04 PM

To Janae and Joel and Kathy
Subject: I confessed the truth to J & K today about not being legally
married!

Hi Janae, I told Joel and kathy the truth about me and Glenn, not being
legally married. I was really scared to be honest with them. Mostly
because I've kept it from them this whole time they've been helping me
and giving me their support. I hope they write back to me and I pray
they'll forgive me for not being straight forth with them from the get
go.



I've struggled with stepping out there and confessing to them that
I haven't been honest with them. that's scary to do. but I knew that I
had to do it. I also knew that they could not give me their full advice
if they did not know the whole truth and at this point, if the whole
truth isn't laid out there, I don't feel as though I can really be
helped. i was also afraid that if they knew we weren't legally married
that they wouldn't help us. But, by not telling them the truth, I feel
that I was holding the control of that ... that isn't fair to them.



They deserve to know the truth and to have the control of whether or not
they are going to put their time and effort in to helping me and
supporting me, knowing the truth. I realized by not telling them the
truth, I was taking that control and choice from them, leading them to
believe that they were helping a couple who is LEGALLY MARRIED. That's
not right.

I still pray that there will come a point and a day when things WILL
come to a happy 'beginning' for me and Glenn and that we WILL be able to have a real wedding and make our commitment legal, not only before God, but the state, family and friends and when that day comes, i want to be able to celebrate it with EVERYONE that I know ... especially all of YOU!! I don't want that day to come and spring it on everyone THEN that we have not be legally married, but come celebrate with us NOW because NOW we are making it legal. How awful of ME to do that to all of YOU!!

I'm nervous to hear back from J & K, but feel relieved that I finally
took the initiative to tell them the truth. I told them that I expect
them to tell me to get the heck away from him because we're not legally married. I told him that I can't do that even if they suggest it
because I can't just 'walk away' until I KNOW that there is absolutely
NO HOPE left for this to work. I also told them that I hope they will
still help us, but that I realized that this will affect our area of
trust because i wasn't straight forth with them from the get go.

I'm scared to hear what they have to say to me about my dishonesty, but I'm ready to hear it and accept responsibility for my actions.

Please Keep me in prayer today.

Love in Christ,
Christine

==========================================
-----Original Message-----
From: Janae (Janae is helping Christine)
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2007 8:19 AM
To: 'Christine

Precious little Sister, it sounds like you are growing up. Yes, you
should have told them straight from the beginning. I thought you had.
But you didn't and now you have. Which was very mature of you to fess up at this point. How difficult to confess! I think God is smiling at
you right now for being so brave and doing your best to do the right
thing. I am proud of you. :o) Yes, it will make their advice to you
different. That is just what grown up people do, deal with the facts as
they are. I think perhaps you faced some of your facts yourself by
telling the truth. I am so proud of you! Did I tell you that yet? :o)
All you can do is the right thing, no matter how painful, and trust God
to take care of the rest.

Wow Father, my baby Sis is going through some changes in you. I see the growth. It is happening quickly at this point. That is scary for her. She hasn't had lots of good history, love and foundation to make growing and change seem like a positive thing. But she has her foundation in You now Father, and she is trying to take on Jesus' attributes.


Help her to experience Your smile and favor today. Thank you for blessing me with her as a little Sis. We love You, Daddy!

I love you too little Sister. You make me smile.
Janae :o)

==================================================

In a message dated 9/20/2007 8:31:08 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,

Janae writes to Joel and Kathy:

I don't think Glenn is growing up, but Christine' is. Janae :o)

From Joel and Kathy to Christine:

Hi Christine,

You are right. Your flesh will not like our answer. But please, read on. We are not yelling at you, but we are trying to help you see things clearly. We want to rescue you.

It is so much different, that you are not married to him. Janae can tell you how miserable marriage is with a man who is not sold out to God and being a great husband. You are setting yourself up for the most misery of any married woman. Why? Because if you marry Glenn, you know exactly what you are getting. You will not be able to accuse him of "conning" you. You will not be able to say "I thought I was going to have a good man and be happily married."

The only counsel for you, is to say goodbye to him, and if he gets out of prison someday, and gets a good job, and lives a Christian life for a year or two, and THEN contacts you, and wins your heart, as a FRESH start, then you have something to work with. He of course, would have to live a life of purity for that year or two, without you.

You are really, really, really, really hurting Glenn by sticking with him right now. The worst thing for him is to have you to lean on and think that he is married to. Glenn needs to deal with his own stuff, between him and God. You are SEVERELY hampering ANY effect that GOD could have on his life.

Not to mention, you are severely hampering God's plan for your life.

Thank you for coming clean about not being married. In essence, even though you are not physically with him, you are committing fornication in your heart (acting like a married woman toward a man who you are not married to.)

We and Janae will support you personally, and be friends you can lean on for comfort - but our real friendship now is to help you disengage from Glenn. I HAVE to believe that you have had sex with him. I do not believe that the soul tie in you could be this strong to him unless you have had sex.

The connection you feel to Glenn is a demonic thing - not a God thing. He is a plant of the enemy - and again, if you marry him, you will NEVER be able to ask him to be a good husband. You will have to suffer under whatever unmerciful tyranny he inflicts on you, and it WILL BE BRUTAL. If you marry him, understanding this, then how could you POSSIBLY ever ask him to change?

Glenn could be a good husband for someone, some day. But in YOUR life, he is a plant of the enemy. The only way he could be a good husband for you, is for you to have NO contact with him until after he at least has been out of jail for a full year, a full year of gainful employment, and he is in church 2, 3 or 4 times per week for that full year.

If he treats you THIS HORRIBLY now, how will he treat you when he "owns" you? I cannot even begin to imagine the horrific suffering you would go through.

We love you and pray, plead, beg you to hear us. Say goodbye to Glenn. You have made a mistake, and you need to seek God for your future without him. If you have ANY love for Glenn, at all, you will do this. If you cannot find that place of God's love in your heart, you will continue to hinder God's work in Glenn by staying in touch with him.

Blessings to you, AND to Glenn.

Glenn, you are not demonic. God loves you and WANTS your whole heart. It is YOUR RELAITIONSHIP with Christine that is a demonic plant. Understand that.

YOU can get your life right with God - but NOT AS LONG AS THIS RELATIONSHIP continues. Christine is stopping you from getting real with God. If you love her, you will tell her that we are right and you will follow the plan we outlined - which means you two will have no contact until at least a full year after you are out of jail.

Christine deserves a chance to let God create a new future for her. If you are in that future, she will still be single and interested after no contact with you for that period of time.

Blessings,

Joel and Kathy

 

When you request excerpts or sign up for our mailing list, you will receive a newsletter from us that is sent out using our "In Jesus" mail server. At the top of your welcome letter, there will be a link for "View Archives". You will be able to read current newsletters with additional teachings, testimonies and counseling that we have made public since June of 2006. This page was last added to on June 16, 2007. You will be able to spend many more hours reading testimonies, teachings, and questions and answers in those InJesus Archives. As of now, (Sept. 07), there are over 40 full posts in those archives. Each post has teachings, testimonies and more in them. You will also find more material at our forum, where you can read live, ongoing mentoring and post your own questions: www.joelandkathy.com/boards/

 

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