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February 19, 2014

What's New?

  • Free Webinar: Leslie and Chris Moles will be doing a free webinar on The Emotionally Destructive Marriage sponsored by RCM (Our Daily Bread) Ministries in Grand Rapids.
    Click here for more information and to register.   

  • New Minibook Available on Amazon: Two stories of moms and daughters who learned how to move beyond the cycle of manipulation and control and give and share love honestly and without fear. Available for purchase here.

  • Find and Follow Leslie on Instagram: @LeslieVernick

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Many of us are staying up late watching the Winter Olympics this year.  I’m always fascinated at the things these athletes can do and the human stories behind their amazing talent and giftings.

My good friend Marnie Feree wrote a newsletter article about some of the behind the scenes at Sochi and thought it was an apt metaphor for many people who seem to have it all together on the outside but behind the scenes, aren’t creating the internal supports that will enable them to function with integrity.


Build Your Infrastructure

Sochi Olympics Infrastructure

The problems with the accommodations at the Sochi Olympics are apparently epic. So-called hotel rooms have no hot water, functioning toilets or beds. Rooms sport either no doorknobs or doors that lock you in without warning. Venturing beyond the room is no better as you must be on the lookout for open elevator shafts inside or open manholes outside. As one Olympian exclaimed, "Wowzers!"

The watching world is incredulous and horrified. The Twitter account @SochiProblems reportedly has around 100,000 more followers than the official Sochi Olympics Twitter account.

I find it telling that the public face of the Olympics seems much more polished. The gleaming arenas in the resort town and the technological wonders of the opening ceremonies (with one snowflake exception) are beautiful.

While the world's attention is focused on this dichotomy between public appearance and behind the scenes reality, this kind of contradiction is sadly universal within people of all locations and nationalities. The external facade of our public presentation too often lacks a sufficient infrastructure of human character and integrity.

It's easy for me to attend to my projected persona and ignore the internal foundation of my heart. I can pay too much attention to the external trappings of my life and too little to the underpinnings of my spiritual and emotional health.

What about you? Do you concentrate on maintaining the infrastructure that supports transformation and wholeness? Are the basics firmly constructed in your life? That means attending to the foundation of your relationship with God, your community, and your own hidden heart.

Jesus described this strong infrastructure as a house built with a deep foundation laid upon a rock, so that "when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built," Luke 6:48 (English Standard Version).

Marnie C. Ferree

P.S. I want to warmly welcome ALL new subscribers who have joined our community since last month! You are going to love the resources you find to help you grow. I'm thrilled to have you here!

P.P.S. Don't keep this to yourself! Forward this newsletter to your friends and colleagues or send them to www.leslievernick.com so they can register for themselves.

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Leslie Answers Your Questions

Lessons from Sarah's Story

Question:  I have spoken in depth to my leaders about your book. They just really won't address the issue of emotional, financial, or verbal abuse. I was asked if I think my situation is worse than Sarah in the Bible and what Abraham did to her

Yet there was a speaker at our Biblical counseling conference that spoke on the very topic and recommended your book! I am wondering what you think about divorce?

As I read your blog and comments from other women some have been separated for many years. How do you go on with life? I am not entering this lightly. I have been taught the only grounds for divorce are infidelity, abandonment, and if the unbelieving spouse walks away from the marriage.

I just don't know how to keep going on like this. My husband won't work. He threatens me with divorce and then comes back and says he didn't mean it.

There is so much like this that has gone on for many years. My children are very stressed. I just want to be right in Gods eyes. I fear losing his blessing if I go the route of divorce. Would there be consequences for me?

Answer: As I read your letter I feel heartsick.Heartsick for your turmoil and grief. Heartsick for the blindness of your leaders who God has given the charge to protect the flock, yet remain blind to how they enable bullies to bully or fools to continue their foolishness because they refuse to support wives who want to implement consequences for destructive behaviors.

Let’s look more closely at the story of Abraham and Sarah.Abraham threw Sarah under the bus twice because of his own selfishness and fears. Read Genesis 12 and Genesis 20 for the stories.

2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

What is the lesson here in these stories?Why did God put them in the Bible?

The lesson most Christians take from this story is to emphasize Sarah’s submissiveness. Peter did that when he wrote about her in 1 Peter 3:9.But Peter also went on to warn husband’s to live with their wives in an understanding way showing honor to her since she is an equal or joint heir with him before God.

However, the error Christians make is that they extrapolate from Sarah’s example that a wife who is being mistreated should simply submit to her husband’s foolishness regardless of what it costs her. The underlying belief here is that if she is to be protected, God will protect her like he did Sarah.

But this is short sighted theology and not in line with the whole counsel of God. First, let’s look at the context of the story: Abraham and Sarah were nomads. They had no family nearby or “church” community to provide accountability or protection. They lived in a very patriarchal culture where women had little choice and few rights.


Add your (or view other) comments to Leslie's answer to this question by clicking the link below.


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Connect with me:


Build Your Infrastructure


Coaching Spots Available



Take a look at the upcoming events to watch for from Leslie.



No Stones by Marnie C. Ferree. Plus see the winner of the previous giveaway!



Lessons from Sarah's Story


For more information on Leslie's coaching program, please click below.

Coaching Programs



No Stones by Marnie C. Ferree

No Stones: Women Redeemed from Sexual Addiction
by Marnie C. Ferree


In this book Marnie C. Ferree offers a unique resource for women struggling with sexual addiction. Taking her book's title from the parable where Jesus extends grace to the woman caught in adultery, Ferree bravely shares her own story of sexual addiction, recalling her years of shame from living a double life and the moment when she ultimately had to tell the truth. But more than just offering her story as a hopeful example of God's transforming power, Ferree distills her clinical expertise on female sexual addiction accessibly and gently, providing a much-needed resource for women struggling with any degree of relational or sexual addiction. Ferree details the roots of addiction in family trauma and offers clear-eyed advice as both a counselor and a "grateful recovering sex addict" on how to achieve sobriety and healing.

Written by a counselor who understands the condition from the inside out, No Stones offers practical help for those battling sexual addiction. It also includes a specific chapter for anyone in close relationship with an addict, whether a spouse, family member, or friend, who wants to come alongside women as they seek help. Important for pastors and church leaders, this book will also be a much sought-after resource for Christian counselors and therapists counseling women who grapple with this type of addiction.

To win this book, submit your name and email address by midnight on Sunday, March 2nd.

The winners of Avoiding the 12 Relationship Mistakes Women Make by Georgia Shaffer are: Teresa (Sarasota, FL) and Bonnie (Orillia, ON).


March 5  Webinar on The Emotionally Destructive Relationship and Marriage, hosted by RBC Ministries. To register, click here.

April 4 Leslie will be speaking on Ending Emotionally Destructive Relationships at First Friday Women in Southlake, TX at the Harkins Theater. 11:00am - Noon.

May 10 Overcoming Powerlessness Banquet, Lancaster, PA

Invite Leslie to speak at one of your events.
Call us at 1-610-298-2842
leslie@leslievernick.com or
visit www.leslievernick.com



"Coaching with Leslie Vernick helped me recognize and replace my old destructive relational habits with healthy new ways to approach my spouse.  Now I’m beginning to live and relate from my CORE, a place that keeps me focused on the LORD and is so strong to rescue me from feeling like I’m drowning in my circumstances and emotions. Now my marriage is on a renewed and better track.  I can definitely see a positive turn in my attitude and this, by the grace of God, has invited my spouse to begin to relate to me differently too; the LORD is at work! Leslie’s approach was both practical and spiritual.  She provided scripture to bolster me along the way and her suggestions were right on target to help.  To anyone wanting to escape the burden of a repetitious harmful behaviors in life I would recommend, without reservation, Leslie Vernick as a coach!"

— SH


Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Send your questions about dealing with difficult people, stress, or relationship issues to:


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

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