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March 1, 2012
In this issue:
  • Article:  Are You Guilty of Being Too Nice?
  • Coaching:  Several new openings to receive personal and relationship coaching are available
  • Leslie Answers Your Questions:

    Does God say I have to be sexually available to my abusive husband?

  • What's New?  The TRUTH Principle Study and Leaders Guides are now available to accompany How to Live Right When Your Life Goes Wrong
Are You Guilty of Being Too Nice?

Smiling Woman

Do you ever find yourself saying "yes" when you want to (or should) say "no"? For example, several years back, a graduate student asked me if I thought she would make a good counselor. I knew her gifts weren't strongest in that area, but I didn't want to hurt her feelings. She left our conversation believing I thought she was capable.


We all do it. We say "yes" when our honest response should be "no". But let's take a look at the cost of being too nice.


We Hurt People


It amazes me how unaware we are of how we injure people by being too nice. Isn't that why we're nice to begin with? We don't want to hurt people? When I wasn't completely honest with my intern, I unintentionally hurt her. She spent time, energy, and money pursuing a career that didn't reflect her true calling.


In another example, Lydia worked hard to be a Proverbs 31 wife and mother. But the more she gave, the more her husband and children took, with little concern or even awareness of Lydia's needs.


Lydia became exhausted caring for everyone with no one giving back to her. Over time, Lydia's niceness enabled her family to become more and more self-centered, self-absorbed, and selfish. Lydia didn't mean to, but she weakened her husband and children by not inviting them into a more reciprocal relationship.


Here's another way we wound people by being too nice. Debbie was a new believer who attended Nancy's Bible study at church. Debbie began phoning Nancy at home, asking a question or wanting to talk something through.


Debbie always took Nancy's calls, but soon grew weary. She didn't want to discourage her new friend, but found her neediness overwhelming. Instead of being more honest with Debbie and setting a better schedule for phone calls, Nancy started using her caller ID to screen her calls. Eventually Debbie caught on and felt hurt and abandoned. Nancy's niceness gave Debbie the impression that she was always available any time night or day.


When we are too nice and fail to set appropriate boundaries, we may not mean to, but we hurt people. The only person who can be always available without getting crabby or tired is God. Don't try to do his job. You will fail every time and the other person will get hurt.


We Hurt Ourselves


There is nothing unbiblical about being wise with who you give yourself to. While in college, Sharon took a walk with a young man she wasn't attracted to, nor was she very comfortable with. She said yes because she didn't want to hurt his feelings by saying "no thanks". During their walk, he sexually assaulted her. Every day she deeply regrets that she was too nice.


It doesn't have to be a dangerous or suspicious situation for us to learn to simply say "no thank you, I can't," or "I don't want to." We all have limited resources of time, energy, and money. When we allow others to take from our resources without limits, it's like giving them unrestricted access to our checking account and then feeling angry when we're constantly overdrawn.


If giving to someone hurts you, count the cost. Sometimes it's appropriate to sacrifice yourself for another, and other times it's foolish. Jesus tells a story about five women who refused to share their lamp oil with five others who did not bring enough for themselves. Instead of rebuking these women for being stingy, Jesus called them wise (Mathew 25:1-13).


We Miss God's Best


Each day there are endless things and people that clamor for our attention. Oswald Chambers reminds us that "the great enemy of the life of faith is the good that is not good enough." Don't allow other people to set your values, your schedule, or your priorities.


Many people asked Jesus to do things for them, but Jesus always looked for what God wanted first--even if it meant disappointing people. (See Mark 1:29-38 or John 11:1-6.) When we are too nice and passively accommodate others, we could very well miss God's best.


Finally, here are some steps to help you stop being too nice:


1.  Understand that nice isn't one of the fruits of the Spirit. Being kind doesn't mean you always say "yes." It means that you learn to say "no" kindly.


2.  Before you say "yes," stop and say, "Let me think about that. I'll get back to you." This will give you time to think through whether you're being too nice or if you really feel led to do it.


3.  Let go of guilt. You can't be all things to all people nor do everything people want. Jesus was perfect, and he still disappointed people.




The TRUTH Principle Study and Leader's Guides are now available to accompany How to Live Right When Your Life Goes Wrong. These ebooklets are available at no cost for a limited time only.  If you'd like to receive a copy via email, please contact us at





If you'd like to receive personal or relationship coaching, please contact for more information or to apply.




Mar 3 AGLOW Breakfast, Sheridan Jetport, Allentown, PA


Mar 9-11 Morning Star Friends Church, Middlefield, OH




Apr 12-14 Marriage America Conference, Orlando, FL


Apr 26-28 Wonderful Counselor Conference, Flower Mound, TX




Jun 23-24 Women's Event, Solid Rock Church, Portland, Oregon

From the very beginning of my invitation to you and then all the way through the process of developing our retreat, you had a warm and flexible spirit that was aimed to serve the lord and our women.  You delivered exactly what you said you would and it was so helpful to our women.  They not only walked away with a new love to honor and serve God with their lives, but also with some new practical tools of application to be the "best version of themselves."  


Glenda Harr
First Covenant Church


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Does God say I have to be sexually available to my abusive husband?

Question:  I've been married for 25 years to an emotionally and verbally abusive man. I feel angry and bitter toward him for the way he treats me, yet he still expects me to be loving and affectionate with him, especially in bed. I can't do it. What does God expect me to do?


Answer:  No one likes feeling like an object. Husbands sometimes complain to me that they feel that their wives treat them like a paycheck. Wives complain that they don't feel like a loved person but merely a sexual object or a slave. Marriage is the most sacred and intimate relationship we have, apart from our relationship with God. When one person (or both people) continually disrespects, mistreats or lies to the other, intimacy is broken. It can be rebuilt but not without genuine repentance and hard work.


From what you say, it sounds as if your husband believes he's entitled to the benefits of married life (sexual intimacy, your affection and love, not to mention normal care) without having to do his part. He doesn't seem to understand that having a good and loving relationship requires two people to interact with one another with kindness and respect. His emotionally abusive behavior is driving you further away from him. Does he just want sex from you? Or true intimacy?


The Bible calls us to love, not hate. That command includes our enemies. But what does biblical love look like towards your husband? Biblical love isn't necessarily feelings of affection or warmth, but actions that are directed toward another person's long term best interests. Is it in your husband's long term best interest to be sexually available to him so that his sexual needs are met? Perhaps. But that is not a solution to your relationship problem. It is just a solution to his sexual frustration.


Another way to look at this situation is that it is in your husband's best interest to let him experience the felt consequences of broken intimacy and tell him that, when he treats you disrespectfully, you're too angry to feel warmth and affection towards him. When he's not sorry he treats you that way, it makes it impossible for you to feel affectionate toward him. You need to have a calm conversation with him regarding your feelings. Here's a sample of something you might say.


"I know you get very frustrated when I'm not responsive to your sexual needs. You want me to be sexual with you and enjoy our physical relationship, but the way you treat me much of the time makes me feel angry and hurt. When you call me names or degrade me in front of the children, the last think I feel like doing is being warm and affectionate towards you. If you want genuine intimacy and affection, you will need to work on changing the way you treat me. Wouldn't you rather have someone who wants to get close and affectionate with you rather than someone who is just doing her duty?"


Most men I talk with want closeness with their wives. Men find the touch channel easier than the talk channel. Try expressing your feeling about being just an object versus a person. This may help him see the impact of his behavior, not only on you, but on him.