Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

March 31, 2014

What's New?

  • Webinar: This webinar on Shepherding the Emotionally Destructive Marriage is for pastors and ministry leaders, but anyone can attend.  Sign up even if you can’t attend, you will receive a link to watch it afterwards.  You will also receive a free e-book Rise up Oh Men (and Women) of God: The Church’s Response to Emotionally Destructive Relationships and the opportunity to preview the DVD:  Counseling Strategies for The Emotionally Destructive Marriage (Parts 1 and 2). To register, click here.

  • New DVDs Coming Soon: Two new 2-disc DVDs.  One on The Emotionally Destructive Relationship and one on Counseling Strategies that Work for the Emotionally Destructive Marriage. Look for them in the store starting April 1.

    EMDR Counseling  EDR Seeing Stopping


Send to a Friend

Biblical Reconciliation

Couple hugging

The Bible tells us, “we all stumble in many ways” (James 3:2). You can’t live with someone very long before they will step on your toes. That doesn’t mean the relationship is broken. You say “ouch”, he or she says, “I’m sorry” and it’s over.

But there are other times where someone seriously and/or repeatedly sins against us. There may be betrayal, infidelity, deceit, abuse, or chronic indifference, and with these sins, contrite words are not enough.Relationships are broken, strained, and stressed when there is repetitive and serious sin. What are we to do when we are the recipients of such destructive behaviors?

Relationships are important to God and reconciliation is an important theme in the scriptures. God calls us to be active in working to reconcile relationships that have been damaged but what does it take for actual reconciliation to take place?

Are we mandated by God to reconcile with someone at any cost? On any terms? The answer is NO!

The Bible does call us to be peacemakers, but not peacekeepers or peace-fakers.  Jeremiah warns against a superficial reconciliation when there is continued rottenness underneath.  He says, “Prophets and priests alike all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. Peace, peace when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14) 

Paul tells us that God has given us the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). Therefore, let me help you understand what that looks like in real life.

When someone has seriously sinned against us and we seek reconciliation, we’re not merely looking for an apology, we are looking for a change of heart.

Below are three evidences or fruits of a changed heart. John the Baptist said it well when he said to the religious leaders, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God” (Luke 3:8). When someone is truly repentant, he or she will:

  1. See: They will acknowledge and see the hurt they’ve caused you.

  2. Take responsibility: He or she will work to change the things they have done that have hurt you and the relationship. They don’t blame you for their sinful behaviors or attitudes.

  3. Make amends: They will hard to rebuild trust.They don’t expect instant restitution when trust has been damaged.

A great biblical example is Joseph (see Genesis 37-49). He was betrayed by his brothers. They sold him into slavery because of their own jealousy. When Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt seeking food from Pharaoh because of the famine in their own land, Joseph immediately recognized who they were although they did not recognize Joseph. We know that Joseph had forgiven his brothers because he was kind to them and gave them food, but he did not reconcile with his brothers. Instead he watched their actions to see if their heart’s had changed. It was only after Joseph saw their changed behaviors, did he trust them enough to offer reconciliation.

For additional help on this topic, read Sometimes Words are Not Enough

And watch my YouTube Video: How Do you Know Someone’s Truly Sorry?

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.

Save Article Send to a Friend


Leslie Answers Your Questions

How Do I Get Over Him?

Question:  I married my High School sweetheart and we were married for 28 years.  I loved him, and was attached to him, very much, but know now that it was often an unhealthy relationship.  There were good times, and fun times, (he is fun) but he also hurt me a lot.  When I finally said that things had to change and that we had to go to counseling, or we would have to separate, he chose to leave, and then he said that he didn’t love me anyway.  I was devastated; I thought he would choose to save our marriage.  He put my children and me through a lot (later, he said he was trying to teach me a lesson), and he didn’t come back.  I filed for divorce, and we were divorced.

After he had been gone for 3 years, he said he loved me and wanted me back.  Of course, I said that I wanted him back, but only if he we went to counseling – and he said he would do anything.  I didn’t let him come back into our home  (my children, and family were very upset that I was seeing him again), but I began seeing him regularly, and I was so very happy-  except for the pain of finding out all that he had done while we were apart.  He began going to counseling with me.  At the first session he seemed sorry (he did a lot during those 3 years away that were so upsetting and so painful for me), and he talked about how much he loved me, and that I am the best thing that has ever happened to him, and that he wanted to re-marry me right away.

But beginning with the second counseling session (and these were only once a month, because of the cost, and my ex said he we couldn’t afford it), he began to get angry with the counselor (and the counselor is an excellent Christian counselor) and after the fourth session, he would not go again.  By then, I was already attached again to my ex, and I kept seeing him, but, after about a year, I caught him in some lies, and he was acting different, again.  He was going back to his old lifestyle, the porn, and the men, and women he had partied with.  I had been with him (and intimate with him) for a year and a half, and then he abruptly walked away again, right when our youngest child left to college, and he has now been gone for about a year and a half.


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


Send to a Friend


Connect with me:


Biblical Reconciliation


Coaching Spots Available



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



The Secret Language of Successful Couples by Bill and Pam Farrel. Plus see the winners of the previous giveaway!



How Do I Get Over Him?


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

Coaching Programs



The Secret Language of Successful Couples

The Secret Language of Successful Couples
by Bill and Pam Farrel

Why is it so hard for married couples to get in sync with each other? How is it that your mate can be a source of joy and of frustration all on the same day? Marriages operate by a secret language—a collection of key words, actions, insights, and attitudes that determine how a couple’s relationship works. If that language is uncovered, love grows and flourishes. If that language remains a mystery, love gets buried behind misunderstandings and irritations.

Bill and Pam Farrel, authors of the bestselling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti, offer biblical and practical insight into this language that God has programmed into each married couple. Laced with the Farrels’ trademark humor, The Secret Language of Successful Couples is packed with ideas to help couples connect at a richer, deeper level. As both partners grow in relationship with God and rely on the Spirit for insights into the heart of their mate, they can replace their old, selfish languages with a new one that leads to greater intimacy in every area of life.

To win this book, please use this form to submit your name and email address by midnight on Sunday, April 13th.

The winners of The Emotionally Destructive Relationship book & CD with Study Guide and Leader's Guide are: Denise and Teresa.


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

May 16-17 Women's Conference with Pennsville Baptist Church. Mt Pleasant, 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.