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Loving Someone Enough to Speak Truth to Them

Monday, November 15, 2021 • Matt Loehr • Friendship
Speaking truth to someone who is struggling in their marriage is not easy.
Loving Someone Enough to Speak Truth to Them

Jenny’s friend Rachel, who had recently become a Christian, was struggling in her marriage. Jenny felt as though Rachel made a bigger deal out of some things than she should, but she didn’t want to come across as insensitive and unkind. So, she would just listen, and at times try to relate to her by sharing a few of her own marital issues. Other issues that Rachel’s shared were more serious. Jenny wasn’t sure what to say in those times, because truth be told, Jenny and her husband were experiencing some of the same problems in their marriage. This left her feeling at a loss for how to encourage Rachel.

 

One day Rachel announced to Jenny that she had gone to see a lawyer to draw up divorce papers. Jenny’s heart sank. She felt like she had failed her as a friend. How could she have encouraged Rachel to make the most important decision of her life – to accept Jesus, but didn’t have any words of wisdom for the second most important decision of her life? Jenny spent some time in prayer asking God to give her insight and wisdom for Rachel.

 

The next day she texted Rachel and asked to meet her for lunch. Over lunch, Jenny shared some of the struggles she and her husband had encountered in their 12 years of marriage. She confessed that she did not have all the answers and that she was still trusting God for healing in these areas. Then she encouraged Rachel to trust God as well. She told her that divorcing her husband would not be showcasing the glory of God to the world the way we as Christians are called to do. She challenged her to give God a chance to work in their marriage and promised to be committed to prayer with her for both of their marriages. Rachel decided to entrust her marriage to God. It has not been an easy road, but 13 years later both Jenny and Rachel’s marriages are going strong, and they are more in love with their spouses than they could have imagined.

 

A few months later, Jenny had another friend who was getting ready to divorce her husband. Jenny sought God’s wisdom and spoke the same words of truth to her other friend. This friend became offended, did not heed her wisdom, and severed their friendship. Her friend went on to divorce her husband, re-marry, divorce the second husband, re-marry, and is in the process of a third divorce.

 

Speaking truth to someone who is struggling in their marriage is not easy. It takes wisdom, courage, and genuine concern for the well-being of that person. There may be times when the truth is not received, and we lose a friendship because we spoke truth to them. But we are not being a true friend if we do not speak truth when they are believing a lie and walking down a path that is contrary to God’s plan for them.

 

If someone you know is struggling in their marriage, perhaps it is time to ask yourself what you have been doing to encourage them towards a God-honoring relationship with their spouse.

Seek God’s wisdom for timing and presentation. Set aside time to be authentic and vulnerable with them. Challenge them to surround themselves with like-minded couples who can encourage them towards godly responses. Be an encourager yourself (Rom 15:1). Don’t enable them in their bad-mouthing of their spouse by joining in or validating them (Eph 4:29). Point them back to the cross of forgiveness and grace where they can leave their burdens (Mt 11:28-30). Encourage them to find strength in Christ alone, not themselves (2 Cor 12:9). Point them towards wise and godly counselors who can come alongside them and hold up their arms in the thick of the battle (Ex 17:12).

 

Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ (Gal 6:2).

 

If you, or someone you know would like more information visit Refresh Your Marriage.

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