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Helping others grow who are unaware

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    Before I ask my question, I would like to describe my husband. These descriptions are in no particular order.
    1. He is generous in helping others
    2. He is diligent, dependable and meticulous
    3. He helps around the house (i.e. cleaning the kitchen before going the bed)
    4. He is neat and clean but does not demand a pristine home
    5. He provides well for our family
    6. He leads our family in devotions and going to church
    7. He plans vacations in our family’s interest
    8. He enjoys celebrating birthdays and holidays and is the driving force behind them
    9. He is an avid student of the Bible
    10. He is a discerning teacher of the Bible

    Sounds like a great guy? He is! So what is my problem? That is the question I have asked myself numerous times over the twenty plus years. I think last year I stumbled upon the answer.

    In our relationship, there is little to none transparency, honesty, openness, maturity, humbleness, or vulnerability. I think I understand why. In my perspective, he does not have these things with GOD. I have studied the infographic of the Theological Pyramid. He excels up to the place of Practical Theology: “Sound mature and wise application of the Bible to your life.” What I mean by that is he is easily angered by me or the children. In our 27 years of marriage he has not apologized for his behavior toward me or the children. He is easily offended by us. He is angered by the behaviors of the children yet fails to see he does the exact same thing.

    When I have carefully studied the Epistles, the HOLY SPIRIT convicted me how I so fall short of godly living in the daily grind. I do not sense he compares his moment by moment behavior to the measuring stick of Scripture.

    I sense he has little intimacy with the LORD (I do not doubt his salvation).
    How can I help him to grow in this area?

    I don’t think he realizes his lack of intimacy or longs for intimacy. It is as if that special place has never existed. It is like a person born completely blind but doesn’t know he is blind. There is no concept of sight. When he hears of such things, he shies away because it seems “extra biblical”.

    I have read your articles concerning leading your husband many times.
    I sense this is completely out of my hands.

    My focus is live my relationship with CHRIST openly and to not react sinfully when he sins against us. I am not sure what else to do. I do pray and have prayed for most of our marriage.
    Thank you

    Rick Thomas

    Hey Hopeful,
    Thanks for writing. I pulled all your other forum posts about your life, family, and husband into this one so you can have them in one place. We have given you a lot of counsel about your marriage.

    I recommend that you read through these eight other posts that you started and re-read the great counsel that was given already.

    Also, in the future, if you would use just one post—this one, that would be great because it helps us not to keep repeating ourselves in multiple posts because there are so many of them.

    Please use this counsel that our team has generously given to you. You’re welcome to bookmark this post so you can keep referencing it. Perchance there is something we have not covered in these eight other forum posts, please let us know.










    Thank you for your quick reply. I will re-read those again. Today I read the article Your thoughts reveal your functional identity by Mark Grant.
    He wrote something that really stuck out:”Often those who are biblically literate have no sound grasp on the ruling motives of their hearts.” I have witnessed this first hand.

    Thank for putting everything in one place. I did not intend to be so scattered. I feel sad because I am talking so much behind his back.He would not appreciate it. In one of your responses (as well as in articles) you mentioned “the world’ greatest sunburn”. I must have been very broken myself not to recognize his brokenness when we married.

    I do pray for his restoration but I also pray that I will continue to honor the LORD regardless.

    Thank you for your time,

    Rick Thomas

    I would not beat yourself up for not knowing everything about your husband. It’s not possible to know all things, and when we’re younger and dating, we could not know these things.

    Certainly, there are things to consider and things we should see, but few of us see them or, more importantly, it’s virtually impossible to perceive how these things will work out practically in our future “one flesh” lives.



    I have listened and read The Art of Care of Correction.
    I feel that he husband may fall into the the avoider and/or fearful. As stated in previous post, I do believe he is a genuine Christian.

    If he refuses any sort of accountability from me, should I keep silent? I know what JESUS said (Matthew 18:15-17); however, it doesn’t seem his sin justifies going to others. I do forgive him and he does it again and again without acknowledgment he is sinning against our children or me. CHRIST also says (Matthew 18:21-22).

    I am at a loss.

    I sense I am falling into hopelessness concerning my husband. As our children are maturing, our oldest is struggling in her faith. Our second oldest has walked away from her faith. They are both adults. They both have confided in me how Dad’s blindness. Our third daughter (21 years old) is severely mentally delayed and we have guardianship of her. She makes it very clear that she resents him and has screamed “I hate you” more than once. He labels her as disrespectful. I have told him he is provocative.
    He refuses to see any connections between our oldest struggles, our second walking away and our third disrespect.
    We have two sons, 12 and 8.
    The LORD has given us plenty outward signs. There is plenty of stress in the home when he is “in his mood”. But there is no freedom of discussion. He refuses to see how he is part of the problem.

    I can only keep looking into the perfect mirror of the Word and encourage our children to do the same. But what do I do about the spiritual leader of our home who refuses to do the same???
    •He faithfully takes us to church
    •He faithfully leads us in Bible and prayer time daily
    •He is active in our local church

    If you are growing weary of me, please forgive me.
    Your website is helping me see my part of our problem and affirming the fact I cannot change him. I need wisdom on how to help our children to honor their Father and grow in their relationship with CHRIST even though Dad behaviors like he does.
    I cannot make the blind to see but CHRIST can. I will continue to bring him before the LORD and pray for my own heart.


    *the adult daughters: confided how Dad’s blindness discouraged them and is a stumbling block.

    Rick Thomas

    No, you shouldn’t give up trying. Here are two articles on how to “lead your husband from behind.”

    How a Wife Can Lead Her Husband

    Practical Thoughts On Leading Your Husband From Behind


    Thank you for continuing to listen, encourage and guide me. As I was praying Wednesday morning, the LORD lead me to one of your articles ( In that article you gave three possible reasons why someone would not ask for forgiveness:illumination, ignorance or insecurity. Then the lightbulb went on! I have no doubt about his salvation; however, he is insecure and now I realize he doesn’t know how…he is ignorant. What an epiphany! And after reading this article,, I realized that I have not understood how to ask for forgiveness either.
    We were out several nights ago and were talking about the dysfunctions that plagues his parents’ lives and the lives of his sisters. He off-handedly mentioned that the dysfunctions that affects them probably affects him too. I did not respond. It gave me hope that he realizes something is wrong.
    I am prayerfully considering sharing the article The Most Important Things You’ll learn to Change.
    I believe the LORD will show me when to share it. In the meantime, I need to study and implement these steps. Much of it I have practiced without realizing it.
    Here is a humbling confession: I struggle realizing I sin. I know I have logs in my eyes. I usually take cues how our children (I am a stay-at-home homeschooling Mom) are reacting to me as a cue when I cross the line (I take their responses before HIM and ask HIM to help me assess them). I have a long way to go before I can ever walk my husband “through the process of repentance” (quote from My Husband Never Ask for Forgiveness .

    Thank you once again.

    Rick Thomas

    Excellent. I’m encouraged. You can also add this video about repentance to the article:

    Shareable, Equipping Videos

    Video #12 under Life-Change Videos


    Thank you. Thank you for all that you have done and all that you are doing.

    As I was listening to podcasts about the man/husband being a good leader and the ramifications when he is not a good leader, I was saddened. My husband is a poor leader. We have two boys at home ages 12 and 8. Until my husband developes into a good leader, how can I disciple our boys what a godly leader looks like?
    The down side of this is, they may recognize their Daddy as a poor leader and lose respect of him (our adult daughters struggle with respect). Actually the 12 year old already recognizes Dad’s immaturity.
    I desire for them to honor their Father and for them to grow into godly leaders.
    Have you written articles on that kind of parenting?

    Rick Thomas

    The best ways to grow into a godly man are the following:

    1. You must be born again.
    2. Having a great dad.
    3. Studying the life of Jesus—the perfect leader.
    4. Building a relationship with a godly man in the church.

    Though point #1 is obvious, it’s critical that nobody dismisses it because they “know it.” If you’re not truly regenerated, there is little hope.

    I would assume your children have two or three of these items. The best articles about these matters are on suffering, repentance, grumbling, bitterness, etc. because all of life is disappointing, and if it’s not a bad daddy it will be something else. Learning how to be mature in the face of adversity is our biggest challenge and most significant opportunity.

    I tell parents like you that I was in jail when I was 15-years old and did NOT have any of the four items that I mentioned above. Be sure to read that last sentence again and guard your heart against fear, worry, and anxiety.

    Perhaps some of your children would like to read this:

    The Reason I Stopped Hating My Dad


    I listened to the podcast about stop hating Dad. I had to walk down a similar path. The LORD helped me to forgive him before he died. My Das never asked for forgiveness but the LORD enabled to forgive him, reach out and minister to him the last few months of his life. That I am incredibly thankful!

    Here is another question:

    “To Be the Man, You Must Nourish and Cherish Your Wife”

    “What Does It Mean to Nourish and Cherish Your Wife?”

    I read these articles. What can the wilting wife do?
    I have a dear friend who is definitely wilting (I feel as if I am). She is actively pursing CHRIST. I have shared many of your articles with her.

    What can we do so we do not wither and dry up. Sadly, I felt hopeless after I read the articles.

    “What can the wilting wife do?”

    Maybe all the previous advice already have answered that question.

    Rick Thomas

    The question that you’re asking is how to suffer well. In her case, you’re talking about suffering in a poor marriage. For another person, their suffering is different from that.

    But the common denominator with all of us is that we must suffer. No exceptions. What I recommend is scrolling through our articles on suffering and sharing some of them with your friend. They are here:


    Once again, thank you. I am so grateful that you took the “what was meant for evil” and used it for not only the good for yourself but also the good of all who are honestly seeking the LORD.

    The LORD has revealed to me the reason I am so hurt by and so frustrated with my husband. Out of the seven characteristics of koinonia, he only practices one of them: intentional.
    I was able to share with him those 7 characteristics last night. I wrote a letter to our daughter’s boyfriend in Uganda. He’s an excited young Christian. I encouraged him to practice those seven characteristics with GOD daily. Then find a male friend who loves the LORD and the two of them grow in their relationship practicing them.

    I asked my husband to read it to see if I made any mistakes. (He is excellent at proof reading). He did show me a few errors and I gratefully corrected them. However, there was no discussion on the content. I honestly did not expect one. The seed was planted.
    May our LORD water the seed.

    My husband gave the go ahead to support this ministry. I am waiting because it feels awkward. I have been sharing so much about him without his knowledge. Before I send support, I want to tell him, possibly share with him everything I have written. He really is a great man in so many areas.
    This is why I have been in so much turmoil. Now I understand…thanks to your ministry.
    May the LORD bless you, your family and the ministry.

    Rick Thomas

    You’re welcome. You don’t have to support us, and though I do ask folks, I would not want you to feel any pressure or expectation from us.

    We will gladly serve you always.

    It really is our joy.

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