Ask Us Anything! 2023

Janet Aucoin December 29, 2023

It’s that time of year again: Ask Us Anything! You submitted questions to our team, and we chose as many as we could to respond to in this Q&A style episode to close out our Season 3 episodes for 2023.

Visit the Joyful Journey website to sign up for our newsletter, view a transcript, and search previous episodes.

Emails us with questions or comments at

Facebook, Instagram

Donate to Joyful Journey Podcast

Joyful Journey Podcast is a ministry of Faith Bible Seminary. All proceeds go to offset costs of this podcast and toward scholarships for women to receive their MABC through Faith Bible Seminary.


Episode Transcript



Between Us Girls - Trish Donohue

Beautiful Girlhood - Karen Andreola

Girl Talk - Caroline Mahaney

Feminine Appeal - Caroline Mahaney

Becoming a Titus 2 Woman - Martha Peace

Adorned - Nancy Wolgemuth

Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild - Mary Kassian

The Humbling of Job - Craig Svensson


⁠Handling Emotions Biblically - Joyful Journey⁠


⁠Faith Bible Seminary Masters of Arts in Biblical Counseling⁠

⁠ACBC Statement on Abuse⁠

⁠February Preconference on Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma


Jocelyn: I don't just need to feel better. I need the truth. And ultimately that will make me better.

Janet: I just want to make it as totally simple as possible for ladies to see that the Bible is really applicable to their everyday life.

Jocelyn: When they understand theology, the application flows out of it quickly with joy.

Janet: It is a journey, but even the journey itself is joyful when I'm doing it, holding the hand of my savior and trusting him all along the way. This is the joyful journey podcast, a podcast to inspire and equip women to passionately pursue beautiful biblical truth on their journey as women of God. When you choose truth, you're choosing joy.

Janet: Well, hello, we're back here for our annual Ask Us Anything episode.

Jocelyn: Awesome.

Janet: Where Jocelyn and I are going to take a look at some of the questions. We won't get to all of them, but I think we're going to get to the vast majority of the questions that came in on our different social media platforms and see if we can give you some answers that we hope are helpful.

Jocelyn: I hope so. I hope you don't be like, oh, that was a bummer.

Janet: Why don't you get us started?

Jocelyn: All right. Here's a question from one of our social media followers. What is the truth you remind yourself of when dealing with unjust criticism, especially in ministry?

Janet: Ah, okay. I get, I live that, what feels unjust actually, maybe a lot of it isn't even unjust. I don't know, but what feels like unjust criticism and certainly the more public and out there you are in ministry or anything, the more you're going to get that kind of stuff. But my first thought is the passage of scripture that we memorized this year, Psalm 37: 3-7 , that is the passage that I go to when I am dealing with unjust criticism. Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness, delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart, commit your way to the Lord. Trust also in Him and He will do it. And I love this. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noon day.

Jocelyn: I really love that last part. It's his job to bring it out.

Janet: And I mentioned this, I think back in the day, but I circled on there all the things that are my job and circled in a different color, all the things that are God's. God is the one in charge of my reputation. So if I am focused on that, then I can focus on trusting in the Lord, doing good and cultivating faithfulness. And that's, I think, incredibly important. Some other things that I think about is in The Gospel Primer, when he says exposed by the cross, what the cross screams about me is that I'm actually worse than anything those people are saying.

Jocelyn: I think that's super helpful.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: If I remind myself of that all the time, I'm not so shocked when I sin.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Look, I sin because I'm actually capable of even more than this. So let's not be shocked. And when someone else sees that I have maybe done something incorrectly or a failure, like, I'm not trying to hide it, like, it's shocking that I don't do that more often.

Janet: Right. It's hard when, you know, I've been involved in situations where, to the best of what we know, we are doing what we believe is righteous and good and right, and a lot of it's pretty private, and what is being communicated about that is slanderous of us. So what do I do with that? Well, the Lord's in charge of my reputation. I was just reading today in different places in scripture and being reminded I have already been granted eternal life because of Christ and I'm going to be with Him forever and nothing is going to touch that. So the only thing I need to think about now is how can I faithfully represent Him in whatever He allows? And if He allows unjust criticism, how do I faithfully represent Him? It's okay. I'm going to still be with Jesus forever. Now I get to focus on loving the unlovely, learning what I can, and to know, you know, I've been reading through a book on Job that has just been phenomenal. Even though what happened to Job was unfair. It was unjust. God used it to refine and grow Job.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: So whatever's coming at me, God will only allow it to come at me if He's going to use it to grow me. So I don't need to resist it. I just need to grow from it.

Jocelyn: And I think it helps so much when we approach like that with humility. Like it feel every criticism feels unjust, but you know what? Sometimes feedback is presented to us that helps us to see ways we could grow.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And so humility would help us to say, wow, that stung and maybe I would prefer to receive it in a different manner, but it is helpful to say if there's any truth in it, I do need to deal with that and I want to grow.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And also it's helpful to know at some point I'll look back on this and say, oh, I have grown even since then. So I'm constantly growing in the way I handle stuff.

Janet: And the part of how I might need to grow is trusting the Lord, even when I didn't need to change the specific thing He came to me for. Like, okay, how do I trust the Lord with that? And then there's freedom there. So, and I, so I think also realizing there is one person whose opinion really matters, the Lord Jesus, and He sees, He understands, He cares and He knows what's actually true.

Jocelyn: Many years ago when I was working with Doc Smith about something, he reminded me of the scripture passage that says in the future that truth will be screamed from the rooftops.

Janet: Ah.

Jocelyn: And it's so refreshing to me to know I don't need to argue over everyone knowing what is true because there will be a day when the truth is revealed.

Janet: Yes. And until then, I just get to trust that, be faithful, and whatever comes out of my heart that doesn't look like Jesus, for me, sometimes it's an entitlement. I deserve to not be treated that way when I've done nothing wrong.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: When I've been sacrificing myself to serve someone and then it's misconstrued.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: That's not fair. I deserve better. Well, that needs to get out of me. Jesus deserved better.

Jocelyn: Oh, yeah.

Janet: And didn't get it.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: So then that's the point. And I can always run to Him. He is the one safe place. I never have to wonder, does He understand? Is He going to misuse my words? I can just run. And I think those situations. crowd me back to Him, which is a good thing.

Jocelyn: Do you ever go back and talk to someone who has slandered you? Do you ever confront that in a person?

Janet: Yeah, I think it depends on a lot. And that's a really good question. And I think the first thing is, I won't know whether I should do that or not till I deal with the idolatry of I can't believe they said it.

Jocelyn: Right, that's true.

Janet: So, I get the log out of my eye, the entitlement out of my eye, that I can't believe out of my eye. I look for, is there truth in it, which I didn't want to hear or see, and when I've done all of that, then I can say what is wise? What is loving?

Jocelyn: Because I just hate to think, like, well, if people are slandering, I would hate to think that that issue is going undealt with.

Janet: Right. And sometimes it has to be. It's third hand.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: You know? And I can remember a situation that my husband was involved in where that was happening and I said, shouldn't you go? And because we just, we care about the truth.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: We do care about the truth, but I also cared about my husband's reputation. Can I just be honest? That was part of it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And he said, I'm going to trust in the Lord and do good. I'm going to cultivate faithfulness and I'm going to let the Lord do the rest because at that point to go, it would be a, he said, she said.

Jocelyn: And it's not firsthand.

Janet: Trust the Lord and do good. But certainly, if I am aware of direct sin, the scriptures give me problem solving techniques. But I don't even know how to sort through what's problem solving and what's not until I've dealt with the idolatry.

Jocelyn: And what's defending myself.

Janet: Yeah. Right.

Jocelyn: Interesting.

Janet: How about this one? Do you have any book recommendations for fostering healthy, encouraging relationships with young daughters? And you do some work with Mom2Mom.

Jocelyn: I do.

Janet: I thought you might have ideas.

Jocelyn: Yes. And I have. two daughters that I tried to be really intentional with because...

Janet: I wasn't as intentional.

Jocelyn: Yes, you were.

Janet: 'm just kidding.

Jocelyn: Like what in the world? That's not true.

Janet: As my daughter sits here.

Jocelyn: I thought It was really important from a really young age to have intentional conversation. So we gravitated toward scripted books that were like, hey, here is a topic to talk about because it was like, I had all these, theoretical philosophical things that I wanted to discuss, but you know, in the middle of life, you're just busy. Like you have lots of loads of laundry and we had a garden and we had responsibilities. And so I really liked books that I'm going to list here in a second because they said, here is like a two page discussion of this topic and then they would land with some questions where you could continue the conversation nice so between us girls is a book similar to that where they give a topic and they say some basic stuff about that topic and then the point of it is that you continue talking about the topic. There's a old fashioned book called, Beautiful Girlhood.

Janet: Yes, I loved that book.

Jocelyn: Yeah. It's old fashioned. It was written a long time ago, but it's like, I loved it because it was like you could read this short little chapter while you're like eating breakfast or something or doing something else and it just generates conversation. But it's like, here's this cool standard you should know about it, little girl. Like this is what it means to be a girl. And I think that's really helpful at all times, but especially right now where things maybe feel a little confusing about gender for some kids.

Janet: What I liked about that book is it was sweet and It showed girlhood and the transition into older girlhood as something delightful.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: Instead of just, it's going to be hard, and watch all the emotions, and it's going to be rough. Get ready for your period. And I thought, I loved it. I read it with my daughter when she was pretty young, but old enough, you know, we were just talking and then as I read one of them, they're like, you said, like two pages, I said to her, what, what are you thinking when I read that? And she said, it just makes me want that.

Jocelyn: Oh, that's cool.

Janet: So it is old fashioned, but your applications will be different.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And that's okay. But it was just sweet.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I liked it.

Jocelyn: I like it that it holds out like a topic to discuss and then you can take it anywhere your family needs it to go.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And like you said, it's anticipatory. Like, this is a great thing. Not a bummer. Like, Oh, the next four years are going to be pretty tough.

Janet: Yep. Hold on.

Jocelyn: We also liked a more grown up version of these kind of books called Girl Talk. I think it was by the Mahaneys.

Janet: I've heard about it. I've not read it.

Jocelyn: I really liked it.

Janet: That's great.

Jocelyn: We read it and it has some good discussion questions. There's a couple other books that are more like teaching books, Feminine Appeal, Becoming a Titus 2 Woman, and then we really love Nancy Lee Wolgemuth's book, Adorned. When my girls and I read that, we read it independently, but it just ended up being that we talked about it a lot.

Janet: Now that would you say probably high school?

Jocelyn: At least high school.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Because...

Janet: It's older.

Jocelyn: It's a thick book.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: This is not young girls. That's true. This next book is also not young girls, but I just want to put it out there because it's really good. Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild was really, really helpful. That was kind of like our coming of age book. Once our girls became a woman, we read this together and discussed it. There's a kind of like a little discussion group video that you can find online, but we liked it because the world is saying, you know, crazy girls are the best, go out and live your best adventure.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And this is saying like, no, there's a lot of danger in living that kind of way. And there's a lot of safety and wisdom. And so that's for older girls. I just wanted to plug it. It's a little bit of an older book by now, like maybe 15 years old.

Janet: I don't even know. We did. I did that. What's funny is the first time I gave it to my daughter, I think it was in seventh grade and she gave it back to me and just said, are you sure you want me to read that?

Jocelyn: Yeah. One of my daughters said that too. Like, uh, I'm not sure that I'm ready for this book.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: So I was like be warned.

Janet: But read it. first, but I will tell you they're hearing about sex in school.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: Might as well hear it from you.

Jocelyn: As little kids. And that was always our position. Like we want everything our kids know about sex to come from us, from the Bible. And so we did have to gauge it back a little bit for one of them that was, she was just a little too young.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: We also did a couple of things like conversation starter cards. It's like you can ask a question, like we wrote down questions and put them in a jar, and so it was just a way to get us to talk. And we also went on mommy dates, where we usually had a topic like, tonight we're talking about this. But we just wanted to build strong relationships with our kids so that it felt like we were having a never ending, constant conversation where they viewed us as a valuable part of the wisdom of their life and we viewed them and their opinions as worth listening to. And we wanted to, like Deuteronomy talks about. where we're sitting by the way, we're walking, you know, like all of our life is meant to revolve around spiritual truth. And that has to happen within relationship or it won't really, it won't really be taken seriously.

Janet: Which means you need to have a lot of conversations about things you don't care about in order to be able to have the conversations about things you do.

Jocelyn: Yes. I feel like I'm well versed in things that. I would have never thought I would want to talk about this, but that's what it took to get to the heart, to get to where they were.

Janet: Then they're talking. Anytime they're talking to you is a good thing. I remember, and so one of the ways we did that we didn't do anything like all the time, but, except try to talk all the time. But the mommy dates, we didn't do a ton of those. We did some father/ daughter dates, but she was very close to her dad. What her dad thought of her meant the world to her and we knew that. And we were in a season where she seemed to be closing off from us a little bit, probably the middle school age and so we talked about it and Brent, and this was actually really helpful, Brent said, I would like you to take Karis to lunch, and I want you to tell Karis what you were like at her age. Don't ask her to tell you anything.

Jocelyn: That's cool.

Janet: Don't ask her to open up. You be vulnerable and just let her know what you were like so she knows you understand. So when we went to lunch, I said, Daddy asked us to do this and Daddy asked me to share this with you. So number one, if Daddy wants her to do it, she wants to do it.

Jocelyn: She's doing it.

Janet: And so, and it was all true.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: That that's what he wanted. And I said, he asked if it would be okay with you, could I share with you what I was like at your age? Because I was a mess and I was a people pleaser and all the stuff and of course they want to hear the dirt about their mom.

Jocelyn: Right. Everyone loves little kid stories about their parents.

Janet: I know. Especially if they're like things you did wrong. And so I shared where my heart was. I was not a believer. Where my heart was, what was going on, things in my family, the ways that I behaved, just, I just was very honest about where I was. And then when I finished, all I said is, do you have any questions? Like for me, because what we learned is if we asked her to open up, she did not. So it was like, you go first, leaders lead, lead by example. Here it is. I was vulnerable with this is me. And it was really sweet because when I said, do you have any questions? She said, do you ever think thoughts like this? And then it came out.

Jocelyn: Oh, that's awesome.

Janet: And then we had a long conversation.

Jocelyn: That's so cool.

Janet: So I was like, wow. Okay. Cause I was committed to not pushing, but I thought I just want to be open with her because we had been, but then we weren't like she was closing off and I look back and I wonder if maybe it was partly because she thought the things that she was thinking and struggling with I would never think or do.

Jocelyn: Were so abnormal.

Janet: Yeah. And they weren't.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So, it's just an idea.

Jocelyn: We went through a similar situation with our family too, where a secret thought was held onto for so long that it became super shameful.

Janet: Yes. And then it feels so huge.

Jocelyn: And then it finally came out through a really, a lot of, you know, difficult situations. And I was like, babe, everyone thinks that, like, that's human, like, you've made this a giant thing when it's better to talk about it and we can work on it together. But like, you know, all of us wonder that all of us are tempted to think that.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Well, great. Well, speaking of meaningful conversations, how do you have a meaningful conversation when people tell you problems, but it's not a counseling context? Like over lunch, they tell you a problem. What do you do, Janet?

Janet: I say, this is a typical lunch.

Jocelyn: I was actually going to say. Well, I mean, I think everybody, when they get an audience with Janet, it's just like, let me tell you everything that's going on. You have a way about you.

Janet: What a privilege.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: So, but it's been good for me because I used to hear that as you would like my counseling and then I would turn you off.

Jocelyn: Because that wasn't the context.

Janet: Because I would start counseling.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And my husband really helped me with that.

Jocelyn: Oh, that's cool.

Janet: Because it would not go well. And then I'd be like, well, they.

Jocelyn: They asked.

Janet: Well, he would say, did they?

Jocelyn: Oh.

Janet: Did they ask you a question?

Jocelyn: They were just talking.

Janet: Yeah. And I'm like, well, no,

Jocelyn: Oh, it was like free advice session?

Janet: Because they're talking.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: And this is happening. And my husband and I, and my kids and I, and so they're telling you all about the problem, but they didn't say, please help me.

Jocelyn: Okay.

Janet: So, what do you do?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: In those moments.

Jocelyn: I'm glad you have experience with this. This is helpful.

Janet: Cause I assumed that was your way of saying, what should I do? So I start telling you and that didn't go well.

Jocelyn: And they're like, Janet, why can't you just listen to me?

Janet: I know. Oh, and I'm like, I can't just listen to that. And I was talking to Brent and I'm like, what am I supposed to do? Just go, Hmm. Yeah.

Jocelyn: Sounds terrible.

Janet: So, here's what, and this has served me so well and it's actually just a kind and I think it's the right thing to do. It just didn't occur to me. He said, then ask for permission.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So, if you would just come to me and say, this is going on, and this is going on, and oh my word, and at work, and then at home, and then, you know, if you would like some help and hope from the scriptures, let me know. And leave it in your court.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: What I've told you is there's hope. There's answers for all of that. And if you ever want them, you let me know. Here's what practically has happened. I have yet to have the person not say, what do you mean? And ask me to tell them. And then they're not mad.

Jocelyn: Just tantalizing.

Janet: Well, now they want to know, what are you thinking? Like what are you thinking as I say that? But because I respected them enough to ask, or I would say, would you like me to share? And I normally don't say, would you like me to, cause people feel the pressure to say yes. So I always say, let me know. Like it can be in the future. There's no pressure right now. You can just let me know if you ever want to know because I'm excited. The scriptures actually address that and I would love to help you with that. If you ever want that, just let me know. And almost, I think, every time I think of, they've said, well, what do you mean? What would you like me to share that now? Because we don't have to. Yes. And now, I've done it respectfully. Now if I say, let me know and then they say, okay and then they just keep going. I'm going to give biblical hope, you know, the Bible's got answers for all of that. If they keep asking, are you asking me to share God's perspective? Then I will actually say, how would you like me to respond to that?

Jocelyn: I was actually just wondering that because what if someone is just like pouring out sin out of their mouth because they're comfortable with you? Like I've done that with you. Like, accidentally slipped over into gossip or something. Yeah. So I was just wondering, how would you respond to that?

Janet: Right. So I would ask, how would you like me to respond to that? Now sometimes what they say is, well, I wasn't expecting anything from you. I was just talking. Well, then we need to talk about what's edifying. Then I would go into some teaching with gossip and say, I am not here to tell you what your intent was, but at this point you're sharing with me things and saying, I know they're not like Jesus, but I don't want to change them. And that puts me in a really difficult position. So, I'm not comfortable.

Jocelyn: It's helpful that you are able to say it that way. Like this is making me uncomfortable.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: That you're sharing this information with me and also not.

Janet: Wanting.

Jocelyn: Seeming to want to handle this in a biblical way because my only goal is to live for Christ and I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing right now.

Janet: So, I'm not sure. So if you're not wanting me to do anything, then we have to think through, is your speech edifying?

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: Because it could be appropriate, if you're asking me for help.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: If you're not, is that edifying? So then I'm going to assume in my mind they don't understand that. I'm going to believe the best, but we're going to have to then start talking about gossip. And if they've told me specifically, you know, Jocelyn sinned against me, blah, blah, blah. I will say, and I'm kind of have a reputation for this now, so I don't have to do it very often anymore. I will say, you must talk to Jocelyn about that. And I will ask you in a few days if you have.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And because I do that, I don't hear those things unless people want to deal with them now. So ultimately, but I start from let me ask if they would like some help. Let me let them know. And sometimes they just stop talking about it then. And that's okay. They're learning. I need to meet people where they're at, but I want to offer hope. My goal would be when they leave the conversation, at a minimum, they know the things I shared with Janet. She says the scriptures have excellent answers on that whenever I want them. They need to know that. That's hope. And then if they want help, I give it. If they keep talking, then I have to do some teaching.

Jocelyn: So, I'm going to follow up with a counselor question.

Janet: Uh oh.

Jocelyn: So what's your motivation in handling that conversation in that way? Why? Why do you do that?

Janet: Because I believe I have a responsibility before God to love that person's soul.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And when they're communicating, I'm thinking, when they stand before the Lord, have I helped them be in a position to give the best account? So I'm not here just to listen. If listening is not encouraging their righteousness, but I'm not here to judge and be self righteous. I'm here to love. So I'm going to hear them and say, oh, God's got answers for that. Would you let me share them?

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: And then if they don't want that, then I do have to share with them. Then this conversation is not going to honor the Lord and I believe you're wanting to honor the Lord, but this isn't. So unless we're going to solve the problem, I'm not the one for you to talk to about that. I do hope you'll talk to the right person.

Jocelyn: I think it's also so important to consider like you're also not promoting yourself or your answers. Because when you're loving someone like that, you're not thinking about yourself, which is so important.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And I know that we have a lot of counselors that listen to this podcast, and something that sometimes happens as a counselor is that you begin to think of your identity as mostly a counselor.

Janet: The counselor.

Jocelyn: And when someone comes to you, you're like I have answers for that and you find your identity and the fact that people come to you with problems and your identity becomes about how you are helping people with complicated problems.

Janet: That's what gives me value.

Jocelyn: That's what gives you value. Instead of saying like what you just said, like my goal is to love righteousness and to love that person's soul and to point them to their best Savior, which is Christ.

Janet: Yeah. Which they may appreciate and they may not appreciate. And I want them to appreciate it. I don't enjoy being disliked. But it's not about me, like you said. This isn't, I'm only going to listen. I'm not going to say anything because I don't want to make them mad. And I know how mad they get when other people try to tell them what to do. So I'm not going to, it's not about me.

Jocelyn: No.

Janet: It's about them.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Yeah. Excellent. Oh, let's see. What else do we have here? Oh, here, Jocelyn, explain the difference between stuffing your emotions and godly self control. Aren't they the same thing?

Jocelyn: I love this question. I really love this question. So we talked about emotions in a couple of episodes in this last year, and so I would encourage you to go back and listen to those. There's a huge difference between stuffing your emotions and godly self control. Emotional awareness is supposed to allow us to authentically go to God.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: So if I realize I'm feeling really sad right now because I was able to define that problem, I will say, I have a problem and I need help with the problem. So I can take that sadness to God and say, God, I'm feeling really sad right now. If I'm not emotionally aware, if I'm just trying to say, I'm not sad. What are you talking about? I'm fine.

Janet: God is good.

Jocelyn: Yeah. God is good. Just dig a little deeper. Try a little harder. Then I'm never going to go to God because I don't have a problem. So emotional awareness is supposed to be a step of authenticity and vulnerability in our relationship with God. But emotional awareness doesn't remove us from our responsibilities. So I can't say, I'm so sad, God, I just wanted you to know I'm so sad. And so I'm going to sit here on this sofa all day long.

Janet: And just be sad.

Jocelyn: And just be sad. So I still need to live faithfully, even if I feel very strong emotions, very authentically. So I am sad, God, please help me, and also I will get up and do the next thing that I'm supposed to be doing because my faithfulness matters. So faithfulness often looks like doing whatever is required of me while I am very raw emotionally. And so stuffing your emotions. would probably look like, I'm just going to get up and do my responsibilities and be like, it's okay. Nothing's wrong. I feel great.

Janet: Which you think about all those words. That's a lie. Yeah.

Jocelyn: Those are lies.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: So stuffing your emotions.

Janet: How could lying be what honors God?

Jocelyn: No. Stuffing your emotions is dishonesty because you're saying, I will not let them be real. I will not deal with them. I will shove them down deep inside and pretend like everything's great. What a lie. So when you contrast that with honest vulnerability, it would be much more like I am sad and I've talked to God about, I am talking about it, about that. And I'm depending on Him for strength and comfort while I do this thing. Or it could even be positive. Like I'm super excited about this new opportunity, but that doesn't influence me to stop doing the boring things that I'm supposed to do every day, like dishes and working out and laundry.

Janet: What, you don't find that exciting?

Jocelyn: In fact, I don't. So when we're talking about authenticity in Christian relationship, we're not talking about authenticity for authenticity's sake, which is a little bit of how we differ in the culture around us.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: But authenticity, so that there is honesty in my relationship with God and transparency so I can ask for His help in real situations. So I find, I believe that I'm biblically informed, a huge difference between stuffing your emotions and Godly self control. So Godly self control says, I will do the things that I should do. I won't do the things that I won't because the Holy Spirit lives in me and gives me the capacity to say yes to what I should and no to what I shouldn't while I am feeling authentically.

Janet: Yes. And I think that is far more supernatural. The world can stuff and be responsible and the world can vent and be irresponsible. But Jesus people can be honest, broken, raw before God and responsible because God carries them.

Jocelyn: And it's like the whole psychological adage, like you can't pour from an empty cup. You can totally pour from an empty cup because Jesus fills you in real time.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Like we don't have to take our own needs first, like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Like we don't need to first be cared for before we can care for others. That's totally unbiblical, unchristlike. So honest, raw, vulnerable, and also using Godly self control to do all the things that He's put before us for this day.

Janet: And if you didn't listen to the episode on emotions and that they are a window into our worship, that was an excellent episode I commend to you.

Jocelyn: All right. So let's talk about reading. How can you discern what books are okay to read, especially romance books? How do I honor God and my husband in this? And this listener mentions that she has friends that recommend romance books, and she doesn't always realize how steamy they often get. I can't wait to hear your take on this, Janet. I know what you're going to say.

Janet: I'm like, I have some strong opinions here, so let me try to not be opinionated, but it will come out and Jocelyn's free to go, Janet, that's just your opinion. But let's start with.

Jocelyn: I'll listen with discernment.

Janet: Yeah, please. Somebody should because I probably won't hear in a minute. Let's start with what we do know. What is my goal in life and in everything, including my entertainment, including what I read? Whatever I do is about loving God and loving others. So, I would suggest my entertainment, my reading, needs to help me grow in loving God and loving others. So, that may have been enough. I'm going to say more, but that really may be enough. How steamy does it need to be? Does it help you love God and love others? And quite frankly, if you're engaging in intimacy between two other people by reading about it, what in the world? But anyway, I digress. Even G-rated romance books, not steamy, the question is, do they help you grow in valuing what God values?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Or is this the guy with the granite chin and the gray eyes that talks to no one but you? Does that help you love God and love others and solve problems with your spouse? Or does that feed I wish I had this? Can I tell you no one has that?

Jocelyn: And it's really fostering unrealistic expectations .

Janet: No one has that.

Jocelyn: No one does.

Janet: And even the guys with steely gray eyes also have super bad habits and BO.

Jocelyn: Yeah And dirty laundry.

Janet: I mean come on. Yeah, so I I have seen Christian romance books almost tear a marriage apart and take a teenage daughter away from her family. And they were books they got in the church bookstore.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And one of the teenage girls, the mom called me and said she doesn't want to engage with family. She's always in her room. Well, what do those books do? The fantasy world is better than reality. So, I don't want to live in reality, I'll live in this fantasy world. So it's not even that it was about sexual steamy things, it wasn't. But it was feeding the what I want and what will satisfy me the most is not give up your life for Jesus.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: It's if somebody thought I was amazing in every way all the time and you read about this girl who found this guy that this is it and you're like, no wonder she's miserable. That is not, that is the world, God's upside down kingdom. My contentment comes from pouring my life out for others because of what all that God's done for me. That is not what you're going to read in the books.

Jocelyn: That would never sell.

Janet: No, it wouldn't. So does this encourage a biblical marriage? We did some marriage counseling and at some point she recognized her inability to solve problems in her marriage stemmed from all the romance books she read before she was married. Because you know, the romance books were not like that. Not like the fact that he doesn't always know what to say, and he says something stupid. And then you gotta work through it. Solving problems, sinning against each other, and now it's I need to find the one. It will feed that. And so for married women, it's, oh, I just wish my husband was more like that. For single women, it's this is what I'm looking for. And for neither of them, it's I want to find someone who's committed to Jesus that I can solve problems with and that together we can point to Christ. And they'll say, but they're Christian ones. I haven't seen that. I haven't seen that even in Christian ones. So, how steamy should they be? I guess, you know, how much pornography is okay.

Jocelyn: Right. Like, I was thinking like.

Janet: What's the level of porn you're comfortable with?

Jocelyn: And also, would you read that book out loud in front of or to your husband?

Janet: Yes. Or your daughter.

Jocelyn: And enjoy it at the level that you do privately in front of other people. It would be embarrassing to read that out loud.

Janet: And if you have a preteen daughter, imagine reading it to her.

Jocelyn: Yeah. And saying, this is good, you should follow in my footsteps.

Janet: The problem is we call some of those things more adult entertainment and it's not. It's perverted entertainment.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Adult does not mean that it's just for older people.

Jocelyn: No. I mean, we, I remember many, many years ago when we made some very clear lines about what movie we would watch and what movie ratings we would watch. And it just like, it was like a light bulb. Like if we wouldn't approve of this for our children, why would we approve it for us?

Janet: Except things like there's maybe a concept of war and they weren't ready when they were little.

Jocelyn: I'm not talking about that.

Janet: That's right.

Jocelyn: Yeah. I'm talking about like, well, we're adult enough to handle it. Well, how much sin do we want to be messing with? Like, how close do we tow the line before we say like this isn't appropriate.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: So here's a full disclosure question. How when was the last time you read a romance book?

Janet: You know, an actual romance book before I was married.

Jocelyn: Yeah. See, I knew the answer to this question.

Janet: What I thought of was I liked Biblical historical fiction, I have stopped reading most of it because they always feel the need to put a romance in there and it's not that it tempts me, it frustrates me because it feeds this stuff and it just makes me mad. So I don't even read those anymore.

Jocelyn: I think an answer to this question, like for both of us, it's most likely been multiple decades since we've read a romance book, even a Christian one.

Janet: Correct.

Jocelyn: Because for one. It feels like voyeurism, like you're peeking into someone else's relationship and you're getting some sort of like thrill from watching someone else's love story instead of saying, what I want to invest in is being the kind of partner I need to be to the husband that I've committed to. And I've committed to be his companion not a perfect false portrayal. It's almost like Instagram, like a perfectly curated social media posts. It's totally, that's a lie. Right there. No one's house actually looks like that. So,

Janet: And can I just say what God does give me in my marriage to Brent is better than junk?

Jocelyn: Yes. I was going to say like, it's not like you have to settle. Like the loveliness of the companionship that is built over decades with problems that we worked together to solve and real suffering that we worked through. Like it's incomparable.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: There's no romance book that can cause you to have the emotional stirring that a real relationship does.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And I would also say like because of the addictive nature of how those books are written, you're often violating other principles, like priorities and schedules.

Janet: You're up till 2 in the morning because you gotta finish it.

Jocelyn: Right, you're up till 2 o'clock in the morning because you just really need to know what happens. So, there's just a, there's a lot of reasons why I don't know it.

Janet: I guess we're both pretty opinionated. I don't think we're gonna help each other. So the answer to that is, I don't know, find something else.

Jocelyn: Well, here's the thing. What we encourage you to do is to read anything you read with discernment and measure it against the righteousness of Christ that's written for us very clearly in the scripture.

Janet: Is what we started with, does it help you love God and love others? Does this encourage my soul? And so I can read even secular things that are about heroism and encourage courage?

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: But what does it encourage? Do I finish the book and wish my life was different or do I finish the book, you know, we went to this museum and, and saw these, it was in Israel, it's called Friends of Israel. So it was a lot of Gentiles, mostly Christians, who had helped Jewish people and it gave their stories. And I left there, I said to Brett, I feel like such a wimp because I don't know if I'd be that brave.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So it didn't, I didn't leave there thinking. I wish I had that life. It was like, I'm challenged. I'm convicted. And Brent said, you'd have it if you needed it. And I'm like, would I be brave enough to hide a child in my bicycle basket and leave knowing they'd kill me if they found him. But I'm saving his life. And I'm like, I hope so. But I left that encouraged, challenged, convicted by their lives not wistfully wishing it was more about me.

Jocelyn: I think the point, like, in conclusion, I think the point that you made about the fantasy world is an important one to realize. When I worked at Vision of Hope, many of the girls that I was privileged to work with had gotten into tremendous trouble because they lived in only their fantasy world and that didn't just develop overnight. They invested in that place where they were not even living in reality anymore. And so I think it's a word of warning. We were not meant to live in a fantasy world. We were meant to live in this world that God placed us in for this moment in time.

Janet: And it's awesome.

Jocelyn: It's great.

Janet: It is.

Jocelyn: Nothing can compare to the real thing.

Janet: Okay. Let's try another one. How about, how can I deeply care for someone and not make myself their Messiah, especially in counseling?

Jocelyn: Well, we have hit on this a little bit, but I want to start by saying most of us can easily fall in this trap.

Janet: For sure.

Jocelyn: Absolutely. We can easily mistake sharing the hope of God with a friend with becoming our friend's hope and I.

Janet: That's quotable.

Jocelyn: Oh, thanks. We should make a t-shirt. I'll just be honest like I have struggled with this very concept in counseling over the years.

Janet: Me too.

Jocelyn: Like someone is coming to you asking for help. It goes to your head and you make it your identity.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: And you forget that you're just talking about the real Messiah and you are not their Messiah.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And it's easy to slip into that place. So , I think when the focus is neither avoiding problems or appeasing people, but serving someone and loving them by doing what's good for that person's soul. Then you can keep yourself out of the savior mentality. Like they don't need me. What they need in this moment is Christ and His righteousness that is recorded in the Bible, and I'm going to love them. And not really strive to make them happy or to solve their problems for them. I also, just applicationally, I work to be really careful to not be working harder than the person who has come to me asking questions.

Janet: Excellent.

Jocelyn: I need to make sure I'm not the one swooping in to offer solutions to try to take their pain away, but I'm reminding them that that's Christ's role to take their pain away if that's a good thing for them.

Janet: And He will.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: For sure.

Jocelyn: He will.

Janet: He will.

Jocelyn: Or the way they want it to be.

Janet: Right, but for eternity He will.

Jocelyn: And one of my temptations is to take pain away, take pain away, take pain away, like let's make this not so hard.

Janet: Yes, because I don't like to see them hurt.

Jocelyn: No, I don't want anyone to struggle. I don't want anyone to feel hopeless, but I also have to learn to not be willing to violate Godly boundaries or wise plans. And a warning sign for me is when I'm willing to allow other people's emergencies to dictate my schedule on a regular basis, I'm usually in rescue mode because I forget I'm not their savior. So they'll text me and I will give them seven solutions instead of just saying, what do you think God wants you to do, or how do you think God would teach you in the Bible to handle this?

Janet: And not always being available right away to respond to the text when I'm with my family.

Jocelyn: Oh, yes, definitely. And I think.

Janet: That will happen to me sometimes. I'm like, I'm sorry, I got to deal with this. Oh, no, they need me. No. No.

Jocelyn: And everyone likes to be needed.

Janet: Sure.

Jocelyn: So we can all understand why our hearts go toward that.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: But what they really need is Christ. Another thing that's been really helpful practically is to get other people involved in a team.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: It's harder to get sucked into bad boundaries or becoming someone's Messiah when someone else is objectively listening to you talk and they're like, that doesn't seem sustainable or wise or like, why are you doing that?

Janet: I think that's wise, getting other people involved. And especially, if you know you tend to struggle, even if they're not on the team, they're on your team, and they're asking you the hard questions. Like, why are you answering all these texts? Why is that, well, but they need, well, let's think about that. I think it's helpful to have other eyes on that when you know you tend to struggle.

Jocelyn: Especially like if the situation is very close to you.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Like if, like I struggled with this with one of my kids, like I started doing more than they did and I needed, in that case, I needed you to say like you're doing more than you should.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And so it's good to have objective eyes when it's very close to you and it's the very person, you love them.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And you don't want all the levels of trouble that are involved with trouble sometimes.

Janet: Right. Yes. Excellent.

Jocelyn: Next one for you, Janet. Are pastors and their wives able to have friends within the congregation?

Janet: Sure. Anything else? Oh. I said it. They probably want more than that.

Jocelyn: Too much of an easy answer.

Janet: I guess it's yes or no. So, yeah. So, I think what we're really saying is that. How is it the same? How is it different? So, yes. But I do think that there are some differences. So, I'm a pastor's wife. Jocelyn is my friend. If and this is, Brent and I are doing very well. If Brent and I were having issues, and he was a factory worker. I might say to Jocelyn, he's gone a lot. I'm really, I'm having a bad, and she can say to me, Janet, that's his job. You understood that. How can you, what might be going on in your, she can help me. That would be great for you to do that for me. Now let's add the layer of, I come to you, and my husband is your pastor. And I say, my husband's never home. I'm struggling with, I have just communicated to you about your pastor. That's a little different.

Jocelyn: And in some ways, you're the reason why you're struggling. Your friend, like your neediness as a congregation member is taking my husband away from me. Quit being so needy.

Janet: All you people.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Yes. So is it different? Yeah, there are certain things that are more private. I don't believe our lives are harder than other people's lives. But within the church congregation, there are limited people that I would go to with certain struggles. Some struggles.

Jocelyn: They're common.

Janet: Whatever.

Jocelyn: Yeah. They're human.

Janet: They have nothing. They're just about me. But if they're struggles that involve my husband, it's not wrong, but I need to be very, very careful in how I communicate about things like that and who. So I think if you're friends with a pastor's wife, a gift you give her is don't pry. Some people have struggled in friendships with me because there are a lot of things I don't talk about. I don't talk about even in general things that I'm struggling with if they primarily have to do with ministry things coming at me. It's just not my story to tell.

Jocelyn: How would your friend answer that?

Janet: Right. But they don't feel like they're as close to me because they don't know where you might be able to tell me things going on at Brian's work and say, help me with how I think about that. I'm not going to go to you the same way, but I believe pastor's wives, it's helpful, if the Lord doesn't provide it, He is enough. And it's helpful to look for where that's appropriate. It might be another pastor's wife. It might be someone outside your congregation.

Jocelyn: That's kind of what I was thinking is it's nice in our congregation that we have multiple pastor's wives. Like they understand at a level that no one else is privileged to and they can encourage you in moments where nobody else's encouragement would probably be very helpful anyways.

Janet: Right. So if you don't have that within your own church, that can be helpful. But even without that, I have a lot of friends who are not pastor's wives and they challenge me and they encourage me and we help each other grow. We can pray together. I consider you one of my closest friends and you're not, your husband is not currently a pastor.

Jocelyn: No, he's not.

Janet: And that's okay.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So friendships, yes. But I do think that in this day and age, we think friend means I can say everything with no boundaries. And I would say that's not true for anybody anywhere except Jesus. I don't even say all of my thoughts to my husband because some of them are wicked and don't need to be said.

Jocelyn: I know. Some of them are reprobate. I should never.

Janet: I just need to repent.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So, if I mean by friend, someone where there's no limits. Yes, you have one. He's Jesus.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But otherwise there's some differences, but yes, we can befriend each other, but we, it's always with limits and it's always with the goal of being edifying and loving God, not the goal of authenticity. It's the goal of love.

Jocelyn: I'll mention one thing that I've heard you say before in other contexts, but sometimes I think what people mean by friend is best friend where we own each other. Like I'm your best friend. You're my best friend. We belong to each other. So you have to tell me anything, and when we go to church, we have to sit next to each other and you're always going to do all my serving with me. And that is not a Godly view of friendship in general.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: So it's not like this ownership where when I go to church, I know I'm always going to get to sit with you. That's so unwelcoming. And I've really loved watching you and Brent operate in church where I know you have friends, but you don't go to church to hang out with your friends You're going to church to love other people and include them in your circle of friendship.

Janet: Quite frankly is more satisfying

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So it's not a downer. It's actually amazing. All right, how about this one? I love these counseling ones. What distinctions should we be aware of, especially if you are a counselor, when you're counseling someone who's acting sinfully versus acting foolishly? What is an interesting concept?

Jocelyn: That's a good question. I remember learning from you as you processed your certification when you were talking to your supervisor where he said most counseling issues come down to two issues, two things. Are they not taught or are they not applying?

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And so it's your job to determine, is this a true lack of knowledge? Well, if it is, then teach them. And if they know this, well then help them learn how to apply it. And so having that conversation with you years and years ago has helped my counseling to say like I don't need to be reteaching something that this person already knows. In that case, I need to hold them accountable to applying it.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: So I would say if someone is acting unrighteously, let's just say unrighteously, you can ask, are they not taught? Did they not know that this thing that they're doing is not righteous? Well, then the solution is share with them righteousness. So they have that as a mirror to hold up against their actions or are they not applying what they have been taught? And in that case, it's our job to remind them of what they know and encourage them to apply it. So there's two important goals in counseling, either teach or apply. There's really not much else I do other than gathering data, which is for the purpose of determining are we teaching or are we applying?

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: But someone acting sinfully and they have been taught, then they are choosing something opposed to God and His word. So the solution is to repent and to apply what they know is right. Someone acting foolishly is not taught. So the solution is to teach. And it reminds me of 1 Thessalonians 5:14, "We urge you brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the faint hearted, help the weak, be patient with them all". It's like the scriptures speak to this very question, determine what's going on and then interact with it appropriately. And I think one of the ways you determine that is to not be prideful and say, I know what's going on. You need to ask good questions and you need to not assume that you know everything or know what's going on.

Janet: And I think that's especially tempting if they've been in your church a long time.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Cause you would think they know things.

Jocelyn: You would think they know better.

Janet: And maybe they do, but maybe they don't. So I need to not assume I need to ask all the questions. So it's interesting, you have said sinfully versus foolishly. You've kind of defined foolishly as ignorant.

Jocelyn: Yeah. In my opinion, that is.

Janet: So that's how you went there. Cause I found myself thinking, well, if the fool says in his heart, there is no God. So are we talking about a fool or are we talking about ignorance?

Jocelyn: Yeah. I think in my mind I was thinking of foolishness as ignorance, not foolishness as like rebellion, stubbornness.

Janet: Right. But the answer is the same.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Which is what I love. That's really good.

Jocelyn: All right. Next question for you. Domestic abuse in the church. How should...

Janet: I don't think we should do it. Oh.

Jocelyn: I'm good. How should the church respond and aid in healing? And we just want to say, this is not a laughing matter. We're not joking at it.

Janet: No, no, no, no, no.

Jocelyn: But this is also a humongous question, humongous question, and a lot of people are talking about this.

Janet: We also got a question, what does obedience look like in an emotionally and spiritually oppressive marriage, which I think is very similar. And here's what I'm going to say. I think I would do everyone a disservice if I tried to answer this without a ton more information and without a ton more time. But having said that there are some resources that ACBC just put out and they put a lot of information on that area and we're going to link that in our show notes. It's a lot. I think it's like 20 pages of information.

Jocelyn: And it's so helpful.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Very practical.

Janet: And you may come away with it going, I still have questions.

Jocelyn: No doubt.

Janet: You will still have questions. So I don't think it answers everything that could be said, but it's a painful, it's a complex topic. It's real. And there's not a one size fits all, but I do believe they worked hard to get a document out that would be helpful and not so vague that it said nothing, but it's also not, oh, here's exactly what to do. I think it's really helpful. And I think I would do a disservice to try to say it all. So we will link to that. That's probably the best I can do here, but it's a good question.

Jocelyn: And it's an important topic. And you know what? We really want to handle abuse situations in the church the way that Jesus would, and that's carefully and with righteousness.

Janet: Yeah, I will just say, not really necessarily that, but just a plug for in February, we will have a pre-conference that's virtual or in-person, adult survivors of severe childhood trauma and hope that is there. So I understand this was about abuse in marriage, but I'm thinking if you have any of that in your past or someone else you know does, this pre-conference, which will be online, virtual or in person, I think the hope of the Gospel and how to help is just going to be shining.

Jocelyn: We've been able to preview some of that teaching and it's just rock solid and awesome.

Janet: Okay, Jocelyn, let me ask you this one. Does a wife need to be best friends with her husband? You just talked about how we don't always have to think of best friends.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: But how does that work when it comes to your spouse?

Jocelyn: That's a great question. I will say I don't think that a wife needs to be best friends with her husband. Because Jesus is my best friend and He is all I need. And Jesus is my husband's best friend. Even if he's not in a relationship with Him, He is the best friend my husband can ever need and ever have. And my goal is to live in my marriage in a way that points my husband to His best friend, not to be an inferior alternative. So at the same time, As you, as your life is knit together in companionship, friendship will probably grow.

Janet: Yeah. And ideally, it would.

Jocelyn: Ideally, there may be difficult situations where you're fulfilling your biblical role and it doesn't necessarily make your spouse feel friendly towards you. I mean, we've probably both had situations like that, like your husband does something correctly and that makes you unhappy with him or your husband does something incorrectly and it makes you unhappy with him.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: So we learned many, many, many years ago that it was important to think of ourself as teammates. When we ended up in counseling for about nine months, and it started out as parenting counseling, but it turned into marriage counseling, and our counselor just said to us, do you guys remember that you're on the same team? Like, you're actually not competitors, your teammates, you're supposed to be on the same team. And we were like, oh yes, on the same team. So that learning that many years ago still impacts us now. Like, you know, we can get snarky with each other. We can get irritated because we're tired or whatever and we can easily forget that we are teammates. And so, it also helps to have reminders like of our roles. God meant for marriage to be companionship and He meant it to be based on loyalty and devotion and that can be enacted to the extent that both people involved are acting biblically. You're not going to be loyal to a person who's disobeying the law or disobeying Christ, like our first loyalty is to God, but biblical marriage was meant to be for companionship. So if that's true and you're both growing in your relationship with the Lord, then you will be becoming better and better friends.

Janet: And you may be from the, from a human perspective, best friends. You may be like, I would say Brent is my best friend. Not every day, but he is my closest friendship and if by that we mean best friend. He's my closest friendship

Jocelyn: And to get to that place a ton of selflessness was required.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And I think that's when you think about best friends. It has that, in my mind, negative connotation, like I belong to you, you look, you belong to me. We're besties forever. Like that's not.

Janet: We hate the world together.

Jocelyn: Right. Like we're, we got each other's back even if we're going down burning. Like, so our life is woven together and naturally out of that companionship we have inside jokes and private language and shared goals, but I don't have inside jokes and private language to block other people out. It just happened. Like something funny happened and we still talk about it four years later. It's a sweet intimacy.

Janet: But it's not intended to keep others away.

Jocelyn: Exactly.

Janet: But there is a sweet intimacy that if you're both growing biblically and solving problems will happen.

Jocelyn: So I think that companionship is built on a biblical understanding of priorities and he, after my relationship with God, he, my husband, is my highest priority. So if that's true, his friendship is going to be more important than anyone else's friendship. And his desires are to be more important than my kids desires because he is my priority. And if I am thinking in a biblically prioritized way. He is going to be the best of the friends that I have because he's my highest priority.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: I remember one time we were having an endless Lord of the Rings marathon and it was in a stressful period of time. And my husband kind of like said to himself, we were watching Samwise Gamgee being Frodo's best friend. And he just kind of muttered under his breath, I wish I had a Samwise. And I was like, whoa, that's not okay.

Janet: Cause that should be me.

Jocelyn: It should be me.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And so it makes me cry a little bit thinking about it. Like I took that like feedback knowledge that he was feeling as if he didn't have that kind of a friend. And it really, I can remember when it happened. It revolutionized the way that I interacted with him because in my mind I just was quick to think like, oh, he's my husband. He understands. He understands that I'm late for work today. Like he understands that I need him to fold his own laundry. Like he understands that he can make supper tonight instead of saying like, I miss Samwise. I'm his best supporter. And when he is accomplishing insurmountable tasks, I want him to always know that I have his back. And sometimes that means talking about problems in a biblical way because we don't just let problems go unsolved. That's what best friends do.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: They work to make the other person's life better. So I don't think you have to be best friends with your husband. I think if you're both in a biblical marriage and you're trying to be biblical, it's probably going to happen because companionship lends itself to that kind of friendship. But I also think if you're in a tough marriage and you have one or more spouses not acting biblically, it's nothing to be feeling like you're missing out on.

Janet: This is the platform where you get to shine and you get to be like Jesus in that and that's beautiful.

Jocelyn: And you are being his friend or he is being her friend, even if it's really uncomfortable because difficult stuff has to get handled biblically.

Janet: Right. Excellent. Okay. Well that was fun. I think we got through most of them.

Jocelyn: I think so.

Janet: So this has been a great way to end the year, especially thinking about, I'm sitting here thinking, who can we be a Samwise for? For our spouses if we're married, but then for the people around us. What a sweet way to maybe start out next year. So thanks for spending this year with us.

To keep from missing any future episodes, please sign up for our newsletter on our webpage From there you can also subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Google, or Spotify. You can also visit us on our Facebook page or Instagram at Joyful Journey Podcast. If you have questions or comments for us, you can email us at Joyful Journey Podcast is a ministry of Faith Bible Seminary. All proceeds go to offset costs of this podcast and toward scholarships for women to receive their MABC through Faith Bible Seminary.

Host Janet and her husband, Brent, also speak at a variety of conferences as a way to raise money for the seminary. If you want to look at what they offer or book them for a conference, go to their website.

Janet Aucoin


Janet is the Director of Women's Ministry at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN); Host of the Joyful Journey Podcast (helping women learn that when you choose truth you choose joy); ACBC certified; teacher in Faith Community Institute; Coordinator of FBS seminary wives fellowship, retreat and conference speaker; B.S. Human Resources, University of South Florida.