Live Q&A BCTC 2024

Janet Aucoin February 23, 2024

Our hosts, Janet & Jocelyn, had the opportunity again this year to record a special live episode at our church’s Biblical Counseling Training Conference in Lafayette, Indiana. Janet and Jocelyn answer audience questions submitted online. We enjoyed meeting many of our listeners and we hope this can be a blessing to those who weren’t able to attend live. For more information about the Biblical Counseling Training Conference, follow this link:

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



Putting Your Past In Its Place - Stephen Viars

Marry Wisely, Marry Well - Ernie Baker


Faith Women’s Ministry Foundation Series Videos

Faith Bible Seminary


Read Through the Scripture Challenge 2024


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: Okay. It is seven, so I guess we should get going. So, Jocelyn said, are we gonna, Start like a normal podcast. So I'll say welcome back listeners. This is Janet. I'm here with my co-host, Jocelyn, Hey friends, and with all of my new friends. I would like to open us up in prayer. I have a love-hate relationship with Q&A. My husband calls it Q&R 'cause he may not have an answer, but he'll have a response of some kind. So it's kind of what we're doing. I love the idea of knowing what you really wanna know about and talking about it, but there is a far higher likelihood of me saying something that's not helpful or inappropriate, especially if it's not scripted. So we got 22 questions sent into us already and I doubt we'll get through them. we won't, so we won't be taking more from the floor. But these are all the questions that you guys brought us. and we have had some time to think about it. So you can pray that as we just chat. See what the, on the podcast, if we kind of get out of our cage, my daughter cuts it out. So pray for self-control for us and for the wisdom of God so I love it and I hate it. So what we really need is the grace of God. So I would like to start us with prayer. Oh, father, thank you. Thank you for the privilege that we have to get to talk about you and your word. Thank you for this week. And that there are people coming here from all over who love you, love your word, and love other human beings and want to help them. God thank you that we get to be encouraged by each other. And I pray that this evening, as we carefully think through some questions that, people have entrusted to us, I'm asking that you would protect our mouths from saying things that would detract from the beauty of the truth. That would, be discouraging. And I pray that you would work even through us because you are that big to be able to just lift high your word and your son, please help us Father in Christ's name. Amen.

Jocelyn: This is surreal because all day, all week long as I've been teaching, I have been saying episodes instead of sessions. Yes. And also, thinking like, don't mess up because you're teaching. Karis can't fix it.

Janet: I know.

Jocelyn: when I'm, teaching, and so now it's live and she can fix us. So it's like my brain. We'll try to not say stupid things.

Janet: That's the hope. Do you wanna go first?

Jocelyn: Sure.

Janet: We're just gonna every other read one of the questions and we're gonna act like it's our first time thinking about it and that we're, that wise. It's just not true, but,

Jocelyn: Okay. please flesh out the difference between ministering God's word and dispensing God's word. And this person was looking for practical examples. So I took this one because this is something that I talked about in one of my track six sessions. And when I say minister God's word, what I mean is I carefully listened, thought about a biblical passage that was appropriate to that situation. And I like served that person like, you made a beautiful dessert. And you're like, look at this lovely cake that I've made you. It's so delicious. And administering God's word is just like when you're dealing cards, you just flip it out. And so I don't think that we would use different passages. It's not like there's administration passages, and ministering passages. It's all the same passages, but I think it's the tenor with which you deliver it to the sufferer often, and, the attitude that you're taking. So really it's like the word minister means that you're giving service or care or aid. And dispensing just means you're distributing like, here's your verse. Obviously you should be applying this. You should be obeying this. So I have a couple of examples. So there's a passage in Isaiah 64: 8. It says, and yet, oh Lord, you are our father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We are all formed by your hand. And then Romans 9: 20 through 22 says, who are you a mere human being to argue with God should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, why have you made me like this? When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn't he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another jar to throw garbage into? And so that passage is true. And it's comforting, but you could deliver it in a way that is very callous and kind of cold. Like, who are you to question God? Why are you questioning God? This passage says, don't question God. Stop questioning God. Or you can say, this is a very difficult position that you're in and we can ask our honest questions to God. We can have real complaint, but we don't demand answers from God. So let's talk about what this would look like to do this in real time. And so it's not some magical thing that's not different passages, but it's the way that you deliver the truth.

Janet: Yeah, I think the only thing I would add to that, 'cause that's exactly right. So it's how you do it and it can be your timing. So if somebody is really, really hurting and I say

Jocelyn: Romans 8:28-29, yeah.

Janet: Thank the Lord for all things. that's a true statement. And very unkind. So you'll be tempted to dispense instead of minister if you think you have a verse for every issue. Oh, anxiety, go here. Oh, depression. This is the verse. And if that's how you think, instead of why are they anxious? What's causing them to be depressed? What's going on in their heart? How do I minister to their heart? If I'm just looking for the verse that goes with Whatever the topic is, I will be more tempted to dispense.

Jocelyn: And I think I dispense when I'm anxious, like, okay, I'm listening so I know what to say instead of listening to know what's going on so I can serve them. The other, another passage that I thought of was Romans 8:28-29, which we all know and all use. We know that God causes all things to work together for good, for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For God knew his people in advance and he chose them to become like his son, so that his son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And yes, that is true and accurate. But another passage that is also accurate is that is Psalm 55:4-5. My heart is in anguish within me. The terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me and horror overwhelms me. So, yes, God is producing the character of Christ in your life right now. And while that's happening, your heart could be filled with anguish. And so it's just that you deliver the news. God is conforming you to the image of his son and he's taking the venue of suffering to do that. And you just need to treat people gently when that's happening. Yeah.

Janet: okay. This one is, and some of these won't take very long. Some are unpacking scripture. This one well, I think it'll be a little faster 'cause I don't have a whole lot to say. my fiance and I want to do what is right way to go. We value life. That is right. But how do we biblically choose a contraception method? How do we think biblically specifically about hormonal birth controls, combination versus mini pill? First thing I have to tell you is I don't even know what those two things are, and I did not bother researching. Those things. I know what the pill is, but I don't know what all these other things are.

Jocelyn: It's the levels of hormones in them.

Janet: There you go.

Jocelyn: And which hormones.

Janet: There you go. So clearly I don't know, but here's what I can tell you. the first question that you two will need to decide is what you think about contraception. I'm not gonna get into all of that, but that is a good question that you need to answer. And then you need to decide what are the principles that you just don't really have. They're not Christian Liberty issues, like doing anything that could end a life after conception is not an option. I believe biblically we don't need to pray about it. We don't need to decide if it just won't happen very often or if it's only in 1%. I believe we wouldn't say, this is what a doctor said to me once my daughter had a mole. When she was little and I was like, do we need to remove that? What do we do with this? and he said, well, ninety-seven percent of the time, nothing will happen with that mole Three-percent of the time it turns cancerous. He said, so I guess I would say it to you this way, if there were a hundred kids getting on a Ferris wheel and I said to you, ninety-seven of them are gonna get off, three are gonna fall to their death, would you let her get on it? Uh, no. And he's like, then we need to remove it so that she can't be in the 3%. So it doesn't matter what the percent is. if it's a possibility we can't go there. Well then it's, what do I do with that? You do need to do a lot of research. I know when my son got married, he and his, well now wife, she was fiance, read a lot, talked to a lot of people, and did a lot of research because. They just like this couple and I, do applaud them. They value life. They want to think biblically. They have apparently determined that Preventing conception, for whatever reason that they are, they have determined that that's God honoring. Now it's what method and he struggled, and I'm not gonna give you all the medical, but he read a lot of stuff. And I would say Romans 14. at the end of that Romans 14, twenty-three, whoever doubts stands condemned. If it's doubtful, don't do it. If you are not sure, you don't do it and hope for the best. So I would say you research until you're sure.

Jocelyn: I agree. We just had to walk through this with my daughter and it was difficult because there's a lot of plans that you're trying to accomplish and children are not part of those plans. Theoretically, initially, maybe. Initially, yep. Yeah, like and so. And even when they are, you wanna have some good timing. So also the sovereignty and providence of God, he decides if the birth control works anyways,

Janet: for sure.

Jocelyn: All right, next question. In order for married ladies to counsel, does her husband have to counsel and can a wife of a rebellious non-professing husband counsel others? I'll handle the first question first. In order for married ladies to counsel, does her husband have to counsel? And the short answer to that is no. God does not give everyone the same gifts. And one wife may be a gifted counselor and her husband might be a gifted accountant. Like he doesn't, God might just not have made him good at counseling. And according to one Corinthians 12, it requires all the gifts that all the people have to provide, what the church needs. And so you don't have to have. A husband counseling in order for a wife to counsel. But the married counselor lady would need to communicate thoroughly well with her husband and have his blessing before striking out and providing that kind of ministry opportunity. Because counseling means a lot of things. You guys will know this. Counseling means constraints on your time and schedule. I counsel on Mondays, which means every single Monday I am not at home for the evening. And so we decided as a couple whether that was good or not. And we also decide we reevaluate it from time to time like how many sessions I should do and how late I should stay. but he needs to be willing to have you leave your house if you're gonna go counsel or do counseling at your house. Like everyone's counseling looks different. you also need to remember that your primary ministry is to your family first, if you're gonna have biblical priorities. And so your primary ministry is to your husband and then to your children and your parents, and depending on what stage of life you're in. And so if you can handle your primary responsibilities first and still have energy available for counseling, then that's something to consider. But you would wanna talk to your husband about it. just 'cause he doesn't counsel with you doesn't mean he has thoughts about it. And so those need to be considered and his desires. the other thing to think about is, just practically I have been counseling longer than my husband and I've been certified for, like two decades now. And he's been through track one, two, and three. And so his counseling is more like across our kitchen table and with our children and with the people that we're mentoring. And mine is more formal, but he counsels me as I'm counseling others all the time. And so we just have an understanding if I mentor someone there is no confidentiality that I keep from my husband 'cause I need his help to think through things. And I have a supervisor at counseling on Mondays that I can talk to. And if I'm counseling ladies in the church, then I talked to Janet about stuff. But just because he doesn't counsel with you doesn't mean he might not be active in your counseling. And so that's something to consider. and then part two, does having a rebellious husband, mean that you can't counsel? So I said having a rebellious husband doesn't necessarily disqualify you from counseling others, but you do wanna make sure that you're still serving and ministering to him first before you're serving and ministering to others. Even if he's not a believer, your primary ministry is to your family and you would never, ever want one of your husband's reasons for rebellion to be that you are not available to him. Not that it's not your fault if he chooses to be rebellious, but you don't want that to be one of his, one of his excuses.

Janet: You don't wanna make it harder for him.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Make it harder for him. So remember, ministry to Family first. Is the first priority after God. And by ministry, this is what I mean, just to make it clear, like, I mean, like I minister to my family by going grocery shopping. That just takes time. I minister to my family by taking broken cars to the shop. I minister to my husband by having sex with him, like I minister to my family. And all of that takes time. So that's what I mean by ministry. So if the question is whether or not you're disqualified from counseling because your husband is living in sin or is not a believer, I would encourage you to remember that you're not responsible for the actions of other people. You're responsible for you. And to be honest, I found that some of the most effective counselors are those that are working through really hard stuff themselves because it, gives, a means of identification with someone suffering that a different counselor would not be able to do in the same way. So it's not like you have to have experienced a different sin or suffering to be able to serve in that, but there's just ways that you'll be able to connect to sufferers that other people will not be able to.

Janet: Yeah. God uses our suffering for sure. what are some good goals to have in a discipleship relationship? I mean, we could go so many places with this, and this is one of, sometimes this is my thing with Q&A. I have like 8,000 questions for you before I would really wanna answer that question. So I'm just gonna answer what I think the question is, and it's a good question. That's not my point, but there's so much more I'd wanna know. a discipleship relationship can mean so many things. So within that, what does the other person desire? Like I don't go into discipleship relationships with my goals. I go into discipleship relationships saying, what are your goals? Now, if they have Unbiblical goals, okay, I have a goal now it would be to help them see that's not what we're gonna be doing. Or you know what, that's when I get to tell them that doesn't fit with what I have to offer. And I have had that conversation where it's like, let's talk about what you're looking for and then let's talk about what I have to offer. Because if what you're looking for is not what I have to offer, you're welcome to change what you're looking for, but I won't be changing what I have to offer. So I think those conversations are really important. And are we talking about a new believer? Are we talking about someone that has a specific area that they need help in? What Bests serves their soul? And I don't have a one-size-fits-all. So I don't have a curriculum that I go through when I'm going to disciple. I look at the woman across the table and say. Here's, and this is what I tell people. My desire is to help you learn how to live within the story that God's given you. A joyful, strong, God-honoring life that shines for the glory of God. That's what I wanna do. And if that's what you want, let's figure out what areas you need some help in to do that. And that's what we'll do. But if what they want is something different than that, I just want someone to listen to me and I will tell them that I'm probably not the best fit for that 'cause this is what I believe is best for you. So, I, I don't have a a one size there, but I will tell you this as a church, as a women's ministry, several years ago, we determined the information that if I were queen of the world, every woman in our church would have gone through these classes. So they would all understand a lot of the same material. We videotape those, they're on our website. Anybody can use them. And if I were gonna look at what are some of the areas that you might want to address or consider, I would look at our Women's Foundation series. Those are obviously the things we thought were important enough that we wrote 30 sessions on them and then videotape them so that to make it easy access. Now they're older. they're in the process of being rewritten in theory in my head. They're not in the process of being rewritten yet, but that's the goal that within the next couple of years, they'll all be updated. and we'll re-video, but in the meantime it's truth.

Jocelyn: And it was a good first attempt.

Janet: Yeah. and it's out there to start somewhere. And you're welcome to look at those and just say, yeah, I could do it better. And I'm sure you could, but at least you'll know the topics. That we think are important. So those are the topics that I think, when I'm discipling someone, I think those are the topics that I think are important. But where I start and what our goals are really depend on who's across from me, in part what their goals are, and then does that fit with what I have to offer?

Jocelyn: But to be fair, pretty much every single person that you disciple will know their idols by the time that you're done discipling them, right?

Janet: Oh, yeah. that's gonna be what they can expect from me is

Jocelyn: underlying that's with everyone is we're, you are as a person, are aware of the idols that you tend to go after. And you see how it applies to different parts of life. Like that's every marriage counseling, it's every mentoring, it's every,

Janet: because I'm married to Brent, right?

Jocelyn: And you love Jesus.

Janet: So we're gonna talk about bacon. And so we believe. Really what's hindering you is the underlying sin patterns that you're not aware of or that you're still enslaved to. We all have them. But if you don't know you have them, they're enslaving you, you're living by them. If you don't think you have 'em, you're living out of 'em. But if you know you have 'em, then you'll be able to not stay enslaved to them. So, no, you're act whatever else they come to talk to me about. We're gonna end up there.

Jocelyn: Yeah. That's gonna, it's gonna end up there. Next one should. A lady that doesn't want to or think, she is called to counsel, counsel because her husband wants to counsel and wants her to join him. And then the second part of the question is, is being married to a husband that counsels an automatic qualifier to counsel.

Janet: So kinda the other half of your question that you got before.

Jocelyn: Yeah. So I'll say the answer to the second one first because it's easy. Is being married to a husband that counsels an automatic qualifier to counsel? No. The answer to that is no. Done. The first part of the question is, should a lady that doesn't want to or think she is called to counsel, counsel because her husband wants to counsel and wants her to join him. So my heart, my first part is just my heart. Oh my goodness. If your husband wants to counsel and he wants you to counsel with him, please consider it. Because think about the shortage of godly men in the world and the shortage of godly leaders. And if you have a godly leader and he wants you to join in his ministry, please, please, please, please, please consider doing it. B, if you're a Christian, you should be counseling. It's just if you're a Christian, you are counseling. Doesn't mean you will be a formal counselor, but you do have things to contribute. So the way the word of God has influenced you will make your heart be bent toward God, and those Godly themes and words will be coming out of your mouth. So please consider joining your husband in his ministry. besides that soapbox, I will say, I would recommend that this dear lady, ask her husband why he is so excited to have her in the counseling room with him. And it would just be an open-ended question, not why do I have to, it's why do you want me to? And there could be a lot of Reasons like he might appreciate her help. He may want her insight, he may want a third person in the room for propriety. He may wanna see his wife grow from the experience. So I would encourage her to ask her husband, why this is interesting to him. And if our job as women is to be helpers to men, specifically to our husband, if we're married to that one person, then how can I help him specifically in his counseling in a way where I may not be an expert at counseling, but I'm an expert at my husband and I can serve him how he needs to be served. So I would also encourage her to ask her husband how to handle this request if it's not something that she believes that God has gifted her in. Maybe he would like her to get some training. I'd also encourage her to ask her husband if it's his wish or if it's strong desire, and I realize I'm splitting hairs, but is he just like, oh man, babe, I wish you could be there with me. It's just so cool to see. Or he'd be like, I really, really want you to be there. Like I need you in the room. I'm counseling a woman and I must have a third person in the room. if she doesn't feel qualified, she could ask her husband what he thinks are ways she could become more comfortable with being qualified. And I would also encourage her to think through her own reasons for not wanting to do something her husband is asking her to do. I can't make up what's going on, but she could ask like, is it that you don't have time to carve out? Is it that you don't wanna make time to carve out? are there things on your schedule that prevents you? Like is there something that you, just, a responsibility that prevents you from being able to be involved in that? but every Christian is a counselor and if your husband is asking you to be involved, it's just so amazing to do ministry with your husband. It's so unifying and it's exciting to be able to say like, we have this goal we're working on together. It just knits your hearts together. And so I would strongly urge you to consider exploring it.

Janet: Yeah. And I think what a, I am making an assumption here. 'cause we don't know exactly why he's wants her there.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Which I, it's, that was excellent. That was well thought out.

Jocelyn: Thanks Janet.

Janet: My way to go. What a privilege and what a compliment.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: That he wants you there. and it wouldn't even necessarily mean you're co-counseling. Maybe you are there. And just taking notes and then you're learning over time. I'm sure there are times Brent wishes that's all I did. So you could make his life a little easier as he counsels. Though, he and I have a signal so that he knows when I'm about to die. If I don't get to say something.

Jocelyn: What's the signal? Now I know I can't wait to go to meetings with you.

Janet: I know, I know, but I'll do that. I don't even know how it started. We never talked about it. But he knows me. But he also,

Jocelyn: he also has a signal for when it's time for her to be quiet.

Janet: That's it. We're talking. So now if he just pats my leg, I'm like, what? I wasn't even saying anything. I was just patting your leg. Oh, I thought you were telling me something. So, because that's our thing. But my, daughter-in-Law tried that with my son. They even discussed it ahead of time. When we go here, if I wanna say something, 'cause they're now doing some counseling together, I'll clear my, Like your mom does. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And she goes, I was like, horse. And he never noticed. She said, I'm like, and later he was like, well, how'd that go? And she's like, are you kidding? So they were laughing. I'm like, you need a different, he was in the zone, man.

Jocelyn: A different signal.

Janet: He was so in the zone. He got nothing else, but, Brent gets it. So that's what we try to do.

Jocelyn: I've watched you guys, your relationship, like evolve over time. And Brent has said in the last couple's counseling supervision meetings that I've sat in and like he almost never counsels without you. Like I'm sure there's private stuff that he counsels, but you are a regular part of his counseling team.

Janet: Especially now that I'm an empty nester, I can. So, but it doesn't mean she has to feel that weight. She may be there taking notes. Yeah. She may be there and noticing things and he could say to her, let me know afterwards when the pressure's not on, what did you see there? Because there are times when I will say to him, did you see how terrified she was? Or did you see how mad he got?

Jocelyn: Did you notice that she rolled her eyes when you said that? Yeah, because when I'm counseling, I'm looking at my stuff, looking at the Bible. I love team counseling. I love counseling as a group because the other person is thinking, they seeing things while you're talking. They're seeing things that you just can't see.

Janet: But then she could be part of it. 'cause he trusts her, I'm assuming. Obviously. Yeah. And not feel the weight of, I have to feel like a formal counselor, but she can be a help to him. Right. Okay. oh, this one was cute. my typical response to matchmaking is annoyance. Instead, how can I respond in a god-honoring way? So I am making the assumption that this is a single person and everyone believes that they have someone for you. I was a little older when I got married, so I totally get this question. and so the first thing I would say is please hear their matchmaking as them wanting a good gift for you. Hear their heart. They're not trying to be annoying, but frequently, I can't say always, but frequently, they really love being married. And they look at you and they want you to have the gift that they have. It doesn't mean that is the gift you need today, but that's their heart. So then it's, how can I help you get that? So first understand that's what the heart is, and be grateful that they care about you. I mean, if you think about it. They're saying they think someone should marry you. So they think that you're the kind of person that they would want to encourage someone they care about to marry.

Jocelyn: They would want their friends to be with you.

Janet: Yes. So be grateful. And if it's not a helpful way of loving you, don't assume they should know that. Communicate with them. If you're not interested in being married, communicate that to them. If you're like many, you are interested in being married and you're kind of glad they're doing it, but kind of irritated 'cause it also brings up stuff, well then what do you want them to do? Think about it. Like you might say, if there's someone that you just want to give me the opportunity to get to know and you have a group of people over so that. We have an opportunity to get to know each other. I'm fine with that, but let's not have it be like, I want you to meet him and telling him I want him to meet me. And there's pressure there that's like, what do you think of me? Like it was not helpful to me. But if you wanted to have a group of people over and not all couples and you and the one guy, that's also not helpful. But if you're saying there's someone that you think it'd be helpful for me to get to know, and you have a group of people over, okay, but he doesn't need to know that, or you don't need, just provide an opportunity or please don't ever do that. But communicate and don't assume that they can read your mind. I do think sometimes we're just irritated and then we don't say anything and they're trying to love you. Just communicate. What is loving to you? Because the other friend that they have may love it when they

Jocelyn: Alrighty. How would one spouse communicate to the other, something they know would hurt their feelings? While keeping the four rules of communication in mind, but inevitably is an emotionally charged Subject.

Janet: Oh, we talk about this for an hour. So many words in here that I wanna talk about. Go ahead.

Jocelyn: Would you like to start?

Janet: Oh, no.

Jocelyn: Okay. So I learned this from Janet. I tend to ask my husband, how would you like me to communicate difficult or emotionally charged topics with you? Like, that's how you do it. Ask him. So I asked her one time, what should I do if my husband is sinning? How do I know how to confront him? And she was like, have you asked him? I was like, no, but that's a great idea. And so I was like, if you are sinning. How would you like me to communicate that to you? And he told me. And so that's what I do. And so I know how my husband wants to be communicated with 'cause I asked him. So, potential conversation starters. as a communication junkie, I love paragraphs because they're orderly. A paragraph starts with a topic sentence has three or four sentences that organize it, and then has a summary sentence. So when I communicate with people, I tend to think like a paragraph. And so I start difficult conversations like this topic sentence. I have a difficult thing to ask you about. Is there a time that would be good for us to talk? So just say, instead of just Dumping the data, have a sentence that says where this conversation is about to go. Or, I love you and I wanna talk to you about something that might be difficult for you. How, when and where can I talk about that with you in a way that is helpful for you? So say I have a concern. And, every time I do it now we've been married for twenty-seven years. I'm like, babe, I have a concern. Start my sentence. He's like, okay, what is it? Let's just do it. Let's get it over with. Let's deal with it. Like

Janet: I was gonna say, and Brent's always, well, what's the topic? I'm like, no. Is there a time? Just tell me what it is.

Jocelyn: Just tell me what it is. So, I think in general, it's helpful for husband to know going into the conversation, the point of the conversation I'd like to talk about so he doesn't feel like it's a bait and switch. Like I was like, Hey, we should hang out tonight. He'd be like having something in mind. And I was like, yeah, let's solve a problem. That's gonna feel like a bait and switch. No husband likes that. in addition, we need to remember that if emotionally charged means repetitious sin patterns, we need to remember that our husband, if he is a believer, is a brother in Christ. And so I just, I don't know enough about this question to be able to answer, so I just wanna touch on that point. If one of the partners in marriage is repetitiously sinning, then that's not necessarily emotionally charged that sin. And I need to be able to say like I have, there is a problem with a habit of sin and I would handle it like Galatians six, one and two. Like let's talk about this pattern of sin and how I can love you and help you to be a pure and holy brother in Christ. So I mean, there's a bunch of stuff that I don't know about that, but I just think good communication sure helps. And knowing what my husband wants, 'cause I sin he sins, right? We assume that we're married 'cause we wanna be pure and holy and we're gonna deal with each other sin.

Janet: But that assumes that environment and many people talking about this don't already have that environment. Yeah. So to understand. To get in the middle of a marriage that's already communicating poorly and everybody's living outta their idols. And then they ask me, and I'm not saying that's true here. I don't even know who wrote this, but then they ask me, how can I tell him something's gonna hurt his feelings? First thing. Well, okay, feelings don't get hurt, right? Pride, egos do, but feelings don't really get hurt. So what are we saying there? So I don't understand. So am I about to say something that's hurtful?

Jocelyn: Yeah. And can I say it in a hurtful way? Just, and be like, well, I'm sorry that your feelings are so tender. Right. You know.

Janet: so there's a lot I don't know here, but is there an environment in your home that is growing, that your husband's sin is safe to be exposed in front of you? we just did that in session. What is it? Track. Track Three, Brent. And I just spoke on how to make your marriage a safe place today. And we talked about how ours was not. And then how God has been growing us. But when I think back to where our marriage was, if at that moment I had to bring up something, the number one, why was I bringing it up? Probably 'cause I'm just ticked and I'm tired of dealing with it. Yeah. So there's a log. I don't even need to talk to him yet. And we don't have the kind of relationship where we can have our sin exposed in front of each other without judging each other. So I can't change that in a sentence. I can't change that in answering one question. But it might be surfacing whether your husband changes or not. You can grow to be a safe place for his sin to be exposed. Because your goal is not an amazing marriage, an easier marriage. Your goal is, I love the fire outta my husband's soul and I wanna help him honor the Lord. Honey, what, when you do this, I don't believe that honors the Lord and I just wanna help. Or is it, I know you get angry when I talk to you about this, but I'm gonna talk to you about it again. And then that would probably be emotionally charged. so I don't know. That could be lot of different things.

Jocelyn: There's a lot, I mean there's a lot of dynamics in that question that we just don't know about. Like, I'm assuming like it's probably, well might be wrong to assume this, but like an anger issue if it's emotionally charged, you know, you wanna make sure that you're being safe and you're not doing unwise things. Yeah. And if you are not safe, then you need to get other people involved.

Janet: That's right. And I know, you know, she said what's most helpful to her husband, Brent and I, our thing was how do we not blindside each other when we have to say something hard? 'cause you don't come home from work going, I hope my wife wants to solve a problem of an area where I'm not doing well. It's not usually what you're thinking when you walk in the door. So I said to him, no matter how I bring it up. You're always gonna feel blindsided. 'cause like you were never expecting that. How do you expect that? Because if I say, can we talk sometime now? Your mind's going, well, I need to know what it's, what did I do? Yeah. So now we are gonna talk about it when it may not be a good time. So what we did was, that's why I'm like, I don't know where this marriage is and I don't know who's willing to do what. But for a long time, we met every Sunday night at eight. We both knew it was coming. We both knew we were gonna review the week. We both knew we were gonna talk about how things are going. We could both be prepared for that and nobody's blindsided. And then it was like, and if you're in marriage counseling with us, you're going to do that. It doesn't have to be Sunday at eight, but you're going to do that. And he will tell 'em ultimately two to three times a week for at least 20 minutes and he tells them exactly what to talk about. You're gonna pray, do this, then you're gonna say this, then you're gonna say this. And they're building the habit of how do we communicate, about issues. So that's what we used to do. We'd start out with what we thought went well that week where we saw we didn't do well personally. And then is there anything else you saw in me that I didn't notice? Because hopefully if he already noticed it, I don't have to say anything, but if he didn't, then he's blind to it and I need to help him. But my heart's ready because we were prepared. So we did that for a while and it's just more of a way of life for us now. So we don't really do that. But when I know I need to talk to him about something, what helps him, I married an engineer, is an email and in the email I say, here are the things, because you know what, if he might initially be angry, he gets to deal with that before we meet. That's a way to love him. So I will say, number one, I wanted to talk about kind of how we left things this morning, number two. And then usually there's in there number three, four people have asked us to do eight things and I don't know how to answer any of those people. And we gotta get to that. But then he's had time to think about it and then I'll say, let me know when you wanna talk about it. But then it's not like, what is it? He knows what it is. Like it's not secret. He can know what it is. And frequently, sometimes he comes home and he is like, we'll get to that later. 'cause a lot of times it's just stuff we need to talk about. Problems of the day, not personal. but sometimes he'll come home and my husband's like, things just gel. So he doesn't have to answer on the spot. I'm an answer on the spot person. That's the best you're gonna get for me. And we might as well just move on. Brent's a let me think. So him being able to prepare, sometimes he'll come home and go, Hey, let's talk about that. But really the answer is yes. Yes. Three and two. Alright. That's all we needed. Or he's had time to think about it and come home and say, I don't know what all you wanna talk about from this morning, but I've had some time to think about it. And here's what I think was going on with me because he's prepared. So for him, an email that doesn't just say, can we talk? 'cause then you're like, about what? About what? Yeah. Like I tell him what it's about and then he has time to think about it. So that works for us.

Jocelyn: But you wouldn't wanna solve all your problems via email?

Janet: No. That's the, that's the topic. Yeah. Yeah. He doesn't answer the email with his answers. I mean, that would be, then we talk.

Jocelyn: That's not healthy.

Janet: Correct. Okay. Texting is also not a good problem-solving tool. No, but it's good for scheduling. So yes, I tell him, here's what we can talk about. And then, and sometimes he'll say after dinner. All right, I've got some time. Why don't you get your list out. Let's start talking. All right. But he's ready, so that helps us. oh, I talked with my son about this one. is it sinful or is there freedom for a married Christian couple to decide not to ever have children? So the first thing I wanna say is I'm really, really glad I got this way in advance, because this is where I don't even want you to know my opinion on it. but I have so many, but we not gonna share them.

Jocelyn: We discussed how we were not going to share our opinions on this.

Janet: I know which is why I needed, yes. So I talked with my son last night young. I'm not in the childbearing years. It's shocking. I know to all of you, but I'm not. So how do you think about that? I am gonna say this, in one Corinthians seven, and I'm not gonna find this specific verse right now 'cause I wasn't smart enough to get it ahead of time. if you want to live an undistracted life solely for ministry before the Lord one Corinthians seven says remain single, and what a beautiful thing to do. What a beautiful thing to do. So if you've already determined that you want and are married, you have already determined there will be distractions in your life because it says a married person has to be concerned about additional things. And aren't we glad it would be really bad? Yeah. If Brent and I both lived as if we were single. Yeah. just think about that. If the thinking is I want to just be involved in ministry, I would at least encourage you to consider that maybe that was something to consider before you got married, but you're married and praise the Lord. that is also a gift. I'm married. I think it's a great thing. you will have a divided focus already. So as I talked to my son, I'm like, had, and he said, mom, I think for, so I'm gonna, I'm making, and again, I don't know who asked the question, and I'm gonna make, I'm gonna go back and forth with what some assumptions might be. And it is not true for everyone. But I can only make generalizations 'cause I'm not talking to an individual. in my son's generation, he said to me, you know, mom, our generation really needs to be challenged to be inconvenienced. He said, I think there are other generations that needed to think through. Is the goal I will have as many children and if I can have twenty-five, I'm gonna have twenty-five. Like, is there, is there something to think about on that end? I'm sure. But he said, for my generation, I do think, and it may not be true for this person, but for many it's, I say I want the freedom to minister, but what maybe what I want is freedom. So I am gonna ask you to really think about, he said to me, the thing that's really helping me is. I know that in this area, like all areas of my life, I have to be growing to value what God values. And God values children. That doesn't mean everybody. I didn't answer the question, but I at least have to say it can't be I don't like kids because God loves them. And if I'm gonna value what God values and I currently don't, and can't we all say that in at least some area of our life, I'm the one who needs to change. And I asked the Lord to help me grow, lifetime, grow, value in what God values. So he told me that principle is helping me as I think through that area. So I think that's part of it, because I don't know, is there freedom that maybe. But I do think we have to start with, is it out of God's value system? So is my life oriented around. I love God, I love others. And is that what's resulting in this question? I don't know. Is there a log in your eye? Is there, I'm gonna ask the question. I said earlier, do you know your typical sin pattern? 'cause if you don't, it's affecting your answer here. If you do, is it possibly affecting your answer here? you have to go there and not just with this question. With all questions. But certainly with this one too. 'cause I think we wanna skip that. And I can't tell you how many times I've talked to people with a honking log in their eye, right? And they're going, I know I tend to be a little selfish, so, but can you just help me so that I can see clearly whether we should have children? And I'm like, no, I can't. But I can help you remove your log so that you can make a better decision. So can I look at you and say, if you wanted to be on the mission field somewhere that's war-torn, and you were deciding that you don't believe you should take children, am I gonna look at you and say, God wants you to have 20? No. But why get the log out of your eye. Assume there is one because most of us do get that out first. How is that affecting you? Then you can make wise decisions with logs removed from your eyes. Now you begin to ascertain, how do I orient my life around loving God and loving others? And how does that impact childbearing and raising? Because you will be ministering if you're raising children. That's part of that is ministry. But I understand you might say, but I really believe I'm called to this ministry. You need to think about those things. I'm not gonna give you a yes or no, but I will say grow to value what God values. Not look for a way to get to do what you want. Grow to value what God values. Know your own heart enough to know what does it mean to get the log out of your eye. Like if your idolatry is ease, I could come up with 4,000 things that will sound spiritual about why I should not have to do a hard thing. And I'll tell you it's for spiritual reasons, but I gotta remove the log and then I will see more clearly to make that decision.

Jocelyn: I also think if we're gonna think about what God values, he very, very clearly states every single human being should be involved in the training up of the next generation. So there's no opportunity ever where you will not be ministering to children. And so you may not have them, but your ministry should always include investing in training the next generation to be ardent followers of God. Okay, what are some practical ways to help fight impure sexual thoughts? So, again,

Janet: since we've never had one, I guess I'm not really sure how to answer it.

Jocelyn: I dunno what I'm gonna do about this. okay. So again, there's a lot of questions that I wish I could ask to make this more personal, but I'll just keep it general. So, anytime I've ever helped someone or myself with this topic, my first comment is to pay attention to your diet. Because if the books, movies, songs and podcasts you're enjoying are sexualized, you are going to think sexual thoughts. And you just have to think like, are the books that I'm reading, the songs and movies, are they feeding righteous thoughts and desires or are they in any way sexually charged? And it doesn't even have to be like porn books. If you're reading a book that has relationship that you want, it's going to lead to sexual thinking. and just black and white, are you using porn? Are you using explicit television shows for entertainment? Well, if you are, of course you're gonna be having sexual thoughts. in one situation, I was helping somebody with this, and I was like, tell me what you watch on tv. She was like, oh my goodness, I just can't stop watching Keeping up with the Kardashians. I was like, well, that might be part of the problem. Like, they're not having explicit sexual, you know, behavior in that show, but the whole thing is just charged with selfishness and, you know, doing whatever you want. So practically you can use things like Philippians 4:8 as a grid to evaluate your thinking. Like, can I think this thing, is this true? Is this honorable? Is this, noble? Is this? And so if you need an evaluator, that's a good evaluator. But you could also, like, when an ungodly thought pops into your head, you could use it as a trigger for something godly. Like, when I have a sexual thought, it's my reminder to work on my memory verse for today. Or to think about the attributes of God or something that is replacing it. I would actually address the actual sexual thought, by looking at the motives, because you can use the tool of sex for a lot of different motives. So if you're having like, fantasies about hooking up with someone with no consequences, then one of your motives could be like, I just really wanna have fun. Or if you're fantasizing about a guy pursuing you, and you know, like if you let the, the story play out in your head, what you're really wanting is attention other than what God is ordained as wise and godly for you. So I think sometimes people are so freaked out by sexual thoughts that they're just like sexual thought ah, and they don't look at it, you know, like, you have a sexual thought, take it.

Janet: Where's it coming from? Yep.

Jocelyn: Look where that came from. Like think about the motives behind it, and then also realize like. My husband has sexual thoughts for way different reasons than I have sexual thoughts that are impure, impure sexual thoughts. And so I just don't think you can lump them all together. You have to pay attention to what's going in, what you're thinking about. 'cause that's what, you're gonna ponder that, but you also have to really think about what was behind the thing that you were thinking about or fantasizing about. You can't, I mean, it's not a sin if a thought pops into your head, but if you mull it over, like delicious candy, that is sinful.

Janet: Yeah. I think that's really important why, where this is coming from. One of the things I like to think about, when I'm helping other people, and it's certainly true for me as well. and John Henderson actually said this in our pre-conference, and I liked how he said it. even for behavior that seems, I don't know out there or where's that coming from, or random. There's a logic to it if you understand it. So to understand. what is it that I believe that's doing for me? It's doing something for me if I keep going there. If I see a billboard I didn't play into and then the thought, whatever, and it moves on, okay, whatever. But if, I continue to struggle, what is that doing for me? And then I'm back to the motive. What's going on there? and good luck just saying Stop it. But I love, is it, is it Thomas Chalmers? The explosive power of a new affection? So if you wanna get rid of that old affection, be developing a newer one. The more I deepen my understanding of what Christ did for me. Not guilt trip. How could you think that thought after all he's done for you? I don't find that to be motivating, but when you are enthralled by something that really matters, whatever that sexually impure thought is, if there's another person that you know in it, they didn't die for you. But I know one who did. When I can become enthralled with a greater affection, lesser affections, lose their power. So that can be another thing that's important in the middle of that.

Jocelyn: I just think it's like any question, just don't be freaked out by it, I mean, right? Goodness. You have all sorts of wicked thoughts. Just look at 'em and deal with them. Deal with the actual content and the motive behind it.

Janet: Okay. Oh, So if you weren't in track six, we did live counseling for the last four days where Amy counseled Kelly, in front of us in tracks Six. So this says, Amy counseled Kelly in track six and then taught a session on something better than control. Excellent session. I heard her both times address the reason for fear or control in those situations. It was childhood trauma. How important is it to help your counselee understand where the fear, desire, control, whatever came from? Is it enough to just know you have the issue and understand the, put-off, put-on principles or does understanding how you got this thinking help? Excellent question. The first thing I will say is, if you know the put-off, put-on principle. Do you know the verses that it comes from and do you know the verse in between? Because it says put off your old manner of life and you know what it doesn't say Next, put on, you know what it says, Renew your mind. So there's apparently something in the thinking that's affecting why I'm doing the put-off that is important before I put on. So, you know, Pastor Viars has a book Putting your past in its place. It means. There is a place and we need to put it there. I think it's him that says, your past is not everything, but your past is not nothing. It is not determinative, but it has an influence. So I say all that to say I believe it is frequently helpful to understand the root of where and why that started, because that's where you need to renew your mind. Does that mean we go digging? No. If someone says, I don't remember. I don't have. All right. We'll deal with what we do know. I am not going on a hunt. But if I say to them, whatever this is we're dealing with, have you always thought that way? Do you remember? No. When I was a kid, I wasn't that way at all. Really? when did that kind of start? What am I doing? Am I going pyschoanalysis? I'm just trying to figure out what happened. Well, in one that I was dealing with, she said, and then my parents divorced and all kinds of anxious behavior started. And I was like, well, tell me about the first kind of anxious behaviors that you remember and what was going on when she was being taken from her mom's house to her dad's. And what were you thinking? So now there's, it's all about security, understanding that we didn't go back and relive it, but she could see, oh, I'm still acting as if I have the thinking of that child. I know things I didn't know then. About God, I can reinterpret what happened. And not from a, it was random fear of what might happen, but God was really still there and in control and then we did a study on, I had her study, and not everybody can do this, but she was, a good student. so now I use her paper and give it to others who probably couldn't do it, but she wrote a study on what does the Bible say about security, refuge, all of those words. And then I had a write on, what are you looking for, how are they different? And how is what God offers you better than what you're looking for. Now, I wouldn't, I did that in part because I knew how she got there. So it's helpful. Is there suffering that needs to be interpreted in light of God's care. That's helpful? Is it a response to something else? So I don't try to find an issue, but if there is an issue, we can deal with it. And I find that if we, if they really don't know and we're just dealing with, uh. I know. I shouldn't think this thought what thought can I think instead? And that's all They're, sometimes I find out later and I get it. That's all they're willing to tell me. Then I deal with that. I don't like, you have to tell me more. I'll deal with what I got. But if we stay up there, a lot of times we're just shooting fruit and we're just gonna circle around.

Jocelyn: That's what I was thinking.

Janet: And then we end up coming back to it again. And, you find another way To get that same fruit. Like, I stopped doing this 'cause we worked on that. So it squirted out over here. Yeah. and then we can say that's probably because there's something else. So it's not everything. It's not nothing. Pastor Viars book on that is, there, I do think if we just try to deal with put off, put on, that's a behaviorist and we could do that without the word. Yeah.

Jocelyn: Okay, this is my last one. With teens, I rarely need to discipline them, but when I do, it's by taking away privileges of devices and entertainment or use of the car. How do I prepare for them to begin community college? in drawing up a contract with an adult, I can no longer discipline or bring consequences anymore. The car and devices are mine. Obviously, they can't go into adult independent life with me having leverage over them, right? I guess I'm just not setting things up well. So I'll start by saying, if you're married, clarify with your husband what the expectations of living in your home are. If you have adult kids, you guys need to be on the same page about how your hospitality is gonna be extended to them and for what reasons. and I just also think you need to not care what anybody else does because this is not in the scriptures. It doesn't say how to handle this. So what you do as a family and what you are willing to do for that kid will look individual, it will not look the same for all the kids and other families will not do it the same way. And we can't judge each other by that standard. But I would also look at the motives and the objectives. So is your adult kid living with you to save money? So when will the money be saved? And at what point will it be done? Are they living with you to pay off bills? Are they living wisely? Are they lacking housing resources? Are they just mooching off you? Like what's the reason behind it? And then I would say another principle to think about is stewardship. Everything belongs to God. And so how would he want your family to use that thing? How would he want your family to use that bedroom? How would he want your family to use that car? How would he want your family to use that device? And just practically like Deuteronomy 30, 15 through 20 says, every choice has a consequence. You get to choose all your choices, but you don't get to choose all your consequences. And so in our, for example, in our house, like if you use my car. We have expectations with how you're gonna use it. And if you don't use it the way that we expect, then you don't get to use it anymore. And so allow Deuteronomy 30 to help you with choices and consequences that are just logical, like God used choices and consequences in Deuteronomy 30 with the grown-up Israelites. So, also evaluate if how people are using things fits the main objective and consider a housing contract. Anytime we house adult children or adults that are not our children, we always have a housing contract and I really like housing contracts 'cause they lay out the expectations up front and it's clear if this housing contract is not abided by then we will be letting you know that our home is no longer available for you to live in. we've also used a phone contract, especially when we were paying for certain components of it. So like until they've reached age, this. 18 in our house, like we owned the phone and we paid for all of your service. And that also meant this list of standards. Like we don't take phones in bedrooms, we don't take phones in bathrooms. And so when you reach the age of majority, then you're paying for it and you get decide how to use it. And I'll use the data that I see from how you use it to interact with you. But I don't, not necessarily your authority 'cause I'm not paying for it in that situation. and if they're believers, then discipline can sometimes be more about counseling conversations than disciplining. And I would also say, begin with the end in mind. If you are allowing your children to live with you for whatever the reason is, does whatever is happening accomplish that goal? So this is a difficult question 'cause it's long and that's like a counseling session. But I don't think that her premise is accurate. Like they can't go into adult independent life with me having leverage over them. That's not necessarily leverage. That's choices and consequences. And if they're benefiting from your home or your car, then you're saying these are the conditions upon which you're allowed to continue doing that. So do you have anything to add to that?

Janet: Yeah. No, no. Well, of course I was like, no, but this, why did I say no? Yes.

Jocelyn: What would you like to add?

Janet: Oh, that's a much better. Now I feel invited in. Thank you.

Jocelyn: it's like I know you

Janet: yes. To all of that. we just did an episode on Loving Their Soul, and that's what I would encourage you to think about. Yeah. What does this child need that will help them to grow if, I don't know that you've not set them up Well, when she said, I guess I'm not setting that. I don't know that, but if you didn't. I was talking with someone a while ago, the daughter actually, and we were talking about how we handle some of this kind of stuff and she said, you know, my mom said to me, I know we did not prepare you well for this because they didn't handle some things the way that would've been best. So they allowed more childlike behavior too long. So then they end up in counseling and they're being told all these things and the kids are like, in a tailspin. 'cause that's not how life was about, you know, yesterday. and then she said, my mom said to me, I'm not gonna have the same expectations of you that Janet has for her daughter, because I know I didn't set you up for that. I need to give you more time to get there. And she said, I was like, thank you. Because it was a shock to the system. So know your child and to go, you know what, we've never required anything of them and we've let them be rude and mean to us for 18 years. And now we make a contract and say, you ever lift your, then you're outta here. I would think there might be another way, but it might be having a conversation and asking their forgiveness and praise the Lord. That's an option. We can own I didn't do all of this right, but here we are and I wanna help you now. And here's what I see as some good steps. Let's talk together about what could be in the contract. Maybe I wanna put everything in the contract 'cause I wanna control you. You're gonna go to small group, you're gonna go to all the things and you're gonna all the, and they may say, you know what, how about if I'm just willing to go to church and you need to consider that. And it's not like. They're winning. Meet 'em where they are, especially when they're maybe not as prepared. So as Jocelyn said, every situation will be different, every child will be different. And you can't look at the Jones family did it this way, therefore yeah, if we don't do it that way, we're like, the bad people do what's best for your child with the motive of loving their soul.

Jocelyn: And the goal of growing kids up is, God-dependent independence. So it just, it's gonna look different depending on the kid.

Janet: I'm just gonna hit this because this has come up so many times and actually somebody stopped me earlier today and asked me this very question that's not here tonight. So I'm, I'm gonna go there. Is physical and sexual attraction necessary when considering marriage? Do you want the short answer? No. Long. Okay. We'll go long. Matthew six, where your treasure is, your heart will follow. I believe that principle, I guess we all should, right? Because it's in the Bible and I believe that marriage and dating is not the one area where that's not true. I don't believe marriage and dating is the one area where you hope for this chemical goop that tells you that's the one. here's what I hear frequently. So, so-and-so's asked me out. He's a really good friend. He loves God. He's growing. We get along really well. I just don't think of him that way. And I say, of course not. 'cause you haven't been thinking of him that way. Okay. That tells me nothing except are you thinking that you would feel something when you're not thinking that way? What do we know about the heart? I feel What I feel, because I think what I think, because I want what I want, right? So all you've told me is I have not been thinking that way. I, uh, balance that with you're welcome to say no, I'm not interested. Like the Bible gives you that option. I actually went through a phase and where I went to see one of the pastors here when I was single and said, so somebody asked me out, I went, and now unless he gets involved in unrepentant sin, I have to marry him because like, if you don't live by your emotions and he's willing to solve any problem with me. And I don't want to go out again, but I guess I have to, right? And he looks at me and he's like, where do you come up with these things? I don't know. I feel like I heard it from the pulpit, like, I gotta do it now, and now I'm wishing I didn't answer the phone or something. I don't even know. So you're allowed to make choices, but if you're making them off of, I gotta have this ooey gooey feeling before I even go there in my thinking, then what you're saying is this is the one area that the scriptures forgot to talk about, that they're different from everything else I believe, and quite frankly have seen, not to the extreme I'm about to say, but have seen things like this, if you went to a prison to visit an Axe murderer, and you invested your heart and your mind and your life and your prayers in him, it would not be too long before you came to me and said, I'm attracted to him. I believe it. Why do you need to be careful about building relationships with other men? Because when you invest, your heart will follow, even if that's not where it started. If that's true and you've not invested, your heart has not followed. But if you say, he's the right kind of guy, I wish I had those feelings. I'm like, just go and get to know him now. If six months from now you go, the thought of him touching me is like gross. Then I wanna know what you've been thinking. Have you been comparing him to whatever fantasies in your head? Have you been? Because I promise you, you get to choose who you invest in. Your heart will follow. It just will. So if you're about to get engaged and married and you're going, I still don't have anything there. Yes, I am now concerned, but I'm concerned about where you've been investing.

Jocelyn: And it's also helpful to remember that you're not gonna say you're not gonna stay attractive very long anyways. I. And so

Janet: speak for yourself.

Jocelyn: You're the exception. But if you think about the little eighty-year-old couples in your church, like they stopped being cute 40 years ago, but they're very, very in love with each other and they're very committed to serving each other

Janet: and they're attracted to each other.

Jocelyn: and they love, they think each other are hot. I know. And so, we're not building a relationship on looks, because I didn't make a commitment to, companionship. As long as he stays pretty and physically whole, physically whole. Like what happens if he like breaks his neck? I'm still committed just to loving and serving him. So I mean, physical attraction does matter, but that's not the ultimate purpose.

Janet: But it follows. It will follow.

Jocelyn: It will follow. But that's not what the glue that holds you together anyways.

Janet: But you still get to decide. Like that doesn't mean if I feel nothing, I just have to keep doing this. 'cause what that means is that's what you're thinking because that totally, you're not gonna get anywhere. You get to just say no thanks. for me, I told the Lord early on when I was single, I wanted to be married. I was a little older when I got married and I said to the Lord, I know I really just need to find someone who loves Jesus. But he also needs to be able to make me laugh. 'cause life is way too long to live with someone I can't laugh with. Like I'd rather be alone than with someone who is always serious about anything including God. Can I just say that? Like, if we can't laugh. Please. I would rather be alone. So that was Is that in the Bible? No, but I get to choose that. And what's really funny is people were always like, Brent made you laugh. Yes. He's so funny. You guys don't know. And he makes me laugh, but I didn't have to marry him. But as I invest in the first date, I wasn't thinking, oh my word I can hardly control myself right now. I wasn't. I wasn't, it was kind of awkward. He was a little nerdy. It was kind of awkward. But he was a great guy and he was a learner. And as we invest in each other, by the time we got married, man, we really needed to get married. And he's only gotten more amazingly handsome that, I don't know why all of you can control yourself. That's how I feel about him. And that's because I'm so invested in him. Yeah. And we, you know, we talk about these sappy love songs that we've done for each other. And he, he did this CD for me.

Jocelyn: Brent makes mixtapes for her.

Janet: He did. And it had on there the song that meant the most to me. It's some secular sappy song, but I loved it. That says, you'll Always Be Beautiful in my eyes. And it's got on there in the, last verse, she's in her eighties and it's like in their dying breaths. He sees her as beautiful. Why? Because that's how they've invested. And he's attracted to this 80 eight-year-old person who's, which is so comforting to me with all the issues going on in my world. So you can choose, but a book that I do recommend, Ernie Baker's book, Mary Wisely Mary, well, excellent book that could help you with that. All right. And I will do this one quickly. could you please give encouragement or advice for counseling someone married to a narcissist? I know you like definition, so I'm defining it. Way to go. Thank you. A proud person with a preoccupation with power, beauty, or success, they're very entitled and things must go their way. They do not admit mistakes or take responsibility. They lack empathy. Arrogant. Must be admired. First of all, isn't that attractive? But, okay. the wife. And so, you know what? He's not hot to her. Can we just say that. The wife is feeling very manipulated and is questioning her own sanity and powers of reason. Okay. I'm just gonna read what I said. If I go off it, I'll take too long. Narcissism is a diagnosis that, interestingly is typically given to men. Not because women don't sin, but it's a manifestation of manipulation that tends to be a manifestation of men. For women, there's a different one. We won't get into that right now, but it's basically a manifestation of manipulation when you realize that God has answers for that. So there is a lot of hope here if he's willing to hear it. I just taught a class in track four on loving the manipulative counselee. Her experience, how it's impacting her is typical for anyone in a manipulative relationship, questioning her own sanity, her own reason. very confused. That's very, very typical. How do you help her? Someone outside her needs to help her think things through. So that when he says to her, you're only doing this 'cause you're looking for a way to hurt me. And you go, was I doing that? ' cause maybe I. so then they can say, I can say, well, what did you do? I told him that when he screams at the kids, I believe it dishonors God. Okay. Is that a true So I can help her think? Because it's almost like you're in this fog. 'cause someone's always bringing things at you that are just not true. This is gonna sound incredibly silly. I did not think it would be helpful. This is why the pastors know a whole lot more than me advice that he gave someone I was working with in this situation, and it totally helped her. And she said later, I did not think that would help, but it did. He said, when he is saying to you, you're only doing this for blah, blah, blah, he said, even if you don't say it out loud, whether or not it's appropriate, you need to immediately sink in your head. That's just not true. That's not why I was doing it. Now, could I have done it better? Did it come out that way to you? These are all different questions. But is that why you were doing it? Well, no, that's not what I was thinking. Okay. Then you need to immediately tell yourself, that's just not true. And she said that was so helpful. 'cause he'd be saying things at me and instead of me getting all caught up and it was like, wait a minute, that, that's not true. So I don't need to consider it. I don't need to try. That's just not true. So that's really hard to do without, I met with her a lot. It's really hard to do without somebody outside. 'cause then you're like, well maybe I am doing that. Yeah. When I counsel someone who's manipulative, I'll be like, did I do that? Did I say it like that? Am I that harsh? I mean, I can be, I don't wanna be that arrogant person who thinks I could never be harsh. Never counsel alone.

Jocelyn: Yeah. I'll say never counsel alone. Always have a third in the room.

Janet: Yes. But if it's your husband, you can't always have somebody standing right there. But you can talk to someone about it.

Jocelyn: But you can talk to someone. Yeah.

Janet: And you know what? If you're thinking, but maybe I'm not telling him accurately. I've done this. Record it. Record the interaction. And let an outsider listen to it and go, no, this is what happened. This is right. This is not. Or sometimes they record it and you're like, dude, why'd you say that? We gotta deal with that. But outside. Voices are crucial. How can she love his soul? For whatever reason, he believes this behavior is gonna give him something that he needs. She has an opportunity to think through. When he stands before the Lord, he will not be able to manipulate Jesus. It's not gonna work. So if she can learn how to not be manipulated, she's giving him a gift because he has an opportunity to deal with it. Now, he may or may not, she can't control that. She's gonna need a lot of support. She's gonna need a lot of help. And it's not help to bash him. It's help to think because it's so confusing. It's so confusing. And in one of them. There was a physical separation for a few weeks and it's like, I felt, and she said, I feel like I just came out of the water. 'cause it's like, oh, oh, and your head clears, so she's gonna need your help. I'm done.

Jocelyn: It's been a great party. Thank you for joining 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.