When Love Has to Get Tough

Sin is deadly, and unrepentant sin will kill a marriage. Regardless of the sin, whether “big” or “small” (from a human point of view), a spouse’s refusal to repent marks the beginning of the end of the marriage. However, there is hope. Like a cancer, if detected, identified, and treated, the marriage can become stronger than anyone ever imagined. Unfortunately, the remedy may be horrifically unpleasant for everyone involved. Nevertheless, unrepentant sin must be confronted. In the words of Christian author and psychologist, Dr. James Dobson, “love must be tough.”

The Lord is relentlessly loving yet utterly uncompromising when it comes to behavior that undermines our relationship. Similarly, we must be willing to stand firmly against sin. However, as women have discovered–more so than men–expressing anger or sorrow is not enough. No amount of arguing or tears will turn a sinner from his sin. It is a sad fact that when the Holy Spirit cracks the shell of a hardening heart, His tool of choice is usually the consequence of wrongdoing. Therefore, our response can be no different. For a tough-love confrontation to be truly effective, it must include no less than five essential steps. Moreover, each step must be thought out well in advance and then expressed with calm resolve at a single confrontation.

To understand the inner workings of a tough-love conversation, read the rest of this article on the Covenant Eyes blog, “Breaking Free.”

2 thoughts on “When Love Has to Get Tough

  1. Hi, I am married, and seeking in leaving my husband of 32 years. He has physically abused me, and now he verbally and emotionally abuses me, he has had me not to work, now my health is not good, but I am going to go on disability to get out from living with him. I am dealing with PTSD. I have a friend who is ordering your book.
    I have confronted my husband on his sin, but he plays games, and is not serious about changing his behavior.
    I am so sold out to Jesus, and asked forgiveness where is needed. I do not love him any more has a wife. I love him as a sister in the Lord to a brother in the Lord.
    The Lord is finding me out of this. Husband was last home has become more nasty towards, me, and I am finding it very hard and hurtful. Hardly been able to sleep, stress level is high.
    I look forward in reading your book.
    God Bless, Heather

    1. Heather,

      I am grieved to read of your long struggle for dignity. No one should have to feel unloved or unsafe in her own home.

      Please be aware that the method I describe in Redemptive Divorce is NOT the best approach when the wayward spouse has been violent in the past and might potentially to turn violent. Physically abusive men use violence when they sense a loss of control. And the redemptive divorce process will certainly make him feel vulnerable and exposed. This may cause him to react out of desperation to regain control, making the situation worse for you.

      If he has been violent in the past and may turn violent again, I recommend you escape to some place safe, such as a friend’s house or a women’s crisis center, and begin divorce proceedings immediately. Physical violence is not the kind of sin you can reason with. Physical violence is a sin you escape!

      Don’t wait for the book. Save your life now.

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