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The number one thing a woman needs from her husband

By Jimmy Evans, Op-Ed Contributor

The number one thing that a normal, healthy woman needs her husband to provide is security.

Ephesians chapter 5 is God’s picture of marriage. The theme of Ephesians for women is respect. God says to treat your husband with honor. Treat him as you would the Lord Jesus, because your husband’s most important need is honor.

The standard in Ephesians for a husband is different than it is for a wife. It says for men, “Husbands love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her.” That means the standard for husbands is self-sacrifice.

Think of Jesus. We don’t have to love Jesus. The reason we love Jesus is because he died for us on the cross. Jesus is not an imposing God who stands over us demanding something. Jesus went to the cross and did for us what we could never have done for ourselves. And so, Jesus is the most loved person of all time. More than any political leader, or any other person in the history of the world, people love Jesus Christ, because Jesus was willing to give his life up for someone else.

Husbands can earn respect in the same way. Husbands can’t demand respect or affection from their wives. We can’t go around demanding it, but we can earn it. Admiration and affection come by what we’re willing to sacrifice.

There is nothing that makes a woman feel more secure than a selfless, sacrificial male. There’s nothing that makes a woman feel more insecure than a selfish, detached male.

Men don’t need security the way women need security. We need security, but we feel secure in ourselves. That’s why we won’t stop and ask for directions. We think, “I can get there.” As a result, in my family, were great explorers. I have a compass “in here.” I think I’ve got it taken care of. But my wife’s saying to ask for directions because her security doesn’t come from “in here.”

The need for security is not a weakness. It’s based on need. She needs for her world to be right. She needs you. She needs your gift. She needs your strength. She needs your understanding and your partnership to help put her world right. She needs a husband who comes to her and says, “I’m here to help. And I’ll sacrifice. I’ll do whatever it takes.”

For a man to have a successful marriage means he has to learn to understand everything in his wife’s life that makes her feel secure. It may mean you’re concerned about the kids. You’re concerned about the finances. You’re concerned about her emotions. You’re concerned about the spirituality of the home. You’re concerned about her job. You’re concerned about the broken washing machine.

Then you communicate that you’re going to help her. You let her know you’re going to come into her world and make her feel secure rather than telling her, “It doesn’t matter.” Or, “Who cares?” Or, “It’s going to be alright.”

Some things that don’t bother a man really, really bother a woman. All the lectures in the world will never change her, no more than she will change you when she feels insecure. There’s only one thing that will make her feel secure: knowing that you care. It doesn’t matter that you agree or don’t agree. It doesn’t matter that you see it the same way. The only thing that matters is that she feels secure.

When Karen and I first got married, I was completely selfish. I would golf all the time, work all the time. Then I’d come home and Karen would say, “I’m worried about the kids,” “I’m worried about our finances,” “I’m worried about this and that.” So, I would just kind of look at her. Sometimes I’d lecture her. I’d say, “It’s fine,” or “there’s nothing to worry about.” I noticed that none of this ever helped. When I said, “It’s going to be okay,” instead of calming her, she would just get tense. I’d think, “What’s wrong with you? Relax!”

She couldn’t communicate to me, “I’m tense because you don’t care. You’re not tuned in. You don’t listen to me. It’s just all about you. I’m telling you, I’m worried about the kids and I don’t want a lecture. I don’t want you to roll your eyes at me. I don’t want you to tell me it doesn’t matter. Or that it’s going to be okay. I want you to connect. I want you to understand, and I want you to help me make it right.”

A husband’s response at those times should be, “Whatever it takes. If I have to say no to my friends, if I have to say no to work, if I have to say no to myself, if I have to say no to football, I’ll do it.”

I remember the first time I looked at Karen and said, “I’m sorry that I’ve been insensitive. I’ve invalidated everything you’ve said. I’ve rolled my eyes. I’ve lectured you. I’ve called you names. I’ve treated you like you were stupid. I’m so sorry that I’ve done that. From now on, whatever you need, I’ll get it. If we need to talk, we’ll talk. It doesn’t mean you’re right about everything but if you say something that is a genuine need, you don’t have to ask twice. I’m committed.”

And here was her response: she relaxed. I had tried to lecture her and browbeat her into relaxing and never got it. But when I finally connected with her and began sacrificially meeting her needs that’s when she began to relax and open up to me.

Marriage is so much easier when you just become humble and say, “Tell me what you need and what you want me to do.”

Take the next step to a great marriage by joining me for Promise Keepers’ Men’s Marriage Challenge designed with tons of game-changing marriage content with men in mind. Any man, anywhere, at any time, can join the challenge through the free Promise Keepers app.

For more information, visit

Jimmy Evans is the founder and President of XO Marriage, a ministry that is devoted to helping couples thrive in strong and fulfilling marriages and families. Jimmy and his wife, Karen, co-host MarriageToday, a nationally syndicated television program. He also serves as an Apostolic Elder of Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo, Texas. Jimmy holds an honorary doctorate of literature from The King’s University and has authored more than seventeen books.

“Before Them, It Was Us”: Why You Should Put Your Wife Before Your Kids

September 27, 2021 Mike Berry


It’s usually 8:30 p.m. when I give the first warning shot to my two teenage daughters.

At 9 p.m., I say, “It’s time for you two to head upstairs.” I repeat this nearly every night.

And nearly every night they argue. “But why do we have to go to bed at 9?” they lament. “We’re not children anymore.”

“You don’t have to go to bed, but you can’t stay down here in the living room past 9. That’s our time. We haven’t seen each other all day, and most of the day we’ve been focused on you and work. We need our time, too.”

The other night, I went as far as to sing the Semisonic song “Closing Time” until they threw pillows at me. I kept repeating, “Closing time, you don’t have to go home but you can’t … stay … here!”

They didn’t laugh. At all. We, however, thought it was hilarious.

To be honest, we’ve had this rule for as long as I can remember. We’ve been parents for nearly 15 years now, and there has never been a time where our children were allowed to dominate ALL of our time in the course of the day. They dominate a lot of it, mind you, but not all of it. We love our children and we consider our role in their life to be a huge investment. We committed a long time ago to be there for them and to always be hands-on and involved in their lives.

We have some big reasons why this is so important to us. Here are a few …

A healthy marriage is the cornerstone of the home.

The cornerstone of your family is not your children. They are a part of the foundation and make up a major part of the structure, but they’re not the main thing that holds this whole beautiful mess together. That’s you — you and your wife, you and your husband, you and your partner. It’s your responsibility to lead your family, and your home. Your children are looking to the two of you for direction and example (more on this in a minute).

Before them, it was us.

Before they existed it was the two of us. Me and my wife. We fell in love, skipped class to be together, stayed up too late talking on the phone (that was tied to the wall by a cord), and eventually committed to forever with one another. We were the beginning. We kicked this whole party off. Then these beautiful children came along. And we’re sure thankful they did because they fill our lives with so much joy. But, our union is sacred. Our union is holy. With all of my power, I must protect that sacredness with my wife.

Photo: Mike Berry

After them, it will be us.

Nothing lasts forever. Our darlings are going to grow up and move out of our nest at some point. I don’t know about you, but there’s no room for a 30-year-old kid in my basement. After they’re out in the world, living on their own, raising their own family, being the human beings they were meant to be, it will be just the two of us once again. And we want us to be healthy, strong, and still as committed as we were when we first began this journey. In order to make sure the future us is protected, we must put us first today. This is not easy. We’ll get to that in a second…

We need to set a future example.

As I mentioned earlier, your children and mine are looking to us for life-cues, direction, and example. As children, they’re watching our every move to determine how they should live their lives. We often say, “We are raising adults, not children.” I don’t know about you, but my wife and I want my children to grow up with a healthy view of relationships — dating, engaged or married. I want the health of my marriage to give them a healthy view of what marriage is, and what it should be. That’s why I put my wife first, and them second. A close second, but still second.

At the end of the day, this is a tension you must manage. Your children do need you, and they are important. After your spouse, they come next. Not friendships, not careers, not hobbies. Them. And you must take care of them. But take care of your marriage first and foremost. If that crumbles, the confidence that your children have now will begin to erode. When they see you loving their mother or their father, they will love them too. But most importantly, they will have a confidence in themselves, and a confidence in the world around them.

This Is God

by Skip Heitzig | December 15, 2020

I remember the night I met the woman who would become my wife. I was at a friend’s apartment in Southern California, and I saw her from across the room. She confidently walked up to me, put out her hand, and said, “Hi, I’m Lenya.” On our first date, she told me about her background, her hopes, and her dreams. Thus started a long, lasting, and very satisfying relationship.

The best way to get acquainted with someone is to get firsthand knowledge from them about who they are. Essentially, that is what Moses did to God in Exodus 34. Moses asked to see God’s glory, and God answered his request not with an appearance, but with a list of attributes. In this foundational passage about who God is, we see two aspects of His personality: His designation, or who He says He is, and His description, what He says about Himself.

First is His designation: God began by naming Himself. “And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God'” (v. 6)—or Yahweh, Yahweh El in Hebrew. El is the generic term for God, but Yahweh is specific, and it means I am. This is the name God used when He introduced Himself to Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3: “I AM WHO I AM” (v. 14). The repetition here was to emphasize to Moses that this was the same God who spoke to him back then.

What does the name I am tell us about God? It means He is the self-existent one, the only noncontingent being in the universe—that is, He doesn’t depend on anybody else for His existence. It also refers to his eternal nature. God is not the great I was or I used to be; He is the great I am. And it highlights His active existence—that He is involved with humanity, not detached or aloof.

In the Bible, a person’s name was far more than just an identity tag. The Hebrew people believed there was a connection between a person’s name and a person’s nature. Whatever they were named was often brought to bear with their character. So this is God’s character, reputation, and authority—His designation: Yahweh, Yahweh El.

That brings us to God’s description of who He is: “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation” (vv. 6-7). What a description, isn’t it?

Here’s how Moses responded: he “made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped” (v. 8). God introduced Himself to Moses—”Hi, I’m God. Here’s what I’m like”—and Moses worshiped. All teaching of the Scriptures should lead to this; good theology is the foundation and impetus for true worship. That’s why I tell worship leaders every chance I get, “Make sure your songs are filled with good theology.”

Do you, like Moses, make haste to worship the Lord every time you learn more about Him? It’s the fitting response, and it’s one of the keys to a long, lasting, and satisfying relationship with Him.

The Gateway Drug to Infidelity


Opinions will differ. Some women will be flabbergasted at the thought, but many others are more accepting. The majority see it as an innocent substitution for when they cannot please their spouse, or perhaps even a great way to spice up their sex life. Some couples watch it together, while other women just see it as something men will do regardless. As if men are animals without control over their own sexual restraint. I recently saw this overwhelming acceptance of porn played out on a social media discussion and it saddened me so much. I realized it broke my heart because I once used to feel the same way.

I said as much to my spouse when he couldn’t understand why women didn’t see a problem with porn. I had in front of me a rare man, a lover of Jesus, who understood that pornography was demeaning to men and women alike, so I had to explain the way I used to think to him.

I used to not see a problem with porn. In fact, in all honesty, I enjoyed it. I used to watch it with my ex-husband, and porn was just a normal part of our relationship. As a wife, I wanted to keep my man happy, and if that meant being cool with strip clubs and nudie flicks then that was what I did. I thought that was normal. I thought it was healthy. I thought it was good for my marriage. But I was wrong.

The eyes are windows to the soul, so when you allow images to enter your heart that shouldn’t be there you will be negatively affected. You might not realize it at first, but eventually, it wreaks havoc on your relationship. It’s poison. It’s a fantasy that you can never emulate, not that I’m sure why any of us would want to.

Pornography gives you a false sense of sex. It takes out the love and makes it all about physical pleasure, and that’s not what marriage is at all. Porn doesn’t allow real people with real problems that must be worked out. It doesn’t deal with body image issues postpartum, but instead creates an unrealistic body ideal. Porn wrecks self-esteem of the watcher.

Pornography makes sex a game. It often depicts women being used and abused for the pleasure of a man like they are less than human. It’s animalistic in nature, makes it appear like women enjoy being weak and violated, and it’s no wonder it creates a false opinion of what women want and how they should be treated. Porn destroys healthy sexual relationships in marriage by trying to twist them into something they were never meant to be.

Pornography is an outlet for sexual pleasure. It’s an easy way for men and women alike to self-satisfy without the messy (to mean, it requires) work of a real sexual encounter with their mate. I’ll be blatantly honest at this point for the purposes of this post. Neither myself nor my husband masturbates. When we want sexual satisfaction we find it with each other. Even when we’re tired or we’re not in the mood individually we will get there for the other. There’s no time or need for another sexual outlet in our relationship. We’ve got that base covered just fine. Porn takes the place of healthy, frequent sex in marriage.

Pornography is real. I think the biggest lie we tell ourselves is that porn isn’t cheating because it’s not real people who are a real threat. It’s just a movie, or just a magazine, but what we forget is behind that camera there’s real people having real sex. They’re getting paid to have sex on screen to give you sexual pleasure. So how is that much different than prostitution? How can a wife get mad at their husband for messaging a woman on Facebook, but not bat an eye when he ejaculates over the image of a real woman being sodomized on the TV screen? Don’t for a minute think that he’s not picturing her face when he later has sex with you. Just being honest.

Because here’s the truth about porn. It seeps inside your mind and changes how you view intimacy. It changes how you are sexually excited, and it creates a wedge between a husband and wife even if they aren’t immediately aware. It’s a gateway drug to infidelity, and it’s a substitution for intimacy in your own home. It’s a lie that twists the perception of the viewer and tries to diminish its participation in the destruction of so many lives.

Have you ever wondered about the people on the screen? Or is it easier to imagine they aren’t real? Sadly they are real people with real hurts that cause them to make the choices they do. Some are victims of child abuse, sex trafficking, or other atrocities you don’t even want to fathom. They are real people being violated and humiliated for your viewing pleasure. Imagine if that was your daughter on that screen? Or your son? If you wouldn’t want to watch your own child in a porn then why do you not have a problem watching someone else’s child on the TV?

I don’t say any of this from a pedestal, but rather from a regrettable place. I’ve been there, done that, and told myself there was really no harm. I told myself it was fun, and I told myself it was helping my marriage rather than admitting the truth that it was killing it. One factor (among many) in the dissolution of my first marriage was an acceptance of pornography in our lives. I never want my words to be received as condemning, but rather me trying to pass along the things I’ve learned along the way.

Last night, I explained to my current husband that women were different than men. Sex for men is more physical, while sex for women is more emotional. Often times women will accept pornography into their marriage because they think it’s a nice additive to the sexual relationship. They like the fantasy, and their husbands like it all. Many women think porn is just something you do in your relationship, like buying lingerie to spice things up. What we don’t see is that porn is a sneaky mistress we let inside our marriages that steal our husbands’ hearts.

Laugh all you want, and say that I’m taking it too seriously, but perhaps consider this. You are worthy. While I share from experience, mostly I share from a place of love. Because you are worthwhile, and you are special and precious. And you are all your husband needs. Or you should be! When God saw Adam was lonely He created Eve. He didn’t create Eve and a good DVD. Eve was enough, and so are you. There shouldn’t be room in your marriage bed for any other woman, even the one you think is “fake” on the television. Women should be demanding complete monogamy and faithfulness in their marriages because we deserve it. We tell ourselves porn isn’t competing with us or taking away from our marriages, but that is the biggest lie out there. Porn is destroying marriages, the lives of the people on the screen, and the minds and ideals of anyone who views it. It’s the most accepted form of spiritual death out there, and sadly most wives are okay with it. It’s the sneaky mistress we open the door for and invite inside on a regular basis, and until we lock the door to it, our marriages will continue to suffer.


Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at

Family Duty by John Bunyan a Free PDF and Review

May 27, 2021 by SLIMJIM

Family Duty by John Bunyan

John Bunyan. Family Duty.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, July 12th 2016. 35 pp.

4 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Want a booklet on a biblical view of family?  Specifically would you want to have something to read concerning the roles of a husband, wife, father, mother, and children?  This is one that I would recommend.  I read this in one sitting and pulled nearly an all-night reading since it was spiritually edifying.  This booklet is by the famous preacher and Christian author John Bunyan.  It is amazing to think that he died in 1688 but his work is relevant for the 21st Century; that is a testimony of how when writers focus on being biblical it always is timely.

The booklet is divided into four parts.  Part one is on the duty of fathers, the next part is duty of wives, then duty of parents to children and finally duty of children to parents.  Each of these four sections have further subsections in typical Puritan fashion.  For instance under duty of fathers there is “Duty to the Family’s spiritual needs” and “Duty to the Family’s Outward needs.”  The section for duty of parents to children have three points: Instruction, Correction and Cautions.

I thought this booklet was biblical and practical.  For instance in the exhortation towards fathers the author said we must distinguished between offenses a family member has against you versus directly against God.  It is important as Bunyan note that if it is towards us primarily we should forgive.  I would also add to Bunyan’s observation that if it is directly towards God the offense as the primary motivation of a family members’ transgression we shouldn’t take it so personally; though we should care and pray about it and respond properly.  I also thought the advice to both husbands and wives of those married to unbelieving spouse were also quite pastoral of Bunyan and also practical.  For something written in the seventeenth century readers might assume it is unhealthily patriarchal but there is a respect of wives Bunyan has that’s driven by the Word of God.  My favorite quote from the booklet is “The wife is master next after her husband, and is to rule all in his absence” (15).  It stood out to me as a good reminder that my wife is a leader of my family specifically with my kids.  So it’s important I guide and lead her to also cultivate her as a spiritual leader of my children.

An edifying read.  Even if you think you are well versed with a biblical view of marriage I think this is still worthwhile as it’s something to refocus our duty whether we are children or a parent.

The Viruses That Kills Marriages

God’s Gift


· *Lack of knowledge of the Word of God*
Kills marriage

· *Laziness
Kills marriage
· *Suspicion*
Kills marriage

· *Lack of trust*
Kills marriage
· *Lack of mutual respect*
Kills marriage

· *Unforgiveness*
Kills marriage -(Forgiveness is not optional but mandatory)

· *Arguments*
Kill marriage

· *Keeping secrets from your spouse*
Kills marriage

· *Every form of infidelity*
Kills marriage
-(financial, emotional, psychological, material, etc)


· *Poor communication*
Kills marriage

. *Lies*
Easily kill marriage,
-(be sincere to your spouse in every aspect)

· *Relating more with your parents than your spouse*
Kills marriage

· *Nagging*
Kills marriage

· *Too much talk and careless talk*
Kills marriage

· *Spending less or little time with your spouse*
Kills marriage

· *Being too independent minded*
Kills marriage

· *Love for party, money and spending/partying*
Kills marriage


· *Exposing the inadequacies of your spouse to your parents or siblings or friends*
Kills marriage

· *Not being steadfast/fervent in the spirit*
Kills not only marriage but your life

· *Spurning  to reject with disdain or contempt ) correction and reprimand*
Kills marriage

· *Always wearing a sad face and being moody*
Kills marriage

Kills marriage

· *Uncontrolled or hot temperament*
Kills marriage

· *Not understanding your role and position in marriage as instituted by God*
Kills marriage

· *Not being sensitive to the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of your spouse*
Kills marriage

· *When anything threatens the position/security of a wife, her reaction(s) will be detrimental to her marriage.*

· *Lack of knowledge of the Word of God*
Kills marriage

*Please, save a marriage today by sharing this.*

May God bring HEALING to every TROUBLED Home and Family
*Amen & Amen*

Testimony: At Gunpoint God’s Grace Prevails!


June 28, 2019 hepsibahgarden

They that trust upon the Lord are as steady as Mt. Zion and nothing can move them.

Some time back, I heard this beautiful testimony of a sister who loved the Lord dearly. Once she lived a life without knowing Him. But the day she got to know about Jesus, she fell in love with Him. There was no turning back thereafter. She was regular with fellowship, attended all Church meetings and had a close walk with Jesus. Many were blessed by her life and deeds.

But her husband was a non-believer. He wasn’t very happy with his wife going to church regularly and being so much into “Jesus”. Slowly he began putting obstacles before her so that she would lose interest and gradually stop going. Yet, this sister never retaliated but dealt every occasion peacefully and prayerfully.

One day her husband got really angry and was planning an assault on her. He thought of accusing her of stealing his money from the closet and then killing her. So, before leaving for work one particular day, he locked the closet and took his key along. On the way, he threw the keys into the ocean and headed for work.

That day as usual this sister went to church and after prayers she went straight to the local fish market. She had also planned of making a tasty meal for her husband that day. God’s ways are marvellous and no plan against His children will ever prosper.

Look what God did —- While preparing the fish, she found a key in the fish’s belly and it looked exactly like her husband’s closet keys. The keys on the hook were also missing and so she placed that key on the hook and continued doing her work. She didn’t even have the faintest idea of what her husband was upto.

Her husband came back fully drunk and in a fit of rage. He was determined to finish his wife. As soon as he came inside the house, he began shouting and blaming her for being careless and irresponsible. Finally he accused her of losing his closet key, leapt forward to grab her by the neck and pulled out his gun to shoot her.

Moving towards the hook and pointing to it, she asked him if he was referring to that key. He was dumbfounded. How on earth did the key end upon the hook when he had thrown it into the ocean? And how did his wife buy exactly that fish which had swallowed the key? With a smile this sister narrated the entire story. Her husband immediately had a change of heart, knelt down before his wife and asked her to pray for him.

Her trust was upon the Lord who makes everything possible out of impossible. Her husband got saved later and became a good believer. She had a strong faith that God would not let her be ashamed. Hence let us also learn to place our complete trust on God for His ways are wonderful and His leading victorious.

Be blessed 💕

Note: Names and certain incidents are omitted for anonymity without compromising on the essence, for the edification of readers and believers.

Original here

Be Slow to Speak, Quick to Listen

Dr. David Hawkins – Marriage 911 Blogger

Couple listening to each other

“You’re talking like a crazy man,” a woman said to her husband during a recent couple’s counseling session.

It was true. He was talking like a crazy man, where only minutes earlier he had been compassionate and caring.

“See what I mean?” she said, looking at me. “I never know when he’s going to flip and I can’t keep riding this rollercoaster.”

“C’mon,” he retorted angrily. “Let’s be fair. He hasn’t heard you scream at me. I’m not the only one that can lose their cool.”

His wife shrugged her shoulders and rolled her eyes.

“You can act like it’s all me,” he continued. “But, you know that behind closed doors you’re just as mean.”

“Whatever,” she said, waving him off.

I watched a scene unfold that I’d seen far too many times in my career—two people shouting each other down, making snide comments about the other’s character and only agitating one another.

As I watched this man and woman function from their “reptile brain’ I’m reminded about one of the reasons Scripture implores us to “be slow to speak, quick to listen.” I know one of the reasons why God created us with two ears and one mouth.

The woman continued blaming the man while the man blamed the woman. Each built a case as to why the other was at fault. Truth of the matter was this: I couldn’t possibly make an assessment of how this had all developed. Was he “a crazy man’ like she alleged? Did she have a hot temper as well? I had to take a much more detailed history to get a more accurate read on their situation.

Regardless of their history, one thing was extremely clear now: this way of communicating only served to agitate the other more. Blaming and shaming each other was hurtful. Ridiculing the other was disrespectful and only aggravated the situation. No communication could take place from this state.

Knowing a bit about how our brains work can help us step back and consider another approach. When agitated our primitive brain kicks into gear—fight or flight. We can process information very quickly, but only as if we were facing danger. Our frontal lobe, where we plan and execute methodical processes, is much slower.

What does this mean? When threatened we are more likely to affix blame, attack, and say hurtful things. Our “compassionate brain’ is out of order.

The implications for marriage are clear: we must be vigilant about what part of our brain is speaking. Are we calm, clear and compassionate or are we threatened, attacking and “making a point?’ Are we utilizing one of the fruits of the Spirit—self-control—or are we trying to win? Are we listening and learning about our mate, or are we preparing our case, defending our point of view?

Knowing the difference and being aware of those differences will make all the difference in the world to our marriage and to staying emotionally connected.

What else can you do to tame our primitive brain? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Cultivate awareness.

You cannot make progress unless you learn about yourself and your mate. You must know what “triggers’ you as well as learning about what “triggers’ your mate. You must also know which part of your brain you are functioning from. As you cultivate this awareness, you will have more choice over how you respond to any situation.

2. Slow things down.

We can always slow things down so that we are really thinking. Too often we plow ahead, thinking we are making progress when in fact we’re having a horrendous fight. Agree to slow things down, taking breaks to simply reflect, pray and consider what is happening.

3. Tune in to your mate.

We can help our mate function from their “best self’ by listening well to them. A little empathy and compassion go a long way to ending a fight. What has upset them? What are they trying to communicate? Are you really considering their welfare and the welfare of your marriage? Take time to understand your mate.

4. Solve real problems.

Fights occur because of real problems. In fact, repeated fights often occur because issues are not being fully attended to and resolved. Take time to determine the issue at hand, each taking a turn to share their concern and perspective.

5. Cooperate, collaborate, communicate.

Make sure you are really communicating. If you are not working together, you are likely working against each other—fighting. If fighting, stop, step back, and start over some time later. As you communicate well, collaborate well and cooperate with one another, fighting will diminish and connection will increase.

Do you know when to call a “time out?’ Do you use self-control to ensure fighting is minimized?

To get help for your marriage from Dr. Hawkins and his qualified staff, please visit The Marriage Recovery Center website or call 206-219-0145.

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Bible Contradiction? Who was Samuel’s firstborn son?

July 18, 2019 by SLIMJIM

For today’s post we will tackle the question the Skeptic Annotated Bible asked: Who was Samuel’s firstborn son?

Here are the two answers which the skeptic believes indicate a Bible contradiction:


Now the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judging in Beersheba.” (1 Samuel 8:2)


The sons of Samuel were Joel the firstborn, and Abijah the second.” (1 Chronicles 6:28)

(All Scriptural quotation comes from the New American Standard Bible)

Here’s a closer look at whether or not there is a contradiction:


  1. When dealing with skeptics’ claim of Bible contradictions it seems one can never be reminded enough of what exactly is a contradiction.  A contradiction occurs when two or more claims conflict with one another so that they cannot simultaneously be true in the same sense and at the same time.  To put it another way, a Bible contradiction exists when there are claims within the Bible that are mutually exclusive in the same sense and at the same time.
  2. One should be skeptical of whether this is a Bible contradiction given the Skeptic Annotated Bible’s track record of inaccurately handling the Bible.  See the many examples of it’s error which we have responded to in this post:   Of course that does not take away the need to respond to this claim of a contradiction, which is what the remainder of this post will do.  But this observation should caution us to slow down and look more closely at the passages cited by the Skeptic Annotated Bible to see if they interpreted the passages properly to support their conclusion that it is a Bible contradiction.
  3. A bit of background of each verse in its context might be helpful for readers.
    1. 1 Samuel 8 is a chapter that gives description of the transition of Israel being ruled by Judges to being ruled by Kings.  1 Samuel 8:1 mentioned that Samuel appointed his sons as judges then in verses 2-3 give more information about the sons.
    2. 1 Chronicles 6 present the priestly line’s genealogy and it also mentioned about Samuel’s family history.
  4. Sometimes the skeptic cite alleged Bible contradictions that actually are referring to different individuals.  Here however the skeptic is right that both 1 Samuel 8:2 and 1 Chronicles 6:28 are referring to the same individuals.
    1. In both passages and the context the father is Samuel.
    2. In both passages the second son is “Abijah.
    3. Also in both passages Samuel’s family is a priestly family.
  5. The skeptic cited 1 Samuel 8:2 as teaching Joel was Samuel’s firstborn son. I believe the skeptic interpreted this verse correctly and Joel was Samuel’s firstborn son.
    1. 1 Samuel 8:2 states it directly: “the name of his firstborn was Joel.
    2. Joel being the firstborn of Samuel is affirmed in other passages:
      1. These are those who served with their sons: From the sons of the Kohathites were Heman the singer, the son of Joel, the son of Samuel” (1 Chronicles 6:33).
        1. Here it Joel is “the son of Samuel.
        2. Notice Joel’s son is Heman since the verse says Heman was “the son of Joel.
        3. Heman is described here as a “singer,” an important for below.
      2. These are those who served with their sons: From the sons of the Kohathites were Heman the singer, the son of Joel, the son of Samuel” (1 Chronicles 5:17).
        1. Here this verse mentioned Joel is “the son of Samuel.
        2. This apparently is the same Joel as in 1 Chronicles 6:33 since in both verses Samuel has a son name Heman who was a singer.
    3. Thus it is clear that Samuel’s firstborn was name Joel.
  6. The skeptic cited 1 Chronicles 6:28 as teaching Vashni was Samuel’s firstborn son.  I believe this is not the case.
    1. Notice how the verse in the New American Standard Bible does not say Vashni.  It says Joel instead.
    2. The author of Skeptic Annotated Bible got “Vashni” from reading the King James Bible which stated that name.  However I think it is problematic of the King James to state the name is Vashni.
      1. From our post “” I mentioned that the manuscripts of the Old Testament contain minor error at times with the manuscripts; yet we can still establish what the Words of the Old Testament are with reasonable accuracy.  Here with this alleged Bible contradiction we do have touch on the issue of textual Criticism.  For more on textual criticism make sure to also check out our “.”
      2. I think the King James Bible’s translation of “Vashni” is a misreading of the Hebrew.  “Vashni” in the Hebrew is וַשְׁנִ֖י in 1 Chronicles 6:28 (note: 1 Chronicles 6:28 is 1 Chronicles 6:13 in the Hebrew Bible).  וַשְׁנִ֖י can be seen as the combination of the Hebrew word meaning “and”(וַ) plus the word meaning “two” (שֵׁנִי).  In other words “Vashni” is in the pronunciation of the word “and two/second…”  I think what happened here is an error of thinking this is a name when its just means “and second…”  The verse also is missing the name of the first born.  Literally the verse translated is “And the sons of Samuel the first the second Abijah.”  Notice there’s a missing name for the firstborn.  Joel probably fell out accidentally due to a common scribal error called homoeoteleuton, in which words that look similar in sharing the same or similar endings can accidentally get dropped.  Both Samuel and Joel have similar ending in Hebrew and it is easy for a scribe to think he’s written Joel already when one sees the ending of the word “Samuel.”
      3. While the Hebrew medieval manuscripts is missing the name “Joel” in 1 Chronicles 6:28, consulting the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartenesia‘s Textual Critical Apparatus for this verse we see that there are witnesses of earlier translations of the passage that does have “Joel” in this verse, specifically the Syriac Peshitta, Luciani’s Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate.
      4. Ultimately the word “Joel” is very compelling to be in the verse as what best explains the passage.
    3. Also there are no additional collaborating Bible verses that Samuel’s firstborn was named Vashni.
      1. This is a contrast with the passages that collaborate to state Samuel’s firstborn was name Joel.
      2. Furthermore one of the verses affirming that Samuel’s firstborn was named Joel is 1 Chronicles 6:33.  It comes from the same chapter as our verse 1 Chronicles 6:28.  This is a compelling point since this is within the very chapter that supposedly teaches the firstborn was Vashni.
  7. There is no Bible contradiction.  Its just that the author of the Skeptic Annotated Bible is not familiar with Hebrew and the field and skill of textual criticism.
  8. We shouldn’t miss that worldviews are at play even with the skeptic’s objection to Christianity.  The worldview of the author of the Skeptic Annotated Bible actually doesn’t even allow for such a thing as the law of non-contradiction to be meaningful and intelligible.  In other words for him to try to disprove the Bible by pointing out that there’s a Bible contradiction doesn’t even make sense within his own worldview.  Check out our post “Skeptic Annotated Bible Author’s Self-Defeating Worldview.”

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