“Help Me Stop Verbal Abuse of My Boyfriend”

I am in a relationship with a wonderful man but I am verbally abusive to him. I become easily frustrated and angry with him when he doesn’t know how to get somewhere or when we can’t agree on what to eat. I seem to make him feel stupid and not wanted because we have different educational backgrounds. I hate that I am destroying his spirit and, in turn, destroying mine. I know I am verbally abusive but I am having such a hard time stopping and keeping my mouth shut. I don’t want to even think the way I do…. I just want to change and love him deeply because now I am just snide and mean.

I am a Christian and a.) I know this is wrong; b.) I want to change, and; c.) I want this relationship to work because he is a sweet, gentle, kind man, marriage material. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do? I already see a therapist.

The fact that you are aware you are being so unloving and destructive in your relationship is the most important first step to changing it. Good for you!

What occurs to me is that deeply profound truth the Lord Jesus said: “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” What comes out of your mouth is generated from what’s in your heart. Which sounds like [bluntness warning ON] pridefulness, disrespect and self-centerednessfruits of the flesh (see also Galatians 5:19-21).[bluntness warning OFF] I think the problem isn’t as much your behavior, but a heart desperately in need of transformation by Jesus. (Please understand: there isn’t a single one of us who doesn’t desperately need a heart transformation! I was recently asked, “What’s your best evidence for the existence of God?” I replied, “He changed my whole life!”)

I’m glad to hear you’re a Christian, since your heart issues can be solved by cooperating with the Lord in the sanctification process. And that is usually a process of Him:

1. Convicting us of sin so we can repent

2. Giving us power to change the way we respond to life’s challenges, as we depend on Him to do it

3. Identifying lies we believe, and helping us replace them with the truth

I suggest that you make a solemn decision to choose humility before the Lord and with your boyfriend. Pray daily about this, asking the Lord to show you your sin from HIS perspective. Ask Him to break your heart over your pride and arrogance so that you will deeply WANT to repent, and will work hard at changing your bad habits.

At the same time, ask your boyfriend for help in changing the habits you are ashamed of. Choose a code word or phrase that he can say when you are being judgmental, impatient, and frustrated. Give him permission to say the code word/phrase, make a solemn promise that you will not get angry and will instead say, “Thank you for helping me get better.” (And pre-decide that if your ego rises up in ugliness, you will tell yourself the truth: “You are being unkind, prideful and ugly. Shut up, flesh. I choose love and kindness instead.”)

I have learned that when we are easily frustrated and angry, that is usually the result of harboring unrealistic expectations. (I recently came across a word of wisdom on that: “Expectations are the mother of resentments.”) When you find yourself erupting in frustration and anger, pre-decide to ask yourself, “What am I believing about this?” It could be unrealistic beliefs such as, “Men should always know how to get anywhere.” “Other people should want the same things I want since I know best.” “Men should always have education levels higher than or at least equal to women.” With the Lord’s help, work at being more self-aware about what drives your self-centeredness. Ask Him in your prayer times, “Lord, what do You want me to know about myself? Give me grace to hear what You have to say without being defensive.”

This kind of internal turnaround works best when you “put it on project status,” as Dr. Phil says. You have to make it a primary intention and put a lot of mental and emotional and spiritual energy into it. And every time you think about it, give it back to the Lord and invite His help, confessing your desperate need of Him to make you more Christlike. He has all the power you need for exactly what you want.

Hope you find this helpful.

Sue Bohlin

© 2007 Probe Ministries

“I Hurt So Bad Because I Miss My Boyfriend”

I have been going out with my boyfriend for a year now, I love him so much and there is no doubt he loves me. I always want to be with him but it’s not possible at the moment because we are far from each other. I am at university in another country so we only communicate through the phone and emails. We are both devorted Christians, we love God and we comfort each other knowing that God has a purpose and plan for our relationship even as we long to be together.

My problem is I think about him a lot, I think about him sexually also. I long to be with him everyday and I tell him this. I dream of us being intimate, I pray about this and ask God for guidance. I love him so much and there is nothing in the world that I would want right now except to be with him. We are hoping to get married next year when I finish my studies but the thing is it’s hard for me now, I just want to be with him. It hurts me worse when I see other people spending time with their loved ones, it makes me feel so lonely and I start thinking of the warm feeling that he makes me feel when I am with him.

I completely understand! My husband just returned from a missions trip out of the country for two weeks and I missed him so much I could practically TASTE it!

What you have isn’t so much a problem as it is a painful condition of being separated. Your longing to be with him in every possible way is part of love. I would like to suggest that you turn your emotional energies (and you have a LOT of those for him, right?) from painful feelings into constructive prayer. Every time you find yourself missing him and longing for him, pray for him. There are many scripture prayers you can pray, and I think you would find it very helpful to make a special prayer journal into which you copy scripture that you turn into prayer for him. For example, consider Eph.1:15-19–

15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints,
16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

You can turn it into a prayer:

“I do not cease giving thanks for _____, while making mention of him in my prayers; that You, Father, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to him a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of You. I pray that the eyes of his heart may be enlightened, so that he will know what is the hope of Your calling, what are the riches of the glory of Your inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of Your power toward us who believe.”

You can use this time of separation to “log in” hundreds and hundreds of scripture prayers for your beloved, which you can read from your journal (even if it’s a collection of index cards) as prayers as you add to them.

Here is a web page to give you a head start on coming up with some great scripture prayers:

I hope this helps!

Sue Bohlin

“My Boyfriend is Muslim”

My best friend/boyfriend is Muslim. I have been brought up in a very Christian oriented family and have faith through Jesus Christ. My friend, has been attending church with me and at first was receptive to Christianity as he was overwhelmed with the amount of love in the church. He is very educated and does a lot of reading. He has read several books about Christianity many of them pointing out flaws in the religion. And at the same time is searching to find out if Islam is right. As of now he is content that Islam is right due to its proofs through sciences. Are there any books that go through Koran or talk about who Muhammed really was that will help him to find the Lord? Also, what are good Christian books that I can point him to that would give him EVIDENCE – in Christianity.

First of all, let me encourage you that NOTHING you do or say will be as effective as your prayers on your boyfriend’s behalf. That’s where the real power is, OK?

Secondly, check out the website “Answering Islam,” www.answering-islam.org . . . They really understand the different worldviews.

Third, I can’t recommend strongly enough Lee Strobel’s excellent books The Case for Faith and The Case for Christ. Mr. Strobel was a hardened atheist journalist who talked to a number of intelligent, articulate Christians who were able to “give an answer for the hope that is within,” and he came to faith. Wonderful, wonderful books, but be sure to read them first so you can talk intelligently with your boyfriend.

Fourth, I say this as a Titus 2 woman (where God instructs the older women to teach the younger)—DON’T MARRY HIM! Scripture is very strong about believers not marrying unbelievers. I send this with a prayer that you will guard your heart and your sexual purity so that you do not find yourself so soul-connected to him that you feel you have to marry him to make things right. It’s entirely possible that God wants to use you to draw your boyfriend to Himself, but don’t cross over any lines that would compromise your obedience to God’s best as revealed in His word, OK? (I say this as a mom who just saw my son marry a wonderful Christian girl who was worth waiting for and fighting the temptation to settle for less than God’s best.)

So glad you wrote!!


Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries