When is it appropriate to shelter our kids? Many parents today believe they need to expose their kids to “toughen” them up—but I disagree! Join me today as we talk about this, and answer a question from a woman whose husband has broken the covenant of marriage.
Transcribed version of the podcast is below
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Proverbs 31:10-14
Resources Mentioned in Podcast
- “Love Must be Tough” by James Dobson
- “Thriving Despite a Difficult Marriage” by Michael Misja and Chuck Misja
- Does a Good God Want Me in a Bad Marriage?
- My marriage is in shambles since my spouse cheated on me. How do I deal with this?
- Should You Stay with a Spouse Who Cheated?
- MomStrong International
- Scripture Writing Challenge
- Heidi St. John Conference in Lee’s Summit, MO
- Heidi St. John Conference in Fredericksburg, Virginia
- Heidi St. John Conference in Vancouver, WA
- The Kingdom Code
Scripture Mentioned in Podcast
- Colossians 3:13
- Romans 5:8
Join us at MomStrong International for our Bible Study and Scripture Writing!
This podcast is brought to you by our friends at The Kingdom Code.
Hey everybody, this is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the podcast. Today is Monday, July 22nd this is episode number 795. It’s Mailbox Monday. And I’m going to be tackling some questions today.
Stick around. I think you’re going to be encouraged.
So thanks for listening everybody. As you know, we’ve got some really awesome things coming up, not the least of which is the Heidi St. John Conference happening on August 24th in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. There is still time to get your tickets. You can find them HeidiStJohn.com/events. We’ve been working on swag for that event and we are really, really excited about what God is doing. You guys are gonna be thrilled, I promise you.
Coming up on September 14th in Fredericksburg, Virginia, I will be doing the Heidi St. John Conference there. The early bird registration ends on August 5th though. That’s coming right up. Come on up if you’re in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area.
And then on October 12th I will be in Vancouver, Washington.
The very next weekend in October, I believe it’s the 19th, I will be in Lincoln, Nebraska, bringing my women’s conference there, so come on out and check it out.
All of these events are sponsored by our ministry MomStrong International. Hope you guys will check it out. It’s not too late. It’s not too late to join! It’s never too late to start getting into and studying the Word of God. What we’re doing here is really doing everything we can to stamp out biblical illiteracy. I see it all over the culture and God does not want us to struggle with an understanding of His Word. So check it out at MomStrongInternational.com and jump in right now. We’re talking about integrity for the next month, coming up in August, and we’ve been studying for this whole month what it means to be a woman—from God’s perspective.
I’m going to let you guys know that we have a sponsor for this podcast, it’s The Kingdom Code and the Kingdom Code is a money management and budgeting curriculum that provides parents with easy to follow lessons. You guys, it’s really cool. The lessons include a separate teachers guide, worksheets, assessments, all kinds of stuff, bonus activities. It’s super awesome. It’s a system to reward your kids as they progress through the lessons. Now the course is designed for students with varied interests and talents and even learning styles, and it’s not just for homeschoolers. This is a great time of year to check it out. I want to encourage you, The Kingdom Code’s goal is to empower Christian students with life lessons that will empower them to be leaders in whatever profession they choose. I don’t know if you know this, but did you know that the number one comment made about The Kingdom Code is: “I wishe I’d had this when I was growing up.” ? It’s true. It’s kind of like those fun baby toys that they didn’t have when my kids were little, right? You guys have got to see this textbook. It has over 800 colorful illustrations and it’s easy to follow. It’s got cross curricular exposure to economics, math, history, technology, and writing. Visit TheKingdomCode.com/Heidi and they are going to send you a coupon for free samples and 10% off your entire purchase.
All right, it is Mailbox Monday and I love Mailbox Monday because it gives me an opportunity to interact with you guys on a more personal level. As you know, the podcast has been around for a long time and we really have been growing over here. We’ve got about five or six people that helped me with this podcast every single time it comes out now. Not the least of which is my amazing husband! We’ve also got the podcast transcribed for you. Marlene is doing that over at her little neck of the woods in Texas. I want to encourage you to share the podcast with your friends. If you haven’t shared the podcast yet, this is a great time to do it because we’re ramping up for the fall. We’ve got some fantastic guests coming up on the show here pretty quick. My friend Ken Ham is coming on to celebrate the 800th episode of the podcast with me. Also, Priscilla Shire will be on for the month of August talking about her brand new movie. Lots of things going on. It’s our heart to encourage you to walk in right relationship with the Lord.
And to that end, I always try to answer your questions on Monday’s. And so today’s no different. I’m gonna be tackling some questions today. Everybody wants to be anonymous recently. You guys, I mean, I don’t mind, it’s fine. I like that you’re sending me your questions. I guess the anonymous thing tells me a couple of things are going on. A: you guys are struggling with some really hard issues and I want to let you know, like I always do— that God’s Word has answers for you.
And so if you’re not studying with us at MomStrong International— ONE: it’s a fantastic way to really know the Word of God to do what Paul instructed Timothy to be able to rightly divide his word. SECOND: it’s a great way for you to support this ministry. So your, your uh, subscription to the MomStrong International Bible studies just about $8 a month. And that $8 goes a whole long way in helping us get the staff and the resources and literally the bandwidth that we need to get this podcast out to you because as the podcast grows, it costs more money to get it out there. So I just want to encourage you, check it out. You can find it at MomStrongInternational.com.
All right, here comes today’s first question: Heidi, I love your encouragement that you bring to busy homeschool moms. Thank you. I’ve read your books and have been encouraged by you. Earlier this month I had a Christian friend make a Facebook post about supporting pride month and I heard your voice say it’s time to get off the bench and onto the battlefield. Moment of silence, I love it. Ever since, I feel like Satan has been challenging me with homosexuality and transgenderism. And now my 15 year old niece has told my husband’s family she is bisexual. All right, I’m going to stop right there because as you guys have heard me say this many, many times—this is the defining issue of this generation. The enemy of your soul is after your identity in Christ. God said: I made them male and female. He has given you very clear instructions so that you would thrive in your sexuality, thrive in your marriage, thrive in your identity— and the enemy’s stealing it.
I get letters like this literally every single day, and I just want you to know my heart is with you. Stay close to the Lord. His Word will never let you down. She goes on to say: we have an eight, 11, five, and two year old who children who love to play with their cousin, but now I have to be extra careful that she doesn’t expose my children to lies about how God made them and who they really are. I honestly feel like she’s not really bisexual, but rather crying out for attention from her family. You know what? You’re probably right. Please give advice on how to keep my children sheltered from so many evils and guidance to help my niece.
All right, so a couple of things come to mind immediately. First of all, your primary responsibility as parents when your children are two, and five, and eight, and 11—is to shelter them. This idea that we’re not supposed to shelter our kids, and somehow sheltering is bad—um, no. I will shelter my children and if that makes me a bad mom then I will proudly and happily wear that label. Listen, we care more about sheltering tomato plants in the culture right now than we do about sheltering children. Your children are not equipped to handle this kind of lie. They are not equipped to handle the gender dysphoria, which is why the American Library Association, shame on you American Library Association—yeah, I’m disgusted with what’s happening here in Vancouver, Washington. We just brought, sorry, I’m going a rabbit trail. We just brought the drag queen story hour to our local libraries. It’s wicked. It’s evil. It’s perverse what they’re doing to our children. And you guys, the people that showed up, these grown men dress like women, in beards, and wearing what looked to me like lingerie—and then the people parading around them. You guys the outfits, it was horrific! And we are exposing our children.
The reason they’re taking aim at your children is because they know that children’s minds are impressionable and their hearts are malleable at this age. And so they’re trying to get them while they’re little. The Bible says: woe to the person who would lead a little child into sin, it is better for that person, have a millstone hung around his neck and be thrown into the ocean. So it matters. And when you feel, mom, in your heart, like— oh my goodness this niece who I love, this 15 year old niece who is now saying that she’s bisexual—you have an opportunity to love on her, but you have an obligation to protect your children. All right?
I’ve been telling people lately, listen— I am not willing to set my kid on fire to keep your kid warm. I’m not going to do it. So we’ve had some issues in our family over the years that have required my husband and I to separate our children from other children, until those kids either had their family life reconciled or they weren’t struggling so much with this open and overt sin that you see dealing. It doesn’t mean that you don’t love them. It means that you want to protect. This is why I keep telling parents— pull your kids out of public school. It’s almost impossible to reverse the damage. I mean, unless you’re going to be in there with them all day every day.
Nope, sorry Johnny, that’s not right. Oh, wow, that history lesson—well, that’s not right. We called that revisionist history. Oh yeah, that actually didn’t happen. And no, there aren’t 15 genders. And yes, there is a God.
It’s exhausting and it’s exhausting in families too. And so a couple of things I want to just encourage you to do. First of all, I do think you’re going to have to limit your children’s time around this child. And that’s painful and it’s hard. But I’m telling you what, there will be conversations that take place that you will miss. And so I would say limit your child’s interaction with this 15 year old niece. And the other thing that you can do, and you haven’t said whether or not your friend is a Christian, the parents of this 15 year old niece, but I would be talking to her parents and then take every opportunity that you can to love your niece and encourage her to be who God says she is.
God said: I made a male and female and in my image. He didn’t make us bisexual— He made us male and female and He did it in His image. And when we embrace bisexuality or homosexuality, we are embracing what God says is sin. And it doesn’t really matter what our feelings are telling us because my feelings tell me to do things that are wrong all the time. I want to yell at my kids, or I want to be disengaged from something that God’s asked me to do, or I want to watch something on Netflix that I know in my Spirit, the Holy Spirit’s like— no, no, no, that’s not for you.
So we battle with our sin nature all the time. And the fact that your niece is battling with her sin nature and her sin nature is telling her—oh, you’re bisexual— that’s no different than your 11 year old telling you he is struggling with wanting to steal things. Or your eight year old saying he wants to lie. It’s just that sexuality is under attack in the culture right now. So I would say limit the time and the exposure that your children have with this family member of yours, and then ask the Lord for opportunities to give you to speak truth and life and hope into your niece’s life and heart.
You guys, it’s never too late. It’s never too late to turn around from sin. It’s never too late to say— Father, I’m going to embrace what you say is true and walk away from this other stuff. And parents, if your children are young, you have an obligation to protect them. That’s part of what parents do. And we’re not doing a very good job—all these parents that are bringing their kids and exposing to drag queens and men walking around with horrific images on the front of their shirts—we are going to be held to account by the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, The Creator who said to let the little children come to Him. So this is a precious, precious topic. Parents protect your kids. Yes, yes, yes—shelter your kids. They’re not ready to go out on the front lines of this battle. So I just want to encourage you to stay in there for your kids. Love your niece. Tell her the truth. Speak the truth in love. She may not listen to you and maybe her parents won’t listen to you.
And all these Christians that are “celebrating pride” might hate to tell you, but we are walking so far away from the Lord right now—we’re so far behind we thought we were first, right? This progressive Christianity is the most regressive thing and it’s hurting the church. So stay close to the Word of God, you guys. This is why we started MomStrong International — to help you become strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. We can’t lean on anybody else’s power. We need the power of God.
Next question comes from a mom who did not leave her name and she says: Heidi, I’ve been listening to your podcast for years and read your books. I’m a huge fan of yours. Thank you. I love how you point people back to the Word of God and apply biblical knowledge to the culture today. I love your conviction with the tough subject some Christians try to avoid. Thank you so much. I appreciate your encouragement. She continues: I am a Christian. I read my Bible. I pray. I would say I have a close relationship with the Lord. My husband does not. Before we got married, I asked him if he was a Christian and he said he was. He went to church with me, but I would say his relationship with the Lord was lukewarm. He doesn’t read the Bible. He does pray with us at the kitchen table and at bedtime with the kids, but I would say he is not the spiritual leader in our home. He has struggled with alcohol addiction for some time now and I recently found out about a six month affair he has had with a coworker. We’ve been together for 10 years and have a three year old and an eight month old. Obviously I am devastated. I am also a stay at home mom with hopes to someday homeschool our boys. God has spoken to me on multiple occasions instructing me to forgive him. Colossians 3:13 says: bearing with one another, forgiving one another as the Lord has forgiven you. God has also told me to give my husband grace. I feel like this is a spiritual attack on my family. Yeah, you right. The enemy saw my husband as a weak link because of his lack of faith. I want to fight for my marriage and my family. I do not want the enemy to win. My question is, how can I forgive? What does this look like in a marriage? How can I control my thoughts so I’m not constantly thinking about what was happening during the affair? Do you have any encouragement?
All right. First of all, sweet mom, you are not alone. What you are dealing with right now is every married woman’s nightmare, every married woman’s nightmare. And so I just want to encourage you, if you’re not getting counseling, I would suggest that you consult with a pastor or Christian marriage counselor in your area and get some ongoing guidance. There are lots of places that you can look. You can check out, Focus on the Family—they have a hotline that’s 1-800-A-FAMILY (1-800-232-6459). I want to just encourage you because God can heal your heart. That’s where I want to start. God can heal your broken heart. God can restore your marriage. He is absolutely capable of doing that. The other thing that I want to just encourage you on, before I get on to answering the bigger issues that you’ve been asking is that— I’m never, I’m never going to encourage a person to stay in a relationship where they’re being abused, where there’s constant adultery.
I think sometimes the Christian community will come in and they will make excuses and they’ll say— well, you can never get out of it. This is the way it is. Listen, we know that God’s heart is not for divorce. And my intent here is to encourage people who are unhappy in their marriage. I’m not here to say if you’re experiencing unrepentant adultery, physical abuse, or abandonment— that you need to stay in your marriage. In my experience, most unhappy marriages have issues of miscommunication, selfishness, finances, etc. And so I want to encourage people in these situations to really work and seek reconciliation. But if you’re listening to this right now and you’re suffering physical abuse, I’m not talking to you. I would encourage you to get out of that. Dennis Rainy has a great article called Responding to Physical Abuse, which I will link back to in the show notes today.
To this mom who’s asking this question—the thing that really got my attention that you said was that you knew that the Lord had specifically asked you to stay in the marriage. So, I want to come back to that point. First of all, I’m so sorry to hear that your husband has been unfaithful to you. Whenever there’s unfaithfulness in a marriage, the one who has been hurt has a lot of options. One option is to be better and one option is to try to hurt the partner who’s offended you in the hope that it’s going to produce guilt and a willingness to change. On BillyGraham.org they say there is another way that may be infinitely harder, but we believe it’s better in times such as these, God always invites us to commit ourselves and the situation completely to him. Allow your present circumstances to be an opportunity for you to deepen your faith in the Lord and depend completely on him.
And so I just want to encourage you to do that because there no one’s going to say that a great wrong hasn’t been done to you. But as I have counseled hundreds and hundreds of women over the years, and God walked through some very deep things in my, my, my extended family, someone reminded me one time of God’s incredible love for me. The Bible tells us in Romans 5:8 that while we were sinners, unrepentant and hateful, God loved us. He extended Himself to us and we want to pattern our love after His. And so that’s what we want. That’s what I want to just encourage you to do—to pattern that love after the love that God has shown you in your own life. And I think you’re absolutely right to say this is a spiritual attack on your family. There’s absolutely no question at all. The enemy has definitely seen your husband as a weak link.
I hear from a lot of women who tell me that their husbands are not the spiritual leaders in their home. Can I just encourage you right now? For those of you who are listening and your husband’s not the spiritual leader in your home, that’s not an excuse for you not to stand in the gap where your husband should be standing and become a spiritual leader in your home. I also want to address the issue of your husband’s alcohol addiction. Again, I’m going to say—you’ve got to get some help. Sin festers in the dark. If your husband has an alcohol addiction, if he’s coming home drunk every night, or he’s getting drunk every night— you’ve got to get some help, expose it.
And so often I talk to women who say— well, I don’t want to embarrass my husband. Who cares? You’re going to lose your family. You’re going to lose your marriage. An embarrassment is the least of your problems. So you’ve got a husband who’s struggling with alcohol addiction. Now you know that he is committed adultery against you, and the Lord has spoken to you saying—forgive him. So God will give you the strength to forgive him. But I want to encourage you to get help, to reach out to people who are around you, to be brutally honest, to let your husband know. Say— Hey, you know what? I’m going to get help. We need help. And then begin to reach out and get the help that you need. I think when we enter into marriage relationships, we never know what’s going to be ahead of us. And I’m sure that you never expected to send a letter to me saying that your marriage and your life was in turmoil and shattered.
But I just want to encourage you, God is The Healer. He is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. And He can heal your marriage. God can do it. And again, I feel the need to say this again. If you’re listening to this and you’re in an abusive marriage, your husband’s committing adultery against you and he’s unrepentant— the Bible does not instruct you to stay in that relationship. There have been provisions made for those of you who are in a relationship that is devastating, both emotionally and physically.
Remember you’re marriage isn’t a contract— it’s a covenant. I think sometimes we forget that. I talked about this last week when we talk about marriage in the culture right now and how it’s like a throwaway relationship. But God intended for marriage to be the most foundational thing to see from the Bible about marriage is that it was God’s idea, alright?
And so God wants us to thrive in our marriages. He wants us to be healthy in our marriages. And Jesus had a vision of marriage. This was the case in Jesus’ day—and ours is vastly worse. We’re struggling because the church has just thrown it away. So I’m going to link back in the show notes today to some articles that I found on the Internet that I think will help you. I just want you to be encouraged. God is a healer, and I really admire the fact that you’re listening to His voice and God’s saying— Hey, give grace, be forgiving. It’s not going to be an easy road as you’re already discovering, but God can do it. And he would. His heart is that your marriage and your family would be restored.
I want to say thanks to everybody who’s listening to the podcast.
We really appreciate you leaving feedback for the show over at iTunes. I can’t encourage you enough to let you know how much that helps us and how much we appreciate it are encouraged by it. If you’d like to reach out to me via mail and and support the ministry, you can do that too. Thanks for listening everybody. We appreciate it. I’ll see you back here on Wednesday for the final week of the July MomStrong International Bible study.
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Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
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