Do You Have Marriage Toxic Friends?

October 3, 2016

in Uncategorized

Do you have friends who are bad for your marriage?

Do You Have Marriage Toxic Friends?

It could be the never married friend who has a very low opinion of men, or the divorced friend who thinks all men are horrible, or the friend in a bad marriage who assumes every other woman has it just as bad but won’t admit it. Or it might be a friend who’s down on marriage or men for no easily discernable reason. Regardless of who or why, having a friend who’s bad for your marriage isn’t acceptable. If she won’t stop bashing marriage and/or men, cut her loose. Studies find our friends opinions strongly influence our thinking, and the risk is too great.

Paul – I’m XY, and I feel the same about men who are down on women and/or marriage.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew Budek-Schmeisser October 3, 2016 at 10:31 am

Great post, Paul, and I agree wholeheartedly. I’ve never had a friend who was down on marriage…or, as barbara once said, no one was stupid enough to even implicitly criticize her in my presence.
Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 214 – Carried By GodMy Profile


Paul Byerly October 3, 2016 at 11:20 am

@Andrew – I wish more men were that way.
Paul Byerly recently posted…Putting A Twinkle In Her EyeMy Profile


Alicia October 4, 2016 at 6:38 pm

What happens if the most toxic marriage talk occurs in gatherings of Christian women? I see this most at women’s events at church, from small groups to big conferences. I hear the women talking badly about their husbands, from how he may as well be another kid, to how he’s lazy, or stupid, (though they never come out and use those words), to how they really don’t care if they ever had sex again, and so on. I even hear international speaker make comments about men and marriage, though they cleverly hide it behind humor. I try to bring this up, to individuals or even a small group, and the answer I get is, “Oh, it’s only because you’ve been married two and a half years. Give it time, you’ll feel like we do.” I don’t look at marriage, mine or anyone else’s, through rose-colored glasses. I know it’s not perfect, now, or in the future. But I pray to God I never feel like these women seem to about their husbands and marriages. I read on all these Christian marriage blogs to find other Christians who can mentor us and who we can be accountable to, but I find that the most marriage-positive friends I have are my nonChristian ones. What am I supposed to do with that? Ideas?


Madeline12 October 4, 2016 at 10:33 pm

If I may, I will tell you what I do. It’s not popular. I have lost a lot of friends / am rather an outcast so consider it carefully. And I will preface it by saying that you also need to keep in mind that some estimates are as high as 75%+ of people who call themselves Christians are not truly saved. Keep in mind that if they aren’t showing fruit of salvation, it could be because they are not Christ’s.

Regardless, love should always be the motivating factor in dealing with interpersonal problems or sin issues.

Galatians 2:11-14English Standard Version (ESV)

Paul Opposes Peter
11 But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I (Paul) opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.[a] 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

When the truth of this verse hit me, it changed my previous stance of not causing division or strife within the Body of Christ and keeping quiet when other believers around me were openly sinning and leading others into sin. We must be very, very careful, but sin cannot be allowed to continue unchallenged among us.

Gossip is an example. True story. Six women. All gossiping when I had unknowingly walked up to them on Sunday after church. When there was a slight lull, I asked them, “What are you doing?”

No reply or laughter or confusion. Finally, someone said, “Just talking.”

“About what?”

“Mary Roberts. What’s happening in her life.”

“I see. Mary is not here. She is not aware this conversation is taking place. Would you all please explain to me how this is helping her? What is the point and purpose of this conversation? To talk about the personal life of an individual who is not present and who cannot possibly be helped by this conversation? What does that accomplish? How is this pleasing to Christ? Edifying? Encouraging?”

Five faces flash red as they realize my point. Sixth becomes angry and challenges me, saying, “There is nothing wrong with it.”

I softly answered, “Then you will have no objection to my publicly telling these women what your daughter told me that you called your husband yesterday. That would be just ‘talking’ too.” (It had been profane. She asked me what it meant in Sunday School.) Sixth visibly quailed and went silent.

I then quietly, kindly, carefully talked to them, shared Scripture and as inoffensively as I could, rebuked them for their sinful gossip, praying for what to say and asking the Lord to keep me from sin also in how I talked with them.

I have no idea if they gossip any more, but they sure don’t do it around me. In fact, they don’t do anything around me. None of them ever really spoke to me socially again, but that’s okay. I would rather not be around gossips who may lead me into sin.

I feel the same way about disrespectful, quarrelsome, ungrateful, ungodly women. If King Solomon and the writers of Proverbs thought it was so important as to advise their sons to stay away from them, I think it’s good enough advice for me to take too.


Alicia October 5, 2016 at 2:11 pm

Wow, way to go, Madeline! I’m impressed. You’re right, extreme care and discernment is required, but I love your direct approach. I have a physical disability (I am blind), so I’m already on the outcast side of things, except as people’s attempted charity project. So I don’t think approaching things in this way could make me any less so. Thanks for the comment and encouragement.


Paul Byerly October 5, 2016 at 2:20 pm

@Madeline12 – I often think of the example of Paul and Peter. Public error, public confrontation. Private error, private confrontation. Of course, there are exceptions, but when the error has been in front of others who may follow the example a public reprimand it a good thing.
The trick of course, is to do it in love. I used to be horrible at that, but I’m getting better.
Paul Byerly recently posted…What Coffee Taught Me About QualityMy Profile


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