Pray Away His ‘Bad’ Friends?

Pray Away His ‘Bad’ Friends? August 15, 2019
Statute of a man and his friends playing the marimbas.

Today we’re taking a look at  a post from April Cassidy – The Peaceful Wife about what to do when your husband has friends you disagree with. Normally I find April to be not so toxic in her words and advice, but when she gets something wrong, it’s very wrong. This is one of those times when apparently you are only allowed to deal with a husband’s friends one way, pray away his bad friends.

This is one of the most unfun aspects of marriage, when your partner has a relationship with someone you don’t approve of. You can see clearly how negatively this is impacting your marriage, or your husband, but he cannot see it. Or it’s someone taking advantage of his good nature, or financial advantage, causing him to behave in ways contrary to who he is.

To some extent everyone deals with this. One hopes that your marriage is the type where you can tell your husband in an unemotional way that you think their friendship with the other person isn’t a good thing, and he’ll heed that. But frequently that’s not the case. So what do you do?

Simply talk to the other person would be my answer. It’s April’s answer too, but dressed up with talk about ‘authority.’

It’s a good thing for us to share our hearts and minds with our husbands in healthy ways. Ideally, a wife would be a trusted advisor to her husband.

Even our children can and should share concerns if they don’t feel safe or comfortable around someone, or they don’t feel comfortable with us being around a certain person.

Everyone deserves to have a voice to say if something is upsetting or toxic to them or to someone they love.

This doesn’t necessarily mean things will definitely change. But people in positions of God-given leadership should be very willing to hear the concerns of those in their care whether it is at home, at work, at church, at school, or anywhere else. And if the concern is legitimate, the leader will agree to take some appropriate course of action.

Simplest solution. But then she takes it to a stupid place. Keep in mind that this breaking friendship we’re talking about could be over something as life changing as alcohol or gambling, and here are the ways that she thinks are sin.

Cry, beg and plead with your husband to cut them off.

Make angry and insistent demands that he cuts off the relationship.

Give your husband an ultimatum.

Lecture your husband about his choices and how they affect you and your children.

Complain about your husband’s friends to anyone who would listen.

Criticize your husband’s friends behind their backs.

Insult your husband’s friends to their faces.

Go directly to his friends and tell them to stay away from him.

Rant about your husband’s poor decisions on social media.

Go directly to your husband’s relatives or your pastor to complain about your husband’s choices.

Try to force your husband to be friends with men you think he should be friends with.

While none of those would be my first choice for dealing with a destructive friendship if there were the serious things involved that April states later in the piece it might be time. Someone prompting your husband to gamble away the family finances? You’ve gently asked him to stop doing this multiple times? Perhaps the time for a little anger, crying, begging, pleading and going to relatives or the pastor has happened. This is now way more than your husband having friends you do not like, and veered straight into abusive behavior that harms everyone. Serious problems sometimes require serious solutions. Your job as his wife is not to smilingly rubber stamp as ‘a-okay’ all of his actions! There are times when for the good of the family you must do more than simply pray away the problems.

When I first started reading this piece it seemed that April was speaking of friends you don’t like for small, petty reasons, or just they give you a creepy feeling. But by the end when she starts talking of guys going gambling or heavy drinking that leads to DUIs, it’s obvious this is something else entirely. Letting someone else put themselves and the family in jeopardy because of personal behavior egged on by others is unacceptable, and whatever you must say or do to get through to the other partner is pretty much fair game!

All I have to do is present my concern briefly and calmly. Usually just once. Then I can generally simply wait and pray.

No, nope, not when there are children involved and your husband is doing something that harms the entire family. Your first primary responsibility is to those kids. If he is out running up DUIs there must be protection for the kids and real consequences for him. Sometimes that takes leaving him to show him how you will not put up with the abuse any longer.

April goes on to talk of bad situations and calling the police or other authorities. I’m still completely dismayed we went from ‘I don’t like his friends.’ to ‘He’s out drinking and gambling with his friends.’ suddenly without warning.

This is the damage that Quiverfull does, cloak serious problems in the garb of minor, yet take away any and all tools a woman might use to resolve the real problem.


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About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.

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