The Most Revolutionary Question You Can Ask

morningI recently watched a four and a half minute video where author and pastor John Ortberg remembers his friend, Dallas Willard. (I’ll embed the video at the bottom of this post). One quick segment shows John and Dallas on stage together having a conversation only a few months before Dallas Willard passed away.

John: “How do we help people – if somebody wants to think about how is my spiritual life going or how is my soul doing – how do we help people ask and answer that question?”

Dallas: “Well, very slowly. One at a time, we listen to them . . . I think the next thing is a question and not a statement: What’s bothering you? Start there.”

They talk some more and then John makes a joke.

John: “What’s bothering you? could be an interesting liturgical question – to start the church service asking, What’s bothering you? and the people could respond back, And also you.”

I laughed out loud when he said it and so did the audience. Then, as the clip ends, Dallas can be heard saying, “That would be absolutely revolutionary.”

I had to pause the video at that moment, three minutes and fifty-five seconds in, Dallas’ deep voice and thoughtful statement hanging there in the air over my desk, That would be absolutely revolutionary.

My head couldn’t nod big enough.

It’s true, my instinct is to not be bothered because it just doesn’t seem right. To ask myself or someone else what bothers could be seen as self-focused  or as an opportunity to rant or complain.

But what if we looked deeper in? Instead of manufacturing peace by shooing away my frustration or smoothing out my ruffled feathers, I am learning the importance of getting quiet enough to honestly consider what bothers me – not just on the surface, but deep within my soul.

Sometimes what I learn is ugly or uncomfortable. But there are other times I discover right next to my frustration lives a drop of passion I didn’t realize was there and a spark of hope I didn’t realize I needed. This is actually how all of my books were born.

Admitting what bothers me exposes what I most deeply long for. When I know what I long for, I become more fully alive.

What if we began to ask ourselves on a regular basis, What’s bothering you? What if we asked this of one another?

Is there anything bothering you today that you’d be willing to share?


  1. Jess says

    Thank you for inviting this, Emily. Because sometimes I think the reason we don’t pay attention to what is bothering us is because we don’t want to bother anyone else with it. I’ve been thinking about this ever since you said we should pay attention to what makes us cry. I think it wasn’t the first time you’ve said it. And what has been making me cry is child abuse. Every time I see it in the news, every time I read the story of a brave woman or man bringing something into the light that happened to them in secret as a child, I can’t just click to the next story or move on with my day. I stop and stare and weep. And then I brood. It’s bothering me so much. And the pendulum for me swings between shaking my fists in anger at a God I believe to be sovereign and meekly asking this God if there is anything, anything at all, that I could possibly do to help.

    • says

      Thank you for your thoughtful response, Jess. It doesn’t seem like enough and I guess it isn’t, on the one hand, to pay attention to what bothers.

      But on the other hand, it seems at least like a good place to start.

    • says

      Hi, Jess! As a social worker, I encounter children who have been abused or neglected on a daily basis. You are not alone in your feelings. It is hard to believe that a loving God would include that kind of hurt in His plan for a person’s life, but what keeps me afloat is knowing that He uses our circumstances in miraculous ways.

      Just recently, I was watching a clip of a man who grew up in the foster care system, being told that no one wanted him and he wouldn’t amount to anything. He eventually became the deputy mayor of Washington DC. He has written books and spoken in venues across the country about his experiences.

      We are called for such a time as this. Praying that the God of comfort would wrap His arms around you, Jess.

      • Jess says

        Thank you, Erin and Emily for your responses. Erin, you provide a glimpse of the reminder that God IS drawing near and actively bringing hope and restoration to children who suffer. Thank you for the priceless work that you do. And thank you for your sweet encouragement to me.

  2. says

    Much more difficult to ask than a simple “how are you,” but at the same time, a much quicker way to navigate to a person’s heart. Personally, I try to ask others on a regular basis how I can pray for them, and then pray right then and there for whatever that need is. I agree with Jess, that sometimes it is a lot easier to hide our burdens in an effort to avoid putting that burden on someone else (as a recovering good girl, I know all about this). But carrying each other’s burdens is what we have been called to!

    My current burden? Not feeling needed, or like I am part of something. Recently, I’ve felt very isolated, which has led to days weighed down by depression and anxiety. I know that this is, in part, my fault. More often than not, I’m not very good at putting myself out there — so that is something to work on. I’m trusting the Lord for opportunities not only to open myself up to the encouragement and friendship of others, but to give back and be an encouragement and a friend to them as well.

    As always, so thankful for the culture you create here, Emily. How can I pray for YOU?

    • says

      Thanks for your honesty here, Erin. I think a lot of people can relate with that struggle – I know I do.

      You are so kind to ask what you can pray for – You could join John and I in praying for our next steps in ministry. We are still in the waiting stages – listening for where his deepest longing intersects with the needs of our community and what steps we might take toward that. I know that sounds ambiguous – it feels that way too!

      Thank you kindly for asking.

      • says

        A joy to bring you and John before the throne, sister.

        Lord, thank you for John and Emily and the call You have placed on their lives. I pray that You would make Your providence evident to them during this waiting period, and that you would direct their steps. Open doors in the way that only You can. Give them faith to trust Your goodness, even when the path is hidden. In the sweet name of Jesus, so be it.

    • says

      Erin, in voicing your “bother” you have also voiced mine. You seem to be a prayer warrior. I also have been called to prayer. And I wonder if something in being a prayer warrior tends to make us feel more isolated. I can say with you that I feel unneeded, not sure that is the right word, yet . . . . Praying for you and for Emily as we wait to see what’s next.

  3. says

    This is so good, and even more, so helpful. I wouldn’t usually share what is bothering me, but your invitation to share in the comments is so kind and honest, and real.
    I’ve got to be honest, and say ‘what’s bothering me’ today is how quickly (and usually, unknowingly) online communities and social media can become a cliquey, popularity contest. I don’t mean for this to be a rant, or a ‘woe is me’ kind of bother, but as I sit back and observe, it’s come to mind often, and does bother me. Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer, or the exact way to solve this bother. I’m grateful for women and men who push back against it. Everyone seems to be reassuring non-well known bloggers, writers and non-famous folk that ‘they never intended to be ‘famous’, their platforms and ‘book deals’ just came out of thin air from God alone, and while that’s fine and good, and sometimes the case – it really feels like a ‘your my friend, your in ‘my group’, you have enough followers/platform/fame/you know enough ‘right’ people to now be a part of a special inner circle.
    I really think this happens in EVERY type of medium. It happened in the performing/acting/singing world I lived in for many years. It probably happens with doctors and lawyers too.
    I’m not trying to solve the problem, and I’m not ranting or complaining about any particular person or platform. It almost seems like a conundrum. But some days, like a random day like today – it bothers me.

    And voicing that makes it feel somehow easier, better and not so bad.

    {Thanks for letting me be honest here. I really and truly don’t make it a practice of writing this kind of stuff out online, especially on someone else’s blog! But your blog is one of my favorites Emily, and feels safe. Thank you for that.}

    • says

      I don’t hear this as a rant or complaint at all, Sarah. You are honestly answering the question I asked and I’m glad you did.

      You’re right, this kind of thing happens in all circles, not just the blogging/writing kinds. I remember this kind of thing when I was a sign language interpreter.

      Glad you feel safe enough to be honest about being bothered by this – I know you aren’t alone in it.

  4. says

    This is ridiculously/embarrassingly superficial but what’s bothering me today is people not using their direction signals (blinker, turn signal, whatever). That little tiny act of kindness letting other drivers know what to expect is a dying action.
    You asked, Emily.
    Now, I should probably think deeper and realize I’m demanding my rights…. oy.

  5. says

    What is bothering me?

    Currently, there are ZERO available foster homes in our county. Every child (and sibling set) has to be placed in another county – some as far as FOUR HOURS away from all that is familiar to them.

    I know God is working even now to remedy that…

    I don’t think you mentioned what is bothering you, Emily. And also you?

      • says

        Erin! May God bless you greatly in the good work you are doing. May He encourage you in the mundane and carry you mightily through the hard. You are on the front lines (and often spread thinly across that front line), your work is important and critical and I pray you sense a little bit of that every single day. Thank you for your efforts.

    • says

      Lots of things bother me.

      Dumb things like when people chew with their mouth open or when I forget to turn in a library book on time. Also serious things like the fact that the mother of one of the children I sponsor through Compassion died in August and I’m not sure who is taking care of her now.

      I’m bothered when I see people compete and compare. I’m bothered more when I do it myself.

      I’m bothered when I see the Gospel of Jesus preached in a way that isn’t true, or twisted to become something it isn’t.

      I’m bothered with I don’t understand things or when I’m misunderstood.

      I’m bothered by some other things that I’m not ready to put on the internet.

      The challenge is to sit with what bothers me in an honest way, not to point the finger outward and say “This bothers me, that bothers me, and you bother me.” Rather, to let what bothers rise up, to bring it all into the presence of Christ and be willing to answer the question “Why does this bother me?”

      That’s where I am these days.

      • says

        thanks for sharing, Emily. I relate with many of those bothers too. I love the challenge you shared at the end… so good. So so good.

        I don’t want to just feel bothered, or even just feel sad, about kiddos in crisis. I want to do something, if its small and clumsy but God-led then it is good. It starts with that botheredness though, and ends (but really begins?) when we bring that to Him.

        Thank you.

  6. says

    Watching that video of Dallas is hard. . .he’s so thin and frail. But you can still heart his heart come right out in his voice.

    What’s bothering me most lately is my own self–how much I know of what Dallas taught and how little I actually live like I know it. There’s too much of a disconnect between thought and action, too much incongruity.

    Dallas used to say, “Live as though God reigns.” I have that written on a bookmark in my Bible. How I need that reminder. Now I just need it written on my heart instead of on a bookmark.

    Love you, sweet friend.

  7. says

    i was going to comment but i read the other comments before mine which are big and real problems and mine seems to be not worth bothering about. why are all my bothers small and inconsequential? now i’m bothered by the fact that i’m not bothered about big things. because my bother: the fact that we have just gotten another dog that gets car sick. pooped, vomited, drooled, and peed all the way back and forth to the vet. this is my lot in life. car sick dogs.

    • says

      I think your bother is a valid one for sure! I know it would bother me if all that was happening in my car. :)
      Sometimes when I’m bothered by seemingly smaller things, if I really look inside, I find that they are just the outer manifestation of a deeper bother. Sometimes My surface irritations are masking what I need to address. So, if I’m nagging my husband, he may not really be the issue at all – he may have just caught in the crossfire.

  8. says

    I think it is easy to gloss over what is bothering us. Tuck it away for later, try to forget it. I like what the first commenter said, that we do it because we don’t want to be a bother.

  9. says

    What an interesting question! I think that what bothers me right now is a church (in the broad sense) that stifles questions, that makes doubters feel shame, that is not secure enough in God to be able to handle the hard issues without putting people down.

  10. says

    Oh, bother.

    What’s bothering me lately is what I perceive as unfairness, coupled with the bother of the awareness that our God isn’t in the business of fair. Fair doesn’t save us from our sins, does it? So who I am to say what is fair? I’m also regularly bothered by doing the right things, making the right steps, etc., and not receiving what I believe is my correct lot for that.

    I’m doing a lot of assuming I get to call the shots around here. I’m also bothered by that.

    Thank you for these words today.

  11. says

    My prayer this last year has been for God to teach me how to ask better questions both of myself and others. And then to sit still in the response.

    Added to the better question list: What’s bothering you.
    LOVE it!

  12. says

    I read a wonderful book called Sensible Shoes, which is fiction, but based on the author’s experience in groups for spiritual direction. This theme is throughout and I’ve found myself thinking about it all the time: pay attention to what makes you uncomfortable.

    Right now, I’m celebrating my birthday with a two-week trip to Europe, staying with a friend I’d only met online. We are having a great time, but so many of my insecurities are coming out, and I’m realizing that I’ve ignored some ways that my country (and my family) are part of my identity. It’s so good, but it’s awfully uncomfortable as well.

    I’m trying to lean into the discomfort and discover what it has for me, and what God has for me through it.

    Thank you for sharing this, Emily.

  13. says

    This post reminds me of your encouragement in A Million Little Ways to “listen to your tears”… a beautiful prompt!

    What bothers me? Here are the biggies: Injustice toward children and the fact that there are children without families (ahem, one reason we’re an adoptive family), sex trafficking, and women thinking so little of themselves that their lives seem small or unimportant.

    Hmmm… this helps me sort out a few things. Thank you.

  14. Katherine says

    I’m bothered now by my students. I am a brand new teacher, right out of college. I’m such a “good girl” trying to be perfect, worrying about doing a good job. I teach one class of students who all seem to be in desperate need of an attitude adjustment. What bothers me is that I can’t seem to reach them. I only seem to increase their eye rolling and complaining when I try to be kind and honest with them. I’m bothered that these kids say hurtful things to me. They don’t give indication of enjoying my class, in the contrary they ask if they can switch out of my class. I’m bothered by their selfishness and their lack of effort. I’m bothered that most of them come from broken homes. I’m bothered that I only seem to be making them have worse attitudes. Im bothered that I’m saying all the wrong things. I’m bothered that I’m trying to trust God with this, but I keep picking up the burden. I’m bothered that I can’t seem to sort out what my actions should be, and what I should leave to The Lord. I’m bothered that I used the word “I” so much in this post.

    • says

      Katherine –

      I am also a teacher. One thing I’ve had to keep in mind (and that becomes more evident as you spend more years teaching) is that you don’t know what’s going on in your students & what impact you’re having.

      Students I never would have thought I got through to {what grammar!} come back years later to express their appreciation. Many never do, but I suspect you impact even those. {Not many will go to the trouble of looking you up again.}

      Also, I remind myself, esp. when my objectives are not being met (i.e., a student fails my class) that everyone is taking his own journey. It has been shown to me over and over that what I am giving students may not always be what I intend but may be just what they need at the moment (whether they know it or not). Some students who fail all of my classes still for the first time had someone learn their name and say they can do it. That’s a big thing for some folks even if it doesn’t translate to higher grades or fewer eye-rolls.

      Hang in there, Katherine! What you do matters.

      • Katherine says

        Kendra –
        Thank you for your encouragement. My prayer in the morning is that I be the teacher that my kids need that day. Whatever that looks like. Throughout the day, self-doubt creeps in, and Friday I had one kid in tears. You’re right, I’ve got to trust God to answer my prayer, that whatever I’m giving them is what they need, even if it doesn’t look like I think it should… Ahhhh… This question has made me be honest with myself… As a teacher do you ever feel as though you are falling apart, and the only thing holding you together is Jesus?

  15. says

    Wonderful post of insight! I love the turn around question of ‘What’s bothering you and also you?’ The unexpectedness of it. I feel that we don’t feel compassion enough — maybe it’s empathy. We don’t want to enter another’s burden or pain. It might cost us time, emotion or responsibility.
    I experienced a beautiful picture of this once in a communion service. We took our piece of bread and laid it at the foot of a cross — all of our sins — into a bowl and then those pieces were the ones given to each of us as we took the bread and the cup for communion. We participated in each other’s sufferings. Very powerful.

  16. Tori says

    Emily, thank you so much for sharing this. I feel that all growing up I was led to believe that the Christian response to every bad thought in my head & heart was to shush and bury it and try to cover it up with goodness and peace. But somehow, that goodness and peace never really pushed its way into my head & heart. Just over the past year or so have I finally been able to realize (through some helpful insights of a fellow believer) that instead of burying these things in my heart, what needs to occur is for me to let them surface for what they are, present them to God through prayer, and seek for His truth to replace them, not just cover them up. This has opened up my heart to really be able to begin receiving His truth, not just trying to use it to patch up the ugly places.

    I have pretty recently started following your blog, and have really enjoyed what I’ve read. Thank you for being real and sharing your heart.

  17. says

    The first commenter said, “sometimes I think the reason we don’t pay attention to what is bothering us is because we don’t want to bother anyone else with it.” That tends to be very true for me. I feel like people have their own problems, and I don’t want to come across as a complainer, so I keep my feelings and hurts to myself. Not always a good habit, I guess!

    I do like this question, though. Like someone else mentioned, one of my goals and prayers this year is to learn to ask better questions of people and really hear their hearts. A friend of mine asks people, “what’s the color of your heart right now?” This question “what’s bothering you?” is a good one to keep in mind, too. Thank you.

  18. says

    This is interesting timing because I have been stewing all morning in what’s bothering me and my bible study happened to say more than once to be still or flat out shut up. There must be a balance to this sharing and shutting up. Especially when it involves our daughter’s education. Interesting thought-provoking post. Thanks!

  19. says

    what an awesome question…what’s bothering you? You are so right, this often leads us down the road into the depths of our heart and actually brings out something beautiful, unique, and God-given.

  20. says

    Thank you for this post and for making me think. What’s bothering me right now is how people don’t listen or pay attention. And, when I follow that on down, what’s bothering me is that they usually aren’t listening or paying attention because they’re more concerned with themselves than stopping for a second to listen to someone else. . .to consider that someone else could teach/show/help them. .. to actually give another person’s thoughts/words/actions more importance than the thoughts/actions they are doing. And, as I follow that thought on down, I’m thinking that maybe what else is bothering me is the question of when am I guilty of doing exactly what is bothering me?

  21. Kat says

    WOW…I am squeezing this in between running back and forth between my home and my daughter’s an hour away where I am trying to care for her two school-age kids, running home to check on my 3 dogs, do Bible Studies (leading and participating)…and yesterday, in the midst of all this chaos (including math homework for a SECOND GRADER that actually stressed me enough to cause chest pains)…I hear the voice in my head for the fourth time that one day that I am “stupid and incompetent” or that I fear that I am (same diff!).
    That is a blast from a past of a dad with high hopes and expectations – not of perfection but of our being the best we could be, but he didn’t know how to express it in those terms because he had had NO father figure, so it came across as an assessment that I did stupid things (sometimes, I did!), but apparently it planted a real seed of insecurity about my abilities and my competence in this world.
    Ironically, as a Children’s Minister, retired college instructor, having raised 3 amazing daughters who are in stable Christian marriages…my world of friends and family see me as OVER-competent…hence, there not being a moment of hesitation on my daughter’s part in asking for a week of my time in childcare while handling my own very full life.
    Way too long of a post…but I’m copying to paste and print for a journal entry that I can continue when the dust settles a bit.
    Jeepers…where did all that come from? “What’s bothering you?”
    Who knew?
    Thanks, Emily (and John and Dallas)

  22. says

    I’ve been soaking in A Million Little Ways for weeks now. I’m processing and thinking about much that you’ve said in that great little book, but your suggestion to pay attention to what makes me cry has been insightful. I will now add “What’s bothering me?” to that. If I can learn to ask myself that question, I am sure to be brave enough to ask it of another. Thank you for your perspective.

  23. says

    So, what’s bothering me? Where to begin? A lot of little things (such as being bombarded with ads everywhere I go on the internet) bother me and I’ve been convicted lately that I complain too much and don’t take enough time to be grateful for what I have.

    I have been bothered that my husband can’t seem to find work – we’ve been in transition for awhile and all the doors keep closing. I am bothered that my Mom has dementia and my father is legally blind (macular degeneration) and figuring out my role in all of this. I am bothered that while we figure out all the logistics our savings is slipping away. I am bothered that all this strikes fear in me even though I am trying my best to trust that God has a plan. I am bothered that my writing seems to be on hold lately and I am second guessing if that is even what I am supposed to be doing. I am bothered that I feel selfish when I feel like me is slipping away because my life is on hold because others need me. I am bothered that I never feel like I’m doing enough. I am bothered that some days I just want to run away. I am bothered that all this bothers me because I have so much to be thankful for and in the whole of my life I have been blessed.
    But, since you asked I thought I’d ask myself that question and see what happened. Sometimes it is good to put actual words to the bothers that are floating around below the surface. It’s always good to know what you’re dealing with.

  24. says

    Today has been a day of the Lord peeling back layers of my heart and speaking some uncomfortable truth. What bothers me today is the thought that I have been living in complacency and doing a good job of avoiding pain and heartache and going out of my way to meet the needs of anyone else, when really God calls me to be like his Son.

    I ask God to bless me when instead I want him to make me happy and then leave me alone. Today, I’m asking prayerfully how I can serve others, even if it means getting dirty or heartbroken or being poor. Isn’t that what He did for us and so much more?

  25. says

    I’m bothered by this upside down world, where nothing is as it should be. And I’m bothered that most days, I don’t have enough of the Holy Spirit in me to right it.

  26. says

    I was wondering what this “most revolutionary” question would be when I read your blog title. I was a bit skeptical, I’ll admit, until I actually heard the question.
    Yesterday I told a friend what was really bothering me. The friend’s response was for me to take an action that on the outside may look “correct” and “mature.” However even that bothered me! Sometimes I think we expect a whole lot out of some folks and not so much out of others.
    What bothers me? I feel people expect A WHOLE LOT out of ME…always me going the second mile in a situation.

  27. says

    I’m smiling and shaking my head because I’ve been reading Dallas Willard for the past month…started with sermon prep for a message on spiritual disciplines but actually wound up face to face with something that really bothered me that I needed more answers on…which seems to be leading to a book. I loved hearing you say that all your books started with this question. what a difficult, yet wonderful, place to start. thanks!

  28. says

    I love this post. This query. I anticipate a blog post or two or a book or something out of my response. When I can put words to the ache in my heart. Thank you for such a thought provoking, laser focussed prompt.

  29. Ginny says

    What is bothering me today is that I am a Basketball Widow. My husband is a coach and they are still winning so they are still playing. I know my husband loves me dearly, but he is so tired and occupied that I am usually left feeling alone and unimportant to him. This time of year is always difficult. I love watching him coach and it is a part of our lives, but I don’t want to be overlooked. Thank you for this post.

  30. says

    What a simple yet powerful question! What’s bothering me today is of my own making: I feel guilty for sleeping a little later than usual, for not doing as much work as I think I ‘should’ do, and so on. And yet I’ve had a full, lovely day of connection, energy, and simple joys. These problems are only in my mind.

    If I go to a deeper level, as others have: when I see people with physical and intellectual disabilities excluded — well, “bothered” isn’t a strong enough word. My younger brother has autism, and I spent several years living in an intentional community with adults with special needs. Part of how I knew I wanted to make that commitment was how deeply I was “bothered” whenever I witnessed exclusion. You’re so right to say that what “bothers” us offers a key clue as to how we can help, how we can reach out with love.

  31. says

    I work as a medical assistant. We have a patient that goes in and out of the hospital at least two to three times a month. This person is young and does have some major medical problems, for her age. But the hospital visits are never as a result of these problems, they are a result of noncompliance with medications, sometimes results of overdoses. The last two in less than two weeks being for that reason. When she is in the hospital and given her medications appropriately she does great, but the minute she leaves it’s never long, sometimes only a couple of days and she’s back. She is mentally of sound mind, she is not incapacitated…And there are times when we’ve honestly wondered if she just does this for attention. And it could be the case.
    What’s bothered me today, is that upon learning of her ‘re-admission this morning, after we just saw her in the office two days ago for a follow-up from the hospital which she was just in for overdosing last week, and now she overdosed again… I was angry and had not an ounce of sympathy for her.
    It has bothered me a lot today, that I felt this way.
    It has bothered me that I have judged her, it has bothered me that I had to pray about my feelings, that I didn’t easily extend grace to her…

  32. jamie says

    What is bothering me?
    The unrest and potential loss of liberty for the people of Ukraine.
    That my 6th grade daughter continues to struggle with reading no matter the programs and tutors that have been utilized. And how it is so connected to how she feels about herself.
    The issues I find myself in with my marriage and that there is no one I can go to about it all.

    • Lisa Mac says

      Jamie I am saying a prayer for you to find some help and resolution. Both for your daughters reading and self image, and for your marriage. May He guide you into the right paths for help in all of these situations.

  33. says

    Well my brain is sort of spinning now. It’s a gentle question but with profound implications. I’m thinking of all the ways I try to unpack what my husband or kids {or my own self} are feeling or thinking…and how it can be more abrasive than this. “What’s wrong?” “What are you so upset about?” But “What’s bothering you?” It’s a gentle invitation to let out a deep breath and be honest.

    Beautiful post that’s got me thinking. As usual. : )

  34. says

    Also, what’s bothering me: Christians who don’t act like it. I hate that I’m even writing that out in black and white. It sounds so self-righteous and judgmental. Lately I’ve felt bombarded with mixed signals and hypocrisy from leaders and seemingly mature believers. I stew. I spew pretend speeches to them in my head. I can’t make sense of the incongruity. I want to shake them. And then I know that so much of my judgement is rooted in not seeing the plank in my own eye because I’m so blinded by the specks in the eyes of others. Which forces me to look hard at my own sin and the viciously critical spirit within…and this is the most bothersome thing of all.

  35. Donna says

    Big deep breath… What bothers me is the pervasiveness of porn and sex addiction in the Church and the lack of support groups or mention of it in the Church. I’m bothered that it has far reaching tentacles that damage not only the porn addict, but their wives and children on more levels that can be described. It bothers me that the no one speaks out about it and that women are taught to “bear all things” and to be “submissive” and to “respect” their husbands i.e. never tell the honest-to-God-truth about what is really going on behind the closed doors of their perceived “happy” marriage and family. I’m also bothered by the fact that it’s like searching for a needle in a haystack to find support and those that do offer it are sporadically spread out across the country and charge ridiculously steep fees for their “help.” It bothers me that I can’t take my kids to the grocery store without some idiotic magazine like Vogue or Glamour staring back at us at the check-out with half-naked women on them. It bothers me that even the best computer filters don’t filter everything. It bothers me that women parade around in their underwear on t.v. and that almost every other movie has scenes we have to fast forward. The Church needs to stop sticking their head in the sand and start being proactive about bringing real help and healing to families in this area. The Church needs to help men to become God-fearing leaders of their homes and provide support so that they learn how not to give in to temptation. The Church needs to support women and give them a voice so that they have the help they need to set proper boundaries and to heal, too, and not drown in the loneliness and despair of their husband’s sin. Marriages need help in this area and it bothers me that the Church isn’t helping. It bothers me that I’ve been afraid to post this. It bothers me that I know the heartache and anguish of this topic far too well.

    • Lisa Mac says

      Donna, I have no answer to what bothers you, but I could not read this honest, yet painful response without telling you how much I respect your courage in posting it. Thank you for being and inspiration. I am praying that you will find an answer for this situation.

  36. says

    i did this the other day, answered what was bothering me, blurted it out & then started crying. i hadn’t admitted to myself how much i hated my only brother checking out of my life. i didn’t want it to be an issue. & then it rose up, pushed up near the edge of my skin by my sweet Lord, & i had to speak it outloud.

    “we are not welcome there.”

    & i left it alone. unresolved, but out, finally.

    but. in that admitting, that being for-real with myself, something burst open. tonight we went out for dinner with them, & while he’s not changed, something in me has. & what love there is there, i’m able to receive.

    by saying what was bothering me, i was released from it.
    not bothered anymore. not. bothered.

    & all along i thought i just needed to muscle up under the bother, to make it go away.

  37. says

    This seems to be a recurring theme in every study and speaker I encounter of late. What bothers you should move you, I’m hearing. It’s how you know what God is calling you to next.

    So what bothers me?

    So so many things. And partly, I am already doing what I can to make a dent in the issue that bothers me most which is women destroying themselves and their children with abortion.

    But what bothers me on a regular basis is my husband. (I wish I were kidding) and the fact that we are unequally yoked for almost 18 years now and it is NOT improving. How can God use that? That REALLY bothers me.

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