You may want to read:
Preemptive Warning – Don’t make the mistake of reading this content and moving on to the next thing. Life-dominating sin problems do not go away in a moment. You’ll have to do the things I’m suggesting repeatedly if you want these biblical ideas to settle into your longterm memory. If you do like so many Christians, which is content overload, nothing will lock into your permanent memory vault.
I did a podcast for a friend who told me that by reading too much of my stuff was bogging down his transformation. He did not understand how transformation works, and part of his problem is all the accessible information in our world, via the Internet.
Some Christians are like “sanctification chain-smokers” who never change because they believe “more is better,” when it’s never been that way. Listen to this podcast.
I will illustrate these ideas by using a husband helping his wife overcome fear, though you can apply these concepts to any relationship.
The first thing is for you to be clear on the order of priority of her entrapping sins. There are three of them in sequential order, with each one stacking on top of the other: 3–Behavioral Issues, 2–Soul Issues, and 1–Core Issue.
3 – (Outward Habits) She sins behaviorally. I’m sure there are many behavioral sins with an insecure person. And some of these are patterns that have become her method of “coping and covering” her fear. This “masking method” regarding the gnawing in her soul is imperfect at best.
E.g., lying, buying things, enhancing her reputation, instant anger to shut down any threats, escapes like overeating or over-sleeping, focus on self-esteem, blaming her problems on others, etc.
2 – (Soul Issues) Underneath whatever behavioral sin patterns that you see and experience are patterns of “muting the conscience” that point to the soul trouble. The reason an insecure person will twist their “internal moral thermostat” is that they don’t want anyone to expose the fear that they are trying to hide.
Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about here:
#3 – Outward Habit: A behavioral sin could be deceptive communication—she tells lies.
#2 – Soul Issue: She is motivated to deceive because she fears exposure.
#1 – Core Issue: Fear, or fear of others (Proverbs 29:25).
A husband would see the habit of lying and never discern how he must ask the “why question.” Why is she lying?
Rather than asking this diagnostic question, he chooses to interrogate, condemn, criticize, or threaten her while never realizing that his disappointment in her is motivating her to double-down on hiding the real truth about what is happening in her soul, which is fear of man. Thus, in my scenario here, you have,
#3 (Behavioral Problem) deceitful communication.
#2 (Soul Issue) a lying heart.
#1 (Core Issue) she does not want this problem with fear exposed.
An insecure person does not want to feel any smaller than they already know themselves to be, so if she perceives that you may not approve or accept her (Read: Rejection), she may resort to bad habits (lying) to cover the real truth about herself.
Too often, the husband in this scenario will be so offended by the deception (behavior) that he misses the hidden truth: she’s a little girl craving acceptance, and your appreciation is so important to her that she will even lie to assure that her spouse never rejects her.
It’s vital for you to understand my biblical logic here. If you don’t discern what I’m saying, you’ll always be attacking your wife for her “behavioral sinning” while not addressing the real culprit (fear of man) in her soul.
With these things in mind, let me give you three articles to bookmark and “memorize.”
1 – How to help a person change: the critical idea in this article is for you to encourage your wife. The main thing that an insecure person needs is your warm, favoring, and encouraging words.
2 – Understanding how she got to the place where she is. This article talks about the three primary shaping influences in a woman’s life: Adam, Parents, and her Husband. I will assume that Adam and her Parents did not do well by her, so it’s on you to cooperate with the Lord to “reverse the curse” by helping restore her in a spirit of gentleness (Galatians 6:1-2).
3 – How to break free from the fear of man: the reason I put this article last is that you may want to “fix her first” (fear of man) without thinking about your method for helping her (encouragement), or not understanding the complexity of her soul (natural regression).
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).