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Women World Leaders' Podcast

Apr 22, 2022

Cindy Jacob Southworth, an AACC Certified Relationship Coach, is sharing what the Word says about spiritual blindness in our relationships, and what the Word says about overcoming that spiritual blindness. Spiritual blindness keeps us from the abundance that God has for us. The next time you are feeling criticized, ask yourself if this perceived criticism can be helpful in removing your own spiritual blindness.


Welcome to Celebrating God’s Grace, a Women World Leaders Podcast. I am your host Cindy Jacob Southworth, an AACC certified relationship coach with Breakwater Ministries, and part of the Women World Leaders leadership team, and I am coming to you from Cindy’s Porch. Today I want to talk to you about spiritual blindness, but first let’s go to God in prayer.

Father I am so grateful that you sent your son Jesus, and because of your humanity. You suffered in being tempted. Through that, you understand my suffering and your holy spirit gives me immediate assistance when I am being tempted and exposed to that same kind of suffering. Thank you for your counsel over me Father, In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Is it Criticism, or am I spiritually blind?


One of the common complaints that I hear among husbands and wives is “he’s always criticizing me” or “she doesn’t listen; she just wants to mother me.”

It’s easier to look at someone else’s flaws instead of our own, and if it isn’t delivered in the right tone, it comes across as criticism. However, we have much to learn from Jesus’ teachings and apply them to our present relationships.

In Hebrews 2:18 we are reminded that 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Even though Jesus himself did not sin, he knew what the temptation of sin can do to an individual as he himself experienced the suffering that comes from that temptation. He then showed us loving ways to help others steer away from temptation. In Hebrews 3:12-13 we read:12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

So, let’s take a second look at what our spouse is trying to say to us. When we hear something that sounds like a criticism, take a step back. Instead of getting defensive, ask yourself: Is he possibly revealing a blind spot I might have in this situation? Is she trying to keep me from the suffering that will come if I act on what I believe to be true? Am I hearing criticism, or a plea to look at my behavior and see if it is possibly causing damage to myself or others?

Let’s look at some real-life situations:  Brad and Emily are married. Emily complains that Brad criticizes the amount of time that she spends with her extended family. He describes her family as “being all up in each other’s business” and Emily is often irritable and frustrated that certain family members are making bad choices. She thinks Brad is being critical of her, and is “jealous” of the time she is with her family. However, coaching reveals that Emily sees herself as the family hero – what would they do without her? Coaching reveals that Emily is spending her time trying to help people who don’t want to be helped. Brad isn’t in fact being critical, he is trying to spare her from the angst that comes from being in a codependent relationship. Emily decides to believe that her husband wants the best for her, and she starts focusing her energy on relationships that are healthier for her, including her own marriage.

Bob and Sandy are also married and Bob complains that Sandy is always nagging him about his drinking. He feels attacked and judged because he just wants to relax in the evenings and have a couple drinks, even though he admits it is habitual and becoming excessive. Bob has a blind spot about the effects that his habitual drinking has on ther marriage, and when he decides to stop drinking, he discovers that he can have a stronger emotional connection with his wife. She wasn’t being critical – she was pointing out a roadblock that was leading him down a path of suffering.

These are just two examples of Hebrews 3:12-13 in action: we are to encourage one another that we not get caught up in sin’s deceitfulness. The temptation of sin blinds me to me, and as long as sin is in me, it will blind me to my view of myself.  Spiritual blindness keeps us from the abundance that God has for us.

As husbands and wives, as best friends, as loving parents, the most loving thing we can do is help each other see our own roadblocks, those things that are preventing us from being all that God has called us to be.

So the next time you are feeling criticized by your spouse, or your best friend, or your parent, take a step back and ask yourself, “are they criticizing me, or are they revealing a roadblock in my life?” Maybe they are being critical, but if there is one element of truth in that criticism, it can help set you free from your own spiritual blindness.

Jesus was brilliant at showing us how these relationships can work. We are called to be salt and light to each other – so we can live out the divine calling that God has on our lives.

I would love to hear from you, so drop me an email at   Send me your ideas for relationship advice. What would you like to hear about on this podcast that has to do with marriage? Send me your questions.


Thank you so much for joining us today—as we celebrate God’s grace in our lives, in this ministry, and the world!

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