Why I’ve Deleted My Books, Courses, and Over 200 Blog Posts
“It’s a continuation, not an ending,” my husband said.
Last week, I unpublished my books and courses (meaning they are not available for sale on the various platforms) and over two hundred blog posts (moved to “trash” pending edits or permanent deletion.)
I have been writing about marriage since I was a newlywed myself.
While I have updated my content to reflect my growth over the years, I now believe my resources need more attention to fully reflect my current beliefs around marriage and what it means to be a Christ-follower.
Someone asked me whether deleting the resources wasn’t a tad dramatic. I am not sure it wasn’t. But what I know is that I am at peace. I’m doing my best.
And my best involves unpublishing content, combing through it, removing unhelpful stuff, and updating everything.
I started Intentional Today (this website) ten years ago because my husband and I struggled at the beginning of our marriage. It took a couple of years for our relationship to get to a healthy place.
I felt called to walk with newlywed women struggling to wrap their minds around marriage. Intentionality and grace have been our rallying call.
It was a great run. Until recently (well, until three years ago), when I started to get a glimpse of possible problem areas.
Back when my marriage was a bustling construction zone, I learned to focus on the one person I could control. Myself. My husband needed to grow too but I discovered I couldn’t force him to. So I learned to hold my space and keep my spouse accountable.
And because accountability, boundaries, and personal growth worked for our relationship, my approach was to help wives in those areas too.
What I didn’t realize was that women married to chronically problematic men would read my words and double down, working on themselves as if they were the problem.
My posts had caveats, I still wrote about unhealthy dynamics and how to address them.
But when you’re writing from your now-healthy-marriage silo, your words can still be exhausting, tone-deaf, and entirely unhelpful for spouses in toxic or abusive marriages.
I have grown – and still growing – and I don’t want to be nauseating anymore. I want my books, courses, and blog to radiate sensitivity and nuance.
I am pro-HEALTHY-marriage, not just pro-marriage. I don’t want to people to read my words and walk away thinking they have to stay married, no matter what. I don’t want them to think they are the problem when they are not.
I want people to have a clearer image of what a healthy marriage looks like. I hope people read my words and gain hope and confidence for their individual next step. Not shame, confusion or false guilt.
God doesn’t want His sons and daughters to stay married no matter the cost. Marriage is not a prison.
So I want to “switch on the light” on unhealthy marriages too so God’s daughters and sons don’t conflate common marriage problems with chronic and unrepentant individual issues.
So I am really sorry.
If you’re in a chronically problematic marriage, I’m sorry for being insensitive to your lived experience.
I was really protective of marriage in general, believing that many spouses don’t take their vows seriously.
Now I know that most people of faith will fight for their marriages long after they should have stopped fighting. Frivolous divorces exist, but there isn’t an epidemic of frivolousness.
The actual epidemic seems to be the church’s silence about abuse and consequences of unrepentant sin in relationships. A big problem is God’s people propping up erroneous teachings of marriage first, instead of individual welfare first.
I’m sorry for making discernment harder by not being explicit in every article I wrote.
I made assumptions that everyone who reads my words understands the context in which I write them. I issued caveats but it’s hard to listen to simple caveats when you’re desperate and an article reads like it can be applied to your situation.
I grew up in patriarchy, hyper-spirituality, purity culture, and prosperity-gospel-in-marriage messages.
I’m not making an excuse, rather explaining where I am coming from. I, too, have walked after the ways of man while believing I was following Jesus.
Some of these cultural beliefs and individual preferences passed through me to you. I am truly sorry.
The Process That Is Changing My Mind
My husband and I are having unending conversations around what it means to be faithful followers of Jesus.
We grew up with many erroneous beliefs, and we’re both untangling our faith and finding so much peace and freedom in Christ.
“It’s a continuation, not an ending.”
My husband is right. However, bringing down your moneymaking resources has a way of whacking your soul. Unpublishing so much of my content and closing my coaching practice still felt like I had wasted ten years of my life.
But yes, he’s right. I am simply continuing, making adjustments based on what I know now. The journey has not been a waste.
Also. Writing this blog post was really scary. It’s hard to be open about your messes. Transparency and truth-sharing will always feel risky.
But I am at peace now. Well, I am actively finding peace every day.
And one way or another, I was going to need a more in-depth explanation as to why my books and courses are no longer available for sale and why I’ve taken a break from coaching.
Do You Have a Timeline For Your Revised Resources?
I have NO IDEA when I will finish editing my books and course.
For those who do not know, I’m from Kenya. My husband and I moved to the US ten years ago. English is my third language.
Now we speak English in Kenya as our official language. But most people speak it as a second or third language. All that to say, my writing and editing are not as fast as I’d like because of third language processing. (And a chronic condition.*)
I’m currently re-writing the first book, Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After in the Early Years, and it should be out again in the next couple of months.
Is this Goodbye?
I have wrestled with whether to hang up the writing and coaching gloves altogether.
Writing and coaching come at such a physical and mental cost. I suffer from chronic pain (which I continue to believe for complete healing), and any sitting or standing comes with varying degrees of misery.
Due to prolonged inflammation, I also struggle with brain fog which affects my thinking and processing.
For now, I don’t feel called away from this space. So I’m here. And I’ll continue writing about healthy marriages and calling out unhealthy dynamics.
Here Is the Real Lesson
Author and speaker Sheila Gregoire says (paraphrased), “Christian marriage books don’t have to cause harm to some people.”
I believe her words echo Paul’s teaching to the church in Rome.
“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall. So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. Romans 14:19-22 NIV
In this text, Paul warns the church in Rome against judging and despising one another based on food choices.
He asks one group not to stumble others with their meat and wine freedoms. (Earlier in the text, he also urged the non-meat-eaters and non-wine-drinkers not to despise the others because of their liberty.)
While addressing a different subject, these verses re-tell the greatest commandment: love for God and love for one another.
We are all members of one body, and we must make adjustments based on what the rest of the body needs. It’s not healthy for the body of Christ to dwell in silos.
As a marriage writer, I need to be inclusive, writing in a way that doesn’t cause “my brothers and sisters to fall.” I need to be trauma-aware to the best of my ability.
As the Holy Spirit guides me, I need to reach deep and make changes within my belief system. I must be open and pliable so that my lived experience of a healthy marriage doesn’t become a stumbling block for others with a different reality.
Certainly, discernment is still in the hands of others. We’re all responsible for what we consume. I am not a licensed therapist, and I do not provide diagnosis, counseling, treatment, or mental care services. I know my limits (I’m a writer, author, and coach).
But I desire to be a good steward of what I know. And I think everyone should aspire to the same. So here’s to grand continuations, following Christ as He leads.
Are we friends on Facebook (@intentionaltoday) and Instagram (@nginaotiende)? Let’s connect! I share more regularly, offering tips and thoughts on unhealthy marriage dynamics and how to get healthier if you’re in a healthy marriage.
Helpful Websites and Pages For Toxic, Abusive or Difficult Marriages
- Hope For Hurting Wives
- Flying Free with Natalie Hoffman
- Life Saving Divorce with Gretchen Baskerville
- To Love Honor and Vacuum with Sheila Gregoire
- Leslie Vernick
- Patrick Weaver Ministries
- Elisabeth Klein
- Sarah McDugal
- Call emergency hotline in your country. For stateside help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or browse their website for free help.
Thank you so much for this. ❤️
This was me. I was raised in a purity culture – and also marriage first “divorce is NEVER an option” mindset.
“Now I know that most people of faith will fight for their marriages long after they should have stopped fighting. Frivolous divorces exist, but there isn’t an epidemic of frivolousness.
The actual epidemic seems to be the church’s silence about abuse and consequences of unrepentant sin in relationships. A big problem is God’s people propping up erroneous teachings of marriage first, instead of individual welfare first. “
For years I felt like my first marriage was a prison. God hated divorce, right? So that wasn’t an option. I found myself pleading with God to release me but then I would feel guilty for praying that. I would see godly marriages were BOTH people worked together on problem areas and sought Christ together. It discouraged me because I was alone.
I was a single mom in my marriage. I was abandoned most of the time and when he was around he was abusive, heartless and manipulative.
Yet I felt carried the weight of fixing things on my shoulders. If I was more submissive, more obedient, prayed more, read more marriage help books, served him more……if I was a better wife than maybe I would have a better husband.
While I’m far from perfect I eventually realized I WAS a good wife. I sacrificed so much of myself for my marriage. I read the books, dug into God’s Word. I prayed. I went to counseling by myself. I went to marriage seminars by myself. I worked on me.
I reached a point where I did find peace. I no longer have into his manipulation tactics. I developed healthy boundaries. I grew content despite my circumstances because of my joy in Christ.
He didn’t like that he was losing control over me. One night he became violent and aggressive. I left and went somewhere safe with the kids. I set a healthy boundary and a standard for how I expected him to treat me….how God expected and commanded him to treat me.
I returned home after awhile. I worked to make things work in the marriage again. He did for a time but it was more than he was willing to give. He went back to his selfish, abusive ways and moved onto a new target.
He cheated and I finally felt released from my prison. I didn’t mourn the relationship…..I just mourned what I had always wanted in a marriage and realized I would never have.
I wish I would have known that God would have permitted me to leave BEFORE he had the affair. I thought cheating or one of us dying was the only way out of the destructive, abusive marriage.
I now am free of that marriage but the scars are still there and I am still healing.
Going through my own divorce experience changed my perspective on divorce, remarriage and abuse completely.
I am SO thankful to have found your blog and writing and appreciate your transparency and willingness to write about TRUTH.
That must have been such a difficult decision to make but thank you for yielding to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Thank you for being a light to women in a dark situation.
I would say I wish I would have known these things sooner but I would have never had my children. So God’s timing is always perfect.
Thank you for your wise words. ❤️
Reading your reply was a mirror into my own marriage struggle. Thank you for sharing.
And I think your English is fabulous! (I’m American-born and am always amazed by anyone being multi-lingual).
I’m praying for your healing.
Thank you thank you thank you for your honesty, courage, and willingness to re-evaluate and learn from the realities of abuse that exist in church and often because of church culture. This post is amazing, and I hope you keep pressing forward in the direction God is taking you. The is kind of honesty and truth is so needed. You set an incredible example for other faith leaders to take in acknowledging the wrong beliefs and harmful teachings that continue to perpetuate the toxic culture that is so prevalent in evangelical circles. Blessings on you.
Very beautiful and humble post. Thank you for being an example. I wish more people would follow this. God is using you in this, whether you realize it or not. Thank you.
This is a beautiful, humble, honest, self-aware post. Bold and courageous. I salute you! God will bless this difficult move because you are doing it for all the right reasons.
This is so bold of you. The very first work I read by you was on submissiveness and it changed my perspectives. May your path continue to shine brighter unto a perfect day. We trust you’d keep up the good work that God has instilled in you. All the best!!!
Hi Ngina. I pray that God will honour your commitment to change the church’s worldview of dealing with marriage issues. I am a recent reader of your work and the few things I read were helpful to me as a woman married for 8 years but understandably perhaps not an answer for every type of situation. When living through tough times, our families, our church just want us as wives to just be ok and pull through without considering our circumstances and that is something I have found sad in my experience as an African woman. Our mothers and sisters have lived through these experiences and have passed down this view that our feelings don’t matter as long as we hold our family units together. We as women are enslaved to think at times that we cannot have honest conversations with our husbands. In this, men and women have lost years to mediocre marriages where you do your duty, raise your kids and never rock the boat. Perhaps we are generally taught to be critical thinkers in school or our professional/work life whilst neglecting to do so in our daily family life. But Christ our Saviour came to set us free. ” It was for freedom that Christ has set us free no longer to be subject to the yoke of slavery” Gal 5:1. So it’s exciting that God is doing something new through what He is revealing to you. Changes are dramatic and cause pain usually to those who start the ball rolling. I pray that God will continue to lighten your burden and heal you physically in Jesus name.
Thank you! From the bottom of my heart. ❤
When I read this. I thought she cares more about what God thinks than what man thinks. Praise God!!! Keep it up! We need more examples of people transforming their understanding to align with scripture rather than distorting scripture to justify their ideas.
Good work dada. Hi si kitu rahisi lakini ni kitu chenye muhimu. Mungu atakubariki. Na wale wanaoteseka katika ndoa zao wataendelea kupata watu Kama wewe, Sheila Gregoire etc.
Thankyou for your soul searching and honesty. I have only come across your writings recently and they resonated for me who has gone through examining a lot of my core beliefs about faith and marriage. I have been the problematic spouse who has struggled, found help and learned to grow. I appreciate your honesty. Arriving at your blog recently I found your writing to be sensitive, empathetic, and wise. Keep going! You are doing a necessary work! It sounds like it is tough. It sounds like you need some rest. But….Be of good courage, He will strengthen your heart. 💕
Thank you for your kind words. I’m so glad you’re also on that journey of examining core beliefs and growing. And that you’re much healthier. You’re right on the need to rest..that’s where I am.
Your example is powerful and life giving. Thank you.
“The actual epidemic seems to be the church’s silence about abuse and consequences of unrepentant sin in relationships”
Wow. I am stunned and grateful for what you’ve done: both in your past and ongoing care for supporting couples in marriages, and your present acknowledgement of your sisters who are in chronically difficult/abusive marriages. I agree: deleting content seems dramatic. But there needs to be dramatic change in how many parts of the Church speak to abuse in marriages. The very “dramatic” nature of your actions give you credibility and a voice.
“deleting content seems dramatic. But there needs to be dramatic change in how many parts of the Church speak to abuse in marriages” Couldn’t agree more!
I just want to say that your writings were helpful to me. In the season that I needed it I felt God speaking through them to me. Though there may have been some women in abusive relationships that read your stuff and got the wrong idea… i’m sure there were other women like me who are not in an abusive relationship but found your writing refreshing and helpful. I pray that you’re able to hear from the Lord in this season and get direction. Know that what you invested in all these years was not a waste.❤️
Alisha, I’m so glad my writing has been helpful to you. Thank you for your kind words. Yes, there are thousands of women who are not living our normal marriage experience and it’s so important to sit with them too and learn. Everyone deserves to feel heard.
I’m 64 years older going on 42 years of a difficult marriage. Not always, but overall. Our marriage has lacked true intimacy from the beginning. It’s refreshing to see a young woman taking such steps as you are to examine the foundations upon which you’ve built and the materials with which you’ve built. You may find that some elements are rock-solid as they are and just need a face-lift. Others will need a complete overhaul. I’ll be praying for you. I’m still learning, so maybe we can learn together. Being true to loving God first and others under that cover truly is no better foundation. Great start!
Sherry, thank you for your words this morning. I’m so sorry for the difficulties in your marriage. “You may find that some elements are rock-solid as they are and just need a face-lift. Others will need a complete overhaul.” You are absolutely right. I’ve been hitting delete on some and editing some. Thank you for your encouragement.