Denise J. Hughes
About the Author

Denise is a lover of words and the Word. She's the author of #DeeperWaters and the Bible study series #WordWriters.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you, Denise, for doing the hard persevering instead of just giving up on Jesus’ stained bride. You are humble enough not to have written it, but I have a feeling that you came out of that season of weekly warfare as a stronger and more compassionate warrior. Sometimes the iron-sharpening-iron causes a few sparks to fly.

  2. Denise,
    Just like individual sinners, the church as a corporate body of sinners will build people up and sometimes, unfortunately, they tear people down. I was angry with our church for several years when my son (hurt by well meaning Youth leaders) walked out of the church vowing to never set foot back in its doors again. He stuck to his vow. God, however, kept pursuing him and wooing him back to Himself. My son is skeptical at best, but at least, after 7 years, he set foot back in the place that had hurt him so much. His walls are still very high, but I keep trusting that God is able. As the saying goes, “If church were a place only for saints, the pews would be empty.” I believe the hypocrisy of church-going Christians who turn around and hurt others is what keeps people away from church. If we shifted from piety to simply loving people like Jesus did and forgiving each other, church would be a lot more attractive to the onlooker. Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Thank you for sharing how as the bride we need, also, to forgive those who make mistakes. I love this illustration….so poignant!
    Bev xx

    • Bev,

      Glad to hear your son is trying to come back to church a bit. People can be so mean. Christians can be the most hypocritical. I’ve heard people in church saying “I don’t want ‘those’ people in my church”. Those people being homeless, or down & out-not the hoity toity. My thoughts at the time is “I didn’t know this was your church.” “I thought it was Jesus’s.” “If you don’t want them in your church then you don’t want Jesus.” Sad situation & yes it makes people stay away form church I will continue to pray for your son to come back to God.

      Blessings 🙂

      • Beth,
        I am SO thankful for you!! You are such a strong prayer warrior and I know and believe you have been praying for my son and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!! I know God is able and He hears our prayers!!
        Love and ((hugs)),
        Bev xo

        ps. What can I be praying for YOU?

      • Beth, thank you for praying for Bev and her son. Seeing sisters in Christ pray for one another is truly one of the most beautiful things to behold.


    • Bev, I’m so sorry to hear all you’ve walked through. I pray that God will woo your son back to him, for despite all the brokenness in this world and in the church, Jesus is truly the best hope — the only hope — for us all.


      • Thanks Denise for your prayers! Yes, it’s been a lot these past few years, but God is able and I keep waiting expectantly to see what He is going to perform…

        Blessings and congrats’ on your wonderful Bible project for (in)courage!!
        Bev xx

  3. Amen to your message! People can be so mean whether well intentioned or misguided. It’s not to say we aren’t to point out the sin of our brother or sister but I watched and waited with baited breath as to whether the church I grew up in would show or live as Jesus did in showing its forgiveness to one of its own that had sinned badly made a terrible error and wrong choice, or what would they do? I am not a member of that church but as it was the one I was brought up in I was disappointed to hear they (not all members) but as a whole didn’t display Gods forgiveness as Jesus demonstrated or through Jesus sacrifice with his own life for all sin, they did not accept or envelope this person into their arms, into their fold. It made me hurt even more for this person even though forgiveness is very hard, seeing people whom one has watched and been bought up with and who taught me about Christ, it saddened my soul. However I think now in retrospect that God is the only one who matters and at the end of the day we try our best but we are only human and we all make mistakes.

    • Oh, Jas, you are so right. God is the only one who matters. And at the end of the day, it’s all about Him. The church is full of sinners, ourselves included. May we all endeavor, by His grace, to extend grace.


  4. Wow, Denise! The way you extended grace to your cousin is just so beautiful! Thank you for your encouragement today. May He bless you abundantly!

  5. Denise,

    The church is full of sinners-imperfect people. Trouble is many act like a “good two shoes” just because they go to church & give some money. They don’t realize their true need for Christ. They think because life is going good for them that they are better than others. Heaven forbid they talk to or help the homeless or helpless. I’ve heard some say “they don’t want ‘those’ people in their church”. Gee I thought it was God’s church not yours. You are just a caretaker. “God uses broken people. He uses you. He uses me. And He redeems our brokenness for His glory.’ We are all broke people thanks to the sin of Adam & Eve. Not one person is good. We are all stained with sin thanks to Adam & Eve. only the blood of Jesus can save us. The church needs to hear this preached more & get it in our heads. The church needs more loving, caring people who overlook the faults of others. Who love people just because they are loved & saved by Almighty God.

    Blessings 🙂

  6. Well I sure needed to hear this message today!! I’ve been really sad in my church family because of everyone’s comfort with not making any changes cause that would require them to do something. It’s a really small congregation of 50, I’ve been attending almost 2 years. Thought I could make a difference only to be told we don’t do it or don’t do it like that. I’ve been teaching every since I started there, guess why, no one wanted to do it!! Got a reprimand over a baby shower because they don’t do it that way, they put a box and people can place gifts if they want to. Started a ladies bible class only one member came, 10 outside the church attend. But this message reminds I need to love the “church family ever so broken” as I love God!!!

    • Leigh, I’m so grateful for women like you who step up to lead women’s Bible studies. Thank you! And thank you, too, for the kindness you have shown a new mom in your church. What a blessing you are to those you serve.

      Grateful for you.


  7. I have a similar situation that I’m currently dealing with at church each Sunday. Thank you for letting me know that I’m not a horrible person, and that I’m not alone.

    Aside from praying, is there anything you can suggest that I do to move past this personal hurt?

    Again, thank you!

    • Oh, Bobbie, you are not a horrible person, and you are definitely not alone!

      Pray, first and foremost, for God to soften our hearts and to see the hurts behind those who hurt others. Ask God to help you extend grace, the same grace He has given so freely to us.

      Be in the Word daily, especially the psalms, which give us the holy language of lament.

      Seek counsel in a wise and godly women who is outside your immediate church context. It really helps to have an outside, objective listener.

      Trust that God is good, and His plan for His church is good, no matter we see with our eyes in our current circumstances.

      And know that this is a season. It won’t last forever.

      I’m praying for you, Bobbie. I mean that.


  8. Hi Denise, Thank you for your honesty in sharing this today. It is hard when someone hurts us and even harder when it is a fellow Christian. I think we’ve all been there and have struggled with these same feelings you have written here. The way you handled it is a testament to how a Christian deals with adversity, through prayer and faithfulness to God’s will. It’s not always easy. And forgiveness may be difficult. But with God all things are possible. Thanks again for shedding light on a difficult topic. Blessings!

    • Thank you, Connie. Yes, we have all been there. And with God, all things are definitely possible — even going to church with seemingly “impossible” people. 🙂


  9. A lot of people would have reacted differently, you had more going for you than you know. A lot of women would let the wreck their wedding day. And I do get some churchy people, I didn’t look forward to seeing people either. I have not always liked church or even ministers but I love Jesus.

    • Rebecca, I love how you ended with loving Jesus! Yes! At the end of the day, it’s all about Jesus, and surrendering our lives to Him. To Him be all the glory. Amen!


  10. Thanks… my friend sent this to me. It applies so much to what I’m going through. I’d like to join your blog group.