Rhonda Stoppe is an author and speaker dedicated to helping women live life with no regrets. A mom and pastor’s wife — and the author of the popular book Moms Raising Sons to Be Men (Harvest House, 2013) — Rhonda has mentored thousands of moms.
She and her husband, Steve, have also biblically counseled numerous married couples. They live life “with no regrets” on their ranch in Northern California and have four adult children and five grandchildren.
What led to your interest in writing and speaking?
Over the years I have fallen in love with God’s Word. Thirty years ago, as the Word began to transform my life, God put in my heart a passion to teach others of the incredible power Scripture has to guide them to live life with “no regrets.”
My husband youth pastored for eighteen years in which time he and I spoke at numerous youth events, and youth camps across the country. As a pastors’ wife, for the past seventeen years, God has opened doors for me to teach women all over the country through one-on-one mentoring, public speaking, as well as through the pages of my books. Watching God draw others to a genuine relationship with Jesus and wake them up to follow His path for their lives is one of the most amazing adventures I have ever experienced. I am in awe that He would invite me to speak His Truth in this generation.
God sometimes sends us down an unexpected path in life—one that ultimately blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
Oh man, yes! One that comes to mind is in 1995, God totally surprised us. We thought we were moving from California to Austin, TX for a year to help my family start a construction company. Once we got to Austin, God made it quite clear that He wanted us to plant a church there along with an elder pastor that we had met in Texas.
One Sunday morning, we held a coffee at our home to see who would be interested in starting a church with us. Sixty-five people attended that coffee. By the next Sunday we were meeting in a school, something that was rarely done at that time.
By the end of the first summer, we had 200 teenagers attending the youth group we held in our home. So many of those teens surrendered their hearts to Jesus during that season, and then their parents began to come to Jesus too.
What an incredible blessing to see that so many of these converts continue to follow Christ, and to observe our teens now raising their own families to know and love Jesus, and many now serve Him in full time ministry.
Let’s talk about If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy & Other Myths Wives Believe (Harvest House, 2015). Please tell us about it.
Oh how I am loving what God is doing through If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy!
My husband and I do biblical marriage counseling, and in the number of years I have mentored women, the most common thought women have when they are seeking help for a happy marriage is “If my husband would only change then I would be a happy woman.”
As a young bride, I too had that thought. And when the seeds of resentment began to find their way into my heart because my husband was not measuring up to my expectations, it scared me. I knew that the root of bitterness would defile my marriage. I’d seen it played out a number of times in my own family.
Even though I wanted to be a joyful wife, this underlying belief that my husband was responsible to make me happy was stealing the joy in my marriage, I didn’t know what to do about it. I was quickly becoming a wife I never intended to be, and I knew I needed help. So I bought books to be a better wife, which only made me feel guilty (if I even took time to read them). And if I did read the books, I’d make a list of how to be a better wife.
I soon learned the list did not have the power to change me. Then I looked to the marriages of the parents of the kids in our youth group–marriages I wanted to emulate. I reached out to these women and asked for help. I firmly believe that the relationships with these older, Titus 2 women, are what God used to transform my marriage and help me become the wife I longed to be.
I wrote If My Husband Would Change, I’d be Happy to be a personal marriage mentor because, at my speaking engagements all over the country, I meet women who say they have no Titus 2 women in their lives and they are desperate for a marriage mentor.
The book is written with short little subtitles within the chapter, and it is written the way I talk in order to keep the reader engaged, and to keep her reading. There are also audio links at the end of each chapter where the reader can go to my website and listen to a short audio excerpt of me teaching on the topic. (You can visit NoRegretsWoman.com to listen now.) People say it’s like they feel like they are having coffee with a friend as they read through the book. That was my goal, so I am delighted.
What’s the most important point in the book, i.e. the one piece of advice that can save a failing marriage?
“The key to loving your husband does not lie in how well he measures up to your expectations but in how well you love God.”
In Mark chapter 12, Jesus said the ultimate priority of life is to love God with all of your being. When you do so, you will find yourself enabled to obey the second greatest commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). In this case your husband.
I am confident that pursuing intimacy with God was the single most important influence in transforming my marriage, and that can be true for you too. When your love for God is right, He will help you love your husband for who he is and not who you wish he would be.
When wives learn that the secret to their happiness is not found in how their husband measures up to their expectations, they have discovered the first step toward building a no regrets marriage.[ctt title=”When your love for God is right, He will help you love your husband for who he is and not who you wish he would be.” tweet=”When your love for God is right, He will help you love your husband for who he is and not who you wish he would be. http://ctt.ec/tLRud+” coverup=”tLRud”]
What in the book will surprise your readers the most, perhaps because it’s so simple, or so out-of-the-box, yet still so powerful for sustaining a relationship?
I think I would have to say the myth that I unpack in Chapter 7: All He Wants is Sex When You Long for Romance…
To be continued next week at Divine Detour.
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For more information about Rhonda, visit her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
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