Ask Your Sister: Avoiding Confrontation

Hello all.  One of our readers posed this question and I thought it would be a good idea to see if anyone has experienced a situation like this. Please share your thoughts and answer the poll question.

Hi sisters,

It is really difficult to tell someone that they have hygiene issues.  But, how do you handle a situation when the someone is a brother or sister in Christ? How do you address the issue without hurting their feelings?

[poll id=”7″]

About the Author
  • Ramona Nelson

    Sisters,
    We are our brothers and sisters keepers. I personally don’t like confrontation, but in a case like this, we have to bite the bullet and handle it. I know it’s not scripture, but it’s the truth; cleanliness is next to Godliness. We are representing Christ, we have a standard to uphold. So pray for direction and what to say, then tell the individual in love the state of affairs. This is very timely as I just had to deal with this very subject.
    Deal with it.
    Much Love….

  • Ramona Nelson

    Sisters,
    We are our brothers and sisters keepers. I personally don’t like confrontation, but in a case like this, we have to bite the bullet and handle it. I know it’s not scripture, but it’s the truth; cleanliness is next to Godliness. We are representing Christ, we have a standard to uphold. So pray for direction and what to say, then tell the individual in love the state of affairs. This is very timely as I just had to deal with this very subject.
    Deal with it.
    Much Love….

  • http://www.sistersofthefaith.com/ Sister Transformed

    An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
    Proverbs 27:5-6

    If we truly love our brothers and sisters we will share the truth with them. Of course, it might be uncomfortable and no one particularly cares to be on the receiving end of such criticism even though we know it’s for our own good. Address the issue as a friend, with love, and they will appreciate it in the long run.

    “Truth demands confrontation; loving confrontation, but confrontation nevertheless.”
    Francis Schaeffer

  • LATOIA BROWN

    An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
    Proverbs 27:5-6

    If we truly love our brothers and sisters we will share the truth with them. Of course, it might be uncomfortable and no one particularly cares to be on the receiving end of such criticism even though we know it’s for our own good. Address the issue as a friend, with love, and they will appreciate it in the long run.

    “Truth demands confrontation; loving confrontation, but confrontation nevertheless.”
    Francis Schaeffer

  • Omega

    If it is something you notice, others are probably aware of it too. It is likely that when you tell them they will experience some type of embarrassment or hurt feelings (that’s only natural). Don’t shy away from the matter because of the hurt feelings-address the fact that you care about their feelings and are telling them out of concern. Offer them support-they may need to go to the doctor if their odor cannot be controlled by regular daily bathing. If they bath regularly and have no medical issues, there are clinical strength deodorants that can now be purchased over the counter. There are also mouth rinses that control bad breath for 12 hours and vaginal wipes that they can keep in their purse.

    As a mental health care professional, I always consider how a person’s emotional state affects their behavior. They could be experiencing a lack of self confidence. Or they can be so overwhelmed that they are having problems with their daily functioning (bathing). I wouldn’t jump to this conclusion, but I would keep it in mind as I talk to them.

    Talk to them about it. It could be something that they are aware of but don’t know how to handle their odor. You could be the one to give them helpful information they were too embarrassed to ask anyone else.

  • Omega

    If it is something you notice, others are probably aware of it too. It is likely that when you tell them they will experience some type of embarrassment or hurt feelings (that’s only natural). Don’t shy away from the matter because of the hurt feelings-address the fact that you care about their feelings and are telling them out of concern. Offer them support-they may need to go to the doctor if their odor cannot be controlled by regular daily bathing. If they bath regularly and have no medical issues, there are clinical strength deodorants that can now be purchased over the counter. There are also mouth rinses that control bad breath for 12 hours and vaginal wipes that they can keep in their purse.

    As a mental health care professional, I always consider how a person’s emotional state affects their behavior. They could be experiencing a lack of self confidence. Or they can be so overwhelmed that they are having problems with their daily functioning (bathing). I wouldn’t jump to this conclusion, but I would keep it in mind as I talk to them.

    Talk to them about it. It could be something that they are aware of but don’t know how to handle their odor. You could be the one to give them helpful information they were too embarrassed to ask anyone else.

  • Robin Chavis

    Definitely that topic is very sensitive,to me it would be harder to do now being a Christian it requires prayer and to be certain what is said is led by the lord. For when I was in the world I probably would have been direct and to the point, keeping it real so to say. But now be compassionate, sincere and sure. Is it just hygiene issues or is it carried over into the home? I agree with Omega on lack of self confidence, so maybe good qualities that you see can be presented to encourage and lift up. Be careful that before you address you know that you are straight yourself. Being a plus size woman iam very conscious of my hygiene and appearance i like to look good and smell good, I have to, all this extra weight can become a bit moist.{Temporary weight for that is changing as of the present.}So if i can keep it together my sisters in Christ you can. So i say allow the lord to lead and guide your tongue for we do not want be hurtful.

    In James 3:6 it says; The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire,and is itself set on fire by hell.

    I pray that all of these comments are led by the Lord to be a blessing in the presenter and receivers life.
    Genuinely and Sincerely Love

  • Robin Chavis

    Definitely that topic is very sensitive,to me it would be harder to do now being a Christian it requires prayer and to be certain what is said is led by the lord. For when I was in the world I probably would have been direct and to the point, keeping it real so to say. But now be compassionate, sincere and sure. Is it just hygiene issues or is it carried over into the home? I agree with Omega on lack of self confidence, so maybe good qualities that you see can be presented to encourage and lift up. Be careful that before you address you know that you are straight yourself. Being a plus size woman iam very conscious of my hygiene and appearance i like to look good and smell good, I have to, all this extra weight can become a bit moist.{Temporary weight for that is changing as of the present.}So if i can keep it together my sisters in Christ you can. So i say allow the lord to lead and guide your tongue for we do not want be hurtful.

    In James 3:6 it says; The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire,and is itself set on fire by hell.

    I pray that all of these comments are led by the Lord to be a blessing in the presenter and receivers life.
    Genuinely and Sincerely Love

  • Tia Green

    I guess you could start the conversation off alone by yourself. Like pray about it and ask the Lord to give you the words to say without destroying this person or anything like that because what you say can actually cause a person to leave church completely because the devil will start to put thoughts in their heads. These thoughts could be like if she thinks I have a problem then the whole church is probably talking about me. I just won’t go back because I will always feel like I am being talked about and I just can’t go through with that. You know what I’m saying? I actually had to do this before. I was a member of the ECU Gospel Choir and this girl in the soprano section was literally making the entire section gag. It honestly was that serious. So before we left to go on tour on a charter bus, closed in space mind you, I sat her down in my car and told her that I had to tell her something. I explained that it was meant to help her and not hurt her because we are sisters in Christ and friends and we are supposed to look out for each other and let each other know when there was a problem. I told her that she had an odor issue and that we need to try to correct it. I asked what type of deodorant and feminine products she was using. She told me and afterwards I suggested that she try something stronger that may cause a bit more. If she could not afford it, I offered to help her out. All in all it was a very good conversation, to my rememberance she corrected the problem and we lived happily ever after. I hope this helps. Blessings. . .

  • Tia Green

    I guess you could start the conversation off alone by yourself. Like pray about it and ask the Lord to give you the words to say without destroying this person or anything like that because what you say can actually cause a person to leave church completely because the devil will start to put thoughts in their heads. These thoughts could be like if she thinks I have a problem then the whole church is probably talking about me. I just won’t go back because I will always feel like I am being talked about and I just can’t go through with that. You know what I’m saying? I actually had to do this before. I was a member of the ECU Gospel Choir and this girl in the soprano section was literally making the entire section gag. It honestly was that serious. So before we left to go on tour on a charter bus, closed in space mind you, I sat her down in my car and told her that I had to tell her something. I explained that it was meant to help her and not hurt her because we are sisters in Christ and friends and we are supposed to look out for each other and let each other know when there was a problem. I told her that she had an odor issue and that we need to try to correct it. I asked what type of deodorant and feminine products she was using. She told me and afterwards I suggested that she try something stronger that may cause a bit more. If she could not afford it, I offered to help her out. All in all it was a very good conversation, to my rememberance she corrected the problem and we lived happily ever after. I hope this helps. Blessings. . .