FamilyLife Today® Podcast

Christians Get PMS, Too: Sherri Lynn

with Sherri Lynn | November 9, 2023
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With humor, stories, and nuggets of physiological wisdom, radio host Sherri Lynn walks both men and women through the shame and taboo of PMS.

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • Dave and Ann Wilson

    Dave and Ann Wilson are hosts of FamilyLife Today®, FamilyLife’s nationally-syndicated radio program. Dave and Ann have been married for more than 38 years and have spent the last 33 teaching and mentoring couples and parents across the country. They have been featured speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway since 1993 and have also hosted their own marriage conferences across the country. Cofounders of Kensington Church—a national, multicampus church that hosts more than 14,000 visitors every weekend—the Wilsons are the creative force behind DVD teaching series Rock Your Marriage and The Survival Guide To Parenting, as well as authors of the recently released book Vertical Marriage (Zondervan, 2019). Dave is a graduate of the International School of Theology, where he received a Master of Divinity degree. A Ball State University Hall of Fame quarterback, Dave served the Detroit Lions as chaplain for 33 years. Ann attended the University of Kentucky. She has been active alongside Dave in ministry as a speaker, writer, small-group leader, and mentor to countless wives of professional athletes. The Wilsons live in the Detroit area. They have three grown sons, CJ, Austin, and Cody, three daughters-in-law, and a growing number of grandchildren.

I Want to Punch You in the Face (But I Love Jesus): Sherri Lynn

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Christians Get PMS, Too: Sherri Lynn

With Sherri Lynn
November 09, 2023
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Shelby: Hey, Shelby Abbott here. Just want to give a heads up before you listen to this next program. Today’s conversation on FamilyLife Today covers some sensitive but important subjects that might not be suitable for younger ears. So, please use discretion when listening to this next broadcast. Let’s jump into it.

Ann: Today we’re going to talk about something I’m guessing Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine—I don’t think they talked about this.

Dave: You know, I don’t think I’m going to talk about it either. [Laughter]

Ann: What are you talking about?

Dave: I think I’m going to go watch ESPN or something.

Ann: This is really a good topic. Many of you are going to be so thankful we’re talking about this.

Dave: Go ahead. Tell them what it is.

Ann: The book is called—

Dave: No, no. Don’t tell them the book title yet.

Ann: Why?

Dave: Tell them what the topic is.

Ann: The topic is PMS.

Dave: Okay, there you go.

Ann: For you men that might be thinking, “I’m checking out right now,” you have wives, daughters, sisters. This is a thing.

Dave: Yes. Ann and Sherri are going to have a great conversation. [Laughter]

Shelby: Welcome to FamilyLife Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I’m Shelby Abbott, and your hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson. You can find us at

Ann: This is FamilyLife Today!

Let me tell you the name of this book, because the title is classic and wonderful.

Dave: I wish I’d written a book with this title.

Ann: I Want to Punch You in the Face (But I Love Jesus) by Sherri Lynn.

Dave: And we have the puncher-in-the-face where we are.

Ann: Sherri, welcome to FamilyLife Today.

Sherri: Thank you so much. I’m so grateful to be here.

Dave: I have to ask you, though, seriously: where did this title come from?

Sherri: Ummm, experience; saying that in my head. [Laughter] And I think that women can relate to it. I know they can! So, I thought, “Well, I’ll write the book that I needed when I was 22.”

Ann: There you go.

Sherri: Yes.

Ann: Tell us what you do.

Sherri: I am on the radio and have a podcast with Brant Hansen. I produce the Brant Hansen Show and co-host, and then we also have the Brant and Sherri Oddcast, and I produce that and co-host that as well.

Dave: One of the things you said in the book, in the intro really, is that when you talked about this on the Brant and Sherri—was it on the Oddcast?

Sherri: It was on the radio; but before we did it, the way it came about was we were sitting in a meeting, a show-prep meeting, and I had a co-worker that was in that room with us. She was eating yogurt, and she was scraping the container.

Ann: Oh, yes.

Sherri: And it was that calendar time of the month, so Brant is talking to me. Ladies, let’s be honest. You know what I’m talking about. There are certain things—you’re heightened. Everything is heightened. Why is that happening? Why? Why are you doing that? I was heightened, and I couldn’t focus on him. He said, “Is there anything that you want to talk about?” I said, “Every 28 days I want to kill people.” [Laughter] He stopped, and you have to know my co-host. He’s on the spectrum.

Ann: We’ve had him on several times.

Sherri: Yes. He is very straight-laced. I said that, and he said, “Anyone specific?” [Laughter] He was hoping it wasn’t him. And then we started talking about it, and he said, “Well, let’s get on the air and talk about it.” I said, “How do we do that?” and we figured it out. When we talked about it, the lines never stopped ringing—

Ann: —really?—

Sherri: —of women saying, “Thank you,” because I started to realize this is not something we talk about in church culture.

Ann: Well, it’s interesting, too, because you went to publishers to get your book published, but—

Sherri: —yes. They would not do it. Now, every publisher, every single one said, “It is funny. It is well-written. It will connect. I can’t do it.” One agent told me, “It’s too Christian for secular, and it’s too secular for Christian.” [Laughter] But I think what he meant was it had a realness to it. I mean, I talk about things that happened to me during this time of the month. I’m not blaming the time of the month, other than to say it is a factor, and we should talk about it.

Ann: Yes.

Sherri: I talk about being in a parking lot, having some really choice words. You guys, think about what those words were that I chose, and then just feeling so empty after I did that.

Ann: Shame.

Sherri: Shame.


Ann: Yes.

Sherri: That’s what the enemy will do with darkness.

Ann: And say, “What kind of a Christian are you? I thought you were a believer. You were walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Sherri: Right.

Ann: “What is that?”

Sherri: Yes, right. That is what was happening to me in my 20s, and I felt like I was backsliding every 28 days, until I realized it was a cycle. What that does is for me to be able to say, “Something chemically is happening to me.” Do I have to pay attention more? Yes. Do I have to press my way to Jesus, like that woman with the issue of blood did? Yes. But at least now I can acknowledge, “This is not a barometer on my spiritual walk with God. This is me as a woman.”

Ann: And it doesn’t make excuses—

Sherri: —no—

Ann: —for you to sin. You’re not saying it’s okay to sin during that time.

Sherri: No. In fact, there are a few things in the Bible, women in the Bible, that I talk about that I think may have been PMS-ing. I talk about Jezebel, and I talk about how if we let it be an excuse of, “Every 28 days, I’m going to turn into the Hulk and let carnage be here, just go off, no apology, no explanation and communication. It’s not a good time for me right now, but I’m just going to flip out every time,” that’s actually who you turn into, so that whatever you are at that moment is really what you become. You are still responsible for the Holy Spirit working in your life during that time; it’s just acknowledging, “It’s a little harder right now,” and being okay saying that.

Ann: Yes.

Dave: Part of me is thinking, “I am glad men are listening,” because this is educational for us.

Ann: That’s what I was going to say.

Dave: We do not understand.

Sherri: Yes.

Ann: Our sons got married, and they came to me [asking], “Why didn’t you talk to us about this?”

Sherri: Yes.

Ann: Because this is a thing in our homes at this time of month, and it’s hard. “What’s happening?” I wish I had talked to them about that more.

Sherri: Well, I was talking to men. I have a chapter where I interviewed husbands, and said, “What do you go through during this time?” I did that because, if you hate having to live with a “monster” during that time, imagine turning into it. Imagine knowing that it’s coming; imagine there’s not really anything that can stop it from coming, and it’s going to happen again in 28 days.

[For] women like me, who have maybe other issues that contribute to it, it is really just laying before God saying, “Please help me, my tongue.” So, I have this whole list of things that women should do to help. I call it my “PMS regimen.” One of the things is, “Say as few words as possible.” [Laughter] I learned that.

Ann: Scripture says that.

Sherri: Yes, it does, and that’s what I mean. Now, it’s going to be harder during this time. I don’t get a pass because something chemical is happening. God knew that when Scripture was written. There’s no asterisk saying, “Every 28 days, Sherri, you go for it. Let ‘em have it, girl!” He doesn’t do that. But it’s going to be harder, and I had to learn, “Be quiet, because you are going to have to pay for all of these words.” But that agitation is growing in you. It really is a spiritual discipline; it really is.

Ann: It’s self-control.

Sherri: It is.

Ann: Fruit of the Spirit.

Sherri: It has to be the Spirit, because just me in myself—I said even the eye-rolling is too much. [Laughter] My face can show something that my words may not be saying, right? And the issue was, I didn’t want to cause problems with people that I love and then have to clean that up every month, because that’s what was happening, right? Just rampage, clean up, rampage, clean up.

I don’t want to have to do that. I want to give the Holy Spirit license to move in every area of my life. He knows this is happening to me, and He's there to help, but it’s okay to say it.

Ann: That’s good.

Sherri: Yes.

Ann: So, number one: “Don’t say so much. Stay quiet.”

Sherri: Yes. Stay quiet. No rolling of the eyes. Remind yourself everyone is not a moron. [Laughter]

Dave: I think I might have it. {Laughter] I’ve got that same thing!

Ann: Maybe I should—Dave’s got it! [Laughter] Your children and spouse are not your enemies.

Sherri: Yes, exactly. Because something happens [and] everything is kind of agitating, right?

Ann: Let’s talk about what is happening. Talk about that. You probably studied it.

Sherri: I did. It’s hormonal. There are certain things that are lower and certain things that are heightened, and if you have pre-existing conditions as I do—I have endometriosis and other things—your body is just going through this chemical change. It is so difficult to separate that from your attitude. But the Holy Spirit is there to help me. That is what I had to know.

I put this in the book—the editor that I used suggested against it, but I said: “This actually happened.” I was in church. I had an intern, so to speak. She wasn’t really an intern, but she was a young adult that was helping me. I always had trouble dealing with her, but it was during that time, and I knew that I was going to be seeing red, and I did everything, I thought.

But that time, I still remember it. It’s gut-wrenching, because when you fail, you know what I mean? And you know you failed God, but it was just such rage. We were sitting in the room with the young people.

Ann: Oh, no.

Dave: There were others.

Sherri: Oh, yes. The whole youth group was there, the other leaders, and she had started her nit, nit, nit, nit, nit-ing. “You don’t know,” and “You ain’t never,” and “You ain’t—” and it was just going to my core. Women, please hear me. I understand this is hard to talk about in “Christendom,” because we like to pretend like this doesn’t happen.

Ann: Yes.

Sherri: [In another character’s falsetto voice] “Not me. I immediately went to the Lord, and said to Him, ‘God, help me.’ And He did it, and I had such peace, and the angels came, and they flew around me, and I felt gold dust in the air to signify the cherubim.”

[Normal voice] Okay, great for you. I lost it. And when I lost it, I could feel myself losing it, so I went to leave; but when I got to the door, guys, the pastor, who was also my uncle, who I adore with all of my heart, did what he thought was right, which was, “We need to resolve this,” right?

Ann: Oh, no. Oh, no.

Sherri: So, he stopped me.

Ann: You were trying to say less.

Sherri: I was trying to say less and leave, and he stopped me. When he stopped me, I don’t know what that was, I don’t know what it triggered, but the next memory I have is I’m in the parking lot of the church, and I can see the ground, and I hear blood-curdling screaming. I thought, “Who is that? Who’s screaming?” and I realized it’s me, that I am on my knees, screaming. So, I literally blacked out.

I asked my mom what happened. She said, “Girl, you’re a lot stronger than you look.” [Laughter] “It took five people to carry you out of that room” when I lost it. Now here’s the thing: I still have to be with this youth group. I still have to be in this church. I still have to—and this happened; this big, public failure. Was PMS a catalyst of that? Yes, it was. Am I still responsible for my actions? Yes, I am. So, living through that—again it goes back to what you said, the shame. And living through that was probably one of the hardest things of my life.

Ann: I can imagine the enemy: “You say you’re a Christian.”

Sherri: Yes.

Dave: “Christian leader.”

Sherri: Yes, and over other leaders. “Had it not been for people carrying you out, you would have pummeled one of the leaders, [Laughter] in front of the young people.” That’s what happened. So, me saying, “I don’t want to be this person. What do I have to do now, God, for You to work in my life even when something chemical is happening?” Supernatural; that’s what the Fruit of the Spirit is, right? It’s the fruit of the Spirit.

I can’t do it. He has to do it. I have to know, “Lord, in these times I’m going to have to really surrender.” I have to watch what I listen to. I have to watch who I’m around. I have to watch what I pay attention to. There are certain things that I have to do to set myself up here, and then the Holy Spirit has to—I have to be yielded and crucify my flesh. I just wanted women to know, “You’re not alone. Don’t suffer in this alone. It’s okay for us to talk about it.”

Ann: Don’t give up.

Sherri: Don’t give up. If I can tell this story very quickly: it’s not really about PMS, but it is about that time. My grandfather could be a combative guy. He believed in “Whooping a bully in public.” That’s what he would say, so he would. He believed in confrontation. I remember—after this episode of going through this and being so ashamed of myself, wondering how I’m going to carry my head in this church—going to see my grandfather, who was in the hospital.

He’s in the hospital, and I go to his bed, and apparently someone in my very big, very loud, very communicative family told him what happened. I said, “Grandpa.” He said, “Oh, you don’t have to tell me. I heard.” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Well, I’m proud of you.” I said, “Why?” He said, “I betcha she won’t mess with you again. You’re like me!” That’s what he said.

It was simultaneously the most affirming and scary thing I’ve ever heard in my life. [Laughter] “Okay, yes, This is like him. God, I can’t be this all the time. This man is 80-something years old in the hospital, and he’s happy I got into it. I can’t be that person.” I remember going to God and saying, “God, you have to change me.”

Ann: It was a pivotal moment.

Sherri: Oh, my goodness, that was such a pivotal moment for me, guys. The reason why I put it in the book is because if it weren’t during that time, I think it would have been easier, but something chemical is happening. I’m in pain, right? I’m taking medication for it. I take prescription medication.

Ann: You could have a headache; so many things going on.

Sherri: All of it’s going on in my body, and then you add that to it. It was such a moment for me to say, “God, help me surrender more. Help me surrender more.” But at that time, I thought there was no redeeming. I just thought there was no redemption for me. Having walked through that, I want to turn back to younger ladies and say, “It’s okay. God forgives.”

I put in the book, “He stores your tears up in a bottle, even if on the bottle He labels it ‘Seriously, You’re Crying Over That?’” [Laughter] He still cares enough to store them up. He still loves you. Nothing you’re doing is a shock or surprise to Him. Just come to Him with a humble heart, and He will change you. He’s changed me.

Ann: Take us back to the church, the youth group. Did you have to go back?

Sherri: I did. I went back. I had to apologize. I had to apologize to the church. I had to apologize to the young lady. The kids still bring it up. They’re in their 20s. “Y’all remember when Miss Sherri freaked out?” Yes, they still bring it up. But you know what? To me, if we can do something like that—I know we don’t like it. I didn’t like it. If we can do something like that—and then someone is able to watch the redemption process in our life—

Ann: —yes—

Sherri: —if they’re able to watch the repentant process in our life . . .

I talk about that in the book, about our glossy testimonies, these testimonies that we give where somehow we’re in the middle and nothing happened, right? It’s like, “Oh, I messed up, [intentionally garbled words], now I’m awesome.” Well, that middle is where people learn that Jesus still loves them.

Ann: That’s where most of us live, in the middle.

Sherri: That is! Absolutely.

Ann: We’re struggling, so why are we putting a veneer on to say we don’t struggle.

Sherri: That’s exactly what I wanted. So, did they see that? Yes. Are they 28 now, 29 now, and also see who God has turned me into, that development of my character? They see that too, and now they know that He’s able. They know that He can do that for them. I think we do a terrible disservice when we don’t talk about that middle.

Ann: What would you say, as men are listening? What would you say to them?

Dave: I’m right here.

Sherri: Okay, yes. I’m going to look right at you. Ready? [Laughter]

Ann: Yes, talk to Dave. There it is.

Sherri: It is happening, and just because you don’t go through it, that doesn’t invalidate that it’s happening. Because you don’t understand it—at one time I wrote something that guys were just so angry about, and when I look back on it, it was a little too much. [Laughter] But I said, “Let’s say every 28 days, I’m coming to hit you in the head with a hammer, and you know that that’s going to happen no matter what every 28 days.”

“And let’s say that once I smack you in the head with a hammer, you have to go to work. You don’t get to sit down. You don’t get to say, ‘Ooh, my head hurts! My head’s bleeding!’ Nope. We’re going to wrap it up, head to work now. Whatever that pain is, whatever that is, now you’re going to have that, and then it’s happening in another 28 days.”

“How would you feel on day 23? [Laughter] A little nervous, right? A little anxious, right? 24—'Ohhhh.’ 25—'Oh, my goodness.’ Why? Because I’m getting ready to bang you with a hammer and wrap you up until you go out into the world and act like I didn’t just do that.”

I put that in a book. I didn’t word it that well. It was worded very poorly. [Laughter] It was not received well at all. But what I’m saying is, please acknowledge that this woman that you love, whether it is your wife, your mother, your daughter, whomever, is having something happen to her body. It could be anywhere from you didn’t really have those kinds of symptoms to so severe that she can barely get out of the bed, and this is going to happen every time.

If you can’t put yourself there, please read how Jesus treated the woman who had the issue of blood. That is such a story for me, someone who has obviously gone through that kind of pain, thinking about 12 years, and it was difficult. I had to read that for myself, because typically with men preaching to us, they’re telling that story, but you can’t tell that story from experience.

Ann: And not only physically what she was going through but being unclean.

Sherri: Yes.

Ann: Not being able to fellowship.

Sherri: Right.

Dave: Have you seen the episode of The Chosen?

Sherri: Absolutely, I saw it.

Ann: Wasn’t that good?

Sherri: Yes.

Dave: When I watched that I felt her shame.

Sherri: Yes.

Dave: You read it, but man, when you see it, you think, “That’s probably pretty close.”

Sherri: And you are on edge, right?

Dave: Yes.

Sherri: Think about that, and think of the care and the love and the affirmation that Jesus gave, and just do that. [Laughter]

Dave: Just do that.

Sherri: Just do what He did, right? He was busy.

Ann: Yes, He stopped.

Sherri: Somebody, a really important guy, said to Him, “Can You come to my house?” He’s following that. There are people all around Him.

Ann: There is someone dying, and He’s going to heal them.

Sherri: Yes, that’s right.

Ann: But He stops along the way for her.

Sherri: Yes, He does. And she touches Him. Now, she could have gotten healed and He could have gone on.

Ann: Yes.

Sherri: He didn’t. He stopped. He looked at her. He saw her. He affirmed her.

Ann: He calls her “daughter.”

Sherri: He called her “daughter.” That’s exactly right. So, [in a deep masculine voice] “What do I do? How do I—?” [normal voice] Do what He did.

Dave: You know, Sherri, nobody can describe it like you. I think as men, we do not think it’s a punch with a hammer in the head.

Sherri: Yes.

Dave: Only you would come up with that analogy. [Laughter} That’s my favorite.

Sherri: I want to reiterate how poorly that was received.

Dave: But the thing is, you come up with that analogy. As a man, I’m thinking the analogy is going to be somebody came up to you and gave you a little punch in the shoulder.

Sherri: Okay.

Dave: Like you felt it, but it didn’t hurt. That’s what it feels like. No, you’re saying, “No, no, no, no, no.”

Sherri: No.

Dave: “This is what it is.” When I was reading your book [and] the revelations of men and PMS. They don’t know. They want to help. It makes them sad. They still love us.

Sherri: Yes.

Dave: We don’t know. We think, “You have a thing going on. It can’t be that big a deal.”

Sherri: Yes, right.

Ann: See Dave’s face right now? [Laughter]

Sherri: Yes.

Ann: He has this scrunching, and he’s thinking, “Why do you have to be so emotional? It can’t be that bad.” Which then is a whole other category, shame.

Dave: More shame, more guilt.

Sherri: Yes.

Ann: Yes. “I must be weak. I must be soft. I must not be spiritual.”

Dave: I didn’t have daughters, so I don’t understand, and I belittle it. I’m not saying I’m every man, but I’m guessing some men are like me, and others may be. But I was like, “Come on. Just snap out of it. We’re good.”

Sherri: “Suck it up.”

Ann and Dave: Yes.

Dave: “Let’s go.” And they’re carrying around the Hulk, and I have no idea.

Sherri: And it’s not just emotional.

Ann: Yes.

Sherri: I’m not going to go into all of that, but physically something is happening to you.

Ann:  Oh, yes.

Sherri: You’re on edge.

Ann: Cramping can be debilitating.

Sherri: It was for me—

Ann: —me, too—

Sherri: —from ten years old on, and I knew every day—my mother knew there were going to be two days, maybe, of school I was going to miss. We never really knew. I was always going to end up in the nurse’s office. I was always going to be violently ill. She was always going to have to come get me, and that was straight through high school. So that’s your life, right?

I would say to your point, Dave, for women, it’s important for us to try to understand, try to do it outside of the 28-day issue. [Laughter]

Ann: Yes.

Sherri: You’re not going to get it during that time. Try to do it outside of it, but he doesn’t understand, and why would he? So, the expectation for him to get it and fix it and make it okay and know to get you this, know to do that, know to do that—he can’t relate. He thinks it’s a punch in the shoulder.

Ann: A little punch.

Sherri: Yes, a little punch, a little slap on the shoulder. Well, why wouldn’t he think that? That’s not his life.

Dave: Yes.

Sherri: So, for me to think that he is going to understand it, that doesn’t make any sense. I have to know he doesn’t really understand. I had to say that about my brother. My brother understands now after growing up with me. Now, he has his wife and two daughters. [Laughter] I told him, “I don’t know what you did to God to make Him make you grow up with me and then raise me twice. I don’t know,” because my nieces are just like me.

Ann: He prepped him.

Sherri: Yes, he knows now, and now he really understands. But until then, how would they know? But to have some grace and to communicate, that’s where I struggled: “This is what I’m feeling. This is what’s happening to me.” And then I would say to the guys: when she communicates that, sometimes that’s to be fixed. Chocolate always works, amen?

Ann: Amen.

Sherri: Praise Jesus, [it] fixes a lot of things. But to not dismiss or belittle it. You’re already crumbling inside. You don’t need someone who loves you coming and saying, “Oh, come on. Let’s go over here and –” You need someone to understand, “This is my life, and it’s going to be my life.” Again, women are on all different spectrums of it, but if you’re not a woman who experiences it to that extent, you know someone who does.

Shelby: I’m Shelby Abbott, and you’ve been listening to Dave and Ann Wilson with Sherri Lynn on FamilyLife Today.

This is probably the best title for a book ever. It’s called I Want to Punch You in the Face (But I Love Jesus). It’s by Sherri Lynn, and she has written it as a way to really help all people talk about this subject, unpack the subject, and help men to really empathize with women as they go through PMS. You can get it in the show notes at And be sure to check out Sherri Lynn’s podcast, Brant and Sherri Oddcast. You can find the link to that as well in the show notes below.

Earlier this week, we had on former NFL player Jeff Kemp, who wrote a book called Receive: The Way of Jesus for Men. It’s really designed to help you grow and develop and reach your potential as a man. It’s going to be our gift to you when you partner with us financially here at FamilyLife Today. You can go online to, make a donation there, or you can give us a call with your donation at 800-358-6329. Again, that number is 800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word “TODAY.”

Tomorrow, Dave and Ann Wilson are back again with Sherri Lynn to talk about the funny side of navigating monthly challenges, while really learning how empathy can strengthen all of your relationships. That’s tomorrow. We hope you’ll join us.

On behalf of Dave and Ann Wilson, I’m Shelby Abbott. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.

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