Godly counsel with PASTOR PHILLIP KATAI
AFTER two failed marriages, I decided to try one more time for the relationship I dreamed of. Yet, just one year later, my marriage is crumbling. Defeated and confused, I have been crying out to God for some answers. Is it plain hard work? I could not depend on my husband to make me happy. Can I only find my true happiness in God or another man?
ANS: Dear believer, even as Christians, many of us have grown up with unrealistic expectations of marriage. The world tells us we must find our perfect match – our soul mates to be happy. But this is not true. Marriage is Godâ€™s great idea, but in every marriage there are seasons of difficulty and times of dryness where one or both partners may feel dissatisfied with the marital relationship. As we work to improve our marriage, sometimes our efforts donâ€™t produce the changes we want.
During these times, the question we need to ask ourselves is not, â€œShould I leave my spouse so I can find another person who will make me happy?â€ but rather, â€œCan I learn to find contentment and joy while in the midst of an unhappy marriage? And if so, how?â€
Change your focus. Many of us feel dissatisfied in life because we are not content with what God has given us. We want more. How does this apply to your marriage?
Jesus tells us that where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also (Matthew 6:21). If our treasure, or deepest desire, is in having a great marriage or a fat bank account or certain other things we deem essential to our well-being, then we will feel unhappy when we donâ€™t get what we want. For whatever has our heart, has us.
No one is more concerned with our happiness than Jesus is. He just tells us a different way of obtaining it than the world does. He tells us that happiness is never found by pursuing happiness or pleasure or people, but only found by pursuing him. He says, â€œBlessed [or happy] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filledâ€ (Matthew 5:6). Too many of us hunger and thirst after happiness (or a good marriage or a big house), instead of hungering and thirsting after God. We forget that Jesus is the only one who can deeply satisfy our soul. Everyone desires unfailing love (Proverbs 19:22); itâ€™s just that we will never receive that kind of love continually from our spouses.
We only understand what makes us truly happy when we have a long-term perspective on life. Living for the moment can fool us into thinking that temporary pleasures bring happiness. The writer of Proverbs warns us in chapter 5:3,11,12.
Knowing that you can find some joy in the midst of an unhappy marriage will give you enough staying power to persevere until things change. You can experience a sense of well-being as you learn the secret of being content in whatever situation God allows in your life. Blessings!
My husband sees nothing wrong with pornography
My husband sees nothing wrong with occasional pornography. While heâ€™s not addicted, he thinks it is okay to watch it as entertainment. I asked him how heâ€™d feel if it were the other way around, if I were the one looking at porn. But he replies, â€œThat would be okay.â€ Iâ€™m not confident enough in my marriage to give an ultimatum; it might just turn against me. What should I do?
ANS: Dear concerned wife thanks for your courage to share with us this issue of great concern. There are two issues at work here. The first is the pornography matter. Thereâ€™s a potential for marital trust and bond to erode whenever images of other individuals are introduced for sexual entertainment or arousal. Itâ€™s a slippery slope to be avoided at all cost. If youâ€™re genuinely concerned that he would choose his occasional use over you, I feel you need serious help with your relationship.
Pornography use can be devastating to a marriage on so many levels but, even if it seems impossible in your pain and betrayal, the truth is that God can work in that brokenness and struggle to draw husbands and wives closer to him and to each other. I therefore recommend you talk to your pastor who can come in to help the two of you before it is too late. (Psalm 139:12, ESV).
Lastly, how to deal with conflict in marriage, being able to talk about your concerns and fear is vital, but presenting those in an ultimatum is probably not the most effective way to say it. An ultimatum is a â€˜control talkâ€™ style of communication that usually elicits a defensive response – an aggressive counterattack or a passive withdrawal. Neither leads to resolution and connectedness.
An alternative is to use â€˜straight talkâ€™. Make statements about your feelings or desires only, not your spouseâ€™s behaviour. Your husband needs to hear your fear and your feelings of inadequacy or rejection. Itâ€™s important for him to understand your desire to feel treasured and cherished, which is certainly more important than pornography. Let him know you want to be his Playmate of the month, year, and lifetime, and that you want to pleasure him in real, flesh and blood ways! Blessings!
Your advice on oral sex in marriage timely
Your advice on oral sex in marriage was very good. Instead of condemning outright, you left the decision to the couple based on your guidelines. These days, people are being pressured into doing things that they see in movies and the internet. These are espoused by godless men such that what was evil has become good and what was once good has become evil. Another guideline is Philippians 4:8. Sister N
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Tip of the Week
Marriage: In conflict with spouse? Have straight talk-make statements about your feelings or desires only, not your spouseâ€™s behaviour. Blessings!
More answers in the next edition and ensure you get a copy every Sunday. Meanwhile letâ€™s continue interacting via email pkatai@ yahoo.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or sms 0967/0955-778068. Emailing is encouraged for quick response.
Godly counsel with PASTOR PHILLIP KATAI