Godly Counsel with PASTOR PHILLIP KATAI
Every so often on a Saturday or Sunday night, my husband is out with friends – meeting other friends at a pub or hanging out at a friendâ€™s house.
I am desperate for time alone. I want to get my husband early home to spend time with me especially on weekends when he is off duty. Is it not good for us to do so?
ANS: Dear sister,
Friendship is one of Godâ€™s very good gifts to humankind. And we have to treasure it. Weâ€™re refreshed and invigorated by the time spent with friends we can be real with.
Good friends help us sift out the chaos and stress of our life and get back down to who we really are.
Christian friends help us see God even in our pain or failure or brokenness. So, they help us grow a deep-rooted faith. (I Corinthians 15:33-34).
Along with accountability and spiritual encouragement, friendship can offer us fun. Laughter, joy, destressing, keeping our guard up, telling dumb jokes, enjoying good food, revisiting old memories, and building new ones together – these light-hearted aspects of friendship are also part of Godâ€™s good gift to us.
We see the powerful example of committed friendship in David and Jonathan (I Samuel 18:1-4); in Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1:16-17); in Jesus and his close friendships with people like Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (John 11:1-5). Friendships like these strengthen and shape us. These important and enriching relationships deeply bless us and better us to face the tough road of life. And our need for them doesnâ€™t disappear when we marry.
However, if one spouse is constantly going out with friends while the other stays home, thatâ€™s unhealthy.
If outside friendships are prized above the marital friendship, thatâ€™s unhealthy, too. And just as unhealthy is when a spouse denies anotherâ€™s need for outside friendships; when a couple places an unhealthy burden on their marital relationship, expecting their union to meet all their relational needs.
I certainly would not be happy if my wife went out with friends too much, weekend after weekend. In the give-and-take nature of marriage, itâ€™s best to try to strike a balance of taking time out together.
So madam, be his partner not his mummy. By â€œmummyâ€ I mean where your husband has to be treated like a boy who should ask for permission from you to go out or when he is out you text and call him, checking up on him, to enforce a curfew.
Certainly, none of us would want to have to beg to spend time with a friend, waiting to see if our spouse would shame us for asking. Jesus urges to treat others as we would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12). This, therefore, calls us to honouring our spouseâ€™s need by supporting rather than nagging or shaming. Blessings!
How I lived and overcame my double life
I wish to share with your readers how I lived and overcame my double life as a secret addict. I was afraid of being found out, but then Jesus found me.
I could quickly read people and become the friend they were looking for, editing my likes and dislikes in accordance with their opinions.
I could be funny, serious, the star, whatever the situation called for. I preferred being the person one wanted but the moment they discovered the depth of my addictions, they would recoil or hate me.
I had a wonderful husband, beautiful home, successful career, and new car. My carefully created image had to be upheld, risky though it was.
I hid my shameful secrets for years, until the pain of living with addiction became worse than the fear of others finding out about my addiction.
There, in that tiny crack of grace, I somehow found enough courage to ask for help.
I had a crippling addiction to drugs, alcohol, sex, and prescriptions, what have you, and I could not believe that anyone had ever done the shameful things I had done.
I am happy to note that we are designed to live in community – yes even to suffer in community.
Jesus wasnâ€™t crucified in a private valley away from curious eyes, but instead on a hill in plain sight. He wanted to make sure we knew he understood the depths of human suffering and despair that pain is not the end of the story.
Jesus met me exactly where I was: standing on the corner of desperation and despair, a drink in my hand, when he whispered, this is not working.
Iâ€™m not downplaying anyoneâ€™s personal pain or struggle. Facing addiction and seeking help is not easy. But I donâ€™t want anyone to die, as I was so close to doing, from a self-diagnosed case.
All you need is to want to get better just a little more than you want to die. There, grace will appear.
ANS: Dear sister,
Thank you for coming through to Godly Counsel to share with us your experiences and how you were caught up with the grace of God on the other side of your life to be where you are today. May it inspire those who may be grappling with similar challenges in life. Blessings!
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I am single lady aged 30 looking for a mature true God-fearing man never married before and with no child, aged 33-35, not above, within Lusaka. Sms me on 0971-445613.
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TIP OF THE WEEK
Marriage: If you remain faithful throughout the duration of your marriage, it wonâ€™t simply be because you love your spouse, but it will be because of how much you love the Lord. Blessings!
More answers in the next edition and ensure you get a copy every Sunday. Meanwhile letâ€™s continue interacting via email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or sms 0967/0955-778068. Emailing is encouraged for quick response.
Godly Counsel with PASTOR PHILLIP KATAI