Tag: marriage

I LOVE YOU BUT I LOVE HIM MORE

I LOVE YOU BUT I LOVE HIM MORE

NB: This story is purely fictional and a result of my active imaginations. It is unrelated to any person dead or alive; any such resemblance is purely coincidental.

Yvonne is a virtuous young woman from a good Christian home. Her parents, both dedicated Christians raised her with the very tenets of the Religion. Jesus was so important to her that nothing compared to her love for him. When she became friends with William Wilson, she was unprepared for the love that developed between them. He was a staunch Atheist just as convinced in his believes as she was. They become inseparable; their believes the only obstacle. When William asked her to marry him, Yvonne’s joy knew no bounds. Since none of them wanted to abandon their believes, they decided to each stick to their own separate believes. They planned to fight against their parents’ disapproval to get married. But in the night season when Yvonne’s father in heaven registered his disapproval in a convicting dream, she snaps back to reality. With a broken heart, she beseeches God to step into her heart. He alone can take her love for William out of her heart and return her back to her first love.

 

Rescue My Heart Lord,

Unlock its captivity from the grips of love. My heart has a mind of its own and is glued to William. What do I do, oh you who first loved me? If I could command my heart to stop loving him, believe me I would. But I do not have such power. You alone wield such power. You are the one who has the heart of a king in your hands and turns it in the direction you desire. My heart is in your hands oh lord; turn it back to you.

Why did you look on unconcerned as I fell deeper in love with him? I am neck deep and only your strong hand can prevent me from drowning. I love him and can’t stop thinking about him but I love you more. I miss him anytime he is away from me but I miss you more. If he leaves me I feel I will die but if you leave me, my death will be eternal.

People say love is blind but I must confess I went into this relationship with my eyes wide open. Why can’t it work when he is so good to me? Why can’t it work when my heart beats for him? Why can’t it work when you created us both in your own image? The other day when he tried to convince me to convert to his theories, I felt so much fear. If I love him so much, why is it so difficult to forsake Jesus and yield to his beliefs? It is because of you oh Lord.

The mere thought of Jesus not being a part of my life is more than I can take. What is life on earth without my Jesus? What is true love without his Love? What is the ultimate sacrifice without his sacrifice? Help me God! My heart is breaking. I love him very much but I do love you more.

If anyone told me that I would one-day attempt to disobey you like this, I would never have believed it. Now I realize I am also to blame. I should have drawn the line when he told me he was an Atheist, but he mesmerized me with his charm. He is such a gentleman, so intelligent and treats me with respect. He makes me laugh and the way he is responsible tags at my heartstrings.  His eyes so bright and beautiful stare down my soul and I melt before him.

How I wish he could convert to become a Christian. You know I have tried and prayed to you for this but his heart is steadfast in his belief and so is mine. I would have loved to walk down the aisle with him by my side. I wish I could go to church service with him and read your word with him. Oh, how I wish!

If your word did not say that no one would enter your Kingdom except through your son Jesus Christ, I would gladly sway to his side to be his bride. But I can’t risk eternity for pleasures in this passing world. I can’t sacrifice my love for you for a love that will soon fade.

I thought you would be happy with my decision to continue serving you even when i marry him. If he can stay at home while I attend church service, why can’t it work? I have heard of such stories that have worked perfectly for the couple. A fifty- fifty situation where no one loses.  Why is mine different? Why can’t I eat my cake and have it?

I know your word says I should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, but I know you love him as much as you love me. The mere thought of him missing eternity is heartbreaking and I planned to convince him to convert to Christianity after we got married.

I know this is risky as he may be unchanging in his stance. I have heard him talk about his philosophies  with so much passion. If his love for me could not change his mind, then how am I sure that once we get married he will change? After all, he sees nothing wrong with his stance. He has not persuaded me to leave my religion either.

No one in his family is a Christian and even his eldest brother’s wife who used to be a Christian is now an Atheist. I will never forget what she told me the day I visited her. I did not even know she was a Christian some time ago. When she told me she had gone into the marriage to try to convert her husband but rather ended up being converted, I was shocked.

“Never attempt to change someone, either you accept them the way they are or you don’t”. These words from a woman who used to be in my position have never left my mind but I stubbornly continued in love. Forgive me lord; I have been selfish. Never have I thought of the effect all this will have on my children if I go ahead. Yesterday’s dream has taken me out of fantasy land into the world of reality.

In the dream, the two boys you gave me as children were so handsome. How they look like William! When I saw my only daughter and last child, it was as if I was looking at myself in the mirror. What a delight it will be to behold my children one day. However, my joy was short lived when I saw one of my boys dressed normally and the other as a priest.

I thought they were happy until I heard their conversation. Arguments of whose belief was better angrily rang through the room. They looked at each other with disdain as each of them justified their stance. Philosophy and the bible clashed as the two of them battled it out before their little sister who looked on in confusion with tear stained eyes.

As I stepped in to calm the situation, my second son Eric an Atheist accused me of being on his elder brother Joseph’s side because he was a Christian. I felt my heart break for I loved them equally even though I wished they were both Christians. When their father William also stepped in, Joseph accused him of loving Eric more due to his religious stance.

I saw the hurt in William’s eyes at the accusation of his son but knew he secretly wished both his sons were Atheists. He looked at me and smiled sadly, love for me still displayed in his eyes. We advised them to be tolerant of each others views and left hand in hand oblivious to the fact that their argument heatedly continued when we were out of earshot.

What broke my heart was my daughter who had dressed promiscuously unashamed as she challenged the authority of her elder brothers. Both wanted to win her to their side but were unsuccessful. She had decided to be a non- practicing Muslim because she did not want to be in the midst of the controversy.

Then I saw Joseph and myself join hands to the right side, Eric and William to the left; hands held. My precious Ingrid was in the middle as we all tried to push her towards our direction. She stood strong unwilling to give up until we pulled so strongly she was torn in two. My daughter fell dead right before our eyes as we looked on in dismay.

My sons wept in grief as William and I still looked on as if in a trance. Then Eric took a knife from his pocket and stabbed his father to death accusing him of marrying a Christian. He too stabbed himself after that and lay dead beside Ingrid and William. Joseph grabbed me as if another spirit had possessed him and looked me in the eyes saying; “I blame you for all this, you have sacrificed your children for your selfish love, love is not selfish. I am disappointed in you.” He then picked Eric’s knife and stabbed me to death with tears in his eyes after which he killed himself.

Then I saw you seated upon the throne of judgment ready to declare where each of us would spend eternity. When Ingrid came before you, you banished her from your presence as I cried inconsolably. She looked at you and said, “It’s not my fault, my mother determined my destination even before I was born.” I was so broken as your angels threw her into the pit of fire her screams piercing my heart.

When Eric came before you, you banished him also from your presence declaring he did not accept Jesus. He also turned to me and said, “Mummy, this is where your selfishness has landed me.” As the angels took him away to the fire of doom, I thought I had died all over again. All this time your eyes never left me from the throne as you looked at me with cold eyes.

Then Joseph came before you and my body began to shake as you cast him too aside calling for him to be sent into the lake of fire. He also turned to me and said “Mummy,   you turned me into a murderer, now here I am.” I threw myself to the floor and wept without tears for all my tears had fallen.

When William came before you, the judgment was the same but when he turned to look at me, what he said was more hurtful than a sharp knife pierced through my heart. “I loved you with all my heart, but marrying you is the worse decision of my life. I would have preferred to see myself in hell fire than the children we had together. Love is good but losing loved ones through our selfish choices is unforgivable.

 It was my turn to stand before you and I saw your eyes soften as you spoke. “I loved you with my life. I paid the price for your sins with the blood of my son upon the cross. You knew me but disobeyed me. Did I not tell you it is better to enter my kingdom with a missing part rather than missing it entirely? You chose to save your heart and did not wait for me to bring you someone equally yoked. Your children are all here because of you. You chose to save yourself but lost it all,” you said.

Your eyes then turned cold again as if you were not the one who had just spoke. As the angels carried me towards hell fire, I heard myself screaming, “no, no, I will wait upon you! I will wait upon you!” But it was too late. As they threw me into the fire, what I saw shook me more. William, Eric, Joseph and Ingrid all pointed accusation fingers at me blaming me for their suffering.

Then all those in hell joined them as they chanted. “Bad mother, she sacrificed her children for her  love.” They approached me as if to rip me in two but then came the blinding light. Jesus came and grabbed me from their midst, hugged me and took me to safety. “I will never leave you nor forsake you, don’t leave me; Yvonne.” I smiled at him and told him how much I loved him “I love William, but I love you more.”

When I woke up from my dream, my bed was soaked with sweat and I knew I had narrowly escaped the heat of hell. God, thank you for saving me as you did. I never thought of the children I would have one day or what I would be putting them through. I can’t bear it. I will rather die than see my children perish because of me.

From today, I have taken a sharp curve back to obedience. No love for any man can compare to the love I have for you. Quickly bring me a man who equally believes in you who can love me beyond my pain to make me forget this forbidden love. I will not gamble with eternity.

Send my true love so we can pull together towards you. I now have the courage to tell William “I love you with all my heart, but I love Jesus more and will want my children to love him too.”

If he decides to convert, fine. If not, I will still love you more and wait upon your promise.  I will wait for a man who also loves you more so our children can freely love you. Thank you Jesus for saving me, but please banish this horrible dream from my mind for my heart still beats when I think about it. Yours in waiting to be equally yoked, Yvonne.

 

RELATED BIBLE VERSE

2 Cor 6:14-17

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”  17 “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.

 

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

According to the story and above scripture, whom will you describe as an unbeliever?

Why does scripture admonish Christians to be unequally yoked with unbelievers?

Would you be willing to let go of the love you feel for someone in obedience to God?

Do you think it is wise to enter a relationship with someone with the hope of changing their believes?

Like the children in the story, do you prayerfully consider the effects your decisions have on your loved ones?

The above scripture does not encourage Christians to treat others with disdain, do you agree?

 

UNANSWERED PRAYER FOR A HUSBAND

UNANSWERED PRAYER FOR A HUSBAND

NB: This story is purely fictional and a result of my active imaginations. It is unrelated to any person dead or alive; any such resemblance is purely coincidental.

At the age of 36, God-fearing Judith is still single and a virgin. She has been fasting and praying to God endlessly to bring her a man to call her own. Judith misses no opportunity to go to church, attend deliverance and prophetic services all in an attempt to receive God’s blessings. Many derogatory comments are passed at her back even from loved ones she least expected. It is presumed that she is unable to marry because she s choosy and snobbish. However, it is far from the truth. No serious God-fearing man had come her way yet. This bothers her so much that she approaches the Lord in prayer to come to her aid and right her wrong. She petitions God once again leaving the decision to him.

Daddy Lord,

If you will do what you will do, then why does your word tell me to pray? Do you just want to hear the words that come out of my mouth as evidence that I am still on your side? Why have you not answered my prayer when I have persisted without fail? Your word tells me that if I have faith as small as a mustard seed, I will move mountains. My faith may be small, but it is bigger than a mustard seed. So why is this mountain still in front of me? Your words say it is not good for man to be alone. So why does this goodness elude me if you are my God? Why am I alone with no man to call my own?

At the age of 36 what other form of prayer do you seek from me so I can see results? Teach me lord, I have gone through your Holy Book and prayed in all the possible ways. My prayers have ranged from Hanna’s unuttered words through David’s Psalms as well as Jabez’s prayer. I have fasted and prayed as Jesus recommended for difficult situations. I have only ended up with a stomach ulcer, the physical evidence that I have done my part.  Despite this, I have not stopped praising you. I give you thanks in all things as a good Christian ought to.

Have I not brought my tithes and offerings before you, so you will open the floodgates of heaven and poor down your blessings on me? Have I not bound demons down here on earth until there was none left to bind? Have I not brought others who share the same grief together in one accord to meet your requirement, which says; when two of us agree on something, it will be done for us? Why is my situation the same? What am I doing wrong or not doing right? All of those I prayed with are married but me.

If you are the merciful father whose anger lasts for a moment, then I know that my sins are not the issue here. Is it too much to ask that you give me a good man to call my own? What is the use of all this beauty you have endowed me with, if I am only admired but not claimed? Sometimes I wonder if I was foolish to have kept my virginity. Even my younger siblings know the pleasures on the matrimonial bed simply because they are married. If I experience the same, you will say I have fornicated. Why then will you not give me the opportunity to legally enjoy what you created? After all Paul once said it is better to marry than to burn with passion. I am burning with passion but who will hold me?

Your word stopped me when I wanted a baby for myself to call my own. If marriage is not your wish for me, at least let me have my own baby. If I do this, will I be justified? You will certainly accuse me of sexual immorality. At times, I wonder if it was a mistake to ask you into my heart. If you did not live in me, I would have had the courage to treat my body as I wanted. I would have made decisions that suited me without a pang of guilt.

If I knew prayer was so powerful, I would not have prayed to you to send away all men who would come into my life to hurt me until I met the man you created for me. Since that prayer, no one has come my way to make me feel like a woman. Please hasten to bring my man because the wait is now unbearable.

Are you afraid that the love I have for you will belong to another? Who can love a mortal and an immortal man in the same vain? No one can take your place in my heart. You are my God and true love. You are my first love.

The sermon I was listening to the other day spoke about how your answer to prayer is Yes, No or Wait. At first I thought telling me to wait was better than an outright No. I know better now, waiting upon you is the greatest cross one can carry. How I admire Abraham who waited until your promise came to pass. I wonder the feeling Elizabeth had when her baby jumped in her womb. I wish I had their patience! I know the fruits of the spirit include longsuffering but to wait upon you like this knowing your will, will prevail regardless of my plans is unbearable. You should have put in me a desire to live without a man. Why do you not take away my desire to be with a man since this desire is unfulfilled?

The prophecies and dreams regarding my marriage are so many yet none has come to pass. Other dreams and prophecies in other areas of my life have materialized but my marriage. How will I have the strength to wait upon you?

Society has placed a negative tag on me simply because I am single at my age. I was listening to a radio show the other day when one man spoke intensely about how successful women were so choosy and unwilling to settle down. Do you remember how I shook my head and laughed without mirth? What is there to choose from, when there is nothing to choose at all? Why should I not strive for success when there is nothing to tie me down? I would rather pursue my dreams because no man pursues me.

I wish society could be truthful and spare me the agony. Why rush into marriage and rush out of it? How I wish our mothers’ would be truthful like Aunty Dora. She envied my patience and my resolve to settle for nothing but your best for me. When will our Mothers’ reveal how they suffer in their marriages instead of pushing us into the same situation? If they will tell us the truth, perhaps we will have more patience, waiting on you.

Nothing frustrates me more when I hear that it is because I have been married in the spirit that I find no one here on earth to call my own. If this is the case then what did all my prayers and fasting accomplish? What were the deliverances I went through worth when my body became so weak I could hardly stand on my feet? What did the bottles of anointing oil that could have done wonders in the kitchen accomplish on my head? What was the use of the many anointed hands that placed on me?

Where can I find you, God? Clearly, you need to answer me. Are my enemies stronger than you are or does your will no longer matter to man? If a Christian woman is not married, is it because she is spiritually married? If she is barren, is it because she has spiritual babies? We need to know the truth. The bondage for which you sent your son to set us free, continues to entangle us drawing us further back into the darkness. Is your will no longer a priority?  If a Christian has waited upon you while the answer to her prayer is still pending, what can she do? How many more witches can I kill? How many more demons can I bind; I am only human.

The church has become even more unbearable for me for even there, there is no respite. People ask me when I will marry as if their happiness depends on my marriage. Do they forget that I am not God? That I do not have the answers? I have run out of polite answers to these questions and may resort to sarcastic replies if you do not keep me in check. It beats my mind that even in church the most foolish married person is sometimes regarded above the unmarried one who may be wiser. Singles have been disqualified from certain position simple because of their status regardless of their commitment to you. Help us lord or we may flee into the world.

I need to see you lift me up before my enemies. My victory will not be worth celebrating if all my enemies die. Who will see my victory? Many women have turned to other gods who quickly come to their aid. Others have stopped following you because this long suffering is long indeed. Hold on to me lord that I may not give up. Wipe the tears from my eyes and put a new song in my heart. Bless me with a good marriage for you alone bless man and add no sorrows to it. You know what is good for me and can see behind the veil covering the soul.

I have heard that those who have turned away from you get the best in life. Is this true; are your children not supposed to be the victors in this world? If you were able to differentiate between the children of Egypt and those of Israel when you sent the plaques, then I beg to differ in this view. You know your own and I am yours. Let not my worship be in vain. Open my eyes that I may see beyond and appreciate how you have protected me all this while.

The irony of the situation is that those who have strayed from you to indulge in fornication see it in their place to counsel me. They caution that you will not send a man to me from heaven. They say that I should go out there and get a man because I have all it takes. Isn’t it funny? When my colleague told me the other day to go after men since my clock was ticking, I kept quiet and listened. It was interesting because she seemed so knowledgeable about how to grab and keep a man. It was funny to me because she has been in a sexual relationship for ten years though she is not married.

Her wedding day never comes though she says it will. Does this qualify her to advice me? I don’t claim righteousness before you because you know my weakness. However, it is sad that those who ignore your laws turn around to counsel your children who patiently wait for you.

And then there is my friend Erica, jumping from men to men in her quest to find the best man. To her, God will not find a husband for you. It is sad when I see her cheapen herself despite the fact that she is a child of God. She claims she can change them and marry them but where has that left her? All the dirty clothes she washed and food she cooked for the men did not pay off. Her body has been used to satisfy their lust, yet she claims I need a man. Hmmm, I do not blame her for this wait is not easy.

Give your daughters’ the strength to wait and the ability to trust you for your word caution us not to lean on our own understanding. I wonder what would have happened if I did not heed your word. I may have ended up a second wife or agreed to marry to Cephas even though I knew he did not believe in you. I am grateful that you have kept me from desperation and guided me with your word lest I fall.

Help me as I prepare for the day when you will lay a table before me in the presence of my enemies. They think you have forsaken your children; please vindicate me. When my children jump around my house singing praises to you one day, let all those who said that it would be impossible to have children at my age marvel at your handiwork. Teach them that in the school of faith, science is disgraced. For who established the times but you. And who is wiser than you to question your ways and motives?

Have mercy on us God, for we are only humans. You alone know what is good for me though at times I feel that I know best. If Elizabeth knew that she had to be barren so John the Baptist could usher  Jesus into the world, she would not have unduly worried.

Help me understand your ways and not mine. Reveal a fraction of your mind to me and my heart will be steadfast, trusting in you. Let me see what you see and not what I want to see. Your word says your ways are not my ways nor your thoughts my thoughts. However, my mortal mind fails to comprehend this at times until your words steer me toward the truth. The day I know everything, you do and why, you will cease to be my God for my wisdom is lesser than a strand of your golden hair.

Let me live each day as a gift from you, enjoying the blessings you have so far granted unto me. You are a God of beauty who lets all things work together for good for all those who love you. Let my love for you grow to the point where I too may enjoy these promises of yours for even your name submits to your word.

Let me be the testimony of my time for all to know that you are the same God, yesterday today and forever more. I concur that whether it tarries, it shall come to pass. And even if Tomorrow never comes, let me be like Job who said that even though slays him, he will worship him. In Jesus name, I lay down my petition, until I knock at your door again. With unending love as always, it is Judith. Amen

 

RELATED BIBLE VERSES

Isaiah 40:31   but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Psalms 27:13-14   I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

Psalms 37:34  Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Lamentations 3:25   The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.

Micah 7:7   But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.

 

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

How does society force singles to enter into bad marriages?

Like Judith, do you agree that waiting for our heart’s desire can be the most difficult thing for a practicing Christian?

Do you agree that God knows best and makes all things beautiful in his time and not our time?

How can we remain faithful to God when our prayers have not yet been answered?

How does the way other Christians react to single adults worsen their plight?

 

 

 

COUNSELLING MARRIED WOMEN GONE WRONG

COUNSELLING MARRIED WOMEN GONE WRONG

As a Christian counsellor, I have told myself I am not fit to venture into marriage counselling until I have been married for at least ten years. If you come to me for advice on marriage, I will sweetly smile at you and refer you to several biblical verses and passages. I may even tell you what I was told at premarital counselling and recommend several books for you to read. But I will do this as a friend and not as a marriage counselor. I say this because many people have ruined marriages through inexperienced marital counselling. I have always wanted to help people going through challenging circumstances hence my decision to pursue Biblical counselling. However, I am not proud of how I handled a particular case few years ago when i had not been formally trained.

A dear friend of mine confided in me about how she was having problems in her marriage of four years. Before the marriage, the guy exhibited anger traits which I cautioned her about. My friend also had a short fuse so I was worried the two of them could have terrible clashes. However, she went ahead and married him because she felt she was not growing younger. I was still happy for her because she seemed very happy with her choice; after all, no one is perfect. The first time she opened up to me, I just gave a listening ear as I did not want to say I told you so. However, I was unhappy she was suffering so much. She told me the only reason why she had not walked out of her marriage was because of the twin boys they had been blessed with.

I was on my way to work one day when I had an SOS call from her. She lamented about how she was unhappy and wanted to get a divorce. She sounded desperate and recounted several instances that justified her stance. As I heard the pain in her voice, I found myself getting angry at her husband. Before I could stop myself, I told her to go ahead with her decision if her husband was making her so unhappy. Thank God, that divorce never saw the light of Day! I was single and inexperienced; I felt I was helping a dear friend. But can you imagine the damage my advice would have caused if she had followed through with it? Today, after being married for sometime, I can boldly say I would have given her better advice. I know better now.

It is easy staying at the other side and giving advice until you step on the same side. I began to realize the issues she was complaining about are very common in marriage. Even though she was my friend, I should have just empathized with her and encouraged her with scripture. I should have pointed out to her in love the fact that she was someone who was easily angered and had to also work on herself. But because I was single and had no practical experience in marriage life; I advised her as though I was advising someone in a premarital relationship. This experience has thought me, what our elders say is true. Experience is indeed the best teacher. Theory is good, but it can never outweigh the knowledge garnered out of experience.

Sometimes we feel insulted when our advice is not taken seriously because we are perceived to be inexperienced. I once felt that way when two colleagues described a marriage scenario that seemed unbelievable. When one of them told me and another single colleague that we would understand when we got married, we felt insulted. In fact I thought they were making fun of those of us in the single ladies’ club. Looking back, I have come to realize they meant no harm. It took me few months in marriage to come to this realization. However, I may never have understood them had I remained single.

Recently, I was so intimidated when my mother told me she would rank herself 50% in her marriage of over 30 years. I was shocked; this is a woman I wouldn’t rank less than 85% in how I have watched her handle her marriage. Her Godly attributes coupled with her resilience and tenacity as well as her ability to handle difficulties, have taught me a lot. I always marvel at her level of endurance and strength which is concealed in her weakness. So imagine how I felt when she told me she would rank herself 50%. According to her, a 75 year old woman she once knew asked her 80 year old husband for a divorce after they had been married for close to 50 years. Even though it sounded funny, she deduced marriage is an unending learning process. It is a school where there are no graduates.

Titus chapter 2: 3- 5 says “teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead they should teach others what is good. They should train the younger women to love their husbands and children; to live wisely and be pure, to do good, to be submissive to their husbands, so they will not bring shame to the word of God.” Today, there are so many people counselling women without experience or the wisdom of age. We can learn from Titus that age and experience is a requirement in counseling married women. But let us note that for these older women to qualify as marriage counselors, they are “to live in a way that honors God, they are not to slander or be heavy drinkers”.

From this verse, we can also learn that the fact that a woman has been married for decades does not qualify her to counsel younger women. If the way she lives does not honor the Lord, her counsel must be received with caution. A remarkable elderly woman who was able to assist a younger woman with her words of wisdom was Naomi as recounted In Ruth 3: 1-53 One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for. Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.”

As a result of Naomi’s advice to her daughter in law who was much younger, Ruth was able to secure a good husband. She gave birth to Obed who had Jessie; the father of the great King David. From the generation of the great King David came Jesus Christ through whom the world was redeemed. This is what wise counsel can do! Imagine if Naomi had given wrong counsel to the younger Ruth or worse still withheld her advice! Marriage counseling is no joke and must not be taken lightly. One advice is capable of turning a marriage around for the better or for the worse. Thus, the receiver of the counsel must be very cautious in putting to practice whatever has been recommended.

According to proverbs chapter 11: 15 “Where there is no counsel, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. Here, there is an acknowledgement that counseling can be used to avoid pitfalls. However, it also advocates seeking other opinions especially when one is not too comfortable with a particular direction. Thus, we are safer when we do not rush to implement counseling strategies but ponder and pray until we have a peace about it. Prayer is very important because a strategy that worked well for a particular marriage may backfire in another. The fact that Boaz did not reject Ruth does not mean every woman who follows this example will end up with a husband.

Another issue of concern when it comes to marital counselling is when men counsel women. This has been known to lead to the development of wrong emotional attachments from the counsellor, the counsellee or both. Imagine a married woman sitting in a man’s office discussing intimate details of her marriage in the absence of her husband. The man may be a pastor, apostle, bishop or pope, but underneath the important looking demeanor is a man with flesh and blood. Listening to such information and trying to rescue someone’s damsel in distress can lead to an unexpected trap of sexual immorality. No wonder we hear of mighty men of God brought down by sexual scandals. Every human being is prone to temptation and must be careful to run away from it like Joseph did in the house of Potiphar.

Perhaps that is why Titus advocates women counseling women and not men counselling women. This is regardless of how spiritually strong these men are perceived to be. If elderly women seriously take up the role of leading younger women towards the right path, a lot of mistakes will be avoided not only in the counselling room but also in marriage. Problems that seem so overwhelming to young wives will gradually become trivial as we learn from experienced Godly women. Today’s generation is lucky to have so many helpful resources in the form of books written by elderly women of wisdom and other video and audio guides. The word of God is also ever present and serves as a guide by which every counsel can be measured to avoid pitfalls.

Oh and there is also one light-hearted reason why marriage counseling is not for me until my 10th wedding anniversary. I was recently venting out to my husband about how a colleague’s husband was misbehaving. I spoke out my mind about how terribly he was treating her. My husband took me by surprise by asking if that was how I was going to counsel those in marriage distress. It was good to tell him I would not get involved in marriage counselling until we were married for ten years. With this in mind, he can’t reprimand me for knowing better as a Christian counsellor when my imperfections surface occasionally. As they surely will since I am only a sinner saved by grace.