Don't Become a Cannibal
Posted: Feb 08 2016
In my previous post (click here to read), we looked at the first two categories for finding the rules in relationships: The Obvious and The Debatable. Today we shall examine CATEGORY THREE – The Third Party. Alas, the dreaded Third Party. The issues that are not universally agreed upon or cannot be settled through vigorous debate end up here: turning to others for help.
Many people consider this a sign of weakness and won’t enlist the help of others, but this is no weakness, it is life. For example, when a wife does not want her husband to befriend a certain woman (for reasons real or imagined) and he vehemently disagrees, or when you fight over what the children should be allowed to do, or how a friend or family member should be treated or any other dilemma that presents itself, and no conclusion can be reached after vigorous debate, then you must turn to others for help.
Sometimes just having friends you can trust will do the trick.
Sometimes, however, even friends can’t help. That is when you need the courage and humility to be able to turn to a pastor or mentor or even a professional counselor.
“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding.” (Proverbs 3:13)
Wisdom (the knowledge to know what is right or wrong in any given situation) is something that is sought out, obtained, gained, found. That means you have to ask. If you encounter really bad behavior in your marriage, a professional counselor may be your only real option. Let me explain ...
I am of the firm opinion that marriage problems are the easiest problems in the world to fix. Don’t misunderstand, I know the problems can be very frustrating and can even lead to divorce if not corrected. It is just that I don’t think marriage problems are very complicated and in my opinion, don’t really need a professional counselor or therapist.
But PERSONAL problems, now that is a horse of a different color! I am referring to deep personal problems: alcohol abuse, drug usage, violence, gambling, sexual addictions, negative self-image, etc. These will all negatively affect a marriage, but they are not marriage problems, they are personal problems. These types of problems, but for a miraculous work of God’s grace in that person, almost always need a professional. But keep in mind, this should not be marriage counseling.
Look, life is hard. We encounter many difficult hurdles. Be humble and ask for help. Don’t be like the fool who says, “This is our business and nobody should know our business!” If you get stuck, turn to others for help. Getting some advice from others to help negotiate the conditions upon which you cannot seem to agree may be just the answer for you.
Does a couple need conditions in their relationship? Absolutely! (If you are unsure about the reasons, go back and read my previous posts in this series.) Always remember: Without conditions, true love is not possible.
*From my book “The Battle Over Rules” available at: www.markgungor.com