Category: Q&A

Q&A: Affair on The Internet

Q: I suspect my husband of cheating on me on the internet and he gets upset when I ask to see his account. How do I deal with this?

Gary: It’s difficult to deal with that, but you cannot accept a husband who is hiding part of his life from you. I think you have to tell him very lovingly that you love him too much to let him block off a part of his life from you. Does he want an intimate marriage with you or does he want to live with the internet? I think when you push him to make that kind of choice you will discover the truth, then you can deal with the truth. I also suggest you need someone to walk with you through this journey. I suggest you see a Christian counselor or pastor.

Q&A: Non-Christian Friends of Your Teenager

Q: My husband only wants our teenage daughter to have Christian friends. What do you think?

Gary: Teenagers are going through a very dramatic stage of life. They’re changing physically, emotionally, and intellectually, rethinking their spiritual values; it’s such an important time. Yes, I think we need to be friends with Christians and non-Christians but be very careful whom your teenager spends time with. If they spend time with non-Christians who have a non-Christian philosophy of life, they may well get pulled into that lifestyle. I think both of you have legitimate concerns. Continue having conversations with your child about what is going on in their life. Don’t back away from them this is a time during which they need parental guidance.

Q&A: A Man Distracted by Other Women

Q: How can a man say “I love you” but still seem to be distracted by other women?

Gary: Let’s face it; the words “I love you” can be cheap. If a man is involved with someone else but still says these words to his wife, he’s fooling himself. Love does not violate a covenant. Marriage is commitment to each other. Saying “I love you” while having interest in someone else is not love. Our hearts get divided; we are all sinners. The hope is always that a person will repent, come back, and truly affirm their love, having made the hard decision to reconcile.

Q&A: Learning to Give Words of Affirmation

Q: How do I give Words of Affirmation to my spouse when it doesn’t come naturally?

Gary: When we don’t speak a language by nature, it is certainly a challenge. If you did not receive affirming words growing up, it will probably be more difficult to speak those words. You have to learn to speak another language. I suggest you write down some statements you’ve heard other people say and say them to yourself in the mirror. Then go to your spouse and just say one of them. Each subsequent time will be easier. You have to practice learning a new language.

Q&A: Your Relationship to Your Children

Q: I’ve been told that it’s not good to be called “your child’s friend,” but we should always be a parent. What do you think?

Gary: I think it depends on what you mean by “friend.” I think you can be both a parent and friend to your children. No, you are certainly not their peer. You have more wisdom, maturity, and responsibilities. You set the boundaries and bring discipline to your children when appropriate. In being friendly to them don’t cease to be a parent. It’s not either/or, but the emphasis is on parenting.

Q&A: The Verbally Abusive Spouse

Q: My husband is very harsh with his words to our kids and it worries me sometimes. How can I help him with this?

Gary: I think the starting place is to simply say to him, “I know you don’t mean to do this, but when you talk to our kids that way it hurts me deeply. I know the kids are also hurt by your words.” Suggest that he talk to a pastor or a counselor and learn to express himself with words that are less painful to you. Put the situation on the table for him. Now he is at least consciously aware of what his actions are doing. You’re not yelling at him asking him to stop yelling at the kids, you’ve merely asked that he take steps to change his behavior.

Q&A: Loving Other People

Q: I struggle with loving other people. Do you have any suggestions?

Gary: It is difficult to get involved with other people; life is messy. When you reach out to love people who are hurting, you will hurt yourself if you have any emotional health at all. You will sense the pain of other people. But life’s greatest meaning is not discovered in isolation. Life’s greatest meaning is found in reaching out to serve other people. Jesus himself said, “I did not come to be served, I came to serve.” He is our model. Let me encourage you, even though it may be painful, to reach out and get involved in the lives of other people.

Q&A: Divorce and Your Relationship with God

Q: If I get divorced, will it affect my relationship with God?

Gary: Divorce is never God’s intention. Jesus makes that very clear in the New Testament. Marriage is for a lifetime. I know that there are difficult situations. Sometimes separation can be an act of love if the person is being destructive to you or to themselves. You say, “I cannot continue to support you in this behavior.” Then, after healing has occurred, you return. Divorce, however, is a different thing. Divorce is not an act of love; it’s abandonment. I hope that you will sit down with a pastor or Christian counselor and do everything you possibly can to save your marriage. Divorce does not alleviate problems. It only creates a whole new set of problems that you must then deal with.

Q&A: A Spouse with Depression

Q: My wife struggles with depression, and it’s hard to deal with, especially with our young children. What do you suggest?

Gary: Depression will not go away simply with the passing of time. There are many kinds of depression and many ways to approach it. The most effective approach with severe depression is both counseling and medication. That combination has been the most successful treatment for depression. Don’t sit idly and hope it goes away; get her to a medical doctor, get her to a Christian counselor, and get the process moving so that she can discover the source of the depression and the answer to that depression.

Q&A: Still Attracted to Other Women

Q: I’m newly married but I’m still attracted to other women. How do I turn these feelings off?

Gary: I’m wondering if you were involved with women before you got married. I’m also wondering if you had a pornography addiction. Often, either of these two things make marriage difficult because they pattern your mind for changing persons. I think you have to turn to God and ask him to deliver you from your past and give you a biblical commitment to your wife. Don’t allow the enemy to keep you in bondage to past experiences.