Relationships and Marriage

Answer

My Wife Is Physically Abusive

How should I respond to a wife who has a tendency to resort to violence? Once or twice a year my spouse and I have a disagreement that escalates out of control. At such times she says the meanest, most irrational things about me, including "I hate you." I have always remained calm and have never responded in kind, but this only enrages her to the point of violence. She throws things at me, even tries to hit and kick me or knee me in the crotch. So far I have not suffered serious injury, but I worry about what might happen if there were a knife or some other weapon handy. She's a pleasant and loving Christian woman most of the time, which makes it difficult for others to believe me or take my situation seriously. Am I overly concerned? What should I do?

Read more

Answer

Sexless Marriage and Divorce

If a couple has absolutely no sex life, are they still married in God's eyes? To put it another way, when does a divorce actually begin? Biblically speaking, I've always believed that sexual intercourse is the glue that cements the marital bond. Scripture indicates as much when it says, "The two shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). 1 Corinthians 6:16 seems to underscore this idea. This is all very pertinent to my situation. For at least the last twenty years my marriage has been totally sexless. At one point my wife actually said to me, "You need to understand that we are never having sex again." Does that mean that, from God's perspective, we're already divorced?

Read more

Answer

Combat Veterans and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

How can I help my husband who is having disturbing flashbacks as a result of active combat duty during his time in the military? Can you provide any helpful information concerning post-traumatic stress disorder? His condition has become much worse over the past several weeks, and our entire family is deeply worried about him. How can we best support him?

Read more

Answer

The Apostle Paul on Marriage and Singleness

Doesn't the Bible view marriage as a "second-class state"? As a single adult, I can't help feeling resentful when I see the Christian community placing so much emphasis on the importance of marriage. My own study of history leads me to believe that singleness was far more common in the past than it is today. Our modern cultural prejudices are blinding us to the significance of the apostle Paul's statement: "I wish that all men were even as I myself" (I Corinthians 7:7). I believe this is a genuine insight that we need to take seriously. According to Paul, singleness is the ideal. Do you agree?

Read more

Answer

A Christian View of Civil Marriage

Is a civil marriage ceremony valid in the eyes of God? My spouse and I were wed in this way. At first I had no problem with it, but recently I've begun wondering: are we really "spiritually" married? I felt strongly that the Lord was present when we repeated our vows before the judge in the courtroom. But a devout Christian relative has been telling me that we can't be truly married unless we have a church wedding. What do you think? Is a marriage performed by a Justice of the Peace as valid in the eyes of God as a marriage consecrated in the church?

Read more

Answer

Cybersex, Online Affairs, Adultery, and Divorce

In light of the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:27-30, how does a "virtual" affair differ in any significant way from a real-life affair? If it isn't different, does my spouse's involvement with cybersex give me grounds for divorce? I recently discovered that he's been involved in an ongoing "relationship" via the Internet. He claims that there's nothing adulterous about this kind of activity. According to him, it's just another form of sexual fantasy. I strongly disagree. What do you think?

Read more

Answer

What It Means to Be "Unequally Yoked"

Does the Bible really say that I shouldn't marry a non-Christian? I'm involved in a serious relationship with a young lady who isn't a believer. My parents and friends at church have been telling me that it would be a sin to marry this person. Naturally, they use II Corinthians 6:14-"Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers"-to support their arguments. But an in-depth study of this passage has convinced me that it has nothing to do with marriage. The context and the original language-in particular the Greek word heterozugeo-indicate that Paul is writing specifically about the believer's freedom from idolatry. What do you say to that?

Read more

Answer

Reconciling a Broken Marriage

Is it wise to try to put a broken marriage back together again? My ex-husband and I were divorced several years ago. Since that time he has become a Christian and his life has changed dramatically. As a result, we've been talking about getting remarried. Do you think this is a good idea?

Read more

Answer

Marriage Between an Atheist and a Christian

Can an atheist and a believer build a strong, lasting marriage? My girlfriend and I are terrific together. Her family loves me and everyone else says we're the perfect couple. There's just one catch: she's a strong Christian, but I don't believe in God at all. Do you think the religious differences between us pose a serious problem? Personally, I could care less what other people believe as long as their hearts are in the right place. What are our chances of building a relationship that will go the distance?

Read more

Answer

The Importance of Marital Sex: A Biblical View

Is sex really that critical to a healthy marriage? Here's why I ask. I'm having a disagreement with my spouse. He tells me that sex is a "sacrament" and "a holy mystery," and that it needs to be central to our relationship. He even uses Ephesians 5:30-32 to support these claims. I don't agree. After all, there's a lot more to marriage than just sex. Besides, the Bible itself (in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5) seems to suggest that sex is basically a sort of functional "chore," not a deeply meaningful "spiritual" experience. I get the feeling that some believers think sex is more important than the Bible says it is. Do you agree?

Read more

Answer

Just Discovered That Spouse Has Had an Affair

I've just discovered that my spouse has been cheating on me. As you can imagine, I was devastated when I first learned of his infidelity, and I still haven't recovered from the shock. I have not confronted him yet and have no idea what I'm going to do. Can you give me some direction?

Read more

Answer

Confronting the Infidelity of a Deployed Spouse

What should I do about an adulterous affair that my spouse had immediately prior to being deployed overseas by the military? He left recently for an extended tour of duty. Just before his departure I found out that he's been involved with another woman. It's difficult to communicate with him now that he's overseas. How do I deal with this while awaiting his return?

Read more

Answer

Emotional Distance in Marriage

How can my spouse and I overcome growing feelings of estrangement and regain the closeness we had in the early days of our marriage? We both lead extremely busy lives. My husband's workload should ease up soon, but in the meantime I sense that he's becoming increasingly distant from me emotionally. What can I do to reverse the trend?

Read more

Answer

Spouse Has Lost Faith

My spouse of twenty years has decided that she is no longer a Christian. As a matter of fact, she now claims to be an atheist. This has upset and changed our entire relationship. I don't understand what is going on with her or how to respond. Can you help me?

Read more

Answer

The Family: Not an Exclusively Christian Institution

Is a non-Christian family still a family? I have a personal reason for asking. I appreciate Focus on the Family's outreach and have benefited from many of your resources and broadcasts, but I don't share your religious views. Your family-oriented advice includes so many biblical quotations and references to Christian principles that I can't help asking: do you consider an agnostic-Buddhist family to be "less a family" than a Christian family?

Read more

Answer

Scriptural Basis for Definition of "Marriage" and "Family"

Where in the Bible does Focus on the Family get its definition of "marriage" and "family"? Whenever I browse your website I come away feeling excluded and marginalized. I know you'll disagree with what I'm about to say, but I consider myself a dedicated Christian and a homosexual. My partner and I love each other deeply. We're totally committed to our relationship. As far as I'm concerned, we're as much a "family" as any heterosexual couple with 2.5 kids. You may not realize it, but your material is extremely hurtful to people like me.

Read more

Answer

Keeping Sexual Passion Alive in Marriage

How does a man stay sexually interested in his wife after years and years of marriage? Jesus said that anyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28), but this strikes me as being terribly unrealistic. In my experience, sexual attraction has always been closely tied to anonymity. A good-looking stranger excites my imagination precisely because I don't know her. My wife, on the other hand, is as familiar as an old pair of slippers. This seems only natural, but it really bothers me as a Christian who wants to stay faithful to his wife. Can you help?

Read more

Answer

Minimizing the Impact of Depression on Your Family

How can I prevent my struggles with depression and anxiety from having a negative impact on my wife and children? It's bad enough having to cope with these debilitating feelings, but the thought that I'm making life difficult for my family is almost too much to bear. What should I do?

Read more

Answer

Preparing for Spouse's Release from Prison

Do you have any advice for a woman whose husband is on the verge of getting out of jail? My spouse has been serving a three-year sentence and is scheduled to come home next month. I'm eager to have him back and resume a normal relationship, but at the same time I can't help feeling anxious and apprehensive. I don't know exactly what to expect. Can you help me?

Read more

Answer

Parents Disagree about Offering Financial Assistance to Grown Child

Should my spouse and I help our adult son deal with his financial struggles? This is becoming a serious disagreement in our marriage. He's moved out of the house, but he simply isn't making it. I'm really worried about him. When I suggest that we offer him some monetary support, my spouse calls me a "softy" and says that he needs to learn a few lessons in the school of hard knocks. What do you think we should do?

Read more

Answer

Couple Disagrees about Money Management

How can I convince my husband that budgeting is important? I'm a firm believer in this method of money management, but my husband doesn't think it will work in our situation. How do we resolve this disagreement?

Read more

Answer

Parents and Financial Expectations for Adult Daughter's Wedding

Is it our responsibility to cover the expenses for our adult daughter's wedding when she and her fiancé have good, professional jobs and earn more than we do? They expect us to do so even though we have limited financial resources after putting our children through college. Do you think this is right? We feel like we're done paying for our adult children's expenses.

Read more

Answer

Preparing Financially for Marriage

What should an engaged couple know about finances as they make their plans for married life? What do they need to talk about in terms of money and budgeting?

Read more

Answer

Help for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Do you have any advice for an older couple who have long-term custody of their grandchildren? Our two young grandkids are living with us and probably will be for some time. How do we provide them with a loving home without losing our sanity?

Read more