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Stewardship and Trusteesh
  By A.J. Philip  
  I ACCOMPANIED Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his visit to South Africa on the occasi  
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Letter to Metropolitan
  By Rev A.P. Jacob and five other priests  
  Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar  
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Small word, big problem
  By William Grimm  
  PEOPLE who have studied English as a second language tell me that three of the biggest challenges they encount  
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Couple in conflict
  By Dr John K. John  
  SANJAY came for counseling because a friend, who had come to me earlier for help for his own marital problems, persuaded him to seek help. Sanjay was in serious trouble; he was completely broken because he believed his marriage had come to an end.

Jyotsna, his wife, had left him the second time in a year and they have been living separately for about eight months now. She had made it very clear that she wanted a divorce. All his efforts to win her over had failed. When Sanjay started to narrate the story, he was in tears. It appeared Sanjay loved his wife dearly and he yearned for her to come back to their home. When I asked what he wanted he said:

"I want Jyotsna to come back. I cannot live without her."

"Why did she leave in the first place?"

"There have been fights."

"Over what?"

"My drinking habit."

"What about it?"

"I become unmanageable after I get drunk."

"Could you elaborate a bit?"

"Oh, in parties I go wild."

"What do you mean?"

"I get involved with other women and Jyotsna gets very upset!"

"Then why drink?"

"I don't know. Perhaps, I drink to escape the loneliness and the monotony of my job and the daily routine. I know I should not drink, but I can't help it."

Sanjay had met Jyotsna at a wedding party of a mutual friend. He was mesmerized by her beauty and instantly 'fell in love' with her whereas Jyotsna was attracted to him because of his carefree attitude and quick wit. They later got married and also got jobs in the same company but worked at different timings. His job was very demanding and had to work mostly into late nights. They hardly had any time together but when they met for a few hours they found themselves at each other's throats.

I asked Sanjay why not ask for forgiveness and request Jyotsna to come back?

"I have tried many times, but she says it is no use because I have repeatedly let her down and did not honor my promises in the past."

"You are sorry about this?" I asked.

"But now it is too late. She just does not want to meet me any more. I hear she is planning to move away from me, to another city." He looked quite despondent and again his eyes welled up.

"Okay, at this stage the only thing you can do is to confide and confess to the Lord and ask Him to intervene. Would you like to pray specifically for God's forgiveness for all your sins against God and in your relationship with Jyotsna in the past, right now? Also would you pray to Jesus to come and take charge of your life?" I asked.

Sanjay bowed his head and made a prayer of confession asking the Lord to come into his life and also intervene in his situation. As the next step, I advised Sanjay to write a letter to his wife asking forgiveness, very specifically for all the things he believes were done against her in the past. I also wanted him to respect her as a person and not to try and meet her or talk over phone. This was his first lesson on trusting God rather than scheming.

After a week, Jyotsna came to meet me. She had come to know from someone that Sanjay had been seeking help from me. She wanted to know whether the twenty-page letter he sent was real and that there has been any real change in him. She repeatedly asked me to tell her the truth and wanted assurance that this was not just another attempt by him to get her back.

According to Jyotsna, her husband does not love her any more, he just wants to use her for his own ends. He is lazy and selfish and does not have any time for her. She narrated instances of his getting drunk and then flirting with other women. Yes, he apologises for his behavior when he is sober but then repeats the same thing again and again.

Both of them came from secular backgrounds and were not serious about any particular moral or ethical values. After they separated this time, Jyotsna has become active in a Church she joined following an encounter with Christ. Sanjay tried to meet with her at this Church but she was not only unwilling to meet him but also clearly told him to leave her alone.

I told her that since she is a follower of Christ, she has to seek reconciliation and not think of divorce or even separation as both options are not in line with what Jesus taught. It is important for Christians to remember that Satan is an enemy of marriage and will smuggle the option of divorce into our minds when we least expect it to happen. Most people do not realise that marriage conflicts have a very deep spiritual dimension to it. Surprisingly, Jyotsna immediately responded by saying that an inexplicable panic attack grips her whenever she entertains the thought of coming together as a married couple!

I called some of my colleagues to pray together specifically for deliverance from the negative memories and demonic influences on her and her past.

After a few sessions for them together, we were able to see the Lordship of Christ coming upon their lives. Sanjay stopped drinking and smoking and became a very caring husband. Jyotsna learned to respect and love her husband. Her panic attack disappeared and their relationship to each other was renewed and reconciliation, love and intimacy in their marriage followed.
Dr John K. John has been a theologian, administrator and counselor for over three decades. He served in various capacities in Emmanuel Hospital Association and is presently the Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Trust of India, New Delhi. He took his Bachelor of Divinity from Serampore University in 1991 and has a doctorate in Christian counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary in the United States. He would be answering questions from our readers on their personal and family problems. Dr John can be contacted at
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