As we began this series regarding conflict I set out some of the guidelines and the premise by which we intend to explore the specific issues. If you have not read that post, please read it now (go here, then come right back).
I told you last week I want to look at alcohol in marriages and we will. Prior to jumping into that I am also compelled to share with you two books I have found helpful when dealing with conflict.
• Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
• Love must be Tough by Dr. James Dobson
Written by Christian authors, the books offer some solid suggestions to deal with some of these tough issues. You can find these books in our recommended reading page, click here.
Over the past week the Lord confirmed to me that I need to post on alcohol and it’s affects on marriages. I appreciate everyone who left comments and sent me email. You are the voice that I needed to move me forward with these posts.
I recognize that there are mountains of books, materials, and studies that address the subject of alcohol and alcoholism. Where I tend to see the affects arise in my ministry is specific. So, I am going to share this scenario with the reading audience.
Fictional story based on actual lives:
Tina and Mark (fictional names) have been married 10 years. Three years after they married Tina found Jesus. That is when trouble began. Several children arrived and Tina’s faith grew. Mark remained the same.
In the early years of their marriage Tina and Mark would join the gang at the pub for football, beer, and burgers. Also, Mark and Tina usually unwound after a long day with a couple of beers or a bottle of wine in the evening. However, Tina began to change and she no longer went to the pub and really lost her desire to drink at night. She was too busy raising the kids and wouldn’t leave them to go out. But, Mark was adamant that he wasn’t going to grow old at 30 so he continued to head to the bar once or twice a week. Unwinding with a beer in the evening began to grow to four beers in the evening, every evening.
**** This is where I (Lynn) begin to run into people in marriage who are at a kind of crossroads.
Tina, takes a step back and starts pondering a crazy thought, Is my husband an alcoholic? Tina really isn’t sure and isn’t that concerned, yet. I mean really, after all Jesus drank wine. It’s not a sin to drink, she thinks to herself, and then shrugs off the thought. However, it keeps nagging her. She is bothered that her husband is out at a bar once a week without her. After all, she knows what can happen after a few drinks and a vulnerable situation arises.
She tries to talk with Mark. He is mad that Tina is such a stick in the mud. He is not doing anything wrong. It’s her fault she doesn’t want to go to the bar and have some fun. He thinks, this whole Jesus thing has ruined our lives.
Tina cannot help but notice the increased drinking. She feels disrespected by her husband because he is leaving her every weekend. She wants to spend time with him but he can get mean when he’s had a few.
She is hurt, and worse than that, bewildered as what to do. Arguing has done nothing, threats, manipulation, nothing seems to get through to Mark.
She cries alone. He is angry and blames her for their problems.
In this scenario it is likely this couple has other issues besides alcohol. But, I am going to focus on alcohol because it seems to be where marriages can go two different ways. Good and one not good.
Where I find believers struggling is this: recognizing there is a problem with alcohol. There are some specific questions that can help guide you.
Okay, don't be mad but this post has run long so I am going to cut it off here. I will post next Friday what happened to Tina and Mark. Stay tuned.
Isaiah 61: 1-2 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn
This scripture leaped into my mind as I typed. It is this scripture that compells me to write about such difficult subjects. May all that we say be sifted and may it bring healing and ultimate glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. Be Blessed, Lynn