By Nathan Chua
Los Angeles, May 24, 2009 – I was sitting with a couple of people talking about diets one day, and one of them said that he doesn’t care much about diets. He said that dieting is no fun and that you won’t enjoy life if you watch what you eat. I personally have often wondered to God why the best foods seem to be the most delectable. On the other hand, I also remember something that psychologists often refer to as comfort food. Why is it that a lot of people seem to find pleasure in food? Life’s better things sometimes seem to revolve around eating good food for many of us. I would like to hear from you and find out what is it that people find in food that it has come to be regarded as a luxury nowadays. Please feel free to comment.
by Nathan Chua
REDONDO BEACH, May 19, 2009 – I remember when I was at a lecture conducted by Dr. Bruce Narramore. He said that most of us know how to give love (In fact, we have made a popular saying out of, “it is better to give than to receive.”), but the problem lies more in our capacity to receive love. Amazingly, I chanced upon a book that talks exactly about this difficulty of receiving love at the Redondo Beach public library. Guess what? I checked it out for free! Here’s a nice little poem from the book titled, “Receiving Love: Transform Your Relationship by Letting Yourself Be Loved” by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D.:
Receiving and Giving
I’m a novice when it comes to receiving.
Giving has become my expertise.
But giving alone without getting
Becomes soon a fatal disease
If the intake valve is opened
There’s no way to maintain a supply.
There comes a point in the cycle of life
When the out-going stream runs dry.
Straining out love from a vacuum
Is like drinking from the heart of a stone.
Try as we may, at the end of the day,
We’re exhausted, frustrated, alone.
“Better to give than receive,” we are taught.
Yet another truth I’ve learned just by living:
Only the soul with the grace to receive,
Excels in the fine art of giving.
Peom by the Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr.
by Nathan Chua
I have often heard skeptics and well-intentioned people question my ability to work with married couples. These are legitimate concerns. I hope no one thinks that helping troubled marriages is an easy task. While coaching an individual certainly requires hard work and dedication, helping couples find harmony in their relationships is an equally if not more demanding task. I certainly cannot argue the fact that a married coach has an advantage over me.
However, I hasten to add that if we follow this line of reasoning, then it would be tantamount to saying that all those who try to help drug addicts out of their addiction, should be former addicts themselves.
Secondly, I do agree that a marital relationship is different from any other relationship there is. It is the most intimate and difficult of all. In fact in the Bible, it is likened to the mystery of Christ’s love for the church. It is indeed the mystery of unfailing love.
However, it would also help couples who have difficulties to stop and think for a moment of reflection. The argument against singles ministering to marrieds implies that a marital relationship is different from other relationships. I agree. But this does not provide a spouse an excuse to be a different person when he or she is with a spouse or with a friend. Maybe we can start to ask questions that will lead us to better ways of relating to the persons we need the most. Why is it that we often become a different person to the people we are closest to? How is it possible that we change based on the people we are with? How was Christ able to stay within his character even while He was surrounded by evil people who tortured and eventually killed him? How was He able to hang around with the most unsavory segments of society like the tax gatherers and prostitutes and still maintain his integrity? How is it that we seem to wear masks and act differently depending on who we are dealing with?
Maybe if couples would consider this thought for a while, then it could give them pause when they feel like their spouses are solely responsible for their bad behavior. Hopefully, we can all start to consider that we do have a choice in the way we handle our relationships, troublesome as they are, just like Christ.