Coaching Troubled Couples

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.

Why Are Many Pinoy’s Poor? A Challenge to All Bloggers

I offer this first editorial article to all who may be frustrated and angry at the many injustices that they see around the country.  I challenge all to contribute their opinions to this pressing problem of poverty that continues to be the yoke that many Filipino families bear.  I hope that as we discuss this very important question, we may finally be able to address the problems that we suffer today.

I remember when I was in high school in the late 70’s, my teacher in social studies emphasized the fact (or sentiment), that majority of the Filipinos are middle class.  “We are a middle class society,” as she bluntly and quite firmly remarked.  And for some reason I agreed in my heart that we are indeed so.

As I entered college though, things became different.  Slowly, there was this creeping sense that this notion of the Philippines being middle class was starting to ebb away.  As I looked around the city where I grew up, my surroundings were becoming more congested and the jeepneys started to look ragged and billows of dark smoke fumed out of their tail pipes (a sign that the drivers were now having trouble making ends meet and hardly have the resources to take care of their once proud source of livelihood).  Squatter shanties were starting to become a common sight, strip joints of  all kinds started to line the main thoroughfare that used to be so quiet and unassuming (a sign that our women were starting to look for desperate means to feed their families).

In this editorial section, I would like to ask my fellow bloggers to put in their two cents worth of opinion.  In line with this site’s wish that all would start to think about their lives and their country, I wish to hear from all their opinions about what makes such a rich and beautiful country like the Philippines, poor.  The once proud icon of democracy has now become a mere shadow of what it was in the early post war years.  In this site, rest assured no one will be judged wrong or right.  

I also believe that all solutions begin with asking the right questions.  And until we start knowing what the real questions are, we will forever be left barking up the wrong tree.  Please put down your comments for all the world to see and grapple with this gnawing problem of poverty.