Agendas. Everyone has one. Questioning my motives opens up the space for me to say, “Here are my plans, Lord. Now You do what You want with them.”
When I bring my motives to God, then He keeps me on a straight path.
The busy months before John and I were engaged, we decided to participate in marriage counseling. The couple that led us through this process were also our bible study leaders. In fact, this is where John and I literally became close. We sat on either ends of the couch – moving inches closer to one another as the weeks went on. Eventually, we literally sat right next to each other. As we started dating and then were engaged, their home became our sanctuary. Before long, we asked if they could counsel us in pre-marital counseling. Thankfully, they said yes. Throughout our book study on marriage, our mentors asked us questions that pertained to our past, present and future.
The past became a tough topic, as I felt my baggage would weigh John down. I wanted to be his rock, not a boulder. Although I did not need John’s permission to see a counselor, it was important for him to know that I had to unpack some heavy past issues in a healthy way. Were I to say, “God wants me to see this male therapist,” then I could blame Him when life does not turn out the way I want…right? Seeing a male counselor who has a degree at Yale with over 25 years of experience in abuse, and who also wrote 5 books on the topic may be my initial way of handling therapy, but it will also provoke my husband to jealousy.
“Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God-“1 Corinthians 10:32 NIV
Being in a one-on-one setting with a male where one is expected to be vulnerable about past issues and emotionally charged experiences can ironically create a bond between two people, and not exactly a healthy one. As a white woman living in a society that cultivates the White Savior Syndrome, the likelihood of creating another toxic relationship is…well, very likely. As much of a risk taker as John says that I am, jeopardizing my relationship with him is one risk I am not willing to take. After all, I ended up finding a caring, intelligent, and experienced woman who ended up being a very close friend.