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June 18, 2012

Why a Bad thing Happens to a Good Christian

I was in men’s Bible class when scripture discussions turned to the topic of making relationship work between married couples. Different married men in the group had different ways by which they show affection to their wives based on the wife’s individual desires. The entire discussion was centralized on different things men must do to continue to make the wife happy including the critical aspects of feeding and nurturing her emotional needs. There was agreement within the group that if a husband does not nurture his wife’s emotional needs, another man down the street may attract her attention. The same is true for a wife not taking care of her husband’s need. Such a situation may lead to a temptation and ignite problems for otherwise a good marriage. The wife’s emotional hunger for nurture, intimacy and attention has to be met by her husband. At least he should try before turning her over to Jesus to meet the rest of her needs. One of the husbands in the group raised a question relating to a wife’s expected roles to nurture her husband. An older married man in the group dismissed such a question citing that if a husband does his part, the wife will follow because women are such emotional creatures.

The discussion became more interesting when a newly married young man in his early 30s indicated that husbands must expect nurturing from their wives also. He is expecting his wife to play more active role in their romance, compared to the passive roles wives played in relationship in his father’s generation. His argument in this age of self -indulgence and quest for personal satisfaction is to allow both husband and wife to have an important and active role to play involving nurture and intimate moments in marriage. He cited that studies already showed that wives who are more involved in initiating romance with their husbands tend to stay married more than wives playing passive roles. Evidently, the passiveness of a wife in intimate moments of yesteryears is becoming obsolete if not detrimental to a relationship. At this point one of the husbands in the group said from a story told him by a female Christian counselor in Chicago, bad thing may happen in a marriage for a greater good. He told us an interesting story that people give up too quickly when problems emerge within a marriage, even between Christian couples.


The Story of Allen and Becky

(Why bad things happen to good people?)

Here is the story of Allen and Becky who relocated from California to Chicago about two years after they got married. Allen and Becky are well dedicated Christians both from traditional Protestant Christian homes. Allen had a master’s degree in finance and Becky had a master’s degree in theatre. They were both in their early 30s. While in California, Becky was involved in teaching actors and actresses to polish their skills. Allen worked for a big corporation, which led him to relocate in Chicago. After they moved to Chicago, Becky could not find similar work in the Chicago area. While Allen went to work making six figures, Becky just stays at home and takes care of their two kids. Allen works in downtown Chicago while the couple lived in the suburb of Chicago. Life was exciting for both Allen and Becky when they first moved to Chicago. After three years, Becky started to feel alone by her self all day waiting for her husband who usually arrive home about 7 p.m. each day. He was off on weekends being the only time they spent together. By the time Allen got home he was too tired. Becky started to feel neglected and in need for affection. One Sunday, as they were coming back from church service Becky told Allen that she was feeling lonely at home and needed more affection and attention from him. Becky indicated she was tired of being at home all day by herself. Allen asked her to find a part time job or get more involved with church activities. None of those suggestions comforted Becky. Within her, she was hurting because she felt her husband did not care about her emotional needs and feelings.

A year later, another married couple with three teenagers moved next door to both Allen and Becky. Becky was excited and wasted no time getting acquainted with the new family that moved next door. They were John and Barb who were both transferred to a Chicago corporate office from New York. Barb worked part time and John worked full time for the same company. Both John and Barb are non-church going Christians in their mid fifties. Becky spent most of her free time with Barb and they became friends. Becky tried without success to encourage John and Barb to come to their church. However, Becky and Barb continued to be friends and sometimes arrange picnics for their children.

One weekend, Allen was out of town. Becky with her children attended a picnic with John and Barb’s family in a public park near Lake Shore. While the children were playing, Becky ran into a younger guy named Harry, a senior at a Chicago University Medical School. Harry was a 27-year old medical student. Both Beck and Harry exchanged phone numbers after a long conversation. Becky found this young man more attentive to her. She started to spend some of her free time talking to Harry on the phone despite his busy schedule. After phone conversations for about three weeks, Becky went to visit Harry in his apartment near the hospital he was working. Becky did not know she was mesmerized by the medical student who was then a resident physician at the time she visited him. Becky’s need for emotional nurture and affection drove her into the arms of Harry leading to intimate moments between the two. Six months after Becky had been having her secret affair, she confided in Barb about her relationship with Harry. Barb was very shocked about Becky’s ongoing affair! She encouraged her to end the affair immediately and confess to her husband. Becky told Barb she was too afraid to tell her husband. Following this revelation, Barb met with Allen, Becky’s husband. She set up a meeting in their house where Becky could tell her husband. John and Barb therefore invited both Allen and Becky to come over to their house for dinner. After dinner while the two couples were in the living room, Becky played the piano to entertain the couples. Following this while everybody was sitting quietly in the living room, Barb initiated the conversation saying, "Allen, your wife Becky has something to tell you!"

With this introduction by Barb, Becky acted as if she was not ready to confess to her husband. With eyes contacts, body language, and non-verbal exchange of messages between the two women, Becky started telling the story. She confessed to her ongoing extramarital affair with Harry the young physician she met at the park. By the time Becky finished, Allen’s face had turned red with shock. He acted as if he had seen a ghost. He could not believe what he was hearing from his wife. Allen placed his face in his hands and started to weep. Barb had to get up from her couch to comfort him. "I didn’t know you will take it this hard," said Becky. "I didn’t want to hurt you like this," she explained. At this point Barb was sitting next to Allen and his head fell on her lap as he kept weeping like a baby. John ran to the refrigerator to get Allen some cold water. "Drink this, it should make you feel better," said John handing Allen a glass of cold water. Allen raised his head from Becky’s lap as if he was raising his head from his mother’s lap. He drank the water and his head fell sideways back of Barb’s lap as he continued sobbing. For about two hours, both John and Barb tried their best to comfort Allen. Later Allen appeared to have gotten himself back together. But he was still hurting very badly from the look on his face. John and Barb talked to him until they believed he was okay from the initial shock.

"Are you in love?" Allen asked his wife with a trembling voice.

"Yes, I love Harry," replied Becky.

"Okay, you’re in love with another man."

"I’m afraid yes."

"Where do we go from here?" Allen questioned.

"I don’t know."

"You don’t know what!"

"I don’t know," repeated Becky shrugging her shoulder.

Slowly, Allen got up from the couch next to Barb, and went to the bathroom, washing his face. He came back with his eyes swollen from crying so much. He was ready to leave. He thanked Barb and John for their help in letting him know about Becky’s affair. Before Allen left, John called him to the side and said, "Both of you need a marriage counselor, and you need to stop crying and be strong. You keep on weeping, you’ll lose her!"

"She is my high school sweetheart. The only woman, I ever loved," said Allen as he left for next door.

"What a betrayal!" said Barb after Allen left.

Allen went back to his house next door.

"You think the pleasure from Harry is worth the damage," question John. "I’ve never seen a man so broken down in my life as I just saw your husband."

Becky started to cry quietly alone on the couch.

"Selfishness is sure evil, and you call yourself a Christian?" said Barb.

"Don’t judge me!" Becky snapped. "I’m lonely, I needed some nurturing."

"Allen is not a traveling sales man! He comes home in the evening!" Barb shouted back.

"I need some affection! Can’t you get it!"

"Evidently, Allen isn’t enough."

"He never pays attention to me anymore," Becky complained.

"Don’t you realize he is busy working to bring money home for you?"

"I can’t be intimate with money."

"So, it’s all about sex."

"More than that, I need some affection!"

"Why don’t you tell him," Barb jumped in front of Becky.

"So, you’re playing his mother, now?"

"No, I’m playing the role of a Christian neighbor."

"Sure, the Christian that doesn’t even go to church," said Becky mocking her.

"I see the result of you going to church."


"You can’t preserve your stuff for your husband!"

"Please give me a break! It’s my stuff!"

"Way to go Becky. Tear up the marriage contract and go for the gusto of physical pleasure between your legs!"

"He didn’t buy me," said Becky.

"The moment you get married, it becomes a common property between you and your husband," Barb responded.

"Please! Give me a break!"

"Becky, you’re playing with fire!" Barb warned.

For about 30 minutes, there was total silence in the room. Then, Becky stood up and Barb hugged her and both women started to weep as John sat on the couch watching the two women and the drama in his living room. Quietly, Becky went back home. By the time she go home, Allen already put the children to bed and he was sleeping in their bedroom. Becky sat on the couch wondering whether she should go inside their bedroom and sleep next to her husband. About 1 am, she made the decision to go and lay next to her husband. In the morning, by the time Becky got up, Allen already left the house. That day, Allen took off from work and went to see a marriage therapist. Barb had hinted to him he needed a good Christian female therapist to help him out of the situation. She also wanted him to talk to his pastor in the church. Becky had objected to taking the issue to their pastor. She did not want to be seen as an adulterous wife by her pastor. Allen consequently found another pastor to help him out in conjunction with his therapy with the female marriage counselor.

A week after Becky told her husband about her affair, she moved in with Harry. Allen, her husband did not hesitate to help her move. Becky wanted to hire a mover. Allen went and hired a moving truck and helped Becky to move her stuff to her boy friend’s house. By this time Harry already purchased a house. He was going to stay in one of the Chicago hospitals for his residency program in surgery. Harry was shocked the day he saw Allen helping his wife move to his home. Initially, Harry thought he was her brother, and was more shocked when he realized it was Becky’s husband. Allen was determined not to beg Becky to stay.

Allen and his female therapist had a game plan to win Becky’s heart back from her lover. His therapist had been coaching him. They had so many things in the works. Allen found out in conversation with Becky the restaurant she used to go with her boyfriend. Stacie, Allen’s therapist would go on a planned date at the same restaurant to get Becky jealous. They would enter the restaurant holding on to each other as if they were madly in love. Allen would go to Becky and her boyfriend’s table and introduce Stacie as his new girlfriend. Allen and Stacie were never to look the direction of Becky and her friend while at the restaurant. They were to become involved with each other as if they were both having such a good time together. Allen was instructed never to call Becky for anything. One day, Becky came over to Allen’s office crying. She told her husband she wanted to come back home. Allen told her he was already involved with another female. They were planning on getting married. He advised her to continue with her life and he would continue with his. Allen told her, he was planning on filing for divorce. Becky started to weep begging him not to file for divorce. She explained that she wanted Allen to take her back. Allen’s response was negative. Becky left Allen’s office weeping.

Allen immediately called his therapist and narrated what had happened that Becky had been coming to his office begging to come back together. Allen was instructed to stay his position. He should keep telling Becky that he had already gone on with his life and she should do the same. One day, Becky showed up at the house. Allen called his therapist who immediately arrived at the home playing Allen’s girlfriend. Becky who did not know the role Stacie was playing felt very jealous. She pleaded with Stacie that she wanted her husband back. Becky nicely appealed to Stacie to please give her husband back. Stacie politely told Becky the decision was up to Allen, not her. While Becky was in the house she watched how Stacie was preparing dinner for Allen. She was showing him a lot of affection while they kissed each other from time to time. Becky became even more jealous. Allen nicely told Becky to leave.

One day, Becky showed up again at Allen’s office and offered to take him to dinner. Allen rejected her offer. Becky would not stop. The third time she showed up at his work and wanted to take him out to dinner. This time he obliged. They went to a totally new restaurant in downtown Chicago. While they were waiting for their food, Becky started pleading with Allen.

"Please, I want to come back home," said Becky.

"Trouble in paradise!" said Allen joking.

"I’m sorry, Allen. I still love you."

"Please Becky, don’t use that word, "Love" like that. It’s very precious," Allen warned.

"I made a terrible mistake in my life."

"The grass is supposed to be greener on the other side," said Allen.

"I see that I have a competition with Stacie, your girlfriend."

"What a loving woman! She is so good!" said Allen smiling.

"She appears to really care about you," said Becky with a smile.

"What a nice lady! She is a rare breed!"

"I want us to come back together, Allen. Please!"

"That’s going to be tough!"

At this time, the waitress brought their food and they started eating. Stacie the therapist who played the girlfriend was already called by Allen to secretly come to the restaurant and watched what was going on. She was to stay at a distance.

"Why’s that going to be tough?" asked Becky. "Don’t you still love me anymore?"

"I don’t know, Becky. You threw your dinner to dogs." Allen acted as if he was thinking deeply staring in the air.

"What’re you thinking about?" asked Becky.

"Stacie is pregnant," said Allen.

"Wow! Wow! O’ Lord! You both have been really busy!"

"What do you want me to do? Keep weeping till you come back?" said Allen.

"I brought this on myself" said Becky. "I’m so sorry!"

"If you didn’t leave, it would never have happened."

"Blame me!" said Becky. "I accept my fault. I was stupid!"

"Why?" question Allen.

"I’ve learned a lesson! The true love given to you, is always much better than the love your seek from somebody else."

"I tried to be nice to you Becky," said Allen.

"I know. You deserve better than the way I’ve treated you."

"We agree on a lot of things these days."

"I finally realize how wonderful you’ve been to me. It’s priceless!" said Becky with a smile.

"Really!" responded Allen.

"I promise to make it up to you for the rest of my life."

"Wait a minute! What gave you the impression, I’ll take you back while still living with another man?"

"No, I moved out from Harry months ago. I moved to an apartment in the South Westside."

"Good for you."

"I found a job teaching theatre at a local college."

"That’s the best news I’ve ever heard from you. You’ve got a job?"

"You should be proud of me. I’ve started going to another church."

"What happened to the one we used to attend?" asked Allen.

"I feel so ashamed to go back to that church. I’ll rather go to another church."

"Who told you, I’m ready to take you back?"

"I’m the mother of your two children. Besides, we are still legally married?"

"We were legally married when you left me for Harry."

"Please quit. I’m feeling bad enough. I’m very sorry!"

"Are you sure?" said Allen teasing her.

"May I ask for your forgiveness?" asked Becky.

At this point, Becky stuck her head out across the table, flashing her cherry red lips at him. She wanted to kiss Allen across the table. Instead of kissing her, Allen pulled back. Becky felt rejected.

Becky started crying quietly, tears running down her face. "What else do you want me to do? I said I’m sorry."

"Are you really?" said Allen.

"Is forgiveness in your Bible?" asked Becky.

Allen was still in love with Becky. He wanted to play it safe. Becky still looked very attractive to him. She came to captivate his passion. She was dressed to kill with her beautiful blonde hair around her shoulder, and excellent makeup. Becky was wearing a pale pink lace blouse, displaying her bosom’s glory, and hanging in the center was a gold necklace with a cross. She was also wearing a reddish-purple hip-hug skirt she knew Allen always love to see her wearing with high-heels. Becky knows what drives her husband crazy with passion. She was determined to snap him back from his girlfriend. However, Allen was being careful not to jump at her request to want her back. He was playing a dangerous game at this time because he did not want to lose her. But, he wanted to be sure he could seal her soul with his affection for life.

"I read my Bible everyday. I’m presently teaching a Bible class at the church," said Allen.

"Good, now you remember what Jesus said about forgiving those who trespass against you."

"Jesus said, divorce is a legitimate reason for extramarital affairs."

"Not if the spouse repented."

"Have you repented?" asked Allen. "Have you truly repented?" he repeated.

"I just told you, I moved out from Harry."

"Cougars always get abused when the excitements of mothering a lover fades."

"You’re insulting me."

"Truth can sometimes be painful, you know!"

"I agree," said Becky.

"You took something of mine so precious and just gave it away," Allen said complaining.

"I know."

"Boy, that hurts!"

"Now I know that my involvement with Harry bruised your ego," said Becky.

"It bruised our relationship as well. How can I trust you again?" asked Allen.

"I only stayed with him for a couple of months before I realized it wasn’t going to work."

"I’m supposed to jump up for joy?"

"I want you to want me back?"

"At what cost?" asked Allen.

"But, you’re a Christian."

"You desecrated the sacredness of our marriage bed!" stated Allen raising his voice a little.

"I’m sorry. Please forgive me!" Becky said with a trembling and tearful voice.

"I just told you my girlfriend is pregnant," he said.

Both Allen and Becky finished their food. Becky left a $20 tip, took the bill, went to the cashier and paid. Allen wanted to pay. She rejected his offer.

"This is my treat for you, husband."

"Wow! Wow! I’m now back in your heart as a husband! Promoted from a friend back to a husband!"

"Good! Will you accept my promotion?" Becky said looking at Allen in a seductive way wiggling her shoulders.

"Perhaps, I need to tell my girlfriend to get an abortion." Allen said testing Becky.

"No, no! Please, please let her have the baby." She jumped in. "I promise to love, honor, and obey, and take care of the baby for us."

"You’re ready to do anything!" he said.

At this time, they were slowly walking into the hotel lobby from the restaurant. Becky was thinking she had to do some drastic to get her husband back. Suddenly an idea came to her head. She encircled her left arm around Allen’s waist holding him closer to her as she tried to balance on her high-heel shoes. Allen slowly took her hand off from encircling him.

"What’s it going to take? Becky pulled away from Allen and shouted looking directly at his face. Becky caught some people’s attention. People started to look directly at them in the lobby. Becky dropped to her knees and grabbed Allen’s right leg and started sobbing holding him from moving. "Please forgive me!" she said and stated to weep uncontrollably with her head down clinging to him. Allen could not move his leg as Becky held him so tightly. People in the lobby started to look at Allen who was now embarrassed about Becky weeping in front of so many people. Stacie was secretly watching all these events unfolding at a corner of the lobby with amusement. Becky put up a show at the lobby. Allen slowly pulled her back up from her knees.

"Please stop crying," Allen pleaded with her. "You’re embarrassing me!"

Allen pulled Becky up. She started to wipe tears of her face.

"Okay, what’s your answer?"

Before Allen could say anything a young woman was passing by and said, "If she loves you this much, why don’t you marry her!" The woman did not know what was happening between Becky and Allen. She thought Becky was begging him to marry her. She did not know Becky was begging for forgiveness.

"Let me think about this for some days," said Allen.

Becky shocked Allen by pulling away from him, unsnapped her skirt, and it fell to the ground revealing her lace panties. Then, she took off her blouse. Allen’s eyes bulged out with shock. Becky went even further when she snapped off her bra exposing her bare breasts. She was desperate! Everybody in the lobby was now looking at Becky about to take her panties off. She started stripping and dancing for Allen right in the hotel lobby. She was threatening to take off her panties, as people were looking shocked. When Becky was about to pull off her panties, Allen rushed and stopped her, and said, "Yes! You can come back home!" She was planning to stand in the hotel lobby nude until Allen accepted for her to come back home. She was determined to get her husband to forgive her. She succeeded!

Immediately, the whole lobby exploded into a giant applause! The drama ended as Becky drove Allen to her apartment where he stayed with her for the night. That night, they re-ignited their romance. Allen and Becky got back together again. Becky moved back into the family home. She became madly in love with Allen her husband. Allen confessed to her that he had no girlfriend and made no woman pregnant. Stacie was only his therapist. Becky answered and said, "Thank you Jesus!"

Sometimes, it takes losing something very precious before we appreciate it. If you never learn to appreciate a precious gift of love given to you, when you lose it, you will miss it. Similarly, if you do not appreciate your husband or wife, one day you may lose him or her forever. You may end up spending the rest of your life in regret and alone. Whatever is given to you that you refuse to appreciate, there are many people out there waiting in line to have what you refused to appreciate. It does not have to take an extramarital affair for husband and wife to appreciate each other. This is a story where good thing came out of something very bad. But it does not have to take all the drama or the emotional turbulence involved. You do not have to eat poison before you know it can kill you. Selfishness sometimes drives people to do stupid things. If you never learn to appreciate, nurture and comfort your spouse, one day you may lose the very thing you needed so badly. True love is sacrificing for the other person. Remember what Jesus said,

"No greater love than this that a man lay down his life for his friends" (St. John 15:13).

So, when a bad thing happens to a good Christian, could it be for the purpose of a greater good? Without test, there is no testimony. At times, it takes painful experiences to appreciate the gift of love from somebody else. Now you know the reason why the movie; Passion of the Christ changed so many lives.

Yinka Vidal, author, Closer Walk With Jesus