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弟兄姊妹，無論你是在談戀愛，又或是已經結婚，相信你都會同意要在婚姻關係中極力避免有「第三者」的出現，而今日的第三者，往往會以不同的形態出現。最近網媒上出現了一個「我老婆嫁左比 M…r 導致婚姻破裂關注組」，成為城中一時熱話，教會中也有夫婦分享他們關係中所面對的「第三者」：工作、打機、LEGO、社政、事奉、甚至是家中所愛的子女……的確，某些人與事常會在不知不覺間成了我們的第三者。
我進行婚前輔導的時候，喜歡每次都查考一段經文。上帝創造女人和設立婚姻倫理關係時，特別提到「因此人要離開父母，和妻子連合，二人成為一體。」（創二 24，新譯本）當時人類未有「父母」，為何上帝要先提出「人要離開父母」呢？在七十士譯本中，「連合」這字詞譯作「忠誠」（to be faithful），聖經似乎在強調夫妻二人成為一體的關係，比聖經常教導的父母子女關係更為密切，這一點對今日以子女為中心（baby/child centered）的世代，可說是當頭棒喝。近期的社會研究發現，夫妻關係對子女的成長與自信有很大影響，假如我們真的為子女著想，就不可讓子女成為第三者，更重要的，是要不斷建立夫婦二人的關係，這是我們「婚後不可停止拍拖」的原因。
Rev Andrew Tsang
Brothers and sisters, whether you are in a relationship or married, you will agree that "an intruder" in marriage must be avoided at all costs. Today’s “intruders” can appear in different forms. Recently, a group in the social media called “My wife has married Mxxxxr and breaks the marriage concern group” becomes the talk of the town. Some married couples in the church have also shared their experience of a different kind of "intruder" in their marriage relationships. This may be their work, games, LEGO, socio-political issues, ministries, and even their beloved children. Without knowing it, such matters act like the other man or woman in the couple's relationship.
I like to study a Bible passage in each pre-marital counseling session. When God created woman and instituted marriage as an ethical relationship, He said: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). That was before the creation of "father and mother." Why specially mention this? In the Septuagint, "united" is translated as "to be faithful." The Bible seems to be stressing that the unison of man and woman is more intimate than the parent-children relationship taught time and again in the Bible. This is an important reminder for today's baby/child-centered world. Recent sociological studies have found that marriage relationship is crucial to the growth of children and their self-confidence. In the best interest of children, we must not turn our children into the intruder. Rather, we should endeavor to build the relationship between the husband and wife. This is why we must not stop dating after marriage.
"Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control" (1 Corinthians 7:5). Quite surprisingly, even when we wish to devote to prayer, we can only "deprive each other" for a time. This is to maintain the marital relationship and stop temptations by Satan. Otherwise, it doesn't do justice to the spouse and to the Lord of the marriage. So even in quarrel, nobody should propose sleeping in separate rooms, on the floor or in the sitting room. The environment and life in Hong Kong these days are invariably stressful, and every family has a unique situation. Still, we need to make the best arrangements we can to facilitate children to live, learn and engage in activities. At the same time, we should not put the blame for marital problems on children, work or ministries, not forgetting that the family is also a place where we serve the Lord!
The only "third party" we welcome in our marriage relationship is the Lord who established marriage in the first place and who loves us. The closer we are to the Heavenly Father, the more willing we are to act in accordance with His will. This way, the entire family will experience God's love and blessings! So, thoroughly discuss with your spouse soon how to renew your marriage relationship. I also encourage you to share with the pastors you know anything about your marriage!