25 -I am never happy with the smell that comes even during
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 25. Dear Dr Smith.

I am a married woman for the last 14 years. My husband and I are committed Christians serving in church offices. However my marriage has never been a merry one because I married my husband when he was a smoker unknowingly. I knew about this habit the same night that we were together and agreed to marry each other. This then explains why we never had a Church wedding but a church prayer. On that night when I discovered his habit, we discussed it and he explains that it is a habit that he has been trying to stop but to no avail. All his family members do not know that he smokes including father and mother, brothers and sisters. 


In my life the worst thing that I do not and cannot tolerate is smoking. We have been discussing the issue at length till he now feels offended. When we are together he doesn’t smoke. In fact I would say that he has never smoked in my presence because he tells me that he loves and respects my feelings. I have prayed about it year in year out but no change. He serves in church office because nobody knows about that habit.


Please advice because I am never happy with the smell that comes even during the intimacy time. Is there a possibility that one day he will leave the habit? Can I reveal to elders/pastor because according to the doctrines, he should not hold any office in church? I seek your advice.

Thank you and God Bless


Dear Married Woman:

Your line of reasoning and questioning fascinates me. Here are the areas of my fascination:

1.     “My husband and I are committed Christians” Did you say ‘committed’? Are you for real? Committed!! Think again.

2.     “I married my husband when he was a smoker unknowingly” I find that statement to be inaccurate because you did discover the habit on the night he proposed to you or you agreed to get married. Besides, you purposely did not have a Church wedding because of this fact. So the inconsistency of your statement is glaring.

3.     What is a Church prayer? I thought Christian weddings were to be conducted in the holy state of a wedding ceremony. When we violate the principles the consequences are generally daunting.

4.    
“In my life the worst thing that I do not and cannot tolerate is smoking” Don’t you think that you are 14 years too late to be finding out this heighten level of intolerance to smoking on your part? How about finding it out on the night when you agreed to marry him? Or did you develop this intolerance after you say ‘I do”?

5.    
“I have prayed about it” How touching and spiritual! It’s like putting your hand in the lion’s mouth and then “pray” about it. It’s a good thing that prayer does not cover a multitude of sins only repentance.

6.    
“He serves in church office because nobody knows about that habit.” “NOBODY? Did you just call yourself a “nobody” or did you mean to say, he serves in Church office because I chose to condone his habit?

7.   
Please advice because I am never happy with the smell that comes even during the intimacy time.  My dear, you have made a choice and you have to live with the choice. Despite how uncomfortable you are now claiming to be, your decision to marry was not a blind one, you were not tricked or forced. You knew the facts before saying “I do”.  Now that you have said, “I do” you cannot be complaining about the facts of your choice. Stop the griping, “If you make your bed hard, you just have to sleep in it”.

Can he quit the habit? O yes he can, He can do all things through Christ who strengthens him. Does he really want to quit the habit? Well, that’s a different story. What you do and where you go from here is your choice, the one luxury you do not have in the eyes of God, is to get a divorce.

God bless.

Dr. Smith