North Point 
Alliance Church 
English Ministry

CONTACT
Rev. Stera Chan
Pastor Lawrence Choy
+852 2807 5200
em@npac.org.hk

ADDRESS
2/F Phase 2, Maximall
233 Electric Road
North Point, Hong Kong

A Wailing Siren

By Rev. James Hon

May 12, 2024

       Almost 20 years into my participation in the couples ministry at NPAC and having met large numbers of families, I have come to realize that it is no easy task to maintain a good husband-wife or family relationship. I have taken part in premarital counseling ever since the first year of my ministry. All through these years, I have seen many couples live happily. However, I have also served in the funeral services of three young wives. Some of them attended my premarital counseling class. Some had me officiate their weddings. I was much saddened by the grief I saw among the young widowers. But the most heartbreaking of all is the separation of couples whom I have shepherded or counseled. Whenever that happens, I would have a sense of guilt. I would doubt whether I have not given them sufficient care, whether the premarital counseling was not good enough, or whether I have not given them sufficient exhortations.

       Rev. Gordon Siu and Mrs. Siu were the premarital counselors for my wife and me. What they taught us then I cannot remember. But I clearly remember that they wanted us to keep on dating. That is why all these years, we still date almost every week. This habit has more or less saved our marriage. My wife’s character and mine are very different. When we first got married, even a trivial matter could trigger a quarrel between us, and the stalemate would remain for some time. I remember one time after our quarrel, my wife’s anger still lingered for a long time. But she stumbled upon a blog of ours which recorded many happy things when we date. She read and read, and the anger was gradually gone. She came to realize that no other person on earth can possibly replace this man who has lived so many happy, memorable moments with her.

      A veteran counselor has said that 70 per cent of the questions between husband and wife can never be really resolved. I was shocked at hearing that at first. Upon reflecting on my own experience, I found truth in it. There is no marriage relationship on earth that will “naturally turn good” on its own. A good marriage has to be brought about intentionally by husband and wife. There is a question at the last session of premarital counseling which asks the two to write down their plan for the first three years of marriage. To this, participating brothers and sisters answer attentively. They would work hard at work or studies, and bear children at an appropriate time. The plans are mostly practical. But seldom do they mention how they would build a more stable husband-wife relationship.

      I hope you would not mind my “preaching.” I have handled too many divorce cases among brothers and sisters in recent years. The siren is wailing! Why is the number of divorce cases among brothers and sisters increasing recently? Are we so busy that we have neglected our marriage relationship? Or have we been gradually assimilated into the world and consider marriage as a personal matter, and that getting married or divorced has nothing to do with God? As a matter of fact, more and more brothers and sisters choose to get married not at church but at venues outside in recent years. I am not saying this is wrong. They may have their own reasons for doing so. But the increase in number is a fact. The most worrying is whether there is a more fundamental issue: That they think God no longer has a role in their marriage. Let us keep in our prayers our families and those of the brothers and sisters around us.