Pastor, I need your advice. I have been living with a woman for many years. I am 68 and she is 65. I took her with three children. I educated them. I have two children with her.
Her children have manners and all five children grew up and have manners. This woman is now pressuring me for marriage because she wants to join a church. I have never seen her as wife material even though I have been living with her for a long time. She does not like to cook so, whenever I come home, I have to go in the kitchen. Her daughters have learned to cook so that is one reason why I have never married her.
She knows the name of every racehorse and she plays Cash Pot. My woman can tell me everything about gambling. I smoke but she smokes harder. She said she wants to go to church but she still gambles. She said, when we get married, she is going to stop the gambling and get baptised. I gave her some money to buy the wedding ring and, when I asked her for it, she said she could not find the money. But her children told me that she used the money to gamble. Now, how can I marry this woman? I cannot give this woman more money.
I have never cheated on her but I suspected years ago that she cheated one me. I stayed with her because of my children.
She is not working and she is putting on a lot of weight and every time I tell her to lose weight, she tells me I am worried about her weight because I must have another woman. Pastor, I told the children that I cannot marry their mother because I am not happy with her. One of them said we have been living together for a long time so I might as well marry her and tolerate the gambling. What do you say, Pastor?
I understand what one of your children said. You have great tolerance. You have been living with this woman for a long time and you have children together. She had three before she met you and you took them and supported them.
You are a good man, but where you went wrong is that you did not insist that she cook. You allowed her to get away with that. The cooking is not such a big thing for you, because you can cook. There are some men who are like you, they love to cook. But you have worked very hard and this woman has used your money to gamble. Some people may say that is part of her recreation but it seems to me that it is more than that. She looks at gambling as a business. She is a compulsive gambler and she cannot control herself.
She has blown her money on this vice and on smoking, but she is not all bad. She wants to change and she believes that going into the church would help her. But you are not willing to give her a chance to prove herself. You want to see the changes in her before she goes into the church. That might not happen. You should probably suggest that she make an appointment for both of you to meet with the pastor. You should discuss the criteria to join his church and the personal struggles she has had over the years. I am not suggesting that you take this woman to see the pastor to embarrass her. Take her because you have a genuine concern that you would want to see her stop gambling and smoking. You should seek professional help. You shouldn’t condemn this woman or hinder her from becoming a better person and for wanting to become a Christian. Tell her what I have suggested. Having said the above, I want you to know that I recognise that this woman is not completely honest. She used the money you gave her for the ring and then she lied about it. That, too, should be discussed with her pastor. My understanding is that people who gamble would even steal to keep up with their habit, so this woman would not be an exception.