A special conference held by an evangelical Asian American ministry allowed Asian American families to explore ways of maintaining a healthy marriage.
Some 100 Asian Americans, mostly Christian couples, have gathered at the Redwood Chapel, Castro Valley on Saturday, Feb. 11 for the Asian American Marriage/Family Conference of MESA (Ministries for English-Speaking Asians). Some of the finest pastors, counselors and leaders from the Asian American Christian community in Bay Area were invited to speak on the workshops.
Main speaker Rev. Cory Ishida from Evergreen Baptist Church in California started off the conference by explaining the differences between men and women, thus leading to the theme of how husbands and wives should cover each other’s weaknesses in a harmonic and perfect marriage.
Quoting the Bible verses Gen 1: 27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them," Ishida pointed out that the Lord’s salvation is for all mankind. Men and women, however, are not identical by creation physiological-wise and biological-wise.
Ishida gave a very simple piece of proved scientific fact to explain the point. Naturally, females have more access to both hemispheres of the brain whereas males tend to dwell on the left side of the brain. Acknowledged the biological and physiological differences, Ishida used a lively and humorous parable- men are insensitive as buffalos but women are as sensitive as butterflies.
Ishida further discussed about the different ways when men and women interact with one another. For instance, males seek attention of what they do; females seek attention of who they are. Therefore, husbands should love their wives and wives should applaud for the wonderful things husbands have done.
"Males and females are different in the way they express themselves. You have to know this well for one vital thing in marriage, that is communication," Ishida continued with another important point about communication.
"Males talk to express some facts, conversation is functional; females talk to express feelings, conversation is an experience," he continued. Therefore, he encouraged husbands to share their feelings more rather than just information.
In another workshop with Dr. Sam Leong from the San Francisco-based Christian Psychotherapy Service, some common marriage knots are being tackled. Untying these knots would require each person in a marriage to reduce their blaming towards one another and to take responsibility for his or her own contribution to the problems in the relationship, according to Leong.
Leong has also pointed out an interesting fact that one’s original family and childhood experiences do influence their marriage. Human beings naturally have a longing for the original wholeness they have once experienced in their mothers’ womb.
For some reasons people enter marriage with the expectation that their partners will restore this feeling of wholeness. In another words, people are looking for partners who resembled their caretakers. For example, males may tend to expect their wives to provide something that they are not satisfied with their mothers. The failure eventually leads to dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
On the workshop, by guiding the couples to meditation on their childhood, they were encouraged to discover what they were expecting from their spouse as their caretakers, both positive and negative traits. Then they were given time to share and talk, aiming to untie the marriage knots.