Posted by: thaishin | January 20, 2010

To stay or not to stay?

Husbands should live with their wives. Simple enough. Taken for granted by most people. I was faced with the idea of living separately with my wife once. That was 2007.

My wife was applying to USA to work as a nurse back then and I was undecided then whether to join her. Back then, there were a lot of uncertainties. Certainly, we did not know whether she could earn enough to support the family if she was working alone and the family joined her. She did not know where she will be dwelling, only told to her that she will be in Chicago. Safety issues plagued my mind also since I know the crime rate would be high in Chicago. The colder weather. The food. Whether I can adapt and get used to taking care of my son. So many things to adjust to should we move there. There’s also the worry about what I can work as after many years of  looking after my son. I was too comfortable in Singapore to want a change.

I needed to seek counsel if I needed to make a decision. I asked my mentor. He said go. I asked some close friends. One of them said I should go if my wife is determined to go. Another said it depends on the situation. I asked a pastor from the Philippines. He shared with me his own family experience whereby his brother had problem with his wife after he worked abroad alone for many years. He said what’s the use of gaining the whole world if one should lose his own soul. Other friends did not give any advice.

At the time that the visa was issued to our family, I was in an job interview which was turning out to be positive. Eventually, I decided not to go further with the interview. I decided to follow my wife to USA. The family should stick together

All the time, I could not find a verse that speaks about my situation. In the absence of that, I relied on Godly counsel from my friends, just go.

On hindsight, here’s the verse that could apply to my situation:

1 Peter 3:7

7Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. -kjv

7Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. -niv

Both verses point to the same thing: Dwell or live with your wife.



  1. Hi Thai Shin,

    I can understand how you feel about this. Being myself migrated to US last year with my husband, it’s tough to be in a new country, new environment, especially US economy is very bad now.

    But a family should stick together. Husband and wife is one.

  2. I believe you made the correct decision. I have heard an American saying many times Thai Shin and it says: “when the husband is away the wife will play!” A marriage can not work without a husband & wife…together. There is NO marriage if one partner is missing. As you are doing simply trust God to guide you as you raise your son and to provide employment when you need it. No matter what happens in life…FOLLOW GOD A

  3. Another verse that I think of is the one on a man and a woman should leave their father and mother and to cleave as one.

    The marriage is also a symbol of Jesus and His church. They are not physically close (God’s Spirit lives in our body), they are also spiritually close (Jesus cleanse His bride and make her pure).

    Moving to a new country, new environment has its challenges. But that is also how the early Christians, when persecuted, spread out to the world and brought the Gospel along.

    So the important thing is to continue to trust God for all your challenges and be expectant of what He has in store with you and your family.

  4. thanks guys for the comments. Yeah, Kong Wah, that verse somehow slipped my mind.

  5. I would not classify the decision to move to/ stay in US as a wrong one. The family should be together though easier said than done. If there is an additional option, to stay in Singapore, I thank God for that additional option which is open.
    In some cases, there may not be an absolutely right decision, and sometimes all God looks at is the attitude.
    I explored an overseas opportunity recently too. However, it wouldn’t be wise for us to make a move because my daughter would have a hard time coping with the external environment (air pollution index, immune system, medical history etc)

  6. Kin Fook, scripture should rule over our actions because it’s the will of God. It is quite apparent from scripture that a family should stay together as we are talking about long term separation here. And we thank God that we have been blessed by that decision to stay together.

  7. I agree with you. The family should stick together. It written in Bible, so it can’t be wrong

  8. hi thai shin,

    I’m just encouraged by your desire to do what is right by God’s sight.

  9. Hi Thai Shin,

    Thanks for sharing. When Eric and I knew about (changed to) your wife’s plan to work in the US, we prayed that you will decide to go with her. We knew by then that you were struggling to come up with the decision and we are very glad that you put your family’s welfare above all else.

  10. my friends thank you for your comments

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