Volume 3 Issue 38
Marriage Alive! Newsletter
Devotions for Marriage
John Smith was a happily married man, satisfied with his engineer position in a nuclear power plant. Johnís beautiful wife Beth was expecting twins in three weeks. John and Beth were excited about extending their family and raising children. Some people would say John had great things going for him, and to most folks, the Smiths had the ideal marriage.
They lived in a beautiful subdivision of two story Spanish style stucco homes. Their neighbors, Nick and Margi Jones often invited them to their church and sometimes to their home bible study on Wednesday evenings. But John and Beth didnít have time for that sort of thing. John did make it a point, though, to tell his neighbor that he and Beth most definitely believed in God. ďEveryone believes in God.Ē John cheerfully told them.
Beth being an artist was excited about staying home with the twins and working on her painting projects from home. John made a good salary and they both agreed that Beth being home with the twins the first couple of years would be the best thing for them. The Smithís were very comfortable with their high standard of living and they lacked for nothing.
A week before Beth was to give birth to the twins, Johnís boss called him into the office for a meeting. The plant was going to shut down. Everyone, except for just a few men, was getting laid off. John was now unemployed and using up valuable financial reservoirs he had saved for hospital bills, baby expenses, and other emergencies, John began to drink to make himself feel better.
Beth gave birth to twin girls and to celebrate the occasion, a few nights later, John stayed out all night and got drunk. The next morning driving home the police pulled John over for speeding. But John got more than a speeding ticket. Beth had to go get her drunken husband up from the country Jail for DUI. Margi, the neighbor came over to help Beth with the girls, and she pleaded with Beth to come to Wednesday night bible study, Beth finally agreed.
John ran out of money and managed to get a job as a janitor in the local grade school. He was making less than half of what he did at the plant. John felt pathetic about himself, and on most days he went out and got drunk before coming home. But drinking did not make John feel better. When he did come home, he was belligerent and mouthy with Beth. John made Beth get a job working in a retail clothing shop. By the time her salary paid for the twinís day care, Beth was barely bringing home $60 a week.
The Smithís standard of living plummeted and so did Johnís attitude. John quickly became a cantankerous alcoholic and unsupportive husband and father. Beth was working everyday, doing something she hated, while strangers raised her twin girls. Beth knew that she needed to do something. She tried to get John to go to Alcoholicís Anonymous, but he said he didnít have a drinking problem and could stop at any time. She tried to get him to go to bible study with her, but he wouldnít do that either.
When the girls were almost a year old, Beth was tired of enabling her abusive husband from the depths of his alcoholism, and she finally left him, hoping he would now get some help. The man who thought he had everything, a bright future, a great wife, beautiful twin daughters, made himself into a wretched alcoholic who hated himself and life. John was too proud for his own good, rather than humble himself and ask God for the guidance he needed for his life, John took his own life a week after Beth left him.
This story is fiction but the circumstances and events that I mention happen to people like the Smithís every single day.
What was missing in Johnís life? At one time in his life, did John have everything? What could they have done differently to make their lives a little bit more contented after John got laid off? And what about Beth? Could she have done more or did something differently in trying to get her husband to see his erring ways? If you were in similar circumstances what would you do?
Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Proverbs 26:12 NIV)
What is the purpose for
having an affair? Most people would say it is because they like or love
the other person they are having the affair with. Think about this. At
one time in your life, you also loved the person you married, right?
What happened? Some people have affairs and trysts because they allow
their negative emotions to control them. Simply put, they listen to
their feelings. Sex outside of marriage is a lack of self-control.
Self-control only comes from God because He gives it to us. No
one has the power to defeat the flesh on his or her own.
We all want to be
accepted, appreciated and loved and when we donít get that at home,
some of us go out of our way to go get it. But it is morally wrong to go
outside the bounds of marriage and enjoy someone other than who we
married. So why do some people do it?
reality is most people who commit adultery wish they wouldnít have
done it. But the minority few cheaters will continue to cheat on all
their partners until they are physically unable to. They will never find
satisfaction within themselves, so they get it from using and abusing
others. Fortunately, this is only the minority, but works for both men
thinking steers people further and further away from God and closer and
closer into sin. A personís lustful thoughts eventually make him to
commit adultery. The need for acceptance and love is so strong in the
mind that it leads to sex outside of marriage.
Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be
found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
2 Chronicles 15:2 NIV)
personís infidelity is only the symptom of a greater issue within
them. Without seeking out the Spiritual Christ for our spiritual well
being, we will remain separate from God and unable to remain
self-controlled. We need
to work on your marriage will make you a stronger and better marriage
partner in the long run. You can skip all of this game playing with
yourself and become the person God intended you to be. God has made us
wise enough to make the right choices for ourselves. We can choose to
love the person we married or we can follow the ways of the world. Use
the gifts God has given you and work on your marriage.
the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, It
teaches us to say ďNoĒ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to
live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. Titus
It doesnít have to be
an unpleasant task to shop for gifts this year.
Before you go out and tackle the world of department stores,
relax, take a deep breath, and tell yourself, ďI will not be in a
hurry. I will be patient and kind to others.Ē And it will happen!
Donít think of yourself as being ďoneĒ with the crowd of other
shoppers; be separate from the herd and make your shopping enjoyable.
we all know, holiday shopping can be hectic and grueling. It tends to
make some people frustrated and short tempered. The best thing you can
do is donít get nasty back. Put your smile back on and tell yourself,
ďI will be kind to others no matter how they treat me.Ē
You knew better before you went out shopping that there would be three times as many people shopping this time of year. Some of holiday shoppers do not have patience like you do. Let them go ahead and cut in front of you. Put your smile back on and it will help them to see their rude behavior. By slapping back with rudeness you become just like the herd and you donít want that.
one is very important. It involves the safety of yourself as will as
others. During the Holidays more people are out driving and they become
impatient and begin to drive erratically. The best thing you can do is
donít drive like them. Donít cut in front of them like they are
doing. Always drive defensively! Know ahead of time that people are in a
hurry and may cut right in front of you.
By driving defensively it will ensure a safe park back in your
garage at night.
are the busiest place during the holidays. Before leaving your house,
remind yourself again of the crowds and the long lines. Ask God to give
you that extra needed patience you will need at this time. Keep your
smile on and flash it on someone who is having a bad day. By doing this,
not only will it make you feel good but it will also make the person who
is having a bad day feel better too. They certainly wonít forget your
youíre not part of the mob. You just happen to be out shopping on the
same day as the herd, but you have more patience then they do, right?
Instead of flying up the escalator, dashing into the elevator, or
running up those mall steps with the mob, just sit back and let the mob
go first. Patience is by
far the greatest virtue you can take with you this holiday shopping
season. And compassion comes in a close second.
Love one another. And have a happy December Holiday and New Year!
Ask a majority of adults what
Christmas means to them, and they will most certainly say the birth of
Jesus Christ. But did you know that Jesus Christ wasnít even born on
December 25? No one knows for sure when Jesus was really born, not even
Comments are welcome.
© 2006 Heaven Ministries
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