October 1, 2023

The Shepherd's Corner

Marriage is not for the faint-hearted; it is for the strong-hearted. But more than just strong-hearted, marriage is for the big-hearted.

Marriage is not only filled with pleasurable experiences, but it can also be filled with unpleasant experiences. Thus, it requires a big heart to accommodate all these experiences. The bigger, the better.

Gayle Haggard has a big heart.  When her famous husband, Ted Haggard, fell from grace, she stayed by his side.  She accepted him and moved on with their lives.  When asked by a reporter why she stayed, she responded (I paraphrase), “Because he is more than his failures and weaknesses.” I admire her strong and big heart knowing that what she had to put up with were his sexual sins and drug use, and all the lies and hypocrisies that came with these weaknesses.

There are of course things about our spouses that we like, but there are also things about our spouses that we do not like.  It is one thing to accommodate things that we do not like, but it is another thing to accept their failures and weaknesses.  To see our spouses more than their failures and weaknesses, we must have not only a strong and a big heart of love, but also a tender one—a forgiving heart.

In his book The Art of Forgiving, Lewis Smedes shares his take on the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15.  In case we are wondering why the father in the story can so readily forgive his prodigal son when he returns home, Smedes explains that long before his son shows up at the door, he has already forgiven his son. That is the reason he can throw a party for his son despite his past actions.

Marriage is not only for the strong-and-big-hearted, but it is also for the tender-hearted, so tender that it forgives, not easily but readily. We, who are married, must be ready to forgive, again and again.   

Pastor Paul

More Shepherd's Corner Articles

Shepherd's Corner - October 26, 2014
A dog is truly man’s best friend.  Those of you who are dog’s lovers certainly know what I am talking about.  Over five years ago the Good Lord brought a strayed dog into our lives.  Since then Oliver, that’s his name, has been in our hearts, not only in our home.  Every time we go [&helli...
Read More
The Shepherd's Corner - February 14, 2021
THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER We do not know what awaits us tomorrow.  Harold Russel was a healthy young man when he joined the Army. One day during training, he had an accident that caused him his hands.  Both hands were gone leaving only stumps at the ends of his arms.  He got really disc...
Read More
The Shepherd's Corner - June 26, 2016
THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER We don’t know the exact number of copies that have been sold. What we know is that the book has been translated into 200 languages and millions of copies have been sold. It is estimated that next to the Bible, it is the one book that has outsold any other books. And, [&hell...
Read More