September 10, 2023

The Shepherd's Corner

People say that we will only know the value of something after we are no longer in possession of it. It is true, isn’t it?  One of the most precious possessions that we tend to take for granted is our spouse.  While she was alive, we appreciated her; after she died, we cannot bear the loss.  She is more than precious; she is now indispensable.

In his book, Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas shares something that he has learned from his marriage. For the longest time he thought that what he needed to do in marriage was to be nice to his wife, not to attack her or to “say cruel things to her.”  But then he came to understand that he has a Christian obligation “to continually move” to his wife.  He learned that the opposite of love is not hate but apathy, which begins when he stops moving forward to her.

I am sure we can relate to what he says.  We, too, think that what we should do is to stay still, not move backward. And as long as we can do that—be nice to our spouse—we are OK. We forget that too many marriages fail not because we do cruel things to each other but because we do not do enough loving things to each other.  Gary Thomas encourages us to keep moving forward, to draw closer to each other.  Not only will it solidify our relationship, but it will also prevent us from falling backward, in times of failures.

Thomas concludes, “Falls are inevitable.  We can’t control that, but we can control the direction in which we fall—toward or away from our spouse.”  I have seen men and women fall; too bad, many fall backward, away from their spouses.  But thank God, there are some who fall forward, toward their spouses, to the arms of those who have loved them and stood by them unconditionally.  And I’ve never seen them pushed away.  Like the Psalmist says, “Though he falls, he shall not be cast down.”  For their spouses uphold them.

Pastor Paul

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