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What Might Have Been

John Greenleaf Whittier once wrote, “For all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’” Those words are the sad commentary on many a life. People start with such great promise and have such golden opportunities. But they make the wrong choices and miss their opportunities and so never reach their potential. Their...

Tell Children What God Is...

A little girl came to her mother one day and said, “Mother, what is God like?” The mother was cooking in the kitchen and didn’t have time to talk to her, so she said, “Ask your father.” The girl went to her father, “Father, what is God like?” And he answered gruffly from behind the paper, not wanting to be disturbed, “As...

Going to God with Open Ey...

When Dr. Samuel Johnson was ill with his last illness, he asked if doctors would tell him honestly if he could recover. The doctor said that he could not recover without a miracle. “Then,” said Johnson, “I will take no more [medicine], not even opiates, for I have prayed that I may render up my soul to God unclouded.” When Jesus arrived at Golg...

For People Like This

Golgotha is an Aramaic word that means “the place of the skull.” Today a bus depot stands beneath it. It is almost ironic that the smell of carbon monoxide, the sound of honking horns, and the sight of short tempers should surround the place where Jesus died. It was for people like this and things like this that he died in the first place.

Getting into Heaven

I like the story about the fellow who died and appeared before St. Peter at the gates of heaven. He said, “I’ve come to get in.” And St. Peter said, “You can only get in here by the point system, and it takes a thousand points to get in.” Well, that’s no hill for a stepper, so he said, “I think I can make it. I was active in m...

What Makes Jesus Differen...

Dr. Emil Grubbe was a pioneer in the use of x-ray technology for the treatment of cancer patients. In fact in 1896 he was the first physician ever to use an x-ray beam in the treatment of a cancer patient. Because of Emil Grubbe, even though you may have never heard of him, many of you have found hope for a new life and an extended life because of what x-ray technolog...

The God of Second Chances

On New Year’s Day in 1929 California was playing Georgia Tech in the Rose Bowl. And Georgia Tech was marching for a touchdown when the ball was fumbled. A California player named Roy Riegels picked it up and he lost his sense of direction. And instead of running toward his opponent’s goal line he turned and started running toward his own goal line and he r...

Jesus Pushes the Undo But...

I was in Mineola visiting with Marc about a book we are working on together. And he was showing me his computer. And he was putting something on the screen and he made a mistake and he pushed a button and it erased all of it. And he said to me, “That’s the undo button.” And I looked over and sure enough right there on the button was “undo.&rdqu...

We Need Mercy

We are like the lady who went to a photographer to have her picture made. When she viewed the proofs she expressed her displeasure to the photographer saying, “These pictures don’t do me justice.” The photographer replied, “Lady, you don’t need justice, you need mercy.” That’s the way it is with all of us. None of us wants to...

Today's Devotional

Togetherness in Marriage

Celebrated English poet John Milton said, “Loneliness is the first thing which God’s eye named not good.” There is a loneliness in us that only God can satisfy. But there is also a type of loneliness—a longing for togetherness—that only another can satisfy. We all need the togetherness that only another human can provide. Ruth expresses the kind of togetherness I am talking about when she said, “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me” (Ruth 1:16-17).

This was Ruth speaking to her mother-in-law, of course. But it is equally a statement of the complete togetherness that is to characterize marriage. In marriage we need to be together in the following ways:

1. Physically. “Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge.” God’s plan for marriage is that we leave our father and our mother and be with our mate. This leaving is to be total so that the new relationship can be shared totally. You should leave your parents geographically (get out of their house), leave them economically (get out of their pocketbook), and leave them emotionally (get out of their hair).

2. Emotionally. “Thy people shall be my people.” Marriage is more than the blending of two lives, it is the blending of two families. You do marry a person’s family. If life is shared in the deepest sense, it must include a person’s family also.

3. Spiritually. “Thy God shall be my God.” There can be no complete togetherness without a sharing of your faith. Spiritual unity (i.e., being committed to Christ) is more important than denominational unity (i.e., being in the same church), but it is best when both are shared. Marriage is best when you can say, “Our Father, our house, our children, our church.”

4. Permanently. “Where thou diest, I will die.” Every day the distance time-wise between the marriage altar and the divorce court gets shorter and shorter. This ought not to be. It is God’s plan that two people be committed together for life. It is only when this is true that we find our highest fulfillment in marriage.

We should all work to strengthen togetherness in marriage. It is one of life’s greatest blessings.

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