Carol’s husband was killed in an accident last year. Jim, only fifty-two years old, was driving home from work, the other driver was a teenager with a very high blood alcohol level. Jim died instantly. The teenager was in the emergency room for less than two hours.
There were other ironic twists: It was Carol’s fiftieth birthday, and Jim had two plane tickets to Hawaii in his pocket. He was going to surprise her. Instead, he was killed by a drunk driver.
“How have you survived this?” I finally asked Carol, a year later.
Her eyes welled up with tears. I thought I had said the wrong thing, but she gently took my hand and said, “It’s all right; I want to tell you. The day I married Jim, I promised I would never let him leave the house in the morning without telling him I loved him. He made the same promise. It got to be a joke between us, and as babies came along, it got to be a hard promise to keep. I remember running down the driveway, saying ‘I love you’ through clenched teeth when I was mad, or driving to the office to put a note in his car. It was a funny challenge.
“We made a lot of memories trying to say “I love you” before noon every day of our married life.
“The morning Jim died, he left a birthday card in the kitchen and slipped out to the car. I heard the engine starting. Oh, no, you don’t, buster, I thought. I raced out and banged on the car window until he rolled it down.
“Here on my fiftieth birthday, Mr. James E. Garret, I Carol Garret, want to go on record as saying I love you!”
“That’s how I’ve survived. Knowing that the last words I said to Jim were ‘I love you!’
By Debbi Smoot
Meditation: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. – 1 John 4:7
You will succeed in Jesus Name!
Adam was all alone. He didn’t have parents and he didn’t have children. He did not even have a brother or a sister to talk to. Adam was all alone. He didn’t even have a friend to play games with. Adam was lonely, and he was unhappy.
God said to Adam, “It is not good for you to be alone. [Genesis 2:18] But now you are free to do whatever you want to do. When you are alone you don’t have to share things with others. You don’t have to stop talking and just listen when someone else needs to talk to you. You don’t have to help when others need help. You don’t have to care about how someone else feels. If you had a sister or a brother or a good friend, you would have to do all these things and many more.”
“I don’t like being lonely,” said Adam, “I have lots of things for fun and games but I get bored with them after a while. I have several pet animals, but even having animals is not good enough for me. I still feel lonely and all alone. I need someone who is like me but at the same time is different. I need a partner. Someone to stand by my side and be my best friend. I need someone I can take care of, and who will care for me.”
“I know just what you need.” said God, “What you need is a helpmate. A person with a different personality, who can grow together with you in love, and help you become a responsible, kind and loving human being. I am going to form her right out of your side, so she will stand side by side with you as your equal partner, your help mate [Genesis 2:21-23].
The two of you will be like one pair of hands. You know, one hand cannot wash itself. But two hands can always wash each other. You will have to be responsible for and to each other. You will no longer be independent. You will not be free to do whatever you want anymore. You will have to think about another person’s feelings. You will have to listen to what she tells you. You will have to think less about yourself and more about another. I will give you a blessing to help you become a couple.”
God looked down and saw that Adam had fallen into a deep sleep. God hoped that when Adam awoke he would remember all that God had told him. Even if Adam and all his descendants didn’t always become the loving responsible helpmates that God wanted them to be, God thought they would become better by trying. And those who were fully responsible partners and helpmates would become God’s blessing for each other. Then the sons of Adam would realize that the daughters of Eve were gifts from God.
— Rabbi Allen S. Maller
Rabbi Maller’s web site is: rabbimaller.com
Meditation: Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. – Ecclesiastes 4:9
You will succeed in Jesus Name!
I was waiting to pick up a friend at the airport. That day I had one of those experiences that change people‘s lives. It happened just two feet away from me. I noticed a man, carrying two bags, coming toward me. He stopped next to me to greet his family.
First of all, he laid down his bag and came closer to his younger son (about six years old), they gave each other a warm, loving hug. Then the father looked in his son’s eyes and said: “I missed you so much, it’s so good to see you, son!”
The boy smiled and said: “Me too, dad.”
Then the man turned to his older son (nine or ten years old), “Oh, you are quite the young man, I love you very much!” and cupped his face. Then they had the tenderest hug too.
Afterward, the father said “Hi, baby girl” to his daughter. She was squirming excitedly in her mother’s arm and watching her returning father all the time. The man gently took his little daughter, kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest. The little girl laid her head on his shoulder in pure contentment.
After several moments, the man looked at his wife and said “I‘ve saved the best for last!” and shared with her the most passionate kiss. They stared at each other, beaming big smiles. They reminded me of newlyweds.
Suddenly, I heard myself asking “Wow, how old have you been married?”
“We’ve been together 14 years, and have been married 12 of those.”
“Well then, how long have you been away?”
He replied with a smile on his face: “Two whole days!”
I was stunned, as I imagined that he had been gone for several weeks. I could only say: “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after 12 years!”
The man looked straight into my eyes and told me something that changed my life: “Don‘t hope, friend, decide!”
Meditate: Now it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked through a window, and saw, and there was Isaac, showing endearment to Rebekah his wife. – Genesis 26:8
You will succeed in Jesus Name!
The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” – Matthew 19:3
On my wedding day, I carried my wife in my arms. The bridal car stopped in front of our one-room flat. My buddies insisted that I carry her out of the car in my arms. So I carried her into our home. She was then plump and shy. I was a strong and happy bridegroom.
This was the scene ten years ago.
The following days were as simple as a cup of pure water: we had a kid; I went into business and tried to make more money. When the assets were steadily increasing, the affection between us seemed to ebb. She was a civil servant. Every morning we left home together and got home almost at the same time. Our kid was studying in a boarding school.
Our marriage life seemed to be enviably happy. But the calm life was more likely to be affected by unpredictable changes.
Dew came into my life.
It was a sunny day. I stood on a spacious balcony. Dew hugged me from behind. My heart once again was immersed in her stream of love. This was the apartment I bought for her.
Dew said, “You are the kind of man who best draws girls’ eyeballs.”
Her words suddenly reminded me of my wife. When we were just married, my wife said, “Men like you, once successful, will be very attractive to girls.”
Thinking of this, I became somewhat hesitant. I knew I had betrayed my wife. But I couldn’t help doing so.
I moved Dew’s hands aside and said, “You go to select some furniture, O.K.? I’ve got something to do in the company.”
Obviously, she was unhappy because I had promised to do it together with her. At the moment, the idea of divorce became clearer in my mind although it used to be something impossible to me.
However, I found it rather difficult to tell my wife about it. No matter how mildly I mentioned it to her, she would be deeply hurt.
Honestly, she was a good wife. Every evening she was busy preparing dinner. I was sitting in front of the TV. The dinner was ready soon. Then we watched TV together. Or, I was lounging before the computer, visualizing Dew’s body. This was the means of my entertainment.
One day I said to her in a slightly joking way, “Suppose we divorce, what will you do?”
She stared at me for a few seconds without a word. Apparently, she believed that divorce was something too far away from her. I couldn’t imagine how she would react once she got to know I was serious.
When my wife went to my office, Dew had just stepped out. Almost all the staff looked at my wife with a sympathetic eye and tried to hide something while talking to her. She seemed to have got some hint. She gently smiled at my subordinates. But I read some hurt in her eyes.
Once again, Dew said to me, “He Ning, divorce her, O.K.? Then we live together.”
I nodded. I knew I could not hesitate any more. When my wife served the last dish, I held her hand. “I’ve got something to tell you,” I said.
She sat down and ate quietly. Again, I observed the hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking.
“I want a divorce.” I raised the serious topic calmly.
She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead, she asked me softly, “Why?”
“I’m serious.” I avoided her question.
This so-called answer made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, “You are not a man!”
That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer because my heart had gone to Dew.
To continue tomorrow…
— Author Unknown
You will succeed in Jesus Name!
Here is the conclusion of the very inspiring story that we shared yesterday on the importance of adhering to the marriage vow.
A Month Later
“Mother, he’s not even talking to me. All of a sudden, we are both strangers. He doesn’t eat my food, he comes home late, he hates me so much and it’s killing me. I’m confused, it’s truly hurting…”
“For how long will you hide the truth from him? You’ve got to let him know…you can’t carry his…”
There was the sound of a car horn.
“Mom I’ve got to go…he’s back.”
“Baby, you’ve got to let him know. It can work when you two are one in mind.”
“Bye mom.” she ended the call.
Lawson came into the house, about to walk past her.
“Lawson.” She held him.
“I’m tired.” He didn’t want to look at her face.
“I know…can we talk for some minutes?” She tried to help him remove his suit.
“Look, what is it?” He jerked from her.
“Do you hate me this much? You can’t even look me in the eye. You can’t even stand my presence. Lawson…it’s me Sara…your best friend…” Tears began to well up in her eyes.
“I’m in no mood for this.” He turned around to walk away.
“Don’t you dare leave when I’m talking to you!” She dragged him by the suit. Just then, some papers fell to the floor. Sara quickly bent to pick them up…her hands shook and her body became numb all over.
“D…divorce papers? Lawson?” She searched his eyes.
“Answer me goddammit!” She held him by the collar of his shirt, crying.
“They are for you to sign. I want out.” Lawson announced.
“Y…you what?” she slowly freed him from her hold.
“It’s not going to work Sara, can’t you see?”
“Lawson, I can’t believe you would think of a divorce and even go this far…why are you so wicked!” she cried, angry.
“No! Why are you so wicked?” He retorted, flaring. “Think about me for once. I am a man for Christ’s sakes. My children are my pride! And you are about to deny me that for the rest of my life because of your stupid mistake!”
“What about me! Have you stopped for once to think about what I’m going through?”
“It’s your cross, carry it.” Lawson fixed his angry eyes on his wife.
“No, it’s now our cross and I am not signing those divorce papers! We vowed never to leave each other!”
“Isn’t it better Sara that you save yourself more hurt and sign these papers than to see another woman move into this house before your very eyes?” He said with a tone of sarcasm.
Sara’s heart thumped, “What?”
“You heard me…another woman who can help me raise a family, so save yourself the stress and sign the d… papers. I need it tomorrow.” He turned around to leave again.
“She still can’t carry your baby.” Sara dropped.
“Not all women had abortions. Not every woman was like you.” He scorned.
“You are the one who can’t give me a child!” Sara let out, crying.
Lawson stopped now, turned around and walked towards her, “Whatever your plan is won’t work.”
“I told you I could never have a child because it’s you who can’t make me pregnant.”
“Shut up! Shut up, Sara! What the hell are you saying?” He shook her shoulders violently.
“You are infertile Lawson…the doctor says you have primary infertility…” Sara burst into tears.
Lawson gasped, losing his balance.
“Mother called me to give me the news. I was shattered, I felt like my world was over. But, more importantly, I thought of you. I thought of what the news could do to you, I thought of the best way to tell you. That was why I said I can never have children. Not because I can’t give birth to babies, but because I cant have them by you.
“Never for once did I think of leaving you. I bore your insults, your scorn, because of my past. It was so easy to judge me and think of yourself. I am the one who is hurting; I am the one who should bring some miserable divorce papers…but I thought of you…I thought of hope, faith and a miracle…I thought of my vow to you on that altar. In sickness and in health, remember?” She smiled through her tears, “All of a sudden, you are as weak as a baby…looking in your eyes, I can see you suddenly have lost all your guards, you are so wicked.”
“Sara…” Lawson fell on his knees, torn.
“No!” She quickly fell on her knees too, “No Lawson…” She couldn’t bear to see him cry.
“I’m…I’m infertile,” he cried, “What is left of me?” He searched his wife’s eyes.
“Lawson please…” she held his face, “I understand…it has been so hard for me…I have put myself in your shoes since the first day…”
“You don’t deserve this…you deserve better…I can’t believe I scorned you all along…please let me leave you.”
“No.” She shook her head, “You are my husband. I won’t leave you. I won’t let you leave me…I believe in miracles”
“I’m doomed…Sara I’m doomed…” He allowed his wife take him in her arms and he wept like a child on her shoulder.
In the Morning
Sara gently opened her eyes; looking beside her bed, it was empty. She quickly sat up on seeing a note on the bed. Hands shaking, she opened the letter to read:
I cannot bear the shame. I have treated you so unfairly, yet you love me still. You are with me even in this condition of mine. To think that you knew all along and you never for once gave me a clue that it is my fault we are in this mess makes me so unworthy of you. I love you enough to let you build another life with a man who can make you happier.
I’m torn, Sara, and all I ask is your forgiveness. I have always loved you and if you truly love me then please start your life over again – without me. I am truly sorry for disappointing you.
Sara couldn’t control the tears. She couldn’t think straight anymore. She picked her cell phone, shaking.
“Hello, Mr. Lawson’s office please”
“Hi Lola…” she cried, “Have you seen my husband today?”
“No…no ma’am, we’ve been expecting him at work. He has a presentation in 15 minutes.”
“Oh God…God…” Sara dipped her hand into her full hair.
“Everything ok, ma’am?”
“Thank you.” she ended the call.
She quickly got down from the bed and she ran into her car in her pyjamas. She dialled his mobile repeatedly as she drove…no answer.
She sped into Fred’s compound, a close friend to her husband.
“Fred!” she banged the door hastily until the door flung open.
“My God Sara, what’s wrong?” Fred held her.
“It’s…its Lawson…have you seen him? Is he here?”
“No…Haven’t heard from him in a week.”
“Oh God!” she held her hair.
She was already dashing away into her car.
“Sara!” He called after her.
She zoomed away.
“Mom, Dad, I can’t find Lawson…I can’t find your son…” she cried as she paced in front of the elderly couple who looked lost.
“You have to calm down and tell us what happened.” Lawson’s mother put her arms around Sara.
Sara burst into tears, “Please Dad could you try his number, maybe he’d pick your call?”
“Have you been to his office?” He picked his cell phone and dialled his son’s number.
“I have been everywhere I know him to likely be.”
“It’s ok…calm down please.” Lawson’s mother consoled her.
“He’s not picking. What exactly went wrong between you two?” Lawson’s father searched Sara’s eyes.
Sara was still in her pyjamas and on her way back home, exhausted and stuck in the traffic. She had told Lawson’s parents everything. The poor couple was so shattered and begged her to begin a new life. Sara buried her head on the steering, crying; she didn’t realize the green light was now on.
“Hey get off the freaking road!” a driver cursed from behind her.
“God please don’t let him harm himself…keep him safe and lead me to him…please God…” She quickly started the car and began to move.
Suddenly she remembered the church where they had wedded and took their vows. It was two hours from here; she made a U-turn and headed for the church hoping to find some solace there.
She got down from the car drenched and exhausted. She trudged into the open entrance of the church. She paused for a moment; shocked…it was Lawson sitting at the front row of the empty church, facing the altar.
“Lawson!” She began to run towards him, happy, relieved that he was ok.
“Sara?” He quickly stood as she approached him, “Sara…”
They both ran into each other’s arms. He hugged her so tightly.
“I looked for you everywhere….this was the last place I thought you’d ever be…I just came and I saw you…Lawson….I’m so happy you are ok.” she touched his face.
“I didn’t know where else to go…It just feels like I can’t face the world anymore…” he slowly released her from his embrace.
“Take my hand.” Sara stretched out her hand, “C’mon, just take it.”
Lawson gently clasped his hand into hers and she took him to the altar and stood to face him. She searched his eyes intently. She hadn’t seen him so weak and helpless.
“Five years ago Lawson, we both stood on this altar. Remember our vows? Remember you whispered in my ear never to leave you. I told you I wouldn’t…that’s why I’m here. I am your wife, Lawson. I am meant to be with you forever, through the bad and good times. We’ve had good times, why would I leave you now? All I want from you is to believe that you can still give me a child despite what the result said. I want you to believe in a miracle.” She held his face, “Remember when you told me I was a miracle in your life? Our children will be our miracles too. Trust God with me because I know it won’t be long.”
“Who are you Sara…” Lawson was weakened by her words.
“The one who vowed to be with you until the end.” She smiled through her thin tears.
“God, I love you so much, Sara.” He hugged her again.
“So will you come back home with me?” Sara searched his eyes.
“I have no other place to call home.” He placed a soft kiss on her lips.
2 Years After
Lawson and Sara were on the sofa watching a late night movie. Sara was resting on his shoulders when she felt the movement.
“Lawson, Lawson, it moved again…don’t miss it this time touch…touch.” She gently placed his palm on the side of her stomach. Both felt the movement of their child.
“I can feel him…I can feel him!” Lawson placed his head on her belly.
“I can feel him growing each day inside of me…”
“What do you think it’s saying now by this movement?”
“Thank you dada for believing in me.” She laughed. They both laughed.
“The movement has stopped.” He slowly removed his head from her stomach, “I think he’s sleeping.”
Sara rested on his shoulders again, “In six months you’d be a father, “You finally got your miracle.”
Lawson tilted his wife’s face to him, looking into her eyes, “Sara…you were the miracle I needed. Thank you for not leaving me.”
Sara tickled his nose with hers, “I love you too. Always will,” she smiled, “We missed a whole lot in our movie.”
“Movie can wait, but this can’t” He gently planted a kiss on her belly.
We forget our vows so easily, so quickly that once our marriages start hitting the rocks, we fail to realize that there is power in a union. When there is union, every mountain can be subdued. The problem is people don’t yet fully understand the concept of marriage; until you do, please don’t go to the altar because what you don’t understand will eventually become a burden and confuse you.
The concept of marriage is ‘for better, for worse.’ The “worse” moments always come. Not that you should always expect bad things, it is a statement of fact that challenges come in marriage to make you stronger in oneness. so don’t use it against yourselves.
In addition, miracles are real and it is better we all learn to have the patience to wait until our miracles come. Always remember that marriage is a ‘stick and stay’ relationship, not a ‘hit and run.’
Meditation: Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. – Ecclesiastes 5:5
You will succeed in Jesus Name!
At the end of the wedding party, a bride’s mother gave her a newly opened bank savings passbook, with $1000 deposited in it.
She told her, “My dear daughter, take this passbook. Keep it as a record of your married life. Whenever something happy and memorable happens in your new life, put some money in it and write what it is about next to the amount. The more memorable the event is, the more money you should put in. I’ve done the first one for you today. Do the others with your husband. When you look back after many years, you will know how much happiness you’ve both shared.”
The woman shared this with her husband after getting home. Both of them thought it was a great idea and couldn’t wait to make the next deposit. This is what the passbook looked like after a while:
7 Feb: $100, his first birthday celebration after marriage
1 Mar: $300, she gets a salary raise
20 Mar: $200, vacation
15 Apr: $2000, She’s pregnant!
1 Jun: $1000, He gets the big promotion
and so on…
However, as the years went by, they began fighting and arguing over trivial things. They didn’t communicate much with each other again. Each regretted that they had married the nastiest person in the world. There was no more love.
One day the woman opened up to her mother. “Mom, we can’t stand it anymore. We have decided to divorce. I can’t imagine how I decided to marry this guy!”
Her mother replied, “Sure, that’s no big deal. Do whatever you want, if you really can’t stand it. But before that, do one thing. Remember the savings passbook I gave you on your wedding day? Take out all the money there and spend it first. You shouldn’t keep any record of such a poor marriage.”
She agreed with her mother. So she went to the bank and was waiting in the queue to close the account. While she was waiting, she took a look at the passbook record. She looked, and looked and looked. Then the memory of all the previous joyful moments came back to her. Her eyes were filled with tears.
She left and went home. When she got home, she handed the passbook to her husband and asked him to spend the money before getting divorced.
So the next day, he went to the bank and was waiting in the queue to cancel the account. While he was waiting, he took a look at the passbook record. He also looked, and looked and looked. The memory of all the previous joyful moments came back to him. His eyes were welled up with tears.
He left the bank and went home. He gave the passbook back to her. Lo, inside she found a new deposit of $5000 with a line: ‘This is the day I realized how much I’ve loved you throughout all these years. How much happiness you’ve brought me.’
They hugged each other and cried, putting the passbook back into the safe.
Marriage is not a game; it is not easy, but it is beautiful. You will fight and argue, this is normal, because both of you came from different backgrounds and were raised by different parents, perhaps on different beliefs and moral. Therefore, you cannot expect that everything you say will be accepted by your spouse without their opinion being tendered first. So before you give up, think back to the good times and to what brought you together in the first place.
Meditation: Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” – 1 Peter 5:5
You will succeed because Jesus loves You!