A message of Hope for the days and weeks ahead.
March 29, 2020
COVID-19 and Your Marriage
I wake up each morning just the way I have for most of my life. I wake up easy and am usually ready to get the day going. The only difference now is that there is this air of uncertainty. The reality of what we are living sinks in some time in the first minute or so that I am awake. What will this day bring? Will the news continue to be difficult to listen to? When will there be good news?
I realize that I have a choice: I can get down and depressed or I can fight back. Nancy and I have chosen to fight back. This is what we are doing. First, we are doing everything asked of us by our local, state, and national governments. We sanitize and wash. We try to protect others as well as ourselves. We are looking at fun, safe things to do together like cooking and playing games. We limit our talk on the virus to new information as much as possible. We count our blessings, and there are so many. In other words, our goal is to live full lives under the necessary constraints we are all dealing with. Are you fighting back as a couple? Your One Thing today is to fight back together in whatever ways work for the two of you!
Today’s One Thing:
Fight back together in whatever ways work for the two of you!
DON’T JUST SURVIVE! – Your Marriage Was Meant To Thrive!
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The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18
The morning after our son, Allen, was born, the doctor sat down in a chair near the foot of my bed and said, “Something’s wrong.” Our son, so perfect on the outside, had a life-threatening birth defect and needed to be flown to a hospital 700 miles away for immediate surgery.
When the doctor tells you something is wrong with your child, your life changes. Fear of what lies ahead can crush your spirit and you stumble along, desperate for a God who will strengthen you so you can support your child.
Would a loving God allow this? you wonder. Does He care about my child? Is He there? These and other thoughts shook my faith that morning.
Then my husband, Hiram, arrived and heard the news. After the doctor left, Hiram said, “Jolene, let’s pray.” I nodded and he took my hand. “Thank You, Father, for giving Allen to us. He’s Yours, God, not ours. You loved him before we knew him, and he belongs to You. Be with him when we can’t. Amen.”
Hiram has always been a man of few words. He struggles to speak his thoughts and often doesn’t try, knowing that I have enough words to fill any silence. But on a day when my heart was broken, my spirit crushed, and my faith gone, God gave Hiram strength to speak the words I couldn’t say. And clinging to my husband’s hand, in deep silence and through many tears, I sensed that God was very near. —Jolene Philo
REFLECT & PRAY:
The best kind of friend is a praying friend.
Credit: Our Daily Bread
I’m not sure that we treat the great command like it’s the greatest commandment. I have the conviction that if love isn’t easy, we don’t give it. Often, we only offer our love when it doesn’t require much effort. We love our families, our hobbies, and we love donuts. We love the things that are easy, but this world needs people who love in face of disagreement, rejection, and even hatred. I wonder what would happen if we had an out-of-control type of love—one without conditions, fears, barriers, qualifiers, or protectors. What if we loved when it wasn’t easy or convenient? What if we loved God and others recklessly?
We’ve all had moments where we could have extended and given our love away, but instead we chose to do nothing. Doing nothing is the silent killer of the gospel. It’s sort of like boiling our faith down to reducing sin—we can easily think that not doing certain things make us good and holy…but it’s the opposite! It’s doing something that makes us faithful followers of Jesus!
Love sits at the center of a life engaged in doing things that matter!
In the parable known as The Good Samaritan Jesus paints a picture of what it means to love recklessly. The Samaritan didn’t only see the need, but he chose to do something! The story compares the Samaritan’s actions to a Priest and a Levite, who chose to do nothing. It’s interesting that these two people were “religious” people who claimed to love God, yet they avoided the messy, hard situation. How many of us do this in life? We love when it’s easy, we are good people but seem to go neutral when reckless love is required.
The danger for most of us is not that we’ll become bad people who don’t care about things that matter. No, the danger is that we’ll become good people who don’t do anything that matters! Within you lies a person who desires to love. God’s Spirit is pulling you and inviting you to become more of that person. The Spirit never guilt’s you, shames you, or bullies you to become loving.
He compels you!