“Can I stay with you tonight?” Carlos asked in a trembling voice. He’d had a terrible argument with his wife, he explained over the phone, and he couldn’t return home. My wife and I knew that Carlos had already been going through a very difficult time in his life. To begin with, he’d hoped to be promoted to general manager of the company he worked for, but the job had gone to someone else. A few days later he’d been involved in a traffic accident, though fortunately no one was injured. Now this! Everything seemed to be going wrong.
I invited him over, and before he arrived, my wife and I prayed for Jesus to help us encourage him, as well as for wisdom in how to advise him in this personal situation, if he should ask for that.
When people ask for advice regarding their marriage or budding love relationship, I often tell them that the most important thing is to let Jesus be the boss. No matter how much two people love each other and no matter how much they have in common, they are going to have some disagreements. When that happens, the surest way to know what’s right is to ask the highest authority. If both partners are willing to let Jesus make the decisions, they can avoid the friction and resentment that undermine many relationships.
Our lives involve all sorts of relationships. In fact, relating to people is largely what life is about. Relationships, when based on the right foundation and growing in the right direction, are wonderful, rewarding experiences. Each new relationship also brings with it an exciting new set of challenges and surprises. And of course no relationships are as challenging or full of surprises as romantic relationships.
Brenda was nearly 80 when her husband died and she was left alone in a large house in a mid-sized city with a fairly high crime rate. Her two sons lived an hour away, but her daughter, who didn’t, wondered how her mother would cope and prayed for her often.
Months passed. One day Brenda was reading obituaries in the newspaper and came across a name she recognized from many years before—Nick, with whom she had become close friends when they were both teenage counselors at a summer camp for children. The obituary was for Nick’s wife. Memories flooded Brenda’s mind. She wrote Nick a condolence card, and he responded with a thank-you that also expressed his delight at hearing from her again. They continued to write each other, then spoke on the phone, and eventually he visited.
Lasting, genuine love is based on a more enduring foundation than mere fleshly gratification. It must be an unselfish desire to protect and to help and to make someone else happy.
As my mother used to tell me, don’t marry the girl you can live with—marry the girl you can’t live without!
At a couple’s golden marriage anniversary celebration, the wife told guests the secret of her happy 50-year marriage. “On my wedding day, I decided to make a list of ten of my husband’s faults, which for the sake of our marriage I would overlook.”
As the guests were leaving, a young woman whose own marriage had recently been rocky asked the grandmotherly woman what some of her husband’s faults had been that she had seen fit to overlook.
After twenty years of marriage and rarely spending so much as a night without my husband Bruce, circumstances had kept us apart for over a year. Our two teenage sons and I were doing Christian volunteer work here in the beautiful Philippine Islands, while he was in our home country of Canada, fundraising for our work here and helping our older sons get settled into new jobs and lives. It was one of those do-what-you’ve-got-to-do situations, but I missed Bruce’s company and emotional support. So did the younger boys.
A group of social scientists asked this question to a group of children: “What does love mean?” The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think.
“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”
History books tell us that during the Feast of Lupercalia—an event that is said to be the origin of the modern celebration known as Valentine’s Day—it was the custom for Roman youths to cast lots for a girl to bestow gifts on and court the following year. Today such a random way of selecting a sweetheart has been abandoned. Instead, on February 14th, lovers in many countries give cards and gifts to express their love to the ones they have romantic feelings for.
When I think of Valentine’s Day, one love story in particular comes to mind. It began a few years ago. …
So much has been said and written about marriage—much of it rather complicated or seemingly contradictory—that I was curious as to what Jesus would have to say on the subject. He has such a wonderful way of explaining things simply, clearly, and positively that I was sure He could put things in perspective. So I asked Him to summarize some of the main qualities of a good marriage, and He did. Here’s the message He gave: