February 1

TODAY IS…

a perfect day to move closer to your spouse.

“This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife and the two are united as one.”  Genesis 2:24 NLT

Imagine finding yourself adrift in a small boat in the middle of a vast ocean. You are hungry, your throat is parched from thirst and your skin is burning due to the relentless sun from which there is no place to hide. In the distance is an island which you just know is full of wonderful things to eat, pure crystal clear water to drink and tall, full tropical trees under which awaits cool shade, allowing escape from the sun.

Your little boat has no motor – just a set of oars. Getting to the island will be hard work. Blisters will develop on your hands. You will sweat, strain and become sore from the effort it will take to reach the place that has all you need for survival. If you do not take the oars in your hands and lean into the back-breaking work, you will drift farther and farther away from the island and you will surely perish.

The task is daunting and will require the total commitment of your mind and your body. But the reward is great.

The divorce rate in this country hovers at around 50%. Very often when people are asked what happened in a failed relationship, the answer is simply given as, “We drifted apart.” Perhaps a more fitting descriptive phrase would be, “We stopped paddling towards one another.”

Unlike the imaginary island in the story where we can relax upon reaching the safety of its shores, marriage requires constant daily effort in order that we do not drift away from its purpose.

This is a concept that a disturbingly high number of us cannot seem to grasp.

In the midst of differences, disagreements and disenchantment, it is far easier to say, “I want a divorce” than it is to say, “I want to love you fiercely and with passion and I am willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that.”

When asked if divorce was permissible, “Jesus replied ‘Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended’.” (Matthew 19:8 NLT).

What God intended was for husband and wife to love each other, respect each other and protect each other.

And when we fight ferociously for the survival of our marriage, we set a glowing example for our children to follow; an example of commitment, love, honor, dedication, respect, compassion and concern.

God can help us.

He can give us the strength, courage, wisdom and determination to paddle longer and harder than we ever thought possible. So pick up your oars and move closer to your spouse today.

*******

Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Most of the devotions in my book contain subjects centered on things that I did very wrong in my life, or simply never understood. It took looking back on those times and situations, and then looking to the Bible for guidance on how I should have done something, or responded to something, or handled a certain situation.

Marriage is most definitely one of those things.

I am twice divorced, and while there is always blame on both sides, most definitely I shoulder the greater burden in both cases. I never knew what was expected, really. We think we know, but unless we look to God’s Word, we only get man’s watered-down and conveniently altered perception of what relationships and marriage are supposed to be like.

Perhaps God will lead me to the person who can look beyond the complexities and darkness of my past and will be willing to walk forward with me into the light. In the meantime, I will pray that all who are married keep paddling towards one another in Christ.

Tony Casson 2/1/2019

About Tony Casson

" For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
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