McDowell Technical Community College

FEBRUARY LIFE LESSONS

THE LOVE STORY

DOUG HARRELL

This month we are focused on long term marriage relationships for Valentine’s Day.  This involves more than just marriage relationships, it involves the whole foundation of the family and the family structure.  Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read , that he which made them at the beginning made the male and female.  Throughout the entire Bible this thought is conveyed.  Noah took them in two by two, male and female, to provide for a continuation of the races.

All of this is well and good, but how do we as humans keep this marriage alive and the family intact?  A good marriage is never easy, but it is well worth the effort.  In today’s world, there is an epidemic of divorces and single parent homes.  It seems that the common thread today is “if it is not working, we will just divorce and go our separate ways.”  My wife, Barbara, and I decided many years ago, that we would make it for better or worse, until death do us part!  There have been times in the past 53 years that it was almost death prematurely, most of the time because of something I did or did not do.

As I see the stress put on lives because of the blending of families today, I am thankful for the fortitude that we, as a couple, have made to keep it together.  One of the best cliques I have heard was “if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, why don’t you try fertilizing your side”!  I have found that there were several things that have been basic to keeping the romance alive.  We decided years ago, that we would never criticize each other in public or to someone else, that we would lift each other up rather than tear each other down, and that we would not walk out and go spend the night somewhere else if we were angry.  There have been several nights that we spent all night talking, but going to bed angry was not an option.

It is important to constantly remind, or tell, your mate that you love them and to be flirting with them through the years.  There is value in constantly reminding the other that you are sure glad you married them!  There should not be a day that goes by without you praying for your mate and giving the Lord thanks for providing her or him for you.

One absolutely critical thing is that you be evenly yoked, 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteous?  And what communion hath light with darkness”?  A strong relationship with the Lord is the first building block of any marriage relationship.  Attending worship together with the family is no guarantee that the family will not stray, but it is a starting point.  You and your mate must always be true to God, yourselves and each other.  If children are involved, you must nurture and guide them, firmly at times, and make sure that they have a deep appreciation for right and wrong.  Keeping them involved in church related activities is a good start but you must be on constant guard, Satan never ceases to work.  Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”.

The best sermon that you will ever preach to your children is your life example for them.  If you cheat, lie, steal, curse and do things that are not good, then you don’t really have much you can say.  Always be true to God’s teaching, to the best of your ability, and set an example that you can be proud of.  Let your wife and your children know that you love God, your mate and them, in that order.  I pray for a happy Valentine’s day for each of you.