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Don’t divorce your unsaved husband or wife. Why? Paul gives this reason: The believer may have a positive, spiritual influence on their unbelieving mate. The unbeliever may get saved due to the believing spouse’s example and lifestyle. 1 Corinthians 7:14: “For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.” I think this is what Peter had in mind as well when he wrote these instructions in 1 Peter 3: “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.”
I think a perfect illustration of this is in the life of my in-laws—Harold and Dorothy Wills. When they got married, mom was a believer and dad was an unbeliever. And dad was content to stay married to mom so they never even considered divorce. Now, Dorothy was careful not to nag Harold with the gospel. She simply prayed for him, answered his questions about the Lord when he asked, and endeavored to live the Christian life in front of him. Finally, in 1987, after 48 years of marriage, at the age of 75, Harold Wills accepted the Lord as his Savior. And I’m convinced that my father-in-law is in heaven today because of the patient, faithful witness of his wife, Dorothy.
So let me encourage you. If you are married to an unbeliever and he or she is content to remain married to you, then don’t divorce. Share the gospel with your unsaved spouses. But don’t nag them with it. Rather, pray for them. And live an exemplary Christian life in front of them. Who knows? Maybe your example will eventually lead them to Christ.
James H. Cook, Jr.
I heard of a couple who, as they were paying for groceries in the check-out line, were discussing their soon to be 50th wedding anniversary, when the young cashier interjected by saying, "I can’t imagine being married to same man for 5o years!"
The wife wisely replied, teaching the young girl a lesson at the same time, "Well, Honey, don’t get married until you can ."
Do you remember the story about Tony Toto, of Allentown, PA.? He operated a pizza parlor there. Tony Toto survived at least 5 attempts on his life, all arranged for or carried out by his dear wife, Frances, & her lover.
Twice she arranged for assailants to beat him over the head with baseball bats. On one occasion she put a tripwire across the basement stairs in their house, hoping that he would trip over it & plummet to his death.
Twice she arranged for him to be shot. The first time she drugged his chicken soup so he would sleep soundly, & he was shot in the head, but miraculously survived. The 2nd time he was shot in the chest, but only sustained minor injuries. Now this is a picture of a real happy couple, isn’t it?
Even more miraculous than Tony’s survival was his attitude toward his wife once he found out she was responsible for all of this. Tony, a self?confessed lady’s man himself, said that he held his wife blameless.
When she was found guilty & sent to prison for arranging for his murder, he took their 4 children & visited her every week - every single week. Then when she was released from prison, she went back to their red brick home to resume her married life with Tony.
With his arm around her, Tony said, "We’re more in love now than ever before. I don’t understand why people break up over silly little things."
A college man walked into a photography studio with a picture of his girlfriend… He wanted the picture duplicated… The owner of the store noticed the inscription on the back of the picture, it said, “My dearest Tom, I love you with all my heart… I love you more & more each day… I will love you forever & ever… I am yours for all eternity…” It was signed “Diane,” and it contained a P.S.: “If we ever break up,...
Jack Benny was rather shy when he was young. One day at work he saw a young lady that greatly attracted his attention. But he was too shy to speak to her. So he went to the florist & ordered one red rose to be sent to her without any card enclosed. And every day he repeated that order.
Well, after 4 days of receiving one red rose each day, the young lady went to the florist & asked who was sending them. The florist told her that it was some guy who worked where she did by the name of Jack Benny. “Yeah,” she said, “I think I know who he is.”
So she searched Jack out & asked him why he was sending her those roses. He told her that he wanted to ask her out, & she accepted his invitation. And other dates followed that first one. But still, every day, she continued to receive one red rose.
Then Jack & Mary got engaged, & Mary figured that the red roses would stop. But still they came. Finally, they were married, & even on the honeymoon she continued to receive one red rose each day. But once the honeymoon was over, she figured that the roses would stop.
But month after month, then year after year, all their married life, every day without fail she received a red rose. Finally, Jack Benny died. But the very next day, here came another red rose. Thinking that maybe the florist somehow hadn’t heard, she called to tell him of Jack’s death & that he could now stop sending the roses.
He answered, “But you don’t understand. Before he died, Jack made all the arrangements. You’ll receive one red rose every day for the rest of your life.”
One of the most memorable books I have ever read is A Severe Mercy. This is the story of Sheldon Vanauken and his wife Davy, who happened to be friends of C. S. Lewis. This couple was deeply in love and they sought to build the ideal marriage. They would only read books that the other wanted to read, and always tried to do everything together. But then a third person came along and interfered with this perfect relationship. That person was God. Davy began to get to know the Lord, and began to love Him. Sheldon became jealous, in his mind he didn’t want to share his wife with God. It was only after Davy’s premature death that Sheldon realized how foolish his attitude was. He also came to understand that the perfect marriage is not just when both partners love each other, but when both husband and wife love God even more than they love their spouse.
Something is radically wrong with homes today. The family is under fire and home life is disintegrating. Year by year the stress put on marriages grows greater. In 1870 there was one divorce for every 34 marriages. By 1900 it was one in five, and by 1950 it was one in three. In the past few years there has been virtually one divorce for every two marriages.
Recently, a survey was made of 200 married adults in regards to forgiveness (1). The researchers were wondering how one’s ability to forgive others would affect their marital satisfaction and personal well-being. The results were astounding! This research suggests that there is a huge relationship between marriage satisfaction and forgiveness. In fact, it appears that as much as one third of marriage satisfaction is related to forgiveness. Not only does the ability to forgive impact the marriage relationship, it was significantly related to personal emotional distress. As forgiveness ability went up, individuals reported fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety, and fatigue! These results...
For many, marriage vows are unimportant. A study cited in a recent edition of Time Magazine indicates that cohabitation before marriage is on the rise, up from 10% in 1960 to 50% 1998.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 73% of Americans, under age 45, believe that life spent with the same partner is both unusual and unnecessary.