Dear Ones,

Hope you wake to sunshine after all our rain. Eager to walk the trail again. Al will be going to men’s group early this morning and later we have Bible study. We take turns using his computer and hoping it won’t be long until mine is fixed.

Devotions from Judy’s heart                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Marriage is sacred and as God planned, it is to be the joining of one man and one woman for life! It needs to be protected today as the divorce rate for marriages is now 40%. The latest polls show that 76% of those in first marriages now live together beforehand, and yet that makes them more likely to divorce than those who keep themselves for each other until their marriage.

Marriage comes from the Latin word “to unite”, and couples unite with their whole beings, including two bodies, minds, souls, and emotions, and ideally it is permanent and exclusive. In Ephesians 5 Paul says for husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. He goes on to say a wife should respect her husband and regard him, honor him, and praise him. (Amplified version)

Of course, the enemy is out to destroy marriages for it is the very picture of Christ and His church. We need to protect marriages and Satan will attack in big ways and even the smallest ways to get us to drift apart and become bitter and apathetic. Marriage is to be exclusive in the sense of having healthy boundaries and safeguards to protect us from temptation. Al made it a practice when counseling women to have another person present. Today it could be simply texting another of the opposite sex frequently, and soon a door is open to more. In marriage but also in all relationships, we need to constantly practice forgiveness. We forgive others as the Lord has forgiven us, which is constantly and daily. We need to exercise patience with one another and to show tenderness in words and touch. Apologize often and extend forgiveness!

Praying together often and regularly is so important and less than 1% of couples that pray together get divorced. Prayer helps us get our eyes off ourselves and to the Lord. Going to church together and being accountable to another can also help keep our marriage intact. Let us fight for our marriages and encourage the marriages of our children and grandchildren!

Challenge for today: Bring a word of praise to your mate and encourage your loved ones in their marriages.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy