Advent always follows our national holiday of Thanksgiving. This year, we are giving thanks for people who have become part of our “Legacy of Faith.”
Those who have been married know how much a spouse can impact our lives in positive or negative ways. If you have never married, you may feel that what follows does not relate to your story, but perhaps you will change your mind as you read on.
My husband Gene impacted me in more ways I can count. He modeled patience, forgiveness, encouragement. We laughed together. We sat quietly together. He was a good husband.
Gene grew up in an unchurched home and watched his parent’s marriage disintegrate due to mental illness. When he became a believer, he wanted to know what a Christian home was like. After we married, Gene told me how he had spied upon his pastor’s family to see how they lived out their faith. How did a Christian father treat his wife behind closed doors? Did they shout and scream at each other? How did they work together to discipline their children? Everything Gene learned about being my husband and, later, about being a good father, he learned by observing that pastor’s family. Gene’s passion to learn how to be a better Christian spouse challenged me to do the same.
Hosea 2:19-20 speaks to all of us, whether married or single. The Lord said, “I will betroth you to me forever. Yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion. And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord.”
What can you learn of God’s example from this verse? How can you demonstrate these same qualities of commitment, righteousness, justice, lovingkindness, compassion and faithfulness to those you meet today?