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Marriage

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #4

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons from Philippians 4:8 for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. Blessings.

From Glenn:

 

Thursday — Whatever Is Pure

When Paul wrote that we are to think on things that are pure, he used a word defined by Strong’s as, innocent, modest, perfect: — chaste, clean, pure. This is in sync with other passages that place our sexuality in an elevated category when it comes to protection and purity.  Paul showed us the uniqueness of sexual sin when he wrote “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18).  He went on to say “…because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2).  Jesus put sexual sin in a unique category when He taught, “…whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery” (Mt. 19:9).  Of the plethora of instructions older women could give younger women about marriage and the home, Paul makes a short list and includes this: “…Admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste…”(Tit. 2:4-5).  

Think of all the harmful behaviors that potentially destroy marriages and consider that Jesus elevates this one sin—fornication to be the exclusive basis on which divorce and remarriage can occur with God’s approval.  I doubt we will ever fully understand the depth of spiritual significance involved in this act. Fornication is a sin with profound consequences, and God always references it with great sobriety. 

Mankind shakes a fist at heaven over God’s sexual laws.  Hell has persuaded people to embrace homosexuality and to proudly espouse the joy of the fluidity of  gender. A man can choose to be a woman if he likes and people are bound to use pronouns that suit that unfortunate pretense. God has given such people up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, (Rom. 1:24).  Some of the strongest condemnations of Scripture are aimed at sexual sin and perversion.  We understand why. Sexual immorality is dark and destroys lives and homes. 

Even members of the body of Christ sometimes make the sad mistake of flirting with sexual sin by wearing revealing clothing, by dancing inappropriately, and by participating in other lustful and reckless behaviors.  They sin against their own bodies and invite haunting ghosts of regret into their future lives.

In contrast, consider the bright light of purity—not the absence of sexuality but the safety and joy of sex within God’s prescribed boundaries.  In Biblical marriage, sex knows no broken violation of God’s holy word, no guilt, no bitter and lingering heartache, no young girls with shattered lives facing unwanted pregnancies, no teen boys with STD’s. This sexuality is pure. It is God-designed, God-approved, and, in fact, it is God-commanded for those who are married (I Cor. 7:1-2).  It is joyful. It is bonding in an incomparable way.  It is the ultimate embrace. Its purity is traditionally depicted by a white dress, and a honeymoon that is physically fulfilling and holy at the same time.  Sexuality is a deep celebration in marriage because the act of marriage binds husband and wife to one another for their entire lives.

Not all sex is equal.  We must force ourselves to contrast and separate the world’s corrupted sex and the purity of sex in a happy, God-approved marriage.  Then we are doing what Paul teaches us here:  We are thinking on the things that are pure and lovely.

Tonight’s Story Time Earlier in the day, prepare yourself for family story time by reading carefully Genesis 41 so you’ll have all the details in mind. 

Tell the children that Joseph spent two additional years in prison, after God interpreted the dreams of the baker and butler.  But God had not forgotten Joseph.  He had big plans for  Joseph to lead his family into the protection of Egyptian abundance. (Say this in terms your kids will understand, of course.)  After telling the account (Gen. 41:1-32) leading up to revealing Joseph’s revelation to Pharaoh, move on to these discussion questions:

1.  When God gave Joseph the interpretation of the baker’s and butler’s dreams, what future purpose did He have in mind?  God is not limited as a man and He makes plans into the future.  You do not know everything about God’s purpose for your future, but you do know some things for sure. What are those things?  (Have a discussion here about being faithful through all of life, finding a follower of Christ to marry, working hard in a career that God approves or raising children to be faithful to God.)

2.  Why do you think God had Pharaoh dream about cows and ears of grain instead of just having him dream about years of plenty and of famine in Egypt?  How did God make a picture in Pharaoh’s mind so that this dream would be “stuck” in his head? Tell your children the cows were sacred, like gods or idols, to the Egyptians. Imagine how shocked Pharaoh would have been to dream about sacred cows being eaten up! God is brilliant! 

3.  In 41:16, after Pharaoh had invited Joseph to interpret the dreams about the cows and grain, Joseph again gave full credit to God, not himself. You should practice doing that now so that it will be a natural thing to speak of God’s will and blessings in your life for all your lifetime.  What important blessings in your life right now can you point to and say, “I didn’t do that. God did.”? When we are staying well, having enough food to last us through this time of sickness, being able to enjoy being with our families at home, who is it that gives us this place to be safe and well? When we are ill, to whom do we pray for strength and healing? Practice asking your children if they are well and healthy. Have them respond “Yes. God has been so good to us…” or “Yes, and we are thanking God..” or “Yes. Praise God.” 

Tonight, have your children make a card for someone they know who is sick in your congregation or neighborhood. Have each child draw a picture and write “We are praying for you…” followed by the words from Genesis 41:16 “God shall give an answer of peace.”  Help those children who can’t yet write. You might write the text out and then have the very young child put his handprint on the card with paint or ink or just draw around his hand.  Be sure to remember to mail these tomorrow.

Remind your children that Joseph was doing something in this chapter that was going to save many lives. 

Pray with your children. Have your children help you make a list of people they know who are sick. Pray for each by name. Remember to pray for all of those people who are sick with COVID. Pray that your family will be healthy both “in our bodies and in our pure hearts.” 

Repeat the Golden Rule with your children. 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Why Is Adultery that Game-changing Sin?

If you are a Mrs. and you are a Christian, you are twice married and, assuming your husband is still living, there’s a sense in which you have two husbands. I hope, for Mrs. Colley, the sentiments below are always true of both my relationship to my husband and that to my Lord. When those who are in a covenant relationship with God become unfaithful to the vow made at baptism, they are referred to as spiritual adulterers in both testaments:

She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. Jeremiah 3:8.

You adulterous people![c] Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4

Many have posited that God is so hurt by spiritual adultery that He empathetically gives us the right to remarry in case of a spouse’s adultery (Matthew 19:9). He wants us to be able to recover and find comfort after the infidelity of a spouse. He knows how that feels.

But it could be true that one of the reasons marital unfaithfulness is the only acceptable scenario for remarriage is that God wanted to magnify this sin in our minds. Perhaps he wanted mankind to know how much we hurt Him when we place the things of this world–sin–in the position we once gave to God.

Or maybe it’s both. I do know this: As I occasionally speak with innocent parties, in marriages in the body of Christ, in which adultery has taken the trust, I’m left with the indisputable knowledge that the hurt is deeper than any I see in other scenarios of sin.

And yet there is forgiveness. If I’ve learned any thing from observation about the sin of marital infidelity, it’s that it’s possible to repent, gain forgiveness and put a marriage back on a fast track to happiness. Sometimes, righted early on, it’s possible to do this without damaging children, without hurting the influence of the local church, and without the eternal loss of souls. And God’s teaching us there, too. There’s time now, to right relationships with God in heaven. If you’ve walked away from the One who loves you supremely, you’ll never find that perfect love in anything the world has to offer. But, as time passes, it’s harder to undo the damage. Influence for heaven is lost. Lives are hurt. Sin complicates relationships and, most of all, it weakens your own spiritual resolve to be faithful. Don’t wait. Come back to the One who loved you first and best.

Espoused to  One Husband
II Corinthians 11:2
If I love You, I’ll believe You
Though what You’ve pledged is far away.
What You say about tomorrow
Is what’s real for me today.If I love You, then I long
To hear Your strong, assuring voice.
I will trust You with my secrets;
Honor You in every choice.If I love You, I’ll defend You
When others ridicule Your name.
If all the world denies You, still
I’ll  count but loss the shame.If I love You, I will be there
Whenever You’re expecting me.
I will love whatever You love.
Where You are, I’ll long to be.If I love You, I will trust You.
All my hopes on You rely.
But should faith and hope be passing,
Love abides to never die!

 

 

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

It Takes a SPARK!

SPARK, Hot Springs, is in the books now and I am going to keep touting the spiritual advantages of attending one of the SPARK lectureships when one of these programs, jointly hosted by Polishing the Pulpit and a local church, visits your area. There are some things you can count on in a SPARK program. One is sound teaching and lots of it. Another is a feeling that your hosts really want you to be there and are appreciative of the distances driven and the effort expended by those attending. Yet one more is the sweet fellowship that grows into lifelong Christian friendships within the community of fellow believers with whom you are spending the week. 

I often hear of the good old days when gospel meetings lasted for a couple of weeks and multiple baptisms occurred. I think those two-week meetings really had nothing on this intensive lectureship that included more lessons than a two-week gospel meeting and likely fewer distractions from the world in between the messages from the pulpit. And this lectureship included three baptisms as of the time I left. One young lady, Callie, confessed the Lord and put him on in baptism prior to the beginning of the service on Tuesday night. Then later, as the invitation song was being sung, another young lady, walked down the aisle and asked to be immersed for the remission of sins. Then as we bowed for the closing prayer, a dad shouted from the back, “Wait, we’re not done yet,” and one more was baptized before we went home. (Their pictures are here.) I could have stayed and done that all night! SPARK could be the catalyst–the spark–for the kind of zeal and Bible knowledge that characterized those good old days in the mid twentieth century when the church was spreading like wild fire. Sparks make wild fires!

My favorite session was the Digging Deep class we had on Monday. We had fourteen congregations of diggers represented from seven states. If you don’t think that kind of meeting is exhilarating, your shovel is dull. It was an amazingly encouraging fellowship representing a larger and purposeful study fellowship. God is just good all the time, but you see glory clearly in a room full of diggers who are chiming in with enthusiasm about nuggets they’ve found on the glory dig. 

But it’s also hard to top the “response” we had in the women’s class on Tuesday. That was the day we discussed the command to love our husbands from Titus 2. We discussed how that love, in that passage is phileo in the Greek—friendship love.  I urged women to find something they could enjoy doing with their husbands; to even learn to love some hobby that’s important to a spouse. So one brave soul went home that night to a husband who asked her for the thousandth time to try and “get a deer” with him. “I’ve got one in my sights, already,” he said and you don’t know how much I would love for you to kill this deer. All sorts of things that she’d rather do came quickly to mind (You know, dishes, washing her hair, having a root canal…) And then phileo, from our class, came to mind and she  said “Okay, let me try.” 

This pretty little wife and mother of three shot that eight point buck with a crossbow, hitting  him right in the heart (the spot you’re going for) and the 9:30 p.m. moonlight found her in the woods tracking and then field dressing her deer, alongside her husband. She said “I was way more excited than I thought I would be. It was fun! My heart was pounding. But my husband!…Oh!… I could not believe the look on his face when he realized I was going to do this! That look was worth it all. And I will be hunting again soon!” 

Ezra, my grandson who just turned five, really wanted me to “hurry up and finish teaching those ladies.” He gets impatient when he can’t reach me for our regular FaceTime sessions. He told me to just tell them that “God does everyfing fuh us. And Mammy, if dey obey God, den give dem a pwize. But if dey don’t do what God says, den don’t give ‘em one.” 

Well that’s pretty much just a big over-simplification of what the week was about. We are going to get a big prize if we obey. Let’s all be around that throne for the sweetest fellowship of all!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Calling Her Blessed Again…

As I am writing it’s Mother’s Day week. This year marks the 27th year since my mother won the battle over cancer and went home. She’s victorious and happy–even blissful, and I would never will her back to the struggling lifestyle that I try to tackle every day. But, still, I miss her like crazy–even now, twenty years hence. The children of the Proverbs 31 woman rose up and called their mother blessed. I know my mother is blessed, especially now–with the Lord, but I don’t know how to call her blessed. As I look back over the chapter, though, I see some things that made the children of Proverbs 31 call their mom blessed. I wonder how, exactly, they called her blessed. Did they tell their friends about the way God worked through the good deeds of their mom? Did other people look at her children and say that those kids were a blessing to the Proverbs 31 woman? Did her children write posts about how blessed their childhoods were because of the mom that made sure they were getting the maternal care they needed both physically and spiritually? If so, where did they post these notes? I do not know exactly how her children called her blessed, but today is my attempt to call my Proverbs 31 mother “blessed”. One thing’s for sure. The ultimate blessings are in the place in which I fully believe my mother is cognizant, rejoicing and awaiting my coming. She is blessed, now, for sure.

The heart of my father trusted my mother, that she would do him good and not evil. I do not remember ever having the first inkling of an idea that my dad ever thought Mother was lying to him, that she might be having an affair or that she was tricking him into getting things her way. In fact, the whole idea of any of those things seems preposterous. My mother never asked me to lie to my father. In fact, she would have spanked me in the “spanking place” if she thought I had lied to him. Not only did he never doubt her honesty, but he trusted her judgment. He trusted my mother to clothe us, to buy Christmas gifts for all of us and the extended family, to buy the groceries and to stock the freezer. He did not have to be a micro-manager. He trusted her.

My mother sought wool and flax and worked willingly with her hands. Her candle did not go out by night. If I close my eyes, I can see her hands. They had a couple of little age spots on them. Her fingers were long and thin and she never had a manicure. They were hard working hands. She had a sign in the little bedroom that doubled as her sewing room that said, “Whoever dies with the most fabric wins.” She won. See, she really did seek wool and flax and polyester and cotton and rayon. She could make anything on that Singer and so she did. I remember coming home from school one day for several weeks in November to a lot of white fur all over the carpets and bedspreads. I wondered if she was having bunnies over to play every day while I was at school. That year on Christmas morning, there were three precious little white fake fur coats for my sisters and me.

I remember many summer mornings when I would awaken to find that she was already out in the hot sun. I would look out the back kitchen door and down the hill I would see her bent over in the butter pea patch. I would try and be quiet, because I knew if she saw me, I would either be picking with her or washing breakfast dishes in the kitchen. If I was ever bored, I did not say so. I knew better. No one in that house ate the bread of idleness.

We did eat well, though. My mother gave meat to her household and a portion to her maidens. I cannot remember ever going hungry. My mother knew what day the meat would be in the marked-down bin at the market and she was willing to get up very early to be there. We did not go out to eat often because that was expensive. Our favorite Sunday night place was called “Traveler’s Rest” and it averaged a full six dollars for our family of six to eat burgers there. But there was always plenty of food on the table at home and it was always delicious. My brother was allergic to chicken, so when we had chicken, we had a small dish of some other kind of meat for him. Everyone was considered and everyone counted. My mother did not carry a couple of dishes to the fellowship meal, either. She carried a huge meat casserole or a couple of fried chickens, several side dishes, some cornbread and a big cake or banana pudding. If my mother ever had a maiden, she would have had plenty to eat, too. And I can never remember one meal around that table when we did not bow our heads and thank the Lord for the food.

My mother considered her purchases and used them well. She was frugal. I actually remember her sending us through multiple lanes at the store, so we could each be a customer and take advantage of “one-per-customer” savings. I remember buying fabric from the remnant bins and canned goods from the dented bin. I remember making our own popsicles and culottes. (Does anybody remember those?) She saved and redeemed green stamps. She sold encyclopedias and she taught school in our little Christian school for our tuition and we all went to school together. She saved the remnants of bars of soap and Daddy melted them down and made big new multi-colored bars. Free outings included the library and window shopping trips. Our shoes came from a little hole-in-the-wall place called “Salvage Shoes,” but we loved going there! She made everything fun and there was no place the kids in her Sunday School class had rather be than in our yard. One of them said one day, “I love going to Johnnia’s. She’s got a gallon of kids!”

She stretched out her hand to the poor and reached out her hands to the needy. My mother sent shoes to the prison where a neighbor boy ended up after his mother left home and he turned to drugs. I remember frequent walks up the street to Mrs. Brackin’s house, when she was feeble, to carry food from our kitchen or garden. I remember how Mother cared for Kathleen and Chris and Patrick when their mother went a little crazy and left them. I remember a little girl we picked up for worship services. She lived in the basement of an old upholstery shop on the Pratt Highway. I remember she didn’t smell good, but she loved coming with us. I remember another man who often rode with our family to worship and two older women, too. I remember Mother finding a place in a Christian orphanage for some children up the street when their parents left them destitute. Most of all, I remember the years and tears and fears of her caring for my grandparents. I remember when that small sewing room was converted to a sick room for them. I remember Mother’s sacrifices of travel and time with my dad. I remember the crowded conditions and the worry about their health. I remember my mother’s attendance at their hospital beds and their death beds. I remember the agony she suffered when they left empty spaces after her years of care.

My mother made tapestries and coverings. She used quilting frames suspended from the ceiling. They made walking through the small living room next to impossible. She made at least four quilts and coverings for my babies’ nurseries. As I write, I have company up in my guest room and she is sleeping under one of those quilts. My mother was keenly interested in making all kinds of things. She embroidered and smocked and made dolls and aprons. She made sweatsuits and curtains, stuffed bears and potholders, purses and pajamas. We wore handmade dresses and coats and bonnets. We had the best halloween costumes and great parts in school plays because the teacher knew she could count on our costume designer. Christmas spilled out everywhere in our little house. We, in short, had it made. We had it all made by our mother.

She opened her mouth with wisdom and kindness. Time and space constrain me, but let me just say that profundity is when an adult can think back and still remember phrases and their intonations—phrases that were spoken forty-plus years ago. Things like:

“Cindy, if you read your Bible and find out that I have taught you something that’s not right, you do what the Bible says. Know that doing that is what will make me happy.”

“Cindy, people who make fun of you for doing the right thing are the same people who, really, deep down in their hearts, respect you for it. One day you will learn that.”

“Cindy, you had better be very careful about everything you do, because there are two little sisters who are watching every move you make and they want to be just like you.”

“Cindy, don’t ever let your boyfriend give you money. that’s just not respectable.”

My mother feared the Lord. I really believe this was the trump card that made all of the above so evident in her life. She had this amazing way of boiling all of the decisions of daily life down to the question, “What is most pleasing to God?” The question was pervasive and invasive, and we visited it and revisited it on a daily basis. Conviction took us to every service and to run the children’s bus program an hour before each service of the church. Conviction had her sew a gym uniform for me that met all the class standards but had extra length for modesty. Conviction had a class full of middle school girls learning about fearing the Lord. Conviction had her spending time with them outside the classroom in cook-outs in our yard and in flower-picking trips to make bouquets for girls who were leaving for college. Conviction had her opening up that worn-out Bible and showing us passages relevant to some raunchy attitude she was seeing in us or some discourteous remark made. If we weren’t careful, she was assigning us long passages to learn; passages that she deemed appropriate to help adjust our attitudes or demeanor (and we weren’t even home schoolers). The Bible was just like a giant magnet in the middle of the metal of our lives. It was the control, the draw, the reference point.

I cannot remember anyone ever commenting that my mother was charming. But many people of all ages filed by her casket in October of 1992 and commented that she was the best Bible teacher they had ever had. They cited that she had made the Bible come alive or that she had made even the outcast among them feel worthy. That night I was glad for the fulfillment of the prophetic proverb: Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

This has been long. If you only could know how selective I have been, you would appreciate the post for its brevity. My mother was not perfect. She was often weakened by sin, but then strengthened by the power of His might. She struggled with evil, but overcame with prayer. She sometimes fainted, but was renewed by the Spirit. See, though she was larger than life to this little girl, she was only human. I had to grow up to know she wasn’t really perfect. And, just about the time I began to see her human-ness, the possibility that she had flaws, her mortal limitations, she went and put on immortality. My mother really is sinless now. She is perfect, flawless, completely invincible. I can truly call her blessed.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Your Husband: Can’t Get in His Head?

WE ARE DIFFERENT!  The one thing that God saw that was not good at the end of His creation of this universe was a man –alone. Woman was created to fill a void. She was the missing piece of the universe puzzle and the blank space where the puzzle piece neatly fit was beside man.  She was shaped, physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually to “match” the empty puzzle space and fit neatly in the void space beside the man.  The very purpose of woman’s creation demanded that she be different from man.
    But you aren’t reading this  to learn that we are different.  You don’t have to major in human anatomy to know that we are physically different.  God’s purpose in designing our bodies for sexual fulfillment and varying parenting roles is obvious and wonderful.  But the difference is far more than a physical one.  We think differently.  For the past twenty years you’ve been hearing how women are from Venus and men are from Mars.  Although the difference in the sexes is not a planetary difference, it was an intentional difference planned, ordered and perfected by the planet maker.  Scientific research in recent years has confirmed that because of neurological differences, men are more logical  while women are more emotional in their thinking processes. But married people didn’t need scientific research to point this out.   While we paint with a broad brush, we understand that generally men tend to examine evidence and make decisions based on the facts: A is true. B is true.  Thus we should follow course C.
    Their wives can understand the logic.  They know that A and B are true.  They understand that choice C only follows.  But choice C doesn’t feel right.  It is likely to hurt someone’s feelings and “I just don’t feel good about C.”  Emotion trumps logic in a woman’s psyche.
    His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9).  His book, although very emotional, is logic based.  It is about an understandable and flawless plan, the scheme of redemption, to answer man’s desperate need for salvation from sin.   Husbands, as spiritual leaders should be drawn to the logic of God’s plan of salvation, while wives are the gentle leaders of the fragile souls of children in that vast plan. I don’t have to understand why God made us to think differently. I don’t have to understand why He assigned us different roles in the home.  But it is fascinating when I see the connection.
    Another difference is the ability of men to see the big picture…to focus on long-term goals, while women are masters of detail.  That is why when Glenn and Cindy Colley write a book together about marriage, Glenn maps out the chapter titles, and, in his writing, gets straight to the logical point from scripture. Cindy, on the other hand, (the slow-moving hour hand) takes forever, poring over illustrations and poems and details of wording.  The differences in our academic make-up produces many varied practical differences in our day to day living…differences that make us complete and whole as one (Genesis 2:24) in the marriage union.
      Perhaps one of the most formidable practical challenges in marriage comes from our tasking differences.  Men are focused creatures.  They tend to think only about one thing at the time, while women are capable of multi-tasking.  I’ve read this in books, but I didn’t need a psychologist to inform me of this glaring difference.  Women, generally, should learn to save their breath during the football game, for instance.  When it’s Saturday night and Glenn is working on the Sunday sermon, it’s not a good time to ask which shoes are better with the blue dress.  Focus is the key word when it comes to accomplishing tasks in a man’s world.
    Women are multi-taskers. I can cook supper, while working on a math problem with a middle-schooler at the kitchen counter, while feeding the dog, answering the door, reading a recipe to a friend on the phone, and addressing an envelope.  I often talk to two people on two different phone lines while I talk to two or three people in the room with me and collect a package from the UPS man at the door.  It’s just the way God made us.  Since we are the “detailers” in the home, this ability to multi-task is a great blessing!  Of course, we must  challenge ourselves to focus when it’s important to focus.  We can plan tomorrow’s menu, rehearse a conversation we plan to have with the PTA president, plan the wardrobe for the trip next week, and make a mental grocery list being sexual with our husbands. But we shouldn’t.  We can take note of Susan’s new haircut, wonder why Sister Slayden is wearing that short-sleeved dress in the dead of winter, think about whether or not we brought the coupons for the restaurant, and decide who the new elders should be—all while we sing “Take time to be Holy”, but we shouldn’t!
    The differences are not subtle.  They are fundamental and manifest themselves in obvious and practical ways.  The differences are huge obstacles to the modern feminist.  But to the Christian couple, seeking fulfillment in God’s grand scheme, the differences are dramatic displays of God’s wisdom.  He made us.  He gifted our bodies and minds with the optimum capacities to operate in the roles He assigned.  If we determine to do marriage His way, the Great Designer merges our different natures to provide a oneness that elevates our marriages to be the most fulfilling of all human relationships.  We can live in the very foyer of heaven itself!

Taken from “You’re Singing My Song” by Glenn and Cindy Colley, www.colleybooks.org

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Guest Writer: Ally Smith

Several years ago, while speaking at a teen girls’ purity day in Tennessee, I passed out a sample “Letter to my Future Husband,” (Casey Herringshaw at https://enjoyingthewritingcraft.blogspot.com). Encouraging the girls to think long and hard about the qualities in a husband that would make for happiness in this lifetime and help them live in eternity with God, I encouraged them all to write their own letters and take them out and read them every now and then. Most of all, I wanted them to have clear and godly goals for their marriages and never to veer from them in pursuit of something plastic and temporal.

At that time, Ally was probably about 13 or 14 years old. Recently, Ally and I have been meeting up to visit. She’s 20 now and she shared with me the other day that, using that letter from long ago as a template, she’d written a letter to that man who is still anonymously working to be the one who will one day walk into Ally’s heart and then through life by her side. With some recent edits, she’s given me permission to share her letter, still much like that letter from the purity day so long ago. I hope her letter will help someone young who reads to think about some characteristics that will make for a marriage that God will bless with joy; to write down some goals–maybe even write her own letter– but, most of all, to determine to have uncompromising convictions for the Lord and to never settle for someone who cannot share those convictions and the soul’s best last hope, its only hope…the hope of heaven! Here’s her letter:

To my future husband,

I have been waiting to meet you my entire life; sometimes patiently and sometimes not very patiently all. I know it won’t be long until I will not only be in your heart, but in your arms. That will be the best feeling ever. I know that God has hand-crafted you just for me. But while we’re apart, I’m sure that I am following God’s path to you. I do not know your name nor could I even begin to guess what you’re like or how we’ll meet or if we’ve already met. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking, dreaming and praying for you every day. I know that it sometimes seems like the day that we will meet will never come. But please stay strong and have faith that soon enough God will lead us to each other when the time is right.

There are just a few things I need you to promise to me….Always hold my hand and give me hugs. Hold me in your arms when you get home from work, kiss me on the forehead and tell me all about your day and whether it was good or bad. Remind me often of how much you love and care for me; even if it’s simply leaving a note on my mirror on your way to work or surprising me with cheap flowers. Ask me how my day was before we go to bed, and comfort me if I’m having a bad week. Be my biggest fan but don’t be afraid to let me know when I’m wrong. Tell me jokes–even the stupid ones that make no sense. I love laughing with you.

Draw me closer to God. Remind me how much he means to me by constantly showing faith in him. Pray with me everyday and share with me your struggles and your accomplishments. Please never place bars across your heart. Always be honest with me even if you’re scared of the reaction. I will never judge you or put you down. I want to spend the rest of our lives lifting each other up and towards heavens pearly gates. Learn about my interests and things I enjoy doing, support me in my dreams. But don’t be afraid to tell me if I’m stumbling down the wrong path.

Dance with me in the kitchen with our children laughing at us. (because you know I can’t dance to save my life). Come behind me and kiss my neck when I’m making dinner and tell me you love me. Hold me tight when I’m upset. Hug me tight when the pain is too much for words. Always kiss me goodnight, even if we aren’t on good terms. Let’s never go to bed angry at each other. Surround us and our home in God’s love, joy and constant laughter.

Always take me to church whenever the doors are open. Love children, especially ours, and let them know everyday just how much. When the devil threatens our home and shakes the foundation of our marriage, promise never to leave and to never let the word “divorce” enter out vocabulary, even if it’s out of spite. Always be the spiritual leader of our home and believe what the Bible has to say from beginning to end. Be someone that, when anyone looks at you, they see Jesus Christ. Always speak with love and kindness and teach our children the wonders and consequences given in God’s word.

Find what you’re passionate about and chase it. Be my best friend, the one person I can always go to…my soulmate… and the man I’ve been waiting to meet my entire life.

With all the love I could ever give,

Ally