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Learning To Love

Coming Together In Love and Consideration

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I have come to comprehend and appreciate the words that we find in 1 Peter 3:7-8: “Husbands, likewise dwell with them (your wife) with understanding, giving honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. Finally, all of you (family members) be of one mind, having compassion for one another.” What sound counsel from the Lord! After more than 32 years of marriage, I have systematically learned, inch by inch and incident by incident, the intricate art of living in unison and harmony with my wife, Letty. I can truly testify today that the gracious Lord of heaven strategically placed two awesome women in my life to assist in guiding me to the Kingdom! My mother, Ethel Cleo Craig Johnson, who poured herself and the knowledge of God into me for the first 22 years of my life, and then my beloved “Chiquis,” Letty, who has been a mainstay, life partner, and best friend for me throughout all these years of marriage.

I can vividly recall our first disagreement, or should I say “moment of intense fellowship.” It was September 16, and we had only been dating for about two months. We were standing in the plaza of her hometown, Montemorelos, Mexico. A colorful parade was streaming by down main street for Mexico’s Independence Day. As the flag came by, I made the huge blunder of uttering the following words. “You know, with all due respect, my flag (USA) is so much more attractive than yours!” She was immediately incensed. She turned on a dime and left me standing there alone in the crowd. I ran after her to smooth things over. I still don’t understand how she was walking while I was jogging, and she still reached her house three blocks away before I did. She slammed the door and I stood there on the outside for at least 30 minutes pleading for her to open the door. She never did for the rest of the day. Two weeks later she finally spoke to me again, I learned my lesson, and almost 32 years later we have grown toward God, toward each other, and as a family!

Peter urges husbands to “Dwell with your wives with understanding.” Translation: use your head even when your heart isn’t quite following suit. The truth of the matter is that God has given each man that special woman whom He has chosen to be a life partner and best friend for the journey. Remember the significant words found in Genesis 2:22: “Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.” There was no mistake. Once God joins those two hearts, those two lives, those two destinies He intervenes, ensures the success of the relationship as long as He is kept front and center! Now, we live in the midst of a self-centered society, where folk simply are bent on acquiring what is best for themselves and their interests. In the midst of that dysfunction, God calls His people to live above and beyond the fray of that confusion. The beauty is that He not only calls us to that, but He also facilitates that process by the insertion of His Holy Spirit. Times are uncertain, yet we have One major certainty: that God is good, He is generous, He is gracious, and His people can live within His presence knowing that the victory in Christ has been assured, and by His Spirit we shall overcome.

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