No. 207



When I was growing up there was a word that we used to hear quite often in relation to children that we dont hear much these days. The word Im referring to is illegitimate and means one born out of wedlock. In relation to this, the other day I heard an alarming statistic that should concern every responsible American citizen. The marriage rate in our country is down to 43%, the lowest in the history of our nation. This means that more people are waiting till later in life to marry or in millions of cases couples living together out of wedlock.

While Im not a preacher and certainly dont ever intend to judge someone else, I will say that it is not Gods plan for couples to live together outside of marriage. In the book of Genesis we find these words in Chapter 2: Verse 24 For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. By definition, when a child is born out of wedlock, he or she is an illegitimate child. I realize this is a very sensitive subject and in some quarters Im going to be criticized but I would just like to ask unmarried couples who are living together to think about the best interests of the children and what it will mean to them for their rest of their lives. We never really win at anything until we are willing to make a commitment.

The truth is, we may escape the judgement of man for a while but we can never escape judgement when we stand before a Holy and Righteous God. For those of us who are happily married or working on it, here is something I have found worthwhile that was tucked away in my files. Its titled, Some Nevers Of Marriage. Quoting now from this article: The very nearest approach to domestic happiness on earth is the cultivation on both sides of absolute unselfishness. Let each one strive to yield most often to the wishes of the other. Let self-denial be the daily aim and practice of each. Neglect the whole world rather than each other.

At this point there were 14 Nevers and here they are: 1-Never both be angry at once. 2-Never talk at one another, in company or alone. 3-Never speak loudly to one another unless the house is on fire. 4-Never find fault unless it is perfectly certain that a fault has been committed, and then always speak lovingly. 5-Never taunt with a past mistake. 6-Never allow a request to be repeated. 7-Never make a remark at the expense of each other-it is meanness. 8-Never part for a day without loving words to think about during the absence. 9-Never meet without a loving welcome.

10-Never let the sun go down on any anger or grievance. 11-Never let any fault you have committed go by until you have frankly confessed it, and in sincere repentance, asked forgiveness. 12-Never forget the happy hours of early love. 13-Never sigh over what might have been but just make the best of what is. 14-Never forget that marriage is ordained of God, and that His blessing alone can make it what it should be.

In conclusion, as I said earlier, if you are a happily married person or working on it, I hope you have picked up an idea or two from this list of 14 nevers that you can use. As Benjamin Franklin once said, Marriage is the most natural state of man, and..the state in which you will find solid happiness. I have found that my own marriage to a wonderful woman is something I have to work at day by day and its definitely getting better. A great wife is to be treasured. Men, you have heard that old saying, A wife is someone who sits up with us when we are sick and puts up with us when we are not. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)