Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Some of them bring great joy and others great trepidation. Some just leave you saying, “Really?” In all of my years, I have never served on a jury or testified in court. I did go to court once as an arresting officer when I served on the Campus Police Force at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, but I didn’t have to testify. Years after graduation, I received a subpoena to testify in a civil case in Seattle, Washington because of an arrest I made in New Orleans. I was looking forward to an all-expense paid trip to a part of the country which I had never seen, but the case settled before I had to go. Bummer!
Sadly, I find that, as a pastor, the cases I have become involved with are devastating to families and especially hurtful to the children. And I wonder what the outcome would have been had the parents allowed me to help them before it got to that point. The truth is that I tell every couple that I marry – in fact, I make them promise – that I expect them to come to me for counseling before they even speak the word “divorce.” I am excited to say that only a few couples which I have married have ever divorced, and sadly, those couples never contacted me for help. Would it have made a difference? I don’t know, but I do know that when a husband and a wife will allow God to work in their relationship, healing is not only possible – it is probable! I’ve seen it too many times, and it isn’t because I have great skill as a counselor. I have worked hard and studied long to know the principles of counseling, but it is always the Wonderful Counselor who brings healing.
So as I watch family after family being ripped apart by the culture of sin that grips our world, my heart breaks, and I wonder, “What if…?” Could I have made a difference? If only they had sought God, I know that He could! That is why it is imperative that Christians recognize and acknowledge daily the sanctity of marriage. That is why we must never take for granted that the couples we attend church with are happy and living in a healthy relationship. The old saying is true: you never know what goes on behind closed doors. As I just shared with one hurting husband and father, people put on a happy face at church, and without spiritual discernment, we cannot begin to understand the hurt people are going through. So pray, people! PRAY! Pray for every Christian married couple you know. Pray that God will make their relationship strong and allow it to shine as a testimony to a lost world. And remember this: what God has joined together, let no man put asunder!