For example, Shirley and I have gone to gambling resorts when attending conventions or passing through towns where there are casinos. Never on these occasions have I put so much as a nickel in a slot machine, even though two or three rolls of coins were provided with hotel reservations. I refused to use them for the same reason the hotel manager left them in my room.
He knew that if he could open the door to incidental gambling, I might make a habit of it. That is why I wouldn't play his game. Likewise, Shirley and I are teetotalers when it comes to alcohol.
I know that will sound strange to many of my readers. Obviously, many people enjoy wine with their meals—and that is entirely their business. But we decided early in our marriage that if we took an absolutist position on alcohol, we would never have a problem with it. We also concluded that if our children never saw us inebriated, they would be less likely to drink excessively themselves.
I am not recommending that everyone follow our lead in this regard, but there would be fewer addicts and subsequent divorces if more people did. As a member of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, I listened to testimony by those who thought they could jazz up their sex lives with obscene materials.
They discovered that the stuff they were watching quickly began to seem tame and even boring. That led them to seek racier, more explicit depictions. And then they journeyed in time down the road toward harder and more offensive materials. For some, it became an obsession that filled their world with perversion and sickness.
All I can say is that often when the door is opened to explicit material, a monster can come charging out. The restrictions and commandments of Scriptures were designed to protect us from evil. Though their warnings are difficult to believe when we are young, it is tragically true that, "The wages of sin is death" Romans If we keep our lives clean and do not permit ourselves to toy with evil, the addictions which have ravaged humanity can never touch us.
It's a very old-fashioned idea. I still believe it makes sense. Making risky investments and then losing them does bad things to men, especially. Their agitation over financial reverses sometimes sublimates to anger within the family. Sudden wealth is almost as fraught with danger as failing miserably in business. The writer of Proverbs said, "Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread" Edward Fitzgerald said it another way: "One of the saddest pages kept by the recording angel is the record of souls that have been damned by success.
Those who profit handsomely sometimes become drunk with power and the lust for more! Wives and children may be forgotten in the process. Girls who marry in their teens are more than twice as likely to divorce as those who marry after 20 years of age. Unexpected babies can bring emotional pressure on the young, too. I suggest you finish growing up before taking on the responsibilities of marriage and parenthood.
These are the devastating marriage killers I've seen most Love Song - Charlie Dobson (2). But in truth, the list is virtually limitless. All that is needed to grow the most vigorous weeds is a small crack in your sidewalk. If you are going to beat the odds and maintain an intimate, long-term marriage, Frank Lander, you must take the task seriously. If you are not careful, the natural order of things will carry you away from one another, not bring you together.
Let me explain this phenomenon with an illustration excerpted from a book I am about to publish. It will be titled, Dr. I wrote. Imagine, if you will, two little rowboats crossing a choppy lake. A man sits in one, and a woman rides blissfully in the other. They have every intention of rowing side by side to the other shore, but then they begin drifting in opposite directions.
They can hardly hear each other above the sound of the wind. Soon the man finds himself at the northern end of the lake, and the woman bobs along toward the Love Song - Charlie Dobson (2).
Neither can recall how he or she drifted so far from the other or how they can reconnect. Unless their relationship is maintained and cultivated, it will grow distant and estranged. In a sense, this is why romantic little rowboats often drift toward opposite ends of the lake. The question to be raised is, how can husbands and wives remain in the same proximity for a lifetime? The solution is for them to row like crazy. Take time for romantic activities. Think not of yourself but of the other.
Avoid that which breeds conflict and resentment. And listen carefully to the needs of your partner. These are the keys to harmony and friendship. Let me say it again: it is difficult to keep two rowboats floating along together. I know because this illustration occurred to me when I was fishing one day with a buddy. He was in his rowboat and I was in mine. The wind blew us in opposite directions and we wound up yards apart.
How will you build a solid relationship that will last until death takes one of you across the Great Divide? There is only one answer: give your marriage and your children the priority they deserve.
Let nothing squeeze them out of first place. Then take these beloved family members to the Lord in prayer every day of your lives together. May the peace of Jesus be with you in the days ahead. James C. Dobson, Ph. President and Founder.
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