• December 22, 2014

With God at the center, you can have a healthy marriage

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Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014 11:45 pm

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: My marriage lasted less than a year, and afterward some friends said they hadn’t thought it would last that long. I’m not sure what happened. I’d like to get married again, but I’m afraid things would end up the same way. What should I do? — R.P.

DEAR R.P.: I’m glad you’re concerned about this, and I sincerely hope you won’t plunge thoughtlessly or quickly into another marriage.

The best advice I can give you is to commit your life and your future into God’s hands. Elsewhere in your letter, you acknowledge that God has never been important to you. But you are important to God, and He loves you and wants to help you make good decisions — not just about marriage, but every other part of your life. Perhaps God will use your failed marriage as a “wake-up call” to help you realize your need of Him. By a simple prayer of faith ask Christ to come into your life today — and He will.

Then commit your future into His hands. Begin by asking Him to help you understand what went wrong with your marriage, and then to help you remedy it. Were you interested only in yourself? Were you insensitive toward your wife and her needs, or was she insensitive to you? Your friends may be able to help you analyze this.

In addition, seek out a church where Christ is honored and you can meet others who will help you grow spiritually (and also socially). Most of all, ask Christ to help you become the kind of person He wants you to be.

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: Where is God? My Christian friend says He is somewhere up in heaven, but my yoga instructor says God dwells in every one of us, and we just need to look within to connect with The Divine (which is what she calls God). Who’s right? — Mrs. M.D.

DEAR MRS. M.D.: God is not limited to one place; He is what theologians call “omnipresent” — that is, He is everywhere.

At the same time, it’s a mistake to think that we only need to look within ourselves to find God. God is far greater than this, and we will miss the reality of His greatness and perfection and holiness if we try to find Him within our minds or souls. We’ll also be in danger of overlooking our own sin, and deceiving ourselves into thinking we don’t need God’s forgiveness and grace.

Where should we look for God? Not in a place, but in a person — Jesus Christ! He was God in human flesh who came down from heaven to cleanse us from our sins and bring us back to God. Sin separates us from God, but by His death and resurrection Jesus Christ provided the way for us to be forgiven and restored. I invite you to turn to Jesus and commit your life to Him. God loves you, and life’s greatest joy comes from knowing Him and walking with Him every day. Then pray for others who don’t know Him, that they may open their lives to His transforming love.

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: I’m not interested in God, and I can’t understand why anyone would want to be. I have my own life to live, and I don’t need God telling me what to do. Having God around would just be a bother. I had enough of God when I was a kid. — C.D.

DEAR C.D.: Are you not interested in God — or are you fighting against Him? Only you can answer this, of course, but I can’t help but feel that God actually is pursuing you. But why is God pursuing you? Is it to make you miserable, and bring back whatever bad things you might have experienced as a child? No, not at all. God loves you and wants to make you into the person He created you to be. Jesus didn’t come to make us miserable; He came to make our lives complete! And they will only be complete when we give up our shallow, self-centered ways and discover the life He has for us. But God also is pursuing you because He knows the road you’re presently on will only lead to heartache and bitterness and death. Don’t gamble with your soul, but face your need of God and have the courage to give your life to Christ.

Send your queries to “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-877-2GRAHAM, or go to www.billygraham.org.

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