Friday, July 13, 2018

"Undistracted Devotion to Me"

1st Corinthians 7.32-34a, 35 NASU

“But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided…. This I say... to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.”

[I wrote this blog entry four years ago, in July 2014, just weeks before my precious wife, Adonica, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I have been single again for nearly three years, since this vile disease took her life. I could not have then imagined my life without her, and now all I have left are pleasant memories like the ones in this article. I miss her and sill occasionally shed bitter tears, but I have our two beautiful children who remind me every day of the woman I cherished for twenty years. Today is my new opportunity “to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.”

Periodically my wife leaves me! It’s a good thing. She and the children get an early start on a family vacation and I catch up after a few days. After years of happy marriage, I anticipate times of separation with mixed emotions. Besides the incredible intimacy we often enjoy and the fact that clean socks magically appear in my dresser drawer, there is the family routine I’d prefer not to alter. I like reading to the kids before bedtime, eating dinner as a family, having someone to talk to, touch, and hold. When she leaves, I get lonely.

On the positive side, I fill the empty hours with lesser priority, but still enjoyable activities like longer office hours, more television, time with buddies, a little more junk food, and a couple of videos I’ve been waiting to see. Hmmm. Sounds like a watered down version of my old single life.

There is little doubt that I spend many hours of my life being ‘concerned about how I may please my wife.’ Why wouldn’t I? The love of a good woman far outweighs the cost of the emotional investment a man must pay to have her. Nevertheless the Bible says a married man’s “interests are divided.” Divided from what? Let’s be honest. From “…undistracted devotion to the Lord” or “undistracted devotion” to himself?

Someday I may be single again. I hope not, but it could happen. “Till death do us part” may involve hers before mine! I cannot predict the future. My marital bliss (and bliss it is) is a temporary gift. Besides inspiring me to treat my wife with respect and appreciation during the fleeting moments we share together on earth, the notion of “till death do us part” reminds me I may face life again someday alone. I did not do single very well the first time and would do no better if it happened again.

As a long-term married guy, brief times of separation are good practice for me in learning to “secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

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