DayBreaks for 10/19/17 – The Marriage Simulator

DayBreaks for 10/19/17: The Marriage Simulator

Do you know how pilots and astronauts train? They have simulators that seek to create various scenarios that could come up during a flight/mission so that they know how to counter any bad things that might happen.

You may have played with a flight simulator game on your computer or even been fortunate enough to sit in a real flight simulator and “play”. For those of us who aren’t pilots and who will never be astronauts, it may be great fun, but for real pilots and astronauts, there are those who say that the simulators are perhaps the most stressful part of their job. Why? Because they are committed to their careers as pilots and astronauts. They know that if they crash and burn in a simulation that it could happen in real life. For me, if I crash in a simulation game, I simply shrug it off and start the game over. To me, it’s just mindless entertainment without consequences. Not so for real pilots. I can see why it would be stressful for them!

I read a great blog post today about those who think that co-habitation before marriage can prevent a divorce. On the surface, it seems to make some sense, doesn’t it? Isn’t it like being in a “marriage simulator”? After all, you’re living with the person just as if you were married!

Except it’s not just like you’re married. Not at all. Why? Because those who cohabit don’t have the commitment to a marriage – just like I don’t have a commitment to a flight simulator. Instead of trying to figure out what they must do or change in order to be able to stay, those who simply live together before marriage are much more likely to think, “What can I do to get out?” when things get tough, as they inevitably will.

The average cohabitation is 18 months. Sadly, during that time, many have children as if they were married. Those kids are more likely to have their parents break up before they are 5 years of age than those who are in a committed marriage relationship.

Marriage isn’t a simulation or game, and cohabitation isn’t likely to last without that commitment. And one more thing: couples who never go to church are twice as likely to divorce as those who attend regularly. You see, it’s about commitment, folks: commitment to your spouse and to your faith. And that is the glue that holds people together.

(Here’s the link to the blog which also has a list of 16 key questions that co-habitors versus marrieds are likely to answer differently.)

PRAYER: Lord, in our foolishness we have come to believe things that sound exciting and fun instead of true. Help us discern truth about our marriages and our relationships! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 1/26/16 – Hitting the Wall

DayBreaks for 1/26/16: Hitting the Wall

From our Sunday worship bulletin:

“It has happened in my life. Maybe it has happened in yours. I have had relationships in which I have had a struggle. I have had relationships that are hard. It does not matter if it was “me” or “them” in terms of the cause of the struggle or the “hardness”. I can say that because we are human, “struggle” can happen in a variety of ways. But if I am honest, it has mostly been me. And sometimes when struggle has come, by me or them, I have “hit a wall” and think I cannot go on. I want to walk away. Ugh.

“So, I need help. The reminder of “help” recently arrived when my good friend (name omitted for privacy) sent this to me from Mike Mason’s book, Practicing the Presence of People:

“Marathon runners speak of ‘hitting the wall.’ Often encountered around the twenty mile mark, the wall is a phase of excruciating pain during which the runner feels sorely tempted to give up. By pushing through the wall, runners learn to expand their pain threshold and so overcome all obstacles. They choose their pain in the form of running, but the effect of making hard choices in this discipline carries over into other areas. ‘Everything I know about life,’ observed one marathoner, ‘I learned at the wall.’ Sooner or later every human relationship comes to the wall. To choose the pain of involvement with others, rather than merely enduring it, is empowering. To choose the difficult people in one’s life is the beginning of love.”

“As I reflected on the quote, I realized that deep down, I really do want to love. That is the goal. In order to do that, I need to choose the pain of involvement with others and that is a good thing. Note that Mason says the pain of involvement, rather than enduring. Enduring people is like détente. It is like tolerance. It smells like indifference. On the other hand the pain of involvement, through the gospel, is empowering. Bringing the gospel to bear with people at the wall is where we learn to love.

“That is what Jesus did and does. He came to make relationship with us through excruciating pain. He came by choice. Would you take an inventory today and highlight relationships that you have that are a struggle? Then would you decide to go on a journey to the wall? As you do, ask yourself, ‘Do I want to love?’ and commit, by His power to do so.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, see what God will do. I believe He can and will do a great work because He went through the pain of involvement for the sake of relationship with you.

TODAY’S PRAYER: Help us to bear the pain of involvement, even with those we don’t like, we don’t think will respond with kindness, who might even seek our harm…because You went to the wall for relationship with us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, all rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 2/18/15 – God Has Called Your Name

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DayBreaks for 2/18/15: God Has Called Your Name   

Isaiah 43:1 (NIV) – But now, this is what the LORD says—he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

Harry Emerson Fosdick was one of the greatest American preachers of this century. He described his preaching as counseling on a large scale. Few people knew that as a young seminary student he reached the breaking point after working one summer in a New York Bowery mission. He went home and was overcome by deep depression. One day he stood in the bathroom with a straight razor to his throat. He thought about taking his own life. And then — and then he heard his father in the other room calling his name, “Harry! Harry!” It called him back. He never forgot it. It was like the voice of God calling him.

So I want to remind you today that in those times when you are in the wilderness, trying to find your way through, and when temptation comes and offers you the wrong answer, the wrong choice — the wrong use of power, the way to popularity, the wrong kind of partnership — then you remember that God has called your name: This is my beloved son, my beloved daughter, in whom I am well pleased.

And, you remember that because God has called your name He will see you through.

PRAYER: I am so relieved, Lord, that You know who I am and have called my name!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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