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(This is part of my ongoing exercise on listening prayer. At the end of Day 4, we write a love letter to God expressing our heart. This is mine.)
You are the reason
hope is alive in my bleakest hour.
You are the inner buoyancy
that sustains my soul
when my circumstances are an utter shipwreck.
You are the motivation
to pick myself up and start again
when I fail to live up to the Christian ideal.
When I thought I have lost my innocence
when I lost faith in humanity,
when there is no one I can trust,
You are the one who help me
seek beauty among ashes.
Because of You
I have a reason for hope
and an excuse for celebration.
Form everlasting to everlasting,
You are my spring of living water.
In you I find my rest.
My good shepherd,
my faithful friend,
my perfect redeemer,
my wise Lord,
my constant comfort,
my fullnes of joy,
my hope everlasting,
I love you.
I would like to pick up from where I left off in my last entry about my Dad’s need for companionship. Recently a friend tweeted, “there are too many similarities between love and companionship. the sooner I know the difference, the better”. It is easy to cross that line and not know it because the boundary that separates them is very often vague. There are too many overlapping emotions. Anything that involves the emotions is complicated and at risk of being misunderstood. It is said that love is verb more than it is a noun.
Dad seems to tie companionship with a soul-mate. He uses both terms interchangeably. I, on the other hand, feel they could be separate, serving different purpose and having different characteristics. The fact that Dad have had several companions showed that none of them were able to fulfill his need for emotional connection for long. To me, these companions were merely there for a season. They connected with him and fulfilled certain needs at different stages of his life. I do not know to what extent he confuses them with a soul-mate. My criteria for a soul-mate closely resembles that of a covenant friend. I see a companion as someone who shares the same interests, energy level and possibly even the same life goals as me. We desire each others company so long as these shared characteristics remain. Once these change, we start to drift apart. There is less expectation from a companion. A covenant friend however, is someone who looks out for you and sticks with you closer than a brother, accepts you like a family, understands you inside-out, shares the same values as you and is willing to take risk with you for your own sake. A soul-mate is a companion and covenant friend combined.
And then there is spouse. Ideally, our soul-mate eventually becomes our spouse. But for a soul-mate to qualify as successful marriage material, there should be an element of romance and mystery. There is always something fresh about this person that you want to spend your lifetime knowing. And of course, physical desire counts as well. Personally, I do not know if this is a realistic expectation. I personally have not come across such a combination. Judging by the divorce statistics, it seems to be so. If a soul-mate has all the ingredients for what makes a good spouse, then it appears that most of us did not end up marrying our soul-mate. Why? Was it because the feelings were only platonic? Is there even such a thing among opposite sex?
Where does love fit in? I think love is birthed when we make a conscious decision to commit to each other’s well-being and to remain committed in that relationship for life, whether married or not, although I cannot phantom why one would not. When things go downhill, love forgives, keeps us trying and motivates us to recommit ourself. The day we step away from this commitment is the day we step out of love. Love, when stripped bare in this context, looks like this. Who we marry becomes irrelevant. It only counts in our experience of the love journey we have decided to take. The problem is, many of us jump into the love wagon too hastily. I am a classic example of someone who did not understand what that commitment means. I hardly knew myself enough to know who I want to spend this love journey with for the rest of my life. And for that, the journey suffers. All parties suffer.
I have been following with much interest a recent discussion on Eugene Cho’s blog about materialism, mammon and simplicity. We live in an increasingly materialistic society where people hardly give much thought to what they spend on and how and why they spend as they do. Advertisers are constantly bombarding us with a thousand and one reasons why we should spend more money. It has reached a point where we’re sold to the idea that we’re entitled to bigger and better things. We simply don’t know how to live the alternative, simpler life. Competing with all these voices is another voice – a still, small voice – to scale down. Seriously honey, you don’t need another a pair shoes, the latest gadget, a bigger car, a fancier home and what have you. We know it is true. The problem is, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Some say it’s a fact of life in the 21st century, so might as well accept it and join the crowd. It’s going to take too much work trying to go against the grain of a consumerist culture.
First off, let me say, I am guilty as charged (hangs head). Just like most of you, I struggle with materialism every single day. I am a Christian living in a first world country in the 21st Century. I’d either be a saint living in a monastery in Timbuktu or a shameless liar if I were to say otherwise. In recent years, online shopping has made that struggle even harder for me. Before, when I didn’t own a credit card, life was a little simpler. Although I am glad to say I have had the self-discipline not to go beyond a certain limit and to clear my bills promptly every month, I do feel that the illusion of having more sending power is a tough one to resist. Let’s just say, when we have more options, life just gets a little more complicated?
The question was asked, How do we combat the pull toward materialism and how does simplicity look like in the 21st century? A lot of ideas and views were presented in Cho’s blog and some of them really got me thinking. I’d suggest you drop by his blog later to have a read if this topic interest you. Sometime back, I wrote a piece on my position regarding money, I call it my Millionaire post. It doesn’t address the question of combating materialism or adopting simplicity but it does help explain where I am coming from as a Christian. In this post, I want to spend time thinking about some of the comments Cho posted in his blog, add in my own voice if there are any and explore ways on how I can incorporate some of those ideas into my own life. This topic ties in nicely with another urgent subject, that of fighting global poverty (also part of Cho’s current effort). I think in order to help fight global poverty, we should, as individuals, first need to learn to be good stewards of the monies and resources God places in our hands. And one of the ways is to resist the pull towards materialism. Materialism is self-focused. We can’t be effective influencers, let alone fight global poverty, if we are slaves to a consumerist culture.
Since right believing eventually results in right action (right choices), the first step to take is to have the right understanding of our relationship with money. My money is not mine. I am only a steward of it. All of it belongs to God. In the natural, it’s a reward for the work I do. In the spiritual, it is a blessing from God. It is given to me for a purpose. They are (not in any particular order):
- to meet my earthly needs.
- for my pleasure (or at least those that money can buy).
- a test of my heart.
- to be a means by which I bless others.
Everyone understands the first point, so I won’t elaborate. I’ve written quite a bit on the third point in my Millionaire post, so I shall skip that too. The second point about God using money to grant us certain earthly pleasures might be contested by some. The Bible says “God richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Tim 6: 17-19). God is not a party spoiler. Like I wrote in my other post, God is not against us having money or pleasure as long as we’re not enslaved by them. I don’t think He will look down disapprovingly at me if once in a while I buy myself something nice. But if I start to feel unhappy or deprived if I can’t have everything I like in the latest fashion magazine, then we have a problem. Someone commented in Cho’s blog that God made it very clear in Jesus’s answer to the rich young ruler “go sell everything you have and give to poor and you will have treasure in heaven”. He said “something we try to make so grey and convenient, he (Jesus) makes black and white”. I have a problem with that interpretation. What Jesus said to the rich young ruler, I don’t think was meant to be black and white and interpreted literally. Which among us can say that we have sold everything and given all to the poor? If we have dependents, are we being responsible to them if we do that? The man wanted to know what he must do to inherit internal life. He was probably confident that eternal life is within his reach since he has kept most of the commandments. Jesus was simply trying to drive in the point that eternal life can’t be bought through keeping the law. By asking the ruler to give up everything he has He showed that if we’re depending on our “keeping the law” to earn a place in heaven, we will always come short because there will always be something that we could not “do”.
The goal here is not austerity but simplicity. Simplicity looks different for everyone, depending on the setting from which we come from. Like Shane Claiborne says, “if our neighbor has four cars, then we think we are living simply if we have two cars. If our neighbor has no water, then two cars is probably too many.”
The fourth point is where fighting global poverty and the likes comes in. God does not want us to keep everything He gives us for ourselves. Some might ask, why doesn’t God bless and provide directly to his people instead of going through us. Isn’t that risky? Sure, God can do that but that would deprive us of the opportunity to experience the joy of giving. It also deprives us of the opportunity to invest, to make a difference, in other people’s life. Hey, GOD LIKES TEAM WORK!! He doesn’t just want us to be witnesses of history but be participants as well. Just as simplicity looks different for different people, God’s call is also different for everyone. Like Steve Brown says, “If Jesus tells you to sell everything and follow Him, do it. If, on the other hand, He tells you to start a business, provide hundreds of jobs and support His work in the world, do it. How should we then live? With simplicity, compassion and a realization that our hearts are where our treasure is. For some, I suppose, that means driving a Mercedes instead of a Maserati, owning one large house instead of three and giving the “overflow” to Jesus. For others, it might mean taking the bus instead of driving a Honda and giving the overflow to the poor. And for still others, it means being poor for Jesus’ sake”. The bottom line is, start where we are, right now! Because God sure doesn’t despise small beginnings.
So how do I define simplicity for myself? I define it as contentment. At every point in my life, whether I am living in abundance or lack, I want to know that n Christ, I have more than enough. I want to be able to lower the ceiling on what is enough for myself and my family.
And how will I resist materialism? First, by adjusting my understanding of money, so that it is in line with God’s. Secondly, by prayer; by bringing all my needs and desires to Him. It has been my practice ever since I went into a financial rut last year, to ask God to help me reach a point where I have lesser and lesser material needs and to ask him to align my desires with His. Third, through discipline. The best way not to become attached to money and things is to give them away, as much as we can. Tithing would be a good start. Then, determine how much is “enough” for ourself and our dependents, then give and give and give some more. Nancy Ortberg says that the lower the ceiling is on “enough”, the freeier and happier we will be. I suspect she is right.
Ultimately, like what Clairborne says, “all giving should be rooted in love for God and his people (our neighbors). The redistribution of resources is only meaningful inasmuch it’s rooted in love”. We can give without loving but we can’t love without giving. We can’t possibly give to every needy person in the world but we can give to those God has brought near, even our own family. Let love be the guiding force and we should not go wrong.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. (1 Timothy 6: 17-19)
Last night I received a call from my mother. We talked briefly before I had to hang-up. The kids were waiting for me to take my turn at Giza, a pyramid building board game. I composed myself and tried to hold back tears that were beginning to rim my eyes. There’d be too much to explain to a 5 and 11 year old.
A few days ago, I discovered some papers outlining an instalment repayment plan for stock market contra losses. My husband had chalked up a significant amount of debt – again. The implications are vast and varied. I could rant on and on about it but what good will it do? That is not the purpose of this post.
I want to write instead about the treasure God has hidden for me in the rubble of our financial woes. Because it is a rare thing; to be able to find treasure among ashes. It is the glory of God to conceal a gift, it is the glory of man to search it out.
My mother has always encouraged me to stay strong in the Lord and to trust Him to make a way for us. She has had her share of battles in her own journey. Time will tell how much her faithfulness and perseverance in the Lord has impacted the lives of her children. It would be her greatest contribution to her family, besides introducing us to the Lord. I know her words were not out of ignorance or naiveness but time tested faith. She has been consistently supporting me in prayer and with practical help throughout my troubled marriage.
Last night she offered me her savings. I was immediately humbled. You have to know that my mother has been a housewife her entire life. We were not born in wealth…. but we get by. Both my parents are now retired. The savings she offered me is a gift of love from my eldest brother. She wants me to know that if I’m overwhelmed with payments for my children’s endowment and life policies, which really is a major burden, she wants to relief me of it (ie. I can consider terminating some of them) by financing part of my children’s education through her own savings and with my brother’s help. She hopes to free me up financially to focus on the daily and immediate necessacities. Although the amount seem insignificant considering how much a local university or overseas degree would costs in 10 years time, the meaning behind that gesture is monumental. She also assured me that the rest of the family are ready to provide assistance and support if a need arises. They have discussed among themselves (particularly my eldest brother and my Dad) about a contingency plan if my circumstances should deteriorate.
I am deeply moved by my family’s love and sense of unity. My in-laws have also been very supportive. To have the love and support of our family is one of the greatest treasures we can ever have.
Those were tears of gratitude. One day my children will fully realize, as I am beginning to now, just how blessed we are.
I find this song hauntingly close to heart. For a long time I didn’t know I had shut the door to my heart. I toughen myself to the point that I was all self-sufficient. I was proud, proud of myself for being “strong”. I thought part of being strong is not be able to hurt again. Not until recent years did I realize I have been living a crippled life, neither having the ability to love without fear nor knowing how to receive love. I guess when we are dead, we do not know it. It took years for God to peel away layers of self-defense, skepticism and cynicism. Through his love I slowly begin to live. There even came a point where I was subconciously looking for people to love, to pour my heart, to share my life with.
I wish I could say that all is well from then on…. but it’s not. There have been times my heart was trampled on and treated with disregard. The sting of rejection and shame of insignificance intensifies with each careless word, forgotten promises and general attitude of indifference. Each time, I wanted to withdraw and shut myself in. Each time the layers form. It’s an experience all of us can identify with. Love, acceptance, friendship will not be coerced. When we extend our heart and share our life, there is never a guarantee, except of God, that it will not be be spurned. Even Jesus knows rejection. Since the beginning of time God’s love has been trampled on and spat upon by his own creation. When Jesus traded his crown of glory for a crown of thorns, do you think he was received with gratitude? But it does not stop him from coming anyway. Even if there is only one soul in the entire human race who will accept his love, he considers it worth it. I think God is insane!
For all of you whose heart has been broken, here’s a song for you. But I hope, for you as much as for me, we will not let any person or past experience cause our heart to harden. It does not mean hanging on to an abusive relationship. It means not allowing it to cripple us.
Because Of You by Kelly Clarkson
I will not make
The same mistakes that you did
I will not let myself
Cause my heart so much misery
I will not break
The way you did, you fell so hard
I’ve learned the hard way
To never let it get that far
Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt
Because of youI find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you I am afraid
I lose my way
And it’s not too long before you point it out
I cannot cry
Because I know that’s weakness in your eyes
I’m forced to fake
A smile, a laugh, every day of my life
My heart can’t possibly break
When it wasn’t even whole to start with
I watched you die
I heard you cry every night in your sleep
I was so young
You should have known better than to lean on me
You never thought of anyone else
You just saw your pain
And now I cry in the middle of the night
For the same damn thing
Because of you
Because of you
Because of you I am afraid
Because of you I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt
Because of you I try my hardest just to forget everything
Because of youI don’t know how to let anyone else in
Because of youI’m ashamed of my life because it’s empty
Because of you I am afraid
Because of you
“There is something divine in deep friendship between men (as in deep friendship between women) that the other sex cannot fully understand or know, a love that can be passionate but not sexual, similar to brotherly or fatherly bond but different. It’s a unique relationship, something sacred. The relationship between David and Jonathan in the Bible is an articulate example of this type of brother-love friendship.” – The Wicker Chronicles
The story of David and Jonathan – I have wanted to write about it for the longest time because I think it’s speaks of our own longing for intimate friendship. It was a few years ago when I first heard my pastor preached on it. I marveled at the friendship between them. Sacred – is indeed an accurate word. Pastor showed us how this story of intimate friendship reveals Jesus as our covenant friend. It was fascinating to say the least. I was both captivated and intrigued.
I am moved by Jonathan’s unfailing devotion and loyalty to David. He faced a loyalty dilemma with his father, who grew insanely jealous of his son’s friendship with David. Insecure and guilt-ridden over past misdeeds, Saul feared that young David would take away his crown. Although Jonathan tried to stay loyal to both father and friend, his father made it impossible. Soon Jonathan would realize that Saul would kill David if he caught him. Once, in a blind rage, Saul hurled a spear at his own son for standing up for David. As Saul’s son, he stood next in line for the throne. By siding with David, he would ultimately harm himself. Even so, at the risk of his own neck, Jonathan chose to help David escape. He told David he would happily follow his friend as his number-two man. Tragically, the two friends never got the chance to rule together. In a battle against the Philistines, Jonathan fought at his father’s side and was killed. David, mourning his dearest friend, sang a poignant song in tribute. Their loyalty and love make for one of the most beautiful stories of friendship ever told.
“…How the mighty have fallen in battle!
Jonathan lies slain on your heights
I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother
You were very dear to me
Your love for me was wonderful
More wonderful than that of women…”
It has never crossed my mind to question the purity of their friendship. When I first heard or read those accusations, I was both surprised and disturbed. It felt almost like an Adam and Eve moment, when the serpent planted a doubt in them regarding God’s goodness. Isn’t it possible that God is withholding something good from you? Isn’t it possible that what David and Jonathan shared was more than just friendship? Could theirs have been a homosexual relationship? Granted, it wasn’t like any other kind of friendship that we encounter these days. It was something much deeper. But that does not mean it has to be something sexual. So the question now is, are such friendships possible without turning sexual? I believe it is. Although David and Jonathan had a very special bond (they are covenant friends mind you), there is nothing in the Bible that suggests they could be sexually involved with each other. I suspect those who believe otherwise could have missed the context of the story and lack an understanding of covenant relationships. And for the same reason – and also because I do not wish to turn this into some sort of Bible study – I won’t quote verses out of its context here. But you may read the full story for yourself in the first and second book of Samuel in the Bible, particularly 1 Samuel 18-20 and 2 Samuel 1. Perhaps much of it depends on how we interpret inward or outward show of affection in close friendship between the same sexes. Wicker rightly observes,
“Quickly, close friendships between men become suspect, as if men are incapable of supporting friendships with any emotional depth, intimacy or honesty without the relationship becoming sexual. The story of David and Jonathan in the Bible becomes distorted through this lens. Any male closeness is labeled as a sign of homosexuality by the traditional culture and the gay movement. One side is overeager to keep men from “becoming” gay by stopping any “inappropriate” inward or outward show of emotion or affection, and the other is overeager to prove that gay men are everywhere, under every rock and bush. Men who are biologically straight, yet are naturally inclined toward close friendships with other men, are forced to choose: enforce rigid, quasi-Victorian/Puritanical boundaries of emotional distance, or admit to themselves that they are gay or bisexual *only* because they crave the company of other men. This is a great disservice to the entire society. All men should feel free, gay or straight, to enter into friendships with other men that are not pre-judged and pre-determined by hypersexualized, distorted gender stereotypes.”
I believe the David and Jonathan friendship is the sort of friendship God wishes for all of us. Unfortunately some have distorted it – either by pushing the boundaries of such friendship beyond its healthy limits or by pre-judging those who are capable of holding them, by their own perverted thoughts. An important factor that has led to this distortion, I believe, is that we are often confused about our feelings and desires – why we feel a certain way and what they reveal about us? I do not know if many of us ask ourselves these questions or do we just presume someone must be gay or lesbian if they have such feelings. I find the work of John Eldredge particularly helpful in turning our feelings and desires into pathways of understanding our heart. Of course there could be a myriad of other reasons why we could be vulnerable to same-sex attraction. But I have observed and I find true to my own experience that we do not have to act on our feelings and desires if we are not sure what they mean or know that they are contrary to God’s ways. We can’t control how we feel but we can choose not to act on it. It’s not going to be easy but I know it is a wiser choice.
“I want someone to pluck me off the side of the road and love me with total abandon. I’m not talking about God here, not something ephemeral, but a woman, a flesh and blood woman. A woman who’ll cast out my self doubt and drive it into the lake to be drowned. A woman who thinks I’m worth everything.
Maybe I’m being selfish or overly romantic. Maybe I’m expecting too much. Maybe I have to change things before that happens.
But human love, with all its heat and tumult, with all its disappointments and triumph, is still the closet thing we have to heaven on earth.” – Legion by Waiter Rant
Waiter has written an extraordinary piece with this. Lots of food for thought here. Profound and honest. Very different from his usual fare I must say. It is unconventional for him to touch on something so personal and the way he does it is simply brilliant. I shall not spoil it by revealing too much here. Hope you’ll find time to read it for yourself. And while you’re there, do check out the string of comments it prompted. Quite amusing really……
Once upon a time there lived a sea lion who had lost the sea. He lived in a country known as the barren lands. High on a plateau, far from any coast, it was a place so dry and dusty that it could only be called a desert. A kind of course grass grew in patches here and there, and a few trees were scattered across the horizon. But mostly, it was dust. And sometimes wind, which together make one very thirsty. Of Course, it must seem strange to you that such a beautiful creature should wind up in a desert at all. He was, mind you, a sea lion. But things like this do happen. How the sea lion came to the barren lands, no one could remember. It all seemed so long ago. So long, in fact, it appeared as though he had always been there. Not that he belonged in such an arid place. How could that be? He was, after all, a sea lion. But as you know, once you have lived in a certain spot, no matter how odd, you come to think of it as home.
I just finished The Journey of Desire by John Eldredge, the second book in the Sacred Romance series. As with his previous work, this one digs deep into my soul. This endeavor to define and explain the appetite of the human soul is remarkable. Eldredge describes elements of ourselves we cannot even begin to utter. It threatens the boundary we set up to protect ourselves against the disappointment and disillusionment we experience as we try to live the life we desire. It challenges us to dare to dream again and teaches us to examine our heart and to discern if there is still hunger and thirst for our heart’s desire. If you’ve lost your desire somewhere on the journey, this book will reawaken the hunger and reinstill hope in you. Eldredge teaches us not only to be honest about who we are and what we really want but also why we want it. And if we care enough to listen to our heart, God will reveal to us the whys of our desires. That will be sort of like a death and resurrection experience in itself.
Very rarely do I come across a book that speaks directly to me as much as this one and The Sacred Romance does. I am challenged, amused, relieved, and most of all hopeful by the time I was done with it.
I especially love the way he illustrate our condition through the story of the sea lion. That in itself is a gem. And there was that chapter about beauty and how crucial it is for us not to loose sight of it, if we are to make it home with our heart intact. “There are only two things that pierce the human heart, beauty and affliction. Because this is so true, we must have a measure of beauty in our lives proportionate (if not far more) to our affliction…..It comforts and soothes, stirs, moves and inspires us.” Suddenly I feel wonderfully fortunate to know a God who not only believes in beauty but who so lavishly surrounds us with lots of it. Quite in contrast to some Eastern mystics who focus on the suffering aspect of life and the desire to escape it, we are called to look at a world overflowing with beauty and to allow it to lead our heart to the source of it.
If you’ve been depressed, disillusioned, disappointed and life for you seems like an endless cycle of duties and responsibilities and you suspect the wall around you might be hardening a little everyday, killing your desires along with your dreams, then this book will rock your little world and leaves you permanently refocused. It is a wealth of real life knowledge for those who dare open it’s cover and begin the adventure. Together with its predecessor, The Sacred Romance, it is one of the most passionate, insightful and honest writing about life’s journey by a fellow traveller I have read to date.
Three weeks after the wind ceased to blow, the sea lion had a dream. Now, as I told you before, there were other nights in which he had dreamed of the sea. But those were long ago and nearly forgotten. Even still, the ocean that filled his dreams this night was so beautiful and clear, so vast and deep, it was as if he were seeing it for the very first time. The sunlight glittered on its surface, and as he dived, the waters all around him shone like an emerald. If he swam quite deep, it turned to jade, cool and dark and mysterious. But he was never frightened, not at all. For I must tell you that in his dreams of the sea, he had never before found himself in the company of other sea lions. This night there were many, round about him, diving and turning, spinning and twirling. They were playing. Oh, how he hated to wake from that wonderful dream. The tears running down his face were the first wet thing he had felt in three weeks. But he did not pause even to wipe them away, he did not pause, in fact, for anything at all. He set his face to the east, and he began to walk as best a sea lion can.
“Where are you going?” asked the tortoise.
” I am going to find the sea.”
Recently I bought my daughter a set of Sylvanian Families for her 4th birthday. These little miniature families never fail to capture my heart. They and their cosy cottage homes, apron clad moms busying themselves in the kitchen while her little ones plays in the yard. If you’ve seen them displayed in the stores, you’ll know what I mean. They have their own school, hospital, bakery and almost everything imaginable. Together, they form a community of their own. Very much separated from the real world. In our world where dysfunctional families are the norm and neighbors are strangers, these little creatures give us a glimpse, in their own way, of the ideal family and community life that we all yearn for. Where mommys are mommys, daddys are daddys, children are children and neighbors are friends. They show us that the challenges of living together need not be something to be feared or avoided but rather provide the opportunity for us to build a home not of bricks & mortar but of love and commitment. It is in overcoming the daily odds together that makes a family a family.
It is odd that I should be speaking on the subject of family when my own is dysfunctional, at least that is what I think. Knowing my relationship with my husband will make a believer out of you. A believer in the the sanctity of divorce. I am quite surprised therefore, that we have not travelled that road. I wonder what might become of us and the children if we did. Will it be for the better? or is this the better? My sister-in-law who survived her husband’s affair thought ours is a problem of communication. Surely not something beyond salvation or at least as damaging as an affair. While she might be right, I couldn’t help wonder if an affair is more of a threat than two individuals who bring out the worst in each other. See, that is our problem. We make devils out of one another. Definately not conducive for a Sylvaninan-type family don’t ya think?