Editor’s Note: We appreciate the large number of you who have written telling us how much you appreciate this column, and how many of you feel this adds a “warm, human, personal” touch to articles that sometimes seem to be scientific and intellectual in approach to the issues of today. Thanks for encouraging my wife. — John Clayton
John and I just celebrated our third anniversary. Our first two anniversaries we took turns at having surgeries, so being together and well was a blessing. We are grateful to God for all he has done in our lives and marriage so far. We have had big and little adjustments to make to our new life together. We are learning every day about each other and about ourselves. As a follower of Jesus, I need to remind myself to concentrate on changing me instead of focusing on the minor things I would like John to change. I need to remember I am not the one to cause change in John.
As Christians, it is God’s Spirit that works in us to change us from the inside out. Obedience to God’s Word and prayer is necessary for that to happen. One scripture I think is especially hard for wives to obey and trust is 1 Peter 3:1– 6 which says we can win our husbands over (this is not limited to just bringing him to Christ) without a word being spoken by our behavior if we are reflecting a quiet and gentle spirit, living without fear, and trusting God. We cannot have a quiet and gentle spirit if we are worried and upset by many things. And we cannot be submissive to our husbands (Ephesians 5:22) if we are not in submission to God first. We have to get our hearts, minds, and actions right with God in order to influence our husbands, families, the church, and the world. It starts with me. I have to remove the “plank” in me before I look for the “speck” in someone else (Matthew 7:3 – 5).
I am especially convicted of this after being blessed to attend the Spiritual Growth Workshop in Orlando, Florida, at the end of June where the Does God Exist? ministry had a booth and John was asked to speak and conduct question/answer sessions. The emphasis on personal spiritual growth and not being ashamed to follow Jesus was life-changing. I pray that God will bless John and me with many more years together, and that I can be a blessing to him and my family. I pray that I can know and fulfill the purposes God has for me.
— Cynthia Clayton