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Type of woman I wanted
One of the primary qualities I sought in my future wife was an unquenchable desire for Him. Psalm 42:1 says: "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God."
I knew that no matter where my wife and I might go in life, we would have to have our priorities straight. God first.
One of my favorite authors is Ann Kiemel Anderson. In the late 70's in early 80's, I couldn't read enough of her books. A young single woman, she simply bloomed where God planted her - reaching out to her neighbors, the lonely, the forgotten and ministered the love of Christ. I was drawn to her candid and unique Christian life.
In her book entitled "Yes!", Ann explained that she always tried to envision her life in her open hands before God - allowing Him to put what he wanted in her life, and allowing Him to take what he wanted out of her life.
I wanted a woman as my wife who had the same conviction.
My devotional from Our Daily Bread this morning echoes that theme: "Knowing God gives meaning to life, and obeying God gives purpose to life."
Since I accepted Christ at the age of 7, I started to get to know God. Now, in the area of picking the right woman to be my wife, I needed to obey God. In many ways, choosing to respond to the offer of forgiveness was the easy part.
The Genesis of Adam's Christian walk
My father, Mike, had been raised in the Catholic church. While he attended church religiously into college and beyond, he didn't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And my mother, Harriet, was raised in a mainline church which seemed fairly dry and irrelevant. Whether she was a confirmed agnostic or atheist, the idea that the Bible could speak to their need for forgiveness, to their marriage, and to their family was a novel concept.
I remember attending my first-grade Sunday School class at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Our teacher was a character to be sure. Robert wore bell-bottomed jeans, had a full mustache and often wore sandals. He didn't look like some of the upper-crust Connecticut-types who filled the narthex between services, wearing their polo shirts, kaki pants and penny loafers.
The Ten Commandments were posted on our classroom wall. And I remember making a an arts and craft project during class - a tree filled with the various fruit of the Spirit - patience, goodness, and self-control - mentioned in Galatians 5.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Daniel in the lion's den. Noah and the ark. I felt myself becoming drawn to these Biblical characters who modeled courage, often swimming against the tide of popular opinion.
But I think I was most impressed by my Sunday School teacher himself. I can see him praying. I would keep one eye open, watching him intently, trying to figure him out. He talked as though he were talking to one of us 6-year-old kids. It appeared to be a real conversation. But, uh, well, uh -- he was talking to God, the creator of the universe. I was amazed.
On the one hand, I cynically wondered how God had time to listen to my Sunday School teacher when there were wars going on somewhere and people were starving. It was more than my little pea-brain could contain.
Deep down though, I knew that if God was real, I wanted to talk to Him like Robert talked to Him. And one fine day, he showed me how I could tell God that I was sorry for my sins and ask Him to come into my heart.
About the same time, both of my parents made professions of faith, ultimately putting them on track, years later, to lead a national Christian ministry called "Marriage Savers."
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