What matters at fifty? (I Kissed Dating Goodbye) Excerpt by Joshua Harris

An attitude of contentment and hopefulness. An attitude of contentment and hopefulness is one that recognizes God’s sovereignty in every situation. It is faith-birthed optimism that looks eignty in every situation. It is faith-birthed optimism that looks to God–an attitude more aware of and grateful for the evidence of God’s grace than of problems needing correction.

Here are a few important questions to ask about the person you’re observing as well as about yourself: Does this person have complaint or praise on his or her lips? Does he or she nitpick at the faults of others or consistently encourage? Does this person view his or her circumstances with a spirit of hopelessness, or does he or she remain confident of God’s faithfulness?

Early in his marriage, the Reverend E. V. Hill and his wife, Jane, faced financial difficulty. He had foolishly invested in a service station, and the business had failed. Money was very tight. Dr. Dobson, who heard Revered Hill share their story at Jane’s funeral, recounts it this way:

“Shortly after the fiasco with the service station, E.V. came home one night and found the house dark. When he opened the door, he saw that Jane had prepared a candlelight dinner for two. “What meaneth thou this?” he said with characteristic humor. “Well,” said Jane, “we’re going to eat by candlelight tonight.” E.V. thoughts that was a great idea and went into the bathroom to wash his hands. He tried unsuccessfully to turn on the light. Then he felt his way into the bedroom and flipped another switch. Darkness prevailed The young pastor went back to the dining room and asked Jane why the electricity was off. She began to cry.

“You work so hard, and we’re trying,” said Jane, “but it’s pretty rough. I didn’t have quite enough money to pay the light bill. I didn’t want you to know about it, so I thought we would just eat by candlelight.” Dr. Hill described his wife’s words with intense emotions: “She could have said, ‘I’ve never been in this situation before. I was reared in the home of Dr. Caruthers, and we never had our lights cut off.’ She could have broken my spirit; she could have ruined me; she could have demoralized me. But instead she said, ‘Somehow or another we’ll get these lights on. But let’s eat tonight by candlelight.”

Tear came to my eyes every time I read this story. Mrs. Hill’s optimism and readiness to walk through tough times with her husband exemplify the two qualities I desire in my own life and pray for most in a wife. I’m looking for someone who will light candles, not just curse the darkness.”  (198-199)

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