We have written a number of articles talking about families and the education of children. We have focused on the teaching in the home and how that works. We have focused on teaching in schools and what that should be. We have done all of this with an eye on God’s Word and how we can come closer to that standard as we live our lives.
This week, my wife, Pam, and I are celebrating our 42nd wedding anniversary.
We have had some really good years and some not-so-good years.
This is typical of any marriage, because we live in a fallen world and we have all fallen short of God’s glory. However, much of what I have written in this column comes from what God has taught us over the years.
Like any young couple, we had ideas about what we wanted in a marriage.
Like most couples in that day, we wanted a large family. My wife came from a family of nine children where she was the middle child. I was the eldest of six children.
My wife’s family was Baptist and mine was Catholic, but we didn’t think that difference was a problem.
Our first serious setback came when Pam was involved in a freeway pile-up accident. She was the middle car and, before it was all done, she got hit by the car behind her and one of the cars in front of her.
She was seriously injured, and we were to find out later that our first born son had a crushed rib cage. He died immediately after his birth.
I wondered where God was in all of this while trying to comfort my wife at the same time.
But God proved himself faithful. He used this and some circumstances that followed to draw us both closer to Him. At the same time, He would bless us with four more children over the next seven years.
During that time, we began to learn the truth and value of God’s Word. We began to see that God had already provided us with the advice we needed for the raising of these children. We began to see that the Holy Spirit could teach us all the things that we needed to know for our lives.
The next obstacle that we encountered was learning how to communicate with one another. This was a tough process, because neither one of us had outstanding examples that taught us how to do this effectively.
This was complicated by the fact that both of Pam’s parents had died before we even met each other. But again, God was faithful to teach both of us over time what we needed to know. While we are still growing in this area, we do communicate well with each other now. As we have grown in our communication, our relationship has grown.
Today, my wife is my best friend.
When our third child, Annette, was four years old, she became seriously ill. When we took her into the doctor, he sent us immediately to the emergency room. She had viral spinal meningitis. At that time, there was no cure for it.
(Frank Clark has been a teacher in public, Catholic and Evangelical Christian schools since 1978. He is also a retired Christian school administrator. The doctor in the emergency room said that, if she even lived, it would take at least six months for her to recover.
When we discovered that our employer forgot to enroll us in the group medical plan, we panicked. I called one of the leaders at the large prayer group that we had been attending asking for help and prayers. They came over the next evening, anointed her with oil and prayed over her. She walked out of the hospital three days later!
Again, God was faithful.
We have been through job losses, one with an unexpected move.
We experienced an unjust lawsuit against us, several operations on my wife, tight money situations and car break downs.
However, in all of this we learned to trust in the Lord as our source.
We watched our children all become interested in music, worship teams, sports, scouts and many other things.
We watched all of them struggle to find out who they are and who Jesus is in their lives.
Then we watched as all four of them got married when it was God’s time in their lives.
When all these things happened, we tried to teach our children through them and we tried to give glory to God.
The result has been that today all four of our children are born again and walk with the Lord. All four are married to Christians. We have ten grandchildren with one on the way. Some of those who are old enough have given their lives to Jesus.
I have told you the story of God’s work in our lives.
I know others who also have a story of God’s work in their lives.
However, I know may others who have no such story to tell. They don’t know Jesus. Some know who He is, but have refused to acknowledge Him as Lord.
Where are you?
Can you tell a similar story?
Or do you need to let Jesus have control so that you can start your story?
(Frank Clark has been a teacher in public, Catholic and Evangelical Christian schools since 1978. He is also a retired Christian school administrator.)