CAN GOD USE US? Q. My time is limited as I am very busy. But I need to write this letter. My husband and I have a problem. While the children are still small now, this does not affect them as much as it will later on. I had a nightmare o f a childhood. Both my step-father and mother drank heavily with all the fussing and fighting that go with it. My fa ther died when I was a little girl, and there was never any relation ship between my mother and me. I became rebellious and d id as I pleased simply because no one seemed to care. A t 16,1 became pregnant and mar ried soon afterwards. My family was glad to get rid o f me. I love my hus band and he lo v e s me. We had planned to be married after I gradu ated. This happened nine years ago and we are very ashamed o f it. We’re older now, have other children, and have learned a lot. But, most important o f all, we have both experienced the new birth. My husband was saved five years ago and I was saved shortly after he was. Our lives have changed completely. We love the Lord and want to serve Him. My husband felt called to enter Christian service a few months after he was born again. I hear people say God cannot use anyone who has not kept his life clean. Is this right? Can’t God use us? How can a lost person who knows nothing o f Bible principles keep his life clean? Both my husband and I have won souls. Are we wrong? How do we explain these things to our children? They will have to know some day because birth certificates reveal the truth. I’ve heard you say that people do not need to punish those who have sinned because sin carries its own punishment. I know this is true. We have experienced it. We want our children to love, trust, and respect us. I’m sure others have a problem similar to ours. Please help if you can. We would like to have the peace of God in this matter-. A . I appreciate your writing so much. This is a heart rendering and very tender kind o f letter. Of course, you’ve taken the first step in solving your problem by honestly admitting that you have one. Undoubtedly, you and your husband have talked this over fo r some time. You also have accepted Christ as your personal Saviour. You have been born again. Then you raise a ques tion which I think is very significant. You say, “ How can a person keep his life clean before he is saved?” May I say, God does not require you
f t U k v t q t t o v # t with Dr. Clyde M. Narramore Dr. Narramore, graduate of Columbia University, New York City, is a nationally known psychologist. He is the director of one of America’s largest psy chological clinics / The Christian Counseling Center in Rosemead, California.
COLLEGE OR MARRIAGE? Q. I am 22 years old and have fin ished two years o f college. For finan cial reasons I had to leave college and work. That is why I have not yet completed my education. Four years ago I met a ministerial student and became deeply interested in him. He is now 25 and a college graduate. He loves me deeply and wants to be mar ried this summer. That means I would not be able to finish college. I am torn between two desires— to finish college and to marry him. A. Thank you very much fo r your letter, and I do understand your situ ation. Not having parents with whom you can talk about this makes it a real problem. First o f all, you can’t blame your boy friend fo r wanting to get mar ried. He’s deeply in love with a lovely girl and o f course he would like to be married. But I can certainly un derstand your dilemna. You would very much like to be married also. But on the other hand, you’re only 22 and have not finished college yet. You realize that all your life as a pastor’s wife you will be coming into contact with people who have a great deal o f education — people with de grees and social ability. So you would like to have your college work out of the way. The decision you must make at this time is certainly a serious one and worthy of careful consideration. I think it depends a great deal upon what college graduation means to you. There are some girls who would feel that they didn’t care whether they went to school or not. But if col lege is quite important to you then you would be making a great mistake by marrying and not finishing col lege. I feel, however, that there is some leeway in this situation. Why don’t you consider going to college fo r one more year and then getting married ? By that time you would have only one year left. It’s quite possible that after you’re married you could finish that one year. Two years to finish after marriage sounds like too much to me for a girl who wants to be a profes sional person.
to keep your life clean before you are saved. What the Bible says about a person living for the Lord applies to those who already know Him. You need to realize that at the time you were saved, God did forgive you. Look up this verse and memorize it: “ I acknowleged my sin unto Thee and mine iniquities have I not hid. I said I will confess my transgres sions unto the Lord and Thou for- gavest the iniquity o f my sin” (Psa. 3 2 :5 ). The Bible teaches very plain ly that when we trust Christ as our personal Saviour, God blots out our sins and does not bring them up any more. We may remember them, but He does not. We’re forgiven com pletely, so no one can point a finger at you and say that you cannot work for the Lord. There are man-made ideas about this, but you can depend upon God’s Word. In the Bible we read about David and others who sinned more serious ly than you perhaps because they knew God, but God used them again. And He can use you. When God for gives, we’re clean. When He blots out our sins, we have a perfect past. True, each day we get our feet a little dirty as we walk along life’s road. But we can come to God, ask ing His forgiveness, and know that He will cleanse us. So you can enter Christian service if you feel that is where God is leading y ou . You asked, “ How do we tell our children ?” May I say, they may never bring it up. So if I were you I would not say anything about it. You have very strong feelings as a result o f this experience, o f course. But evi dently you are wonderful parents who love your children and they love you. So why bring this up when it may never even be a problem with your oldest child? I f he should ever ask you about it, just be honest. Let him know that you were unsaved at the time, but that God has forgiven you. It could serve as a warning to the children if it comes up. Because you’ve suffered as long as you’ve lived, you do not want them to go through the same feelings o f shame and remorse. This could even be a spiritual blessing to the child if the question should arise later on.
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