Monthly Archives: August 2018

Moses’ Relationship Lessons

How I met Zipporah is the stuff of movies.

I was a fugitive on the run, high-tailing it from Egypt! I did not have a choice. I could have stayed to face the executioner’s ax or I could take my chances with the robbers, raiders, serpents and scorpions. I chose the latter. Therefore, I ended up in the desert…hungry, thirsty and half delirious.

I had many thoughts running through my head. Where would my next meal and drink come from? Would anyone show me mercy and take me in? Had I even made the right decision to leave Egypt? I was beginning to reason that an executioner’s ax would have been much swifter than this slow death in the middle of nowhere.

Then I saw it. An oasis in the distance. And this time, it wasn’t a mirage. I saw seven ladies and a few men but I couldn’t make out what was happening. I approached slowly, trying gauge the situation and practicing what I would say. I needed the right words so they would invite me in to rest without asking too many questions.

As fate would have it, I did not need any of those words. Those men were not friends but foe’s. They were raiders. I realized this was my opportunity to make a great impression. I sprung into action and thankfully succeeded in driving them away. I became an instant hero! That act not only won me a stay at the oasis but won over Zipporah’s heart.

Zipporah and I were happy. I went from being a fugitive to having a family. She went from being alone to having a man who could not leave her alone. And then came the day God I met. As I grew closer to God and learned of his purpose for me, Zipporah and I grew further apart. It was not her fault. She did not change, I did.

She did not understand God. To her, we had a good life. We were safe, secure, and had our family close by. She had questions: What type of God would want to take that away from those He loved? What type of God would put those he claimed to love in that path of peril?

She did not know God the way I knew Him. Actually, she did not know God at all. She only knew about Him. So, whereas I was filled with faith and hope, she was filled with fear and doubt.

Rather than focus on introducing her to God, I focused on calming her fears. That was a mistake. No matter how many times her fears went away, they always returned. Still, she reluctantly agreed to go back to Egypt with me. She loved me too much and did not want our family to be separated. Her only condition was that she get to know God first before introducing Him to our children. I agreed! I was certain that everything would change as she got to know God like I did.

To honor our agreement, I did not circumcise our boys as God had instructed me to do. That was another mistake. I almost lost my life as a result.

That whole experience was an eye-opener. First, I learned that God instructs us to keep us from unforeseen danger. Second, I learned that Zipporah really was not sold on God at all. She circumcised the boys to save my life but she was furious that she had to do it all. She was mad at both God and me.

So, though we went to Egypt together, we did not leave Egypt together. She did not like Egypt, did not believe in God, did not believe in what I was doing, and thought I was putting our family in danger for no reason. Therefore, she left with the boys.

It wasn’t until God delivered the slaves out of Egypt under my leadership did she come to believe in me and in God. By that time, our marriage was broken and beyond the point of no return.

Relationship Lessons

  1. You are setting yourself up for failure if you expect you and/or your partner to remain the same (and not change)
  2. The key to maintaining your relationship is making sure you change together
  3. It is not enough that you love each other, it is vital that you share the same vision for your lives. Having two visions leads to division
  4. It is better to be honest and truthful at the start rather than go along with something you know you can’t handle. When you
  5. Make sure you fix major relationship issues before introducing any major life changes.

Meditation

Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? – Amos 3:3

 

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Sarah’s Relationship Lessons

I couldn’t believe it! I wondered what could have happened to my bold and courageous husband.

Just a few months before, Abram stood in front of me declaring that we had to leave our family and friends because God wanted us to go! When I asked ‘Go where’, he said he didn’t know. All he knew was that we had to do it. Though I had my doubts about whether he had really heard from God or had just experienced a rush of blood to the head, I told him I’d go. Why did I do it? I agreed because I loved him, respected him, and wanted to honor his leadership of our family.

Now I wondered if I had made the right decision. The man standing in front of me was no longer bold and assured but looked like a wet puppy dog. He was so afraid for his life that he asked me to lie that I was his sister. Nope…not his fiancé, not even his girlfriend, but his sister!

Though I remained calm on the outside, I was boiling inside! What happened to till death do us part? What happened to commitment? What happened to have faith in God? Fear had replaced faith; cowardice had replaced courage; selfishness had replaced selflessness.

I nearly lost my respect for him that day. And I would have but for then an inner voice spoke to me saying, just because he is making a mistake now does not mean the decision he made was a mistake. At that moment, I realized that the man making this decision was an ugly caricature of the man I knew and loved.

So, I made a conscious decision to respect him despite having zero respect for the decision he made. I chose not to evaluate our relationship solely on what he did wrong.

Over the years, the question I get asked the most is why I agreed to his request to say I was his sister. Here are the reasons: First, I thought that he would come to his senses sooner rather than later and declare to everyone that I was his wife. Second, I knew that God told him he would be a father. Therefore, I knew God had plans for us that were bigger that this temporary setback. I knew that God would not allow anyone else to take me away from him!

It was the second reason that really gave me courage. Though Abram had failed me, I knew God never goes back on his world. Indeed, if Abram was faithless, God would remain faithful!

Looking back, I am so grateful God is so reliable. Adam did not come to his senses but asked me to lie about being his sister a second time! If not for God’s protection, our marriage would have been over!

But let me be fair! Abram is not the only one that made mistakes in our marriage. After many years of waiting for the child that God promised, I became fearful that it would not happen. So, I started to second guess what I knew. I said to myself, ‘when God said Abram would have a child, perhaps God did not mean Abram would have a child with me’. Maybe He meant Abram would have a child with someone else. I so convinced myself of this lie out of fear that I decided to help God out. I asked Abram to sleep with my maidservant. How silly is that!!! Just as Abram’s decision almost cost us our marriage, my decision almost cost us our marriage. But long story short, God redeemed this situation as well and we ended up experiencing God’s promise come to pass in our lives

Relationship Lessons

  1. For your relationship to last, you have to look past what is wrong with you partner and instead focus on what is right
  2. It is not a matter of if you will have to forgive each other, it is a matter of when you will have to forgive each other
  3. Disappointment in relationships is inevitable, but discouragement is a choice
  4. Fear makes bad relationship decisions
  5. Focus on God’s promises when going through a rough patch
  6. Just because something is true today doesn’t mean it will be true tomorrow

Meditation

If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself – 2 Timothy 2:13

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