Half of all marriages end in divorce – were we just lucky?
We are Rod and Sue Gable and this is our story
Both of us were raised in what most Americans would call a Christian home. We were taken to Sunday School and church regularly, and we had both finished the Catechism classes offered by our religious denomination. We met in 1975, and began a normal dating relationship. This included breaking up for a short time in order to date others, but consummated with us getting married in 1978.
Shortly after our wedding day, we entered the normal American rat race for material possessions. After nine months of marriage we bought the American dream home. Unfortunately, with the American dream home came the American dream home monthly payment. This monthly payment, coupled with our continued desire for material possessions, led to us working five jobs between the two of us. Looking back now, we can see that divorce was on the horizon if something didn’t change-and it did. Our lifestyle became cramped when our first child was born. Susan had to go back to work for us to keep our house and our “toys”. I remember well meeting the couple that was about to watch our little girl. The baby-sitter, Debbie, and her husband, Dan, stood out in a peculiar way: no smoking, no drinking and no television. They kept a neat house, they were polite, and they appeared to be people we could trust with our daughter. I remember leaving their home and telling Susan, “I’d rather have someone overly religious watching our child than a soap opera addict that smoked and swore.”
As time passed, Susan noticed Debbie reading and studying her Bible. Debbie began asking Susan questions and one day she opened her Bible and showed her John, chapter 3, verse 3: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”. We had both been fairly religious, but we did not understand the need to be “born again.” (Note: “born again” is a biblical concept referring to the forgiveness of sins by God and the rescue of the person from the power and penalty of that sin. This is God’s requirement for everlasting life.) In the meantime, our little girl was starting to repeat words and I became very conscious on my habit of cursing. I made several resolutions to stop, but I could not. This began to really bother me. Debbie finally invited us to attend a special service at the Lehigh Valley Baptist Church.
As the pastor preached, it was as if he knew what we needed to hear. He showed us from the Word of God how foolish it is to accumulate material possessions and to neglect one’s own soul. He showed how Jesus Christ had made provision for our souls to have eternal life, if we would repent of our sins and receive him as our personal Savior. That morning, we both went forward at the invitation at the end of the service and Susan received Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. I also prayed a prayer, but I was not sincere. I just wanted to get out of there.
The following Wednesday, Susan went to the church prayer meeting. I came home from a class that I was taking at a community college and I was in our home alone. I went to the bedroom and knelt by our bed. At that time, I saw myself as a sinner, worthy of the harsh judgment of a holy God. On that day in February 1982, I saw that my shallow trust in a religious system was sending me to an eternity in hell. That day, by faith, I repented of my sin and asked the LORD Jesus Christ to save me and become the Lord of my life.
Today my wife and I know that when we die, we will be with our Lord in heaven – not because we are better than anyone else, but because Jesus paid our sin debt on the cross of Calvary. Back in February of 1982, we both individually trusted in what God has said in his Word, not in what man puts forth in his false religious systems. No longer do we trust in our infant baptism, church membership, or good works that we might do, to get us into heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ is our only hope for life after death. Because of our acceptance of Jesus Christ, Susan and I both have a purpose to our lives that we never had before. We see regular answers to prayer, and we experience the real joy of sharing with others the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. Both Susan and I have surrendered to full time service for the Lord. While it is true that half of today’s marriages end in divorce, it is also true that half DO NOT. Thanks to a living Savior, Susan and I have discovered the positive half of that truth-and so can you.