Day 28: A Quiet Life: Learning to Guard Your Privacy – and Your Partner’s Privacy - 31 Days: Marriage Devotionals

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Scripture Focus: Make it your aim to live a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to earn your own living . . . in this way you will win the respect of those who are not believers . . . I Thessalonians 4:11-12

 

Newly married, Christa (not her real name) was stunned to walk into her home one day and find her husband deeply entranced by pornography displayed in full view on the couple’s big-screen TV in their living room.

 

Christa was understandably shocked. She and her husband were active believers, recently married, in their early 20’s. They had a healthy, active sex life, and were very much in love. For Christa, pornography was something for dirty old men; certainly not for happily-married, godly young husbands!

 

Stunned, shocked, and not quite believing her husband could have an issue with something as disgusting as pornography, Christa shared her distress with a trusted older sister. The older sister quickly told Christa’s mother who then told her husband, Christa’s father. In a very short time, Christa’s entire family developed a negative and critical view of her husband. His reputation as a godly young man was permanently impaired.

 

From there no one is certain who first spread the news. The transgression of Christa’s husband worked its way throughout their circle of friends at their church. Gossip travels quickly, even in churches. The situation grew so uncomfortable that Christa and her husband finally decided to move to another city, away from Christa’s relatives and away from their former church. Christa’s husband promised to change his ways --- and apparently did so --- but it was too late to save his reputation, which had been permanently damaged by a young wife’s decision to tell others about his offense.

 

For your personal reflection:

  • How would you feel if your mistakes and failures were suddenly common knowledge in your circle of family, friends, and those you know at church? 
  • Have you even been the victim of harmful gossip, even if the facts were true? 
  • How did you feel when that happened? 
  • Can a good reputation ever be fully repaired? In cases where our partner makes a mistake, or does something that is embarrassing, do we really need to spread this information to others?

Prayer: Lord, when our personal safety is threatened help us to run to You. Help us learn to live a quiet life, and to (when and where appropriate) guard each other’s privacy. In this way we will also guard each other’s reputation.


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