The Perfect Husband Pt 3
By Rhonda Stoppe
After undergoing a series of tests the doctor delivered Julie’s diagnosis, “You have multiple sclerosis.”
Julie was surprised how relieved she was when she heard the news. She had been so concerned that the tests would reveal a life-threatening condition that MS somehow seemed to be a manageable diagnosis for her mind to process.
Josh, on the other hand, felt helpless. All he wanted to do was figure out a way to fix the problem. Immediately Josh began to…
…research multiple sclerosis and possible medications to help Julie’s condition. He set up appointments for Julie with some of the leading experts in MS and drove her to meet with the specialists. Josh was deflated when they learned that the medication suggested by the doctors would cost an exorbitant amount that they couldn’t possibly afford.
Still trying to fix Julie’s problem, Josh researched holistic methods to treat multiple sclerosis. For a while Julie went along with Josh’s quest to help her find answers for her ailment, but finally she came to the point where she said, “Josh, I am so thankful for all of your effort to help, but I just need God to show us what He wants us to do.”
Enlisting the prayer support of Christian friends all over the country, Julie waited for God to show her the way He would have her go. Julie said, “I prayed for a big neon sign. That sign came in the form of a phone number given to me of a person who had been living with MS for a very long time.”
Julie recalled, “I was nervous to call the number because I didn’t know the person. But one day while my baby was sleeping I asked God to give me the courage to make the call. I picked up the phone and dialed the number.”
The man on the other end of the phone was kind, compassionate, and full of wisdom for Julie’s plight. Julie said, “After a 45-minute conversation I hung up feeling encouraged. This man who had lived with MS provided the wisdom I had been praying for all along.”
The man had encouraged Julie to never give up hope and to fight back against the disease threatening to debilitate her. His words rang in her ears: “What the enemy means to use to destroy us is the very thing that will give God glory. We must choose every day to let the joy of the Lord be our strength.”
With new insight and passion for life, Julie began to adjust her mind to rejoice amidst her trial, and God truly became her source of strength. Her unexpected health issues have caused Josh and Julie to be grateful for the days that are good, and fight for joy on the days that she struggles. Julie’s fragile state has certainly caused the couple to keep their eyes on Jesus. And Julie’s frailty has taught her to rely on prayer support and help from friends as well. (Today Julie is in remission and praises God for every day that she wakes up feeling well.)
When Julie was 12 she had drawn up a list of the perfect husband and now she can honestly say Josh has become everything on her list. In their first year of marriage, one day in frustration Josh told Julie, “You’re not the woman I married.” Julie remembered feeling hurt and wondering how she could become that woman again. But now Julie says, “Now that I am a little older and a little wiser I can say with great confidence, ‘Honey, you’re right. I’m not the woman you married. Circumstances change us. Life changes us. And thank God He continues to shape us, and it’s wonderful!”
As a young girl, Julie made a commitment to save sex for marriage. Keeping her commitment seemed easy when there was no real temptation. Once she and Josh fell in love and became engaged their resolve to wait to have sex until they were married was challenged. If you are not yet married, or in a serious relationship, you may think you would never fall to such temptation. Like Julie you might be tempted to think, “I’m a good girl. I am confident I will remain sexually pure for marriage.”
Not long ago I was asked to speak on sexual purity at a women’s chapel for a Christian college. I shared with the young women how the things many of them may be doing with their boyfriends were the very acts God ordained for husband and wife to prepare their bodies to enjoy a wonderful sexual experience. I warned the young women who were toying with their sexual passions how believing they could restrain themselves from having sex before marriage was naive, and a deception from the enemy. The Bible warns that Satan looks for ways to take advantage of anyone who is ignorant of his devices (see 2 Corinthians 2:11).
After the message, I was surprised by two very different responses from the young women. Most thanked me for being so real and calling them on their sin. But there was another group of women who said my talk offended them as they would never involve themselves in such unspiritual actions.
1 Corinthians 10:12 warns, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” In over thirty years of ministry I have sat across from young women who had the same confidence in their ability to abstain from sex before marriage, only to have fallen to the temptation once they fell in love. Rather than putting your faith in your own ability to refrain, you would be wise to realize when you do fall in love you just might find yourself surrendering to your passions if you don’t daily abide in Christ and ask Him for help to remain pure.
As with all marriages, Josh and Julie have faced some ups and downs. Notice how throughout their story you find them looking to older, wiser, godly people to walk them through their struggles.
When you face trials in your marriage are you tempted to hide your problems for fear of what others will think of you? You would be wise to learn from Josh and Julie’s example to make yourself vulnerable to some trusted Christian friends, family or pastors who can stand with you in steadfast prayer, and guide you through your trials with a biblical perspective.
Christ, your marriage, and godly counselors is a powerful cord that cannot be quickly broken (see Ecclesiastes 4:12).
True Love Waits is a conference dedicated to training teens and young adults to commit to wait to have sex until marriage. TrueLoveWaits.com
Want more Real Life Romance? Watch Steve and Rhonda share secrets to raving up your romance on Thriving Sexy Marriage Podcast. Here’s the Link.
Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN.
Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN. With more than 20 years experience of helping women build a no regrets lives. I could have listened to Rhonda talk all night, is what women say about Rhonda’s enthusiastic, humorous, transparent teaching, and zeal as an evangelist. She’s committed to fulfill the Titus 2:4 commission by mentoring, teaching and writing books that are inspiring, grounded in Scripture and easy to read––like you’re visiting with a friend over coffee.
Rhonda is the author of 6 books and appears on numerous radio programs including FamilyTalk, Focus on the Family, Family Life Today and hosts The No Regrets Hour. She speaks at women’s events, Pastor’s Wives Conferences, MOPs and homeschool conventions. Sharing the gospel is her sweet spot––she’s an evangelist at heart.
Rhonda ministers alongside her husband Steve, who pastors First Baptist Church of Patterson, California. They live out their own Real Life Romance writing books and speaking at their No Regrets Marriage Conferences, but their favorite ministry is their family. They have four grown children and nine grandchildren. To learn more about Rhonda’s speaking topics, watch her teaching and to book Rhonda for your next event visit: NoRegretsWoman.com