Love, Giving, and Thanksgiving

These past few weeks I've seen two great examples of Christian marital love in action.

I've got a good friend whose newborn daughter, Anne Marie, was born Oct. 15 with life-threatening medical problems. His little girl was entirely missing one lung and had only 15 percent lung function in the other healthy lung. Because of this, she couldn't even cry! Other problems included a squished heart, hypertension, a hole in her diaphram, and no kidney function. Her serious medical problems prevented her mother from holding her much.

Despite the life-threatening problems, my friend continued to put his trust and faith in God. He led his family and others across the state to pray fervently for his daughter. He was always a strong support to his sweet wife. He cried out to God and was authentic in his pain. He took his family to a church in Dallas and even had his infant daughter baptized. He helped everybody to see that whether his daughter lived or died, God would ultimately receive His glory either through her healing now and continued life and growth on Earth or through her death now and protection and restoration by the Creator Himself for all eternity. His wife followed his lead and encouraged many people with her love and faith.

Despite their wrenching pain as parents, they firmly held onto their pro-life convictions. They were a faithful witness to the many doctors and nurses. My friends sought to do everything possible, even at great personal expense, to give their little girl, Anne Marie, a chance at life as a member of their family. And, before a watching world, they trusted Almighty God with the outcome. In His grace, He generously gave them a peace that passes all understanding.

I've got another friend whose wife just had some emergency surgery a week ago. He's also been a faithful husband. He has stayed by his wife's bedside day and night and met her needs. He has interceded on her behalf at the hospital with the doctors and nurses. My friend has faithfully informed a network of friends about his wife's condition. He has given us all status updates and asked for regular prayers on her behalf, to meet her immediate needs. Like my first friend, he, too, has been a good husband by husbanding his wife well.

Sadly, in the first case, Anne Marie died in Dallas this past Saturday night, just one month and six days after her birth. Still, amid their great grief, my friend in a blog post reminded us all to praise God and to take an eternal perspective: "The LORD has given, the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD," he said, quoting Scripture.

Both my friends have showed great love and given of themselves to meet the emotional and physical needs of their wives, and in the first case, of his newborn child. They kept a positive attitude and directed us all to pray to our Heavenly Father, trusting Him for the best, but choosing to praise Him and to be content whatever the outcome.

This week, Thanksgiving Day gives us all an opportunity to express our thanks to God for those He has placed in our lives. We can be thankful for our husbands, wives, and for our children. We can be thankful for our nieces, nephews, and our extended families. We can be thankful for our measure of good health and for the life and liberty we do enjoy in this nation. We must thank Him for what we do have and we must be an open channel of His love to others.

That's what my two friends have done, and I am so thankful for their fine witness and example. Remember, in whatever situation you find yourself today, look up, seek His powerful help, and train your heart to say: "Blessed be the name of the LORD."


David Dunn
Oklahoma Family Policy Council
Member, Marriage Network Oklahoma Board

1 comment:

  1. David, what a great word! Thanks for the encouraging word to motivate us all in our commitment and love for our spouses and our children.