Restored and Redeemed

Has your marriage been restored? Restored & Redeemed is a devotional for those in a restored marriage.

Family Trees

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!.  Psalm 22:27-28, 31  

I want to invite you to climb our family tree with me. Our youngest son, Tom, and his wife, Kathleen, once lived down the street from us in the house that had been my parents’ home for many years before their deaths. While setting up their new baby’s nursery, they discovered a large box of my parents’ photos that had been overlooked. I have spent hours going through that box, and the tears have flowed.

It would have been a tremendous loss for those photos to have been thrown out. I am the only person on the Florida branch of the family tree who would have recognized some of those classics. There were photos of my great grandparents, Pop, and Bertha. I saw my aunt and uncle’s summer place on Moon Lake in Lulu, Mississippi (and yes, that’s really the name of the small town). One formal photo of a great, great uncle and his wife was dated in the late 1800s. I now have my first-grade class photo laminated with my dad’s first-grade class photo from the 1920s.

I have put aside many photos that I know would be appreciated by family members in Kentucky and Tennessee. What would have happened to that box of family treasures if I had gone on and married someone else instead of returning to my wife Charlyne? I suspect they would have been tossed out. She would not have known many of the people in the photos, and if there were a new husband for my wife, he wouldn’t want to keep old photos of her first husband’s hillbilly family. A massive branch of memories would have been chopped off my family tree.

This can be demonstrated by one photo. It shows my now deceased Grandpa Lee and Margie.  She is the woman that he abandoned my grandmother to marry. Margie must have had family, but I have no idea where they are now, so that photo will never reach them. My grandpa finally repented for what he had done, sobbing over my grandmother’s casket at the cemetery, begging his daughters to forgive him, while Margie stood awkwardly in the background.

One other photo helps show the strength of the family tree. It was of “Bobby” Steinkamp in a classic 1950’s pose on the back of a small pony. Charlyne and I knew who the photo looked like, but we were still surprised at our almost-three-year-old grandson insisting, “That’s me, Grandpa! That’s me!” I doubt that Charlyne could have ever found a step-grandfather for Ryan, who looked like him.

Can you get it? My being here for our grandchildren is strengthening the family tree. In 1985, I attempted to prune that tree when Charlyne legally amputated herself from it by divorce. I thank God that she grew back so much stronger in our family than ever before!

Grandpas are often the main branches on family trees. My Grandpa Lee disappointed me. My grandson looks up to me. Do you realize that represents five generations? Can you see how this divorce epidemic is spreading like wildfire? Family trees are being destroyed when no effort is made to put out the fire.

Charlyne and I are deeply burdened about the family.  Can’t you see that the next generation, and their children, will stand in front of their boxes of old family photos, if they can even find them, and not have a clue as to who those people are? We know the children of standers who do not even know their grandparents. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws are not part of their heritage.

Who will be the leaders of our churches, government, and society a hundred years from now? If we do not stop divorce in this generation, future generations will be led by people without family trees and the stability and depth needed to endure. Our family is far from perfect, and there are a few branches of the family tree we don’t dare venture too far out on but praise God, we are a family.

Charlyne and I will do our part to keep family trees intact by encouraging you in every way the Lord leads us and provides for us to do, but the ball is in your court. Are you willing to stand with God for your marriage to stay together, thus strengthening your family tree, or are you wanting to give up again, forgetting the branch that the storms of life have temporarily broken off?

In addition to continuing to rebuild your family, I ask two things of you. First, do some summer tree climbing with your family. Please help them to learn about their extended family. Second, remember that families are forever. The Lord God does regrow broken branches. That miracle helps families grow strong in the Lord, with each member serving Him and certain of their life eternal.

All the trees of the field will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. “I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.”  Ezekiel 17:24

God bless,

 

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The Path To Marriage Restoration​

This teaching is Charlyne’s introduction to “How To Stand & Fight For Your Marriage!” Charlyne’s goal is to teach you, a stander, or someone you know with marriage problems, the path to marriage restoration that she has learned over the past twenty-five years.