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A Growing Family

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
–Genesis 2:18

Abraham faced the final years of his life with a bullish, optimistic attitude. You see that in the fact that he selected a new wife. Look at Genesis 25:1: After Sarah died, “Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah.” That does not mean he did not love Sarah. In fact, when you look at the record of Sarah’s death, it says, “Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her” (23:2). That word “mourn” in Hebrew literally means “to beat one’s chest.” Clearly, Abraham loved his first wife. But he understood the principle from Genesis 2:18 that it is not good for a man or woman to be alone–God created us to need companionship.

If you have lost your mate and you choose not to marry again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if God leads you to marry again, go ahead. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 7:39 that if you lose your mate, you are free to marry whomever you want to in the Lord–in other words, your new spouse needs to be a believer.

A lot of times, Christians are hesitant to remarry after they lose their mate because of unreal expectations. They think, “Who could ever replace my wife or my husband?” The fact is, you will never find anybody to replace them. I think Abraham knew that. Think of all the trials and triumphs he and Sarah experienced together. There is no way Abraham would have that kind of intimacy with Keturah. So he did not allow unrealistic expectations to stop him from marrying.

Some Christians are also hesitant to remarry because they are afraid of what other people will say. Quite frankly, church people can be some of the cruelest in this regard. A woman loses her husband, and the tongues in the church start clucking: “If Harry could see how Gertrude is behaving, going out with other men, he would roll over in his grave.” Do not be that way. Again, it is not God’s will for people to remain alone. Sometimes the unwarranted criticism comes from the children. They think Mom or Dad is dishonoring their spouse by marrying again. No, the fact that your father or mother would want to get married again is a testament to the strength of their first marriage, not an indictment against it.

Abraham knew that he should not be alone, so he took Keturah as a wife. And what was the first thing he did? Genesis 25:2-6 tells us he had six children. Imagine a 125-year-old man with six kids running around the tent. That is what you call bullish! He wanted to have a blast while he lasted, and he did that with his new family.


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Finishing Strong” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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