Tag Archives: relationship

Old Dog

Sometimes you cling to me too tightly,
And I trip over you or I step on your paws.
Your emotionful eyes beseech me to understand
That you, like I, know that our time is limited
And I quickly forgive your often suffocating nearness,
As I turn to memory.

I recall the stormy evening when we met.
Remembering your trembling form so soft and small
Being lifted, transported,
Away from your mother, from your kind,
From the only world you’d ever known
To enter mine.

I recollect the attachment you sculpted with Pig.
I think on how you would bring Pig to me
Wanting me to squeeze the worn stuffed body,
And I would nearly swear,
You giggled to hear it oink;

Oh! The reason-defying ease with which you learned!
To sit, to stay, to fetch and to return…
And to be true.

I remember that you circled the children incessantly,
Demanding they play the part of the farm animals
You longingly wished to herd,
And that in spite of your God-ordained skill-set
You remained faithful to me,
Playing nursemaid to my bountiful blessings instead;

How you frolicked with them in the snow,
Appearing to laugh as they did
In joyous wonder at the crisp gentle beauty of it all,

How you achieved a particular sound,
An alarm you generated when your charges,
Ultimately my own,
Had managed to create a chaos
Beyond even your capable control,

How you played with your underlings
In the clear sparkling fresh water,
Rushing from a summer hose
On a scorching August afternoon,
Issuing your own set of commands…
Hoping to be included, to belong.

I recall how you rarely failed to greet me
And yes, to speak to me,
Immediately upon my return
From anywhere,
Where I had been was not your concern,
Your desire was to celebrate me home.

My affection for you is great, Old Dog,
Causing me to hope for you a soul,
But I know only that God made you,
And that He instructs me to be ever kind to you…
And that, Old Friend, comes easily.

Copyright 2011. L.L. Shelton.

From Mother-In-Love (Rhyme For Jamie)

I was your second mother,
Her arms held you first,
And every time I think this through
I think of you from birth;

I think of how she must have loved you,
Wrapped up in her arms,
Of how she must have felt each time
She kept you safe and warm.

I think of all she gave in hopes,
Your life would be sublime,
Of how she never dreamed there’d come
This awful space in time.

I long for her to know,
That I too loved you Dear,
That every time you came to me
I kept you very near;

For her to know I shared her love,
And now do share her pain,
My heart will ache until that day
We do hold you again.

L.L. Shelton, Copyright 2016.

Brief Thoughts On Marriage


To begin:  There is only ONE good reason for getting married and for having children, and it is:  Because GOD wants you to do it.  And if it is HE wanting you to do it; it is because He wants you to be a part of what HE is building. He wants you to be a part of illustrating HIS story to a watching world. God desires for you to be a part of LOVE as defined by Him.

Don’t allow yourself to enter these arenas, the building of marriage and family, at the persuasion of any other than God in Christ, or without reading His Word and getting whatever grasp upon this that your maturity and His patience allow to you. These are not institutions for the faint of heart and will never withstand the difficulties that come along with them unless built upon a proper foundation. Marriage and family belong to Him. They are His design and He has said that they must be structured upon Him, upon the principles set forth in His Word, to be successful.  And the terms for success in marriage must be and are determined by its Creator.

Maybe you have entered into these things lightly and without a proper amount of forethought. It is not too late. You must pray for GOD to make your partner willing and as He does this, the two of you begin (together in Christ) to tear down the old relationship and to start anew on the correct foundation. Seek out an older married couple in whom you see Christ (in other words, you observe them living together according to the principles set forth in The Bible for the living out of their shared faith). Approach them and directly ask for their active guidance and participation in your lives. If resources allow, find a Biblical counselor to assist you in building this new platform for your marriage.

Another issue may be that your partner remains unwilling to consider Christ. In this case, you must continue in earnest prayer, gentleness, and good will toward your spouse until such time as God releases you from the relationship, and you are free to start again; and this must be done with the greatest caution for two primary reasons.  The first is that you must try with all your will to NOT push your partner away from either yourself or God in the hope that the other will leave soon. This happens often in such a case and is regularly realized only when an experienced helper points out to the Christian in the marriage that this is indeed what that one is doing. The second reason is that you are quite liable to abandon the frying pan in favor of the fire, unless you have spent an adequate amount of time in the judicious study of Holy Scripture concerning the Way of Life of a Christian in order that you may more easily recognize a fraud should there be opportunity for a next time around.

Paul reminds us in a letter to the early church that it is better not to marry at all than to enter the covenant casually.  It is a choice open to the Christian to remain single and serve GOD fully from that position, rather than serving Him from the position of marriage.  However, for God’s saved child, there is no choice as to serve or not to serve, and if your heart is completely without reservation His own; you will be compelled to serve despite your finest efforts to the contrary.  (The difficulties and delights specifically associated with the Christian’s choice to remain single are beyond the scope of this short essay.)

In the end, I don’t wish to leave the impression that there are no joys associated with marriage but only trials, as that would be wholly untrue.  There are multiple blessings to be had within the marriage relationship- true friendship, God’s allowance to fully know and to be fully known by another human being- to completely relate to another person, children within God’s favor and under the protection of a legitimate bond.  I count it a great privilege to enjoy many of the wonders of marriage.

Now,  in this day of much confusion concerning marriage and family, I implore you to search God’s Word for yourself to find that these very things that I tell you are true. And may The Lord God of All bless your every effort!

Signposts: How Churches Can Minister to the Divorced

Copyright 2016.  L.L. Shelton

How Bad Do Ya’ Want It?

As a Biblical counselor, I hear these and other words of the same meaning quite often:  The church is suffering from lack of community.  Our marriage is in trouble due to lack of intimacy.  My response: How bad do ya’ want it?

Community and intimacy are alike in that they are the result of a cyclical pass through vulnerability. Most of us prefer anywhere to there. Community and intimacy are the continual culmination of transparency, and accountability. These things require the practice of genuine love and authentic faith. These things mandate that our love be abundantly evident that we may expose ourselves without fear, and that we will welcome critical examination in our effort to be the best we can be for the other- and doing anything without fear requires faith.

What is faith? It is the evidence of things hoped for and the belief in things not yet realized.  Do we have it? Faith in God? Faith in ourselves, with God? Faith in one another? Do we believe that all things are possible with God? Do we believe that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength? Do we believe that we can trust God to make out of each of us, fallen as we are, something beautiful? Something resembling Himself? Can we patiently suffer one another- forgiving, seeking forgiveness, receiving grace, offering grace, guiding, allowing ourselves to be guided, being consistent as well as realistic in our expectations of one another as we wait for Him to do this in His time and in His way, both individually and in a corporate sense?

May I submit to you that this is what must be if we desire community with others, if we yearn for intimacy with another? It will not be easy. It will be difficult to achieve and to maintain- and it will be the place where our joy may be made complete.  Therefore, absolutely without a doubt, worth it.

How bad do ya’ want it?

Copyright, 2015, L. L. Shelton