I grew up in a small church, where all the members were like family. One of the young couples enjoyed encouraging the new people, by inviting them to their home, or suggesting that they join with others who were going out for Sunday dinner.
One of these new couples to the church was Mable and Perry who quickly got involved in the church activities. Some of the evening classes offered were training to become a teacher, and other interesting studies about the Bible.
We noticed that Mable would often make snide remarks to Perry and he would answer back with similar hateful comments. They seemed to enjoy playing games of putting each other down with their conversation. Perhaps it was because Mable was much older than our friend and she was not in good health.
Mable often stayed home for the evening classes, but Perry seemed excited about learning more about the Lord.
Now our church secretary lived only a couple blocks away from the Church, so she usually walked to and from Church. She was a single lady, and much respected by our members.
Perry was concerned that she not walk home when it was dark, so he often offered her a ride to her apartment. To show her appreciation she would invite him in for a cup of coffee and some cookies. Now that all sounds innocent enough when you think about it.
One Sunday, Perry called a meeting after church for all the members. He wanted to make a confession.
Without going into all the details, he said that He and Mable were not legally married and they had lived together for many years, and he wanted to make things right before God.
If you were the Pastor, what would you say? It would seem that the simplest response would be to perform a marriage ceremony as quickly as possible, for Mable and Perry.
However that was not what Perry had in mind. He stated that he and Mable would separate and pray about the situation, and the meeting was closed.
It wasn’t long after that meeting, that Perry announced that since he was not legally married to Mable that he had proposed to our church secretary and she had accepted.
Soon the happy couple were married and moved to Oregon where Perry had arranged to have his job transferred. You think that was quick? Forget it! It was well thought out.
Mable was devastated, and our friends comforted her and cared for her. She died about a year later, and we all thought it was of a broken heart.
Old Perry had us all fooled, but in reality, he had only fooled himself. The games people play and tell themselves that it is OK are varied and many.
Now I do not suspect any of you, but if you are playing these kind of games, it is time to quit! Nuff said!