Alexandr learned about an evangelistic program being held near his home. Since he was retired he had a lot of free time, so he often went for walks in a nearby park. Once while walking there, an unfamiliar woman gave him an invitation flyer to evangelistic meetings.
Alexandr was not very interested in God or the Bible, but because he lived close to the Seventh-day Adventist church where the evangelistic program was being held, he decided to go.
The preacher discussed topics that Alexandr had never thought about before. Everything he learned at the meetings, however, touched his heart deeply. Alexandr attended every meeting, and when the pastor made a call for baptism, Alexandr accepted and decided to ask God to change his life completely.
At home, Alexandr’s wife at first accepted his decision calmly, probably because she didn’t take it seriously. The evangelistic series ended, but Alexandr continued to attend church every Saturday. After a while, his wife began to show him that she didn’t like it.
Alexandr and his wife had been married for 50 years. Together they had raised two children. Their strong marriage had survived numerous ordinary challenges and problems, but Alexandr’s being a Seventh-day Adventist began to result in reproaches from his wife.
Alexandr told his wife that God had transformed his life, and he invited her to attend church with him, but it was all in vain.
“When my wife found out that I was returning tithes to the Lord and giving my Promise (offerings) to the church, she began to treat me as her personal enemy,” he said. “She rejected all of my arguments and explanations.”
Alexandr endeavored to tell his wife about God and how He was blessing their lives. For one thing, Alexandr was now spending less money on medicine because God was blessing him with good health and more energy. But each conversation ended with Alexandr’s wife’s cursing him and his church.
Their family life changed. Alexandr’s wife would no longer wash his clothes or iron his shirts. Soon she stopped cooking for him as well. All these things upset Alexandr. He loved his wife, but he now had no place in her life or in his home.
One Sabbath, Alexandr seemed very depressed at church. The pastor asked him what was wrong. Tears flowed down the cheeks of 72-year-old Alexandr. He told the pastor about something that had happened the previous Sabbath when he had returned home from church. It was lunchtime, and he wanted to warm up the casserole and soup that he had prepared the day before. He took out the pans from the fridge, but when he opened the lid of the soup pot, he found an old dirty rag floating in the soup. “I was shocked!” he told the pastor. “I never thought my wife could do such a thing to me!” Deep sadness and pain overwhelmed Alexandr.
The pastor did his best to comfort, strengthen, and support him. They prayed together, and then Alexandr said: “Sure, all of this is hard and painful, but I can no longer live as I lived before! I believe in my God. He now comes first in my life. He has become my closest Friend, my Sustainer, and I cannot betray Him!”
This brave, faithful old man turned and slowly went back home, perhaps to face a new challenge in his life.
Is God first in your life? It might be good to ask yourself this question.