Over a year ago I began putting together notes pertaining to my life up to the time of this writing. Since then, constant reviewing, revision, and re-writing have taken place.
In all the earlier notes and so-called "ready to print" material, there was one subject I avoided. I would guess few do otherwise when writing about their own life. A school teacher friend and brother in the Lord, when learning I was in the process of writing this book, said "No one ever tells it as it really was or is." That statement is written here, since it gave me food for thought:
I pondered his quote for many days and weeks. I even prayed about it and lost sleep while thinking about it. If taking a shower, I'd hardly realize when I'd begun or finished the process. "The 'nicety' of the original script would make me feel much better, and there'd be little to shrink back from in fear something written would be offensive or revealing" was my overwhelming thought.
But as much as I realized I didn't want to bring up certain things, not wanting to be looked down upon by those who'd be enlightened, I also realized there was no way I could go along with the original thought of making everything go the route of "motherhood and apple pie" ideology.
In what I hope will be the last revision, I've ventured into truths of my past about which, until now, only my wife had been cognizant. Even there, details given here were never discussed. Though it is with apprehension I'm including them, keep in mind that the hoped-for end result is to keep others from taking the path I'd taken. And if they already have gone that route, I want to let them know our loving, forgiving Lord is ready to take them into His arms in either restoration (for those who've strayed) or acceptance into His family (for those who have never before known Him).
Was it a wise choice to do this? Since wisdom has never before taken up a large part of my being, it wouldn't be me to allow that virtue to suddenly appear and take hold. And even more succinctly stated, "Should I not reveal these indiscretions from my past, it'd not be my life's story in review."
This saying was once common: "Oh, yes, there are a few skeletons in my closet." Most, however, discretely keep them there. In this case they must come out of the closet regardless of the price. If you become critical of my life as reviewed, it may be your "skeletons" need dusting in order to put your feet back on the ground. No, I'm not saying that to intimidate or accuse others. I just thought of the possibility, should that thought occur in your thinking.
Having said all that, the subjects of revelation have to do with drinking of alcoholic beverages and womanizing (at that age it was more like "girl-izing").
As delicate as these subjects are (especially the one), there's no "nice" way to tell of them when they are part of one's past. I trust relatives and friends who happen upon this book won't suffer heart attacks or become unduly critical of me or my family! God has been faithful and forgiven me. I hope you will, too!
The time element involved in which that subject matter listed took place is not more than five and a half years at the most (and 5½ years too many). The location in the book where these indiscretions are written will not be given. The reason for that is to avoid having that subject, and it alone, read. That would or could lead to missing out on the nicer, funnier, more joyful times of my life!
Anyone can engage me or my wife conversationally in almost any subject. There is one area, however, in which we will not reply: That topic is sex. Since the time we knew ours was going to be a life of togetherness, we made it our credo to keep that matter as something very special and personal and private. Yes, children should be told what they need to knowwhen they ask, not before, or at least not prematurely. And what they should be told should be limited to essentials so as not to encourage experimentation or wild fantasizing.
We have lived comfortably with our credo, rarely as much as taking part in even laughter at some innuendo spoken by others having to do with sex between couplesin a Christian atmosphere, at that. A glance toward each other suffices. This may not go along with your ideas, but we don't try to show others how straight-laced we are by not participating.
From the time my wife and I met, by the grace of God He kept us from partaking of the forbidden fruit (if you will). The 45th year of marriage we are working on has never found either of us unfaithful to the other. God has been good!
Now, "Are these people walking around carrying their halos?" you might ask. The answer is a definite "No!" As written in the book, if thoughts could become acts, we (at least "I") would be vile sinners!
Pre-marital "getting acquainted" periods can become one of the most trying times in a couple's entire lifeespecially for those who profess Christian principles as their guide. Satan knowing mankind's human nature and the physiological "needs" built in, exercises every devious tool he can to cause them to fall into immorality, "going all the way," if you will. This oftentimes leads to big problems down the road, for every couple who had thought at one time they'd marry, sometimes don't. That leaves two people (even if their one and only such experience) who will one day have to face a husband or wife to whom they'll feel obligated to "tell it all." That can lead to a lifetime of unhappiness, as the forgetting process is more difficult to dispose of than the forgiving. And even more importantly, God does not smile at such acts of disobedience; He says in His Word it is forbidden!