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Reflections on Marriage and Singleness
My Aunty Win, who you’re often heard me speak of, passed away peacefully on Tuesday aged 96½ which was as she reminded all within earshot “a record for the Hodge family”. Mind you, that wasn’t hard because although she was one of 10 children, only a few made it barely into their 80’s. But I digress.
Aunty Win never married, though she had been engaged and would dearly love to have been married. However, I never once heard her complain about her “lot in life”. She was one of the most positive people I knew and was a true 2nd mum to my brother and I and a number of cousins. She invested her life in others and enriched her extended family enormously. She wasn’t into sports or arts but she loved people.
My dad died before our children were born and “Aunty Win” (as she was universally called by all who met her) became another grandparent to them.
Having grown up in a country Anglican church where the Bible wasn’t clearly taught, her faith in Jesus was really clarified at St Aidans Hurstville Grove. Marjory Broady (known to many at Gymea Church) led a ladies’ group through Christianity Explained. This was a watershed spiritual time for a number of older ladies as “one of their own” proclaimed so clearly that faith in Jesus alone, saves.
I know I’m being a little indulgent taking up bulletin space to tell you of my Aunty Win. But she reminds me in this age where being married, partnered and have sexual experience is often seen as the only way to a truly fulfilled life, that Jesus boldly declared that BOTH marriage and singleness are gifts from God to be enjoyed and used for His glory. Jesus himself never married or enjoyed sexual relations with another, and yet he was the most fulfilled, contented, loving and together person who’s ever lived. I believe as a church and as individuals we are called to be counter cultural in affirming BOTH marriage and singleness, with all their joys and struggles as gifts from God. Let us seek God’s grace & the support of our Christian family to live contentedly whether married or single, remembering that marriage is temporary (as is sexual experience) and that all of us who are married will be single again one day.
Update On The Hadfields
Mark & Di Hadfield have left SMBC earlier than expected and have moved this month to the Atherton Tablelands, near Cairns in Queensland. They have family nearby as Mark’s brother (also an SMBC graduate) works with MAF mission. Mark will have a job on an avocado plantation setting up a system to allow for a business expansion for the company. Mark, you’ll remember has 10 years’ experience managing tropical plantations.
It is an exciting time for them, but sad as they leave family & friends in Sydney. Please pray for them. Active, Bible loving Christians can be a great encouragement to country churches and have an enormous impact.
For those who are new with us, Mark ministered with us free of charge as a student minister in 2014-15. He and Di and their family were a great blessing to us and we wish them God’s richest blessings.
Your brother in Christ, Graham Crew