May: Writing Our First Book

As the landscape for marriage rapidly evolved in the USA, when the media and then the government attempted to redefine marriage and the family, Sam sensed an urgency to compile the things God had taught us into a book titled, What is Marriage? He understood that the only definition of marriage that mattered was the one God himself had ordained, and His divine design for marriage needed to be declared. That may sound like a simple task when he had taught and preached on biblical marriage principles for seven or eight years, but we were authors who did not like to write. Engineers and system analysts excel in numbers not composition. We had a deep conviction and passion for the subject, but were lacking in the skill of writing. But when God assigns a task, He supplies what is needed to complete the task.

Our oldest son had transitioned from home-school to the local high school to play ball. He came home telling us how much we would love his English teacher who also taught composition at the community college, “She will not let us just accept what an author says. She makes us analyze the underlying premises. She makes us think. I can tell she is a Christian.” She was one of those people that inspire students to reach deep within and do their best. Sandra Mullinix became a gift to our ministry from God. She not only agreed to oversee composition for our sons that were still home-schooled, but agreed to help with the editing of our book. Her comments were always supportive. She did not like correcting our grammar and would only mark changes in pale red pencil. We had to convince her the project belonged to the Lord and needed to be the best effort we had so she should be bold with corrections and use a bright red ink pen for the glory of God. Writing was tedious for us and we often got discouraged and wondered if Christians needed another book on marriage. Friends read the rough drafts and offered feedback. One lady who was divorced commented on how the book brought a positive outlook on marriage back into her life. That was an unexpected encouragement from the Lord. We hired a student who went to college with one of our sons to design a cover. We learned to set up book layout and contracted with a printer in Nashville to self-publish and print 5000 copies. The Lord provided printing costs when churches where Sam had previously ministered pre-ordered copies to hand out to couples who got married in their churches. To this day, pastors still call and order copies to use in their counseling. One pastor, new to his church, found several copies that had been pre-ordered by the previous pastor and decided to schedule a marriage conference. We consider every positive result an evidence that the Lord wanted this message in print. Two missionaries contacted Sam and asked permission to translate the book, one into Spanish and one into Tamil (Indian language). That was not planned or even imagined by us, but totally an act of the Lord. Marriage is sacred to God! The book has also been distributed to English speaking pastors in Nigeria and in Kenya.

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