It’s just one small line I’ve crossed. It’s no big deal. Sure, there’s another one just up ahead, but look at everyone else. They’re comfortable climbing over it…why shouldn’t I? Then comes another…and another. Pretty soon, the lines of what I know to be right and wrong blur into a sloppy form of gray then simply disappear.
Temptation. The call to wrongdoing. Stealth, quiet footsteps that become thundering hoof beats. The devil isn’t stupid. Many times, he starts things small…and from there, things build. Christian or not, I’m human, I’m sinful and I fail. Before long, left unchecked, temptation becomes overwhelming and can send a well-centered life spiraling out of control.
In Devotion, Kellen and Juliet are attending church one Sunday when their pastor launches into a sermon that hits home with Kellen in particular as their marriage has begun to fracture.
Pastor Gene says: “Seldom does temptation just step up and smack you over the head all at once and pull you under. That’s too obvious. Too easily rebuked. More often than not, it hits you at your weakest points. It starts small, and it builds.” While he speaks, the pastor demonstrates the impact of temptation by fashioning a straight, smooth rope into a complex ball of tight knots.
The consequences of giving in to temptation form the theme of Devotion. What are your feelings about marital infidelity? How do you define infidelity? Is infidelity a lustful look, a kiss, a full-blown straying into an intimate relationship outside the bond of marriage? Have you lived through such an instance, or do you know someone who has? What were the ramifications and impact?
Consider an instance when you found you could rebuke temptation. Next, think about times when you allowed temptation to have its way—letting it push you across lines you knew you shouldn’t approach. What were the consequences? What processes or actions healed you? If this is a continuing battle in your life right now, what measures are you taking to move beyond?
When it comes to battling evil, and the call of sin, do you feel like you’re alone? Do you feel like you’re past redemption? If so, don’t listen to that lie. As Kellen and Juliet learn, nothing is beyond Christ’s healing, mercy, and divine forgiveness—especially when reclamation is authentic and completely embraced.
When temptations loom—and they always do—I try to focus on the fact that Christ spent forty barren days in a dessert, battling the devil’s call. Christ knows, and He understands. When I return to Him, invariably, goodness and miracles happen.
Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:8 (NIV)
Marianne Evans is a multi-award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create. Readers laud her work as: ‘Riveting.’ ‘Realistic and true to heart.’ ‘Compelling.’
Marianne’s novel, Devotion earned the prestigious Bookseller’s Best Award from Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America. Hearts Communion earned Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year honors in the Romance category as well as best inspirational romance from the Ancient City Romance Authors, a chapter of RWA. Her novella Finding Home earned the Selah Award for excellence in Christian fiction and Evans has also earned acclaim in such RWA contests as The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence where she has been a finalist twice, and the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence contest.
Happily married to her forever love, Steve, Marianne has two children and three fur-babies who rule the roost. She’s a lifelong resident of Michigan who is active in a number of a number of Romance Writers of America chapters, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President. She’s also active in American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.
Connect with Marianne:
Website: www.marianneevans.com; Blog: www.marianneevans.blogspot.com; Facebook Reader Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Marianne-Evans/308711716744; Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Marmo212
From This Day Forward…
Christian music agent, Kellen Rossiter, has everything he wanted. A-list clients from coast to coast, a loving wife who honors and respects him, and a faith life that’s never wavered—until now.
Juliet Rossiter has the perfect life: a rewarding schedule serving the underprivileged, a husband who loves her as Christ loved the church, and a blessed future as a mother—at least that’s what she thinks.
But what happens when their rock-solid marriage begins to crumble under the weight of an unexpected and powerful temptation? How does love survive when its foundation is shaken?
’Til Death Do Us Part…
When human frailty and the allure of sin deal a harsh blow to their relationship, it will take more than love to mend the shattered trust and heartbreak. It will take a lifetime of devotion.
Click here to read our Interview with Marianne Evans.
Click here to read our Interview with character, Kellen Rossiter.