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"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have, for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
A partnership in happiness needs at least two people of the same mind. Often we see two young people of the same mind. They may fall in love and get married. Their continued happiness, however, depends on their staying of the same mind.
If they have the same mind about the value of money, they will agree about purchases and work for the common goal financially. If they have been taught good manners as children, they will be better equipped to keep harmony in their marriage. On and on we could go about harmony and the partnership of happiness. The greatest need for happiness in a partnership is for both to be strong Christians -- devout followers of God.
A woman over seventy-years old and married more than fifty years said: "I have been well contented all my life and happy most of the time." Too many young people today are taking the attitude, "If our marriage doesn't work, we can break up." But anyone who wants a partnership of happiness must take the attitude, "I'll be content, whatever comes."
As the last part of Luke 3:14 admonishes: "Be content with your wages." The philosopher Goethe wrote out some rules for a happy partnership with others:
"Health enough to make work a pleasure. Wealth enough to support your needs. Strength to battle with difficulties and overcome them.
Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake the. Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished. Charity enough to see some good in your neighbor.
Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others. Faith enough to make real the things of God.
Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future."
In war time, many soldiers have buddies. They are close to each other in their loneliness. They help each other to combat the fears and disappointments of being away from their loved ones and homes. A man who worked for lots of years in the composing room of the newspaper at Cambridge, Massachusetts, placed an ad in the paper in memory of his buddy during World War II. The ad read:
In Memorial to a buddy who helped storm Omaha Beach, Normandy, June 6, 1944. No greater love hath a man than this: That he lay down his life for his friend.
The friend had been killed as he carried Frank Rogan to safety after he was wounded. Frank Rogan was happy to be alive and wanted to do something to show the world how much he appreciated his friend and buddy for saving his lie. That was a partnership of love and sacrifice.
Partnerships in happiness are vital to our well being. Most of us enjoy having someone with whom we can share our joys and someone who will rejoice with us. In the beginning God said, "It is not good for man to be alone." Each day we should wake with the thought: Let me give a little of myself today to make the world a brighter place.
For a while, in my last congregation, I took an eight year old neighbor to Sunday School and church. One Sunday, on the way home, my young friend said: "You sure are lucky."
"Why?" I asked.
"So many people speak to you."
A blessing I had taken for granted was greatly desired by a small boy. I was sad when his family moved away and he couldn't go with me to church anymore.
We should be content always, if we have given God our hearts. We know that we have the absolute assurance of God's love. The Bible tells us over and over that God loves His children.
A requirement for happiness is that we love each other. The Bible says: "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren" (1 John 3:140. Ben Franklin said: "I early found that when I worked for myself alone, myself alone worked for me, but when I worked for others, others worked also for me.
There's an incredible practice of loving your neighbor as yourself ... and we all need to try it more.