“But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4)  

It was December 1979, and I found myself on a flight to Miami, FL to meet who I hoped would become my future in-laws. Nan and I were in our junior year in college in north Alabama. We had met in the phone store in September upon returning to school. It took a few weeks and a not so subtle hint from her roommate and our mutual friend for me to ask her to go on a date.

We began dating and quickly knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. As the holidays approached we discussed the possibility of me going home with her to ask for her father’s blessing to get married. To say that I was nervous is a huge understatement. I had not met any of her family and I was coming to stay in their home as a guest to make a big request.

Her parents were gracious, although her father didn’t make it easy for me when I approached him about marrying his firstborn daughter. He and I have enjoyed a great relationship for these thirty-eight years, and I am truly blessed to have godly in-laws.

Looking back over that first Christmas season with Nan’s family, I realize and appreciate God’s provision for me to marry into a strong Christian family. God has protected me and blessed me far more than I could have imagined and certainly much more than I deserve.

Discussion Questions:

1. Is there something in your life about which you are anxious and you need to trust God this Christmas?

2. How has God been faithful to provide for you in the past?

3. Are you willing to trust Him for what is ahead in the New Year?

 

 

Jim Haines joined the staff of First Baptist Dallas in April 2014, having served on staff at First Baptist Atlanta for ten years. Jim is from Newnan, Georgia and he met his wife, Nan, at Jacksonville State University in Alabama where they received their Bachelors degree. They have been married 37 years and have four adult children and one son-in-law. Jim earned his Masters in Education at Southwestern Seminary in 1985. At First Dallas, Jim oversees the Adult 3 and Adult 4 Sunday School divisions. He is the staff liaison for the Widows Ministry Team, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Ministry Team, and directs the Celebration Singers – a choir for those 50 years and older.