About the Book
Nationally renowned author, freelance writer, director, producer, songwriter, television and radio host, screenwriter, playwright and evangelist Devine Matthews was raised a devout Muslim. Throughout her personal life and business career, she has always considered herself first and foremost “God’s Handmaid.” As an adult, a series of events brought the mother of three to crossroads in becoming a Christian. While her decision was not an easy one, for Devine, there was no turning back. Her eyes filled with tears of gratitude and her heart warmed with a sincere appreciation for Life when she acknowledged Jesus as her Messiah. The peace, joy and freedom she discovered were well worth the challenges she faced throughout her lifetime.
My Marriage – “A Divine Setup”
By Devine Matthews
Let’s look at what the Bible, says about marriage? Hebrew 13: 4 says, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Then Jesus said in Mark 10: 6-9, “But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and Mother, And the two shall become one flesh; so, they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
First let’s be totally clear about one thing – there is no perfect marriage. Just like there is no perfect person. The Bible says that we “all have sinned and come short of the glory of GOD.” (Romans 3:23) We are human beings with flaws and imperfections. With that said, for a marriage to be successful, both parties must put in a lot of work and effort. There are sacrifices that must be made from time to time. Lord knows, having patience with your partner is essential and a must! When I think about what I almost gave up on, I’m telling you the truth my flesh truly shudders. I’m soooo glad that we stuck it out and weathered the storms. I must confess that our marriage has gotten sweeter with time like just fine wine! God has always supernaturally intervened to help us get through the tough and difficult times.
With God’s help, marriages can be kept together and restored. My husband Deon and I are a living testimony like many other couples! The LORD JESUS has truly kept our marriage of 27 years strong. I give Him ALL the praise! Only He alone gets the GLORY for sustaining and keeping our union together. Through all our ups and downs, God has been gracious and faithful to us. Our marriage is a testament of HIS faithfulness!
If I can be candid, there were days when I asked myself and God, what in the world have I gotten myself into and I’m quite sure my husband would totally agree that he felt the same way. There are times when we’ve both said, this is not going to work. Oh, but GOD! When we first got married, many naysayers said our marriage would not last. There were outside influences that even tried to break us up, but it didn’t work. What God puts together no man can separate!
Here’s how we met:
My husband and I met through a friend of mine whose brother happened to be Deon’s best friend. Since the Father has set me free indeed, I can tell you the truth and nothing but the whole truth so help me God! So here we go! One day my best friend and I were talking, and she began telling me about Deon. To be honest with you, I don’t even know how we ended up talking about him. Can somebody say, “a divine set-up?” From what I was hearing so far, I certainly wasn’t interested. He wasn’t my type. We were so different and from two different worlds as far as I was concerned.
I was a young believer (on milk) in Christ who loved the Lord and was seeking after Him wholeheartedly. I had what I considered to be a good stable job working at Michigan Bell and had been working there since the age of 17 years old. I considered myself to be a strong, ambitious, tenacious, generous and independent young woman with dreams of one day going into the entertainment industry. On the other hand, Deon was in the world living the street life and from what I seen, his character was quiet, laid back, sweet and respectful but selfish, self-centered.
Although at the time, he was a drug dealer, his desire was to go back to school and become either a Doctor or Mortician, I definitely could not see a future with him. At that time, I was terrified of dead folks too, please! The thought of being married to a Mortician alone creeped me out. So, my friend proceeded to tell me that this guy had a lot of “chedda” (money) saved up.
At that moment, all previous thoughts about him completely left my head. My dear friend had all my undivided attention. I started thinking, hmmm he just might be my type after all. Suddenly, all I could see were dollar signs. For a quick moment, I began to daydream about all I could do with his money. I sure did! I started to see his money helping me pay off my bills. I tried to keep my composure on the outside. But on the inside, I anxiously wanted to hook up with him. The sooner we could meet the better!
At this point, I couldn’t wait to meet him. Not wanting to sound desperate, but in my mind, I was thinking, “Can you please give him a call right now?” But I played it off trying to be calm, cool, and collective. I said to my friend, “Girl you got to hook me up.” She sat us up to meet and when I first laid eyes on him I thought to myself, “He is definitely not my type.” He looked like a darker version of “Super Fly.” He had long permed hair and was bigger than what I was used to. Later on, he told me that the feeling was mutual, and he wasn’t feeling me either. He told me that I wasn’t his type and he thought I had money too because I was working at the telephone company.
After we went out a couple of times, I found his persona to be nothing like his lifestyle. I found him to be a gentleman. He was kind and considerate. I began ministering to him about Jesus and he started attending Church with me. He repented, turned away from his evil ways and received Jesus into his heart. Soon afterwards, I began to watch God do a work through him. I saw his life begin to transform right before my eyes. It was such a blessing to see the quick transformation! Glory be to God! I remember being so turned off by the long-processed hair he was sporting, and I let him know it. Then one day to my surprise, he came over with all his locks cut off. He was totally bald. I was startled and elated at the same time. He became a deacon at the Church we were attending, and this was the beginning of him coming into a serious relationship with the Lord.
Years later, he told me that he was tired of the way he was living and was ready to change his life. The lifestyle he was living as a drug dealer was leading him straight to hell. God, in His infinite wisdom seen a soul that was crying out to be delivered and set free from a life of sin. Sadly, I could only think of emptying this man’s bank account and it was all about his soul! Of course, I didn’t know it at the time, but God was divinely setting us up to build and advance His Kingdom. For the Bible says, two are always better than one because they have a good reward for their labor!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9) Oh, come on and magnify the Lord God with me! God’s plans are always so much bigger and better than what our puny little minds can fathom, conceive or imagine!
Well, we were married eight months after we met. We had to work through some kinks during the first couple of years. God had to transform his mindset and way of thinking. One of the problems we experienced was the fact that he was used to dealing with loose women and I was thriving to be a godly woman. He made it a point to let me know that he was used to women taking care of him. However, I made it very clear to him that I wasn’t that kind of girl and that was not going to happen.
Please let me say that never once did I condemn him, for the Bible tells us that God did not come to condemn the world but came that the world might be saved (John 3:17). I just let my light shine as Jesus instructed us to do in Matthew 5:16. I’m also reminded of the scripture in I Peter 3:1 that says, “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.” If your behavior is one that is godly, and your husband is worldly, he can be won over to Christ, if your actions and life line up with the Word of God. This is not something that I heard or read about but have personally experienced first-hand.
I must say that I never in my wildest dreams thought my husband would be as giddy as I was about the things of God. I never imagined that I would see the day when he would carry and hold me up spiritually. By this, I mean through fasting, praying and speaking the word of God over my life. Because initially, I was the one carrying him spiritually as well as the rest of my family. What a testament of what GOD Almighty can do! Another thing that really blew me away is to see this once selfish and self-centered person become so generous, caring and giving.
In my closing, I would like to say that I never thought I would find someone who would love me like “Christ loves the Church.” All praises to you LORD!! I didn’t trust men. I had been hurt from previous relationships and Deon knew this. I will never forget Deon saying to me, “I am going to make you happy.” From time to time, he will ask me, “did I make you happy?” My answer is always – You have, indeed! I would like to let it be known that the same thing He’s done for Deon and me, He will do for you. God has no favorites! The Bible tells us that God has no “respecter of person.” (Romans 2:11) However, I do want to caution you to make sure you are following His instructions and doing what He has required of you.
About the Author
Devine is an author, freelance writer, director, producer, songwriter, television and radio host, screenwriter, playwright and evangelist. She moved to California in pursuit of her dream of going into the entertainment Industry. However, that dream was put on hold after she and her family became homeless. Through this ordeal, Devine and her husband founded 4 His Glory Ministry, a nonprofit organization that helps homeless families. Through her challenges, she embraced her determination, passion and dedicated her life to helping others which has led to featured articles in the Detroit Free Press, Woman’s World Magazine, Christian Examiner, A Christian Place Magazine, Inland Valley News, and PRWeb. She was a contributing writer for the book about family life titled, “Happy Wife, Happy Life.” Devine wrote, directed and produced a powerful and compelling short film titled, “Reach Your Dream,’’ that was selected for premiere screening review at the Kingdomwood Christian Film Festival in Atlanta, Georgia. She also successfully produced two popular television shows, Youth Unlimited Show and Gospel TV that aired on Time Warner Cable Television for six years.
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