By Dick Blackford
(This letter was written in November, 1981. Names and places have been changed to protect the family. This is the second in a series of three.)
Dear Joe and Jeanette,
Whichever one of you receives this letter first, I hope you will wait and both of you sit down and read it together. I have been thinking of you all quite a lot lately, and praying for you. I hope that you are both receiving the strength you need to cope with the situation at hand. I just want to encourage you both to seek God’s help and not depend on man-made solutions or the wisdom of this world. The wise man said it like this: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not on thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes.- fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Prov. 3:5-8).
I realize that when a problem of this nature arises that it is easy for two married people to begin finding and magnifying the faults of each other. I want to warn you against that because it can only be detrimental at this point. Both of you need to admit the extreme seriousness of the problem and take positive steps to work it out. I urge you both to level with each other and talk things out.
Jeanette, if you know of things you can do in the family to make Joe a happier and more contented person, you should do it. Better still, ask him what things you could do that would make him happy. Having lived with him for twenty-five years (longer than any other human being), you are in a much better position to understand him and help him (both temporally and spiritually) than any other person living.
Joe, I want to urge you to make a complete break in communication with your neighbor’s wife. I cannot emphasize too strongly your need to move completely away from here. Joseph realized that it was imperative that he get completely away from Potiphar’s wife and fast! You are a man – a human being subject to temptation. Each of us has our weaknesses. While you feel bad that she lost her job over this and feel a desire to communicate with her, losing her job is not nearly as important as you losing your soul. Whatever the cost for you to get out of the situation it will not be too high. Joseph’s going to prison was not too high a price to pay. There is an old expression that “it takes two to tango.” She will have to bear the consequences of her wrongdoing. Your first obligation is to Jeanette and your family, not to her. You should feel more remorse at what is happening to them than to her. The longer you wait to sever communications, the more difficult it will be. Like Chinese handcuffs, such a relationship will continue to tighten its grip. You can do it. I know you can. I have confidence in you.
Kathy and I both want you to know that the offer is still open for you to come and visit us – and it will remain open. We would love to have you. Also, you need to remember that, though they may not be prominent in society, the best friends that you have is that little group of disciples which meet there in Elm City. In their own humble ways they will do anything they can to help you. You shouldn’t hesitate to seek their aid.
We hope you have a Happy 25th Anniversary and a good Thanksgiving. We send our love to all of you.
Guardian of Truth XXXII: 2, p. 38
January 21, 1988