Camping Companions

“Just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.”  2 Corinthians 1:7

After learning that camping was a common pastime among happy families, Gary Smalley and his wife, Norma, decided to take their own brood into the wild. On a beautiful Kentucky night, the Smalleys gathered around a campfire, sang songs, and roasted hot dogs. By nine o’clock all were pleasantly tired and tucked into their camper beds. Gary thought, I can really see why this draws families together.

Then it struck. Thunder rolled and lightning flashed all around. Rain and wind assaulted the outside, then the inside, of the Smalley camper. The sudden storm turned what had been a relaxing evening into a night of fright.

Did this harrowing turn of events cause Gary and Norma to abandon the outdoors forever? Not at all—they became avid campers. The Smalleys discovered that sharing experiences, both fun and frightful, bonded them in ways they couldn’t have imagined.

Our encouragement to couples is to share each others’ interests and activities. Common endeavors will deepen your relationship and provide priceless family memories—even when storms strike.

Just between us . . .

• How does sharing recreation and other interests build companionship?
• (husband) Which of my favorite activities do you enjoy?
• (wife) Do you appreciate having me join you in your activities? Which ones, and why?
• What new shared activities could bring us closer together?

Lord, thank You for tonight’s encouragement to be friends and companions in many ways. Show us new ways to get the most out of life—together! Amen.

• Camping illustration from Hidden Keys of a Loving, Lasting Marriage by Gary Smalley (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1984, 1988).

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Couples. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.