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The Parable of the Popcorn

The Parable of the Popcorn
By:  Donna Martin

Armed with a coupon for free popcorn with the purchase of a box of candy, and our refillable cup that we had purchased at the theater earlier this year, we headed for the movies.  After buying the tickets, Mike decided that maybe we didn’t need to get refreshments.  I agreed, although a little disappointed at the fact of no popcorn or chocolate.  I suggested that we give our coupon away, but Mike said just to keep it because we might change our minds. We found a good seat and waited for the movie to begin.  As the theater began to fill with people, it also began to fill with the smell of fresh, buttery popcorn.  We discussed whether or not indulge in the refreshments.  After all, it was a really good coupon.  Once again we overcame the temptation.  And then the couples on both sides of us sat down with you know what – POPCORN!!  It was too much.  Our will power and self-control gave way, and off I marched to the concession stand with coupon and cup in hand.  As I trotted down the steps, I thought, this is really not good for us.  As I walked out of the theater door I thought, we really don’t need to spend the money.  Unfortunately I ignored the little voice and made the purchase.  Yummy!

However, at 1:00 AM as I lay in bed wide awake from the caffeine in the soft drink and with a terrible stomach ache, compliments of the popcorn, I was wishing that I had listened to that little voice.  After popping anti-acids for a few days, the pain became so bad that I ended up in the emergency room because of the effects the popcorn had on my digestive system.  I was very remorseful.  I had learned my lesson.  What made it even more painful was that the cost of that day in the emergency room was a lot more than the amount I saved with my coupon.  The only good thing about the refreshments was that, as I lay wide awake and in pain, I thought about how the popcorn incident relates to our marriage relationships.

How often do we ignore that little voice when it comes to our marriage?

You know if you say that, it will really hurt your spouse.
You realize that you are being selfish.
You really should show more respect.
It was your fault - not your spouse’s.

The list of little voice warnings could go on and on, but we choose to ignore the little voice, the sound of reason, the truth, the Holy Spirit’s nudging.  We give in to our selfishness.  Instead of living for the kingdom of God, we choose to live for the kingdom of self.  As a result, we and our spouse are miserable.  Both of us are hurt.  We may even end up losing sleep and taking anti-acids.  And the cost of our bad choices can be devastating.

So the next time that you have a choice to make that involves your relationship with your spouse, remember the Parable of the Popcorn.  Getting revenge, being selfish, caring more about your own needs instead of the needs of your spouse, is really not worth the pain.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” Marriage Enrichment Events for churches and organizations.  To schedule an event call Michael at 940-735-1515. They are certified “Prepare/Enrich” Facilitators and are available to work with couples on an individual basis using the “Prepare/Enrich Assessment.”  They publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at


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Reader Comments (1)

Excellent analogy that I'm sure many of us can contribute how a choice of ours brought much less than what God had in store for us. The 'still small voice' of God can be like a clanging cimbal when we fail to hear or obey.

September 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Phelps

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