February 1, 2024

“And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.”—1 John 4:17 (NLT)

First Encounter

Initial contact with my husband, Bob, came when I was cheerleading on the sidelines of my high school’s small-box gymnasium in rural Nebraska, and he was a basketball player for the opposing team.

When I say small-box I’m not kidding. The gym floor was less than standard size. The perimeter on two sides offered only twelve inches of out-of-bounds floor space. On one side, people sat on cement-step bleachers, so spectators with large feet had to lift them up to avoid tripping players whizzing by. The opposite side of the gym butted up against a wall. The area under the baskets at each end offered only slightly more room.

So, you ask, how did you cheerlead?

On the floor, of course, dodging charging-down-the-court, sweaty teenage boys.

On that particular night, eleventh-grader Bob stole the ball, wheeled around, and stampeded off to the basket on other end.

We “connected!”

Picking myself up after the collision, I riveted my gaze on this aggressive, attention-getting person, and studied him. I have to say, I was not impressed.

Earlier that day Bob had shaved his head into a Mohawk—waaay before Mohawks were in vogue.

After the game, Bob approached—this time in a not-so-pushy manner—and asked me to go with him to his school’s Christmas Ball. Stunned, I accepted.

As he walked away, my friend and fellow cheerleader, also stunned, stared at his stunning hairstyle and remarked, “You’re going out with him?”

Much later, as his almost bald head—bald except for that gob of hair sticking straight up down the middle—eventually returned to normal looking, I grew attracted to Bob’s individuality and sense of humor. We dated off and on for the final two years of high school and then intermittently when I was in college and he in the Marine Corps.

Fast forward from there, and we have been married for 52 years. So, there you have it—our love story.

The Rest of the Story

Like all marriages, not all has been a bed of roses. Unless you consider thorns thrown in. Do I meet all of my husband’s needs? Does he meet all of mine? Does he love everything about me and I about him? No, no, no, and no. It would be foolish to think this is even possible.

That said, do we still love each other? Yes, in more mature and different ways than when we first said, “I do.”

The Greatest Love Story Ever

“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” Jeremiah 31:3

There is one who loves both of us no matter what, and who does fulfill our needs. Without Jesus as the binding force in our marriage, only God knows where we would be today.

Triune Divinity

God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit the Counselor are integral to our marriage relationship.

  1. God continues to love us even when we are unlovable.
  2. Jesus washes us clean of our mess ups.
  3. The Holy Spirit convicts—me especially—when I do something that will damage my relationship with my husband. The Holy Spirit even forewarns me about harmful actions I am about to take, or hurtful words I am about to say that will injure or devastate both me and Bob. At the same time, The Holy Spirit helps me speak up when I need to take a stand, giving me wisdom regarding when and what to say in voicing my opinion, my thoughts. And then there are things about my husband the Holy Spirit counsels me to let go of. Only when I relinquish these things to God do I have internal peace, even though the situation around me doesn’t always change. But I change. More and more I am able to accept the things I cannot change and focus on the good things in our marriage. Accentuate the positive is truly an attitude improver.

Yes, without the Triune God, I would be less than content.

This is the real love story!

In my next month’s blog, you will read more of how all this works through an excerpt from my three-part series, When Your Loved One.

  • When Your Husband is a Christian—But Doesn’t Always Act Like One; 52 Verses to Lift You Up
  • When Your Wife Gets on Your Nerves—Or Worse; 52 Verses to Bolster You
  • When You Have an Unsaved Loved One; 52 Devotions to Give You Hope

I look forward to sharing with you these powerful, relationship-building messages, which will be available on Amazon in both paperback and ebook on March 1.

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, for being the unbreakable link in marriage relationships.

Thought for the Day:  “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16 (NIV)