Before I was married, Mom told me that love matures. Eric and I were in our gushy, crazy, lovey-dovey stage and Mom wanted me to know that couples who have been together for a long time are not typically as touchy-feely as new couples; rather, as they grow together, their love deepens over time. It may not be outward in the form of incessant hugs and kisses; yet, it is the lasting, lifetime kind of love between two partners who are together through thick and thin, choosing to keep pushing forward come what may.
Dad has always been the poster child for friendliness and giving a helping hand. He is compelled to rush to the aid of others. When he worked in a stock room with several women, he said he was not comfortable letting them lift any heavy boxes, so he did all the lifting for them. I have seen him rush to open doors, run errands for people while they were out of town, and mow lawns for neighbors who were sick or recovering from surgery. Dad’s life has told me that it is important to love your neighbor as you love yourself.
A few years ago, he traded in his truck (my dad has always been a pickup truck man!) so my mom could get the vehicle she wanted; then, he drove their old car around until he was able to get another truck. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but I thought it was incredibly sweet. Believe me; that gesture spelled L-O-V-E from him to my mom!
Miss Betty just loves her husband (Mr. Dave), affectionately known as “Bun.” ~smile~ Watching the two of them interact has always been greatly entertaining. Even though they pick on each other, they love each other and it shows. When I was a kid, I remember Miss Betty getting super excited when we would hear Mr. Dave’s car pull into the garage! She would welcome him home with a big smile and, at that point, his wish was her command. She made taking care of a husband seem like so much fun. Now, let me be clear: she was (and is) not a doormat. In fact, when she has an opinion she shares it very openly! She actually enjoys being a wife – the submission, the hard work, and everything that goes with it, and she made me want to be a godly wife too.
Granny Jones was a rather large woman who gave awesome bear hugs. When she hugged you, you knew you had been hugged (and had an unintentional chiropractic adjustment). I recall Granny giving Granddaddy (a rather small man) her famous hugs as he would leave for work in the mornings. He was practically hidden behind her and she would make bear hug noises as she shook him from side to side. ~smile~ It was so sweet to see an older couple love on each other.
After Granddaddy died, Granny told us story after story about how wonderful he was to her. She made him sound like a saint! We all knew he was not perfect, but I enjoyed hearing Granny remember him as if he was. It showed how much he had loved her all those years for her memories of him to be so sweet. So Granny showed me that all couples go through hard times, but if they stick together, their love can continue ‘till death do us part – and beyond.
A Friend’s Mom
“Heather, staying married will be the hardest thing you will ever do.” Maybe it sounds cynical, but I have come to realize the truth in it. Marriage is a blessing, but by the time you throw in financial struggles, health problems, demanding kids, aging parents, career changes, exhaustion, and seasons of wondering “Why did my life turn out this way?” sticking it out is quite a testimony in itself. Don’t boast that your relationship is perfect. You never know what is coming down the road to test your commitment to each other.
My husband, Eric
Until I met Eric, I fell under the “guy + girl + movie = relationship” paradigm. Coming from a youth group that pegged you as “a couple” if your hands brushed against each other (and I was just as guilty as the rest of them), I thought Eric was highly interested in dating me when he asked me to the movies one day. Once we got there, he didn’t even try to hold my hand. The nerve! We were a couple after all! ~smile~
Soon I found that Eric’s view of dating was “guy + girl + various activities = getting to know each other to see if there is potential for a relationship.” A year went by after that fun night at the movies (Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers… and I had not even seen the first one, The Fellowship of the Ring!) before Eric’s heart began changing towards me, but he was worth the wait.
In retrospect, I would not change that year of friendship for anything. Once we became a couple, I didn’t wonder if he and I would get married. I just wondered when.
There are moms and aunts and then there are godmothers. Every girl should have at least one of each. ~smile~ Becky, my godmother, was always there for me with a listening ear and helpful, humorous advice. Some of my fondest memories with her are from when she worked in a processing job at the hospital. After leaving my part-time job, I would come to her office, hang out, and eat dinner one or two nights a week.
One day, a friend of mine asked her, “How do you know when someone is right for you?” Her response was profound and I appreciated hearing something other than “You’ll just know.” When Eric and I became a couple, I realized how true it was. If you want to know too, sign up below for our free course, Beyond “You’ll Just Know”: 7 Indicators You May Have Found the One!
Sweet Lady from my Home Church
I remember a precious family friend talking to me in my grandmother’s back yard when I was about ten-years-old. She told me that God was molding and shaping a man to be my husband. She was right. About 3,000 miles away in California, God was molding and shaping a teenage boy for His glory and to be my husband. Thank God for the wisdom of sweet old ladies. ~smile~
What have your family and friends taught you about relationships?