27 11 2017


I officiated a wedding the other day. Carly and Shane both are blessed to come from strong and loving families and it was an honor to be part of their special day. I actually got very emotional at the conclusion of their ceremony as I got lost in the wonder of marriage. I am a few weeks away from celebrating 35 years of wedded bliss to my amazing wife Terri. While marriage is not easy, I couldn’t imagine my life any other way.   

The daily news seems to never be very positive anymore. Who is shooting who and what Politician hates the other dominates the headlines. And with divorce fast becoming the norm it seems true love is harder and harder to find than ever these days. But knowing that Carly’s Grandfather, Jack Bickel was a decorated Veteran and his undying devotion for his devoted wife Ellie never wavered and with last Saturday being Veterans Day, it inspired me to do some digging and I found this beyond romantic real life story buried beneath all the other daily banter that never brings much life or hope to our cynical society.

We all need to be ready to do some excavation work from time to time so we can go low below the surface and unearth some of life’s true treasure. This might mean some heavy lifting and a commitment to break out the big shovels and leave the tiny teaspoons behind. A granddaughter shared her letters about her grandparents and those notes unveiled the epic life journey about a one smitten couple who found a love so strong that it was able to endure even while they were separated during World War II.

Not only that, it lasted for a total of 77 years of marriage until they both died last month, he aged 96 and she aged 92, within just three short days of one another. But when you start to read their sentences, you realize the reality that any relationship would flourish with words exchanged like this! Here is a sample of the correspondence between Frederick to his beloved Elizabeth: “You are the most wonderful, marvelous, precious, beloved, lovable, adoring, adorable, and charming, divine loving sweetheart.”

They swapped passionate love letters like these and they didn’t end when the war was won! Frederick and Elizabeth kept on writing as they kept on walking through the years together. The collection of over 2000 letters was found by their family in an antique chest as they were sorting through the Couple’s furniture. These notes became a living testimony that when we are willing to invest our hearts, magic still happens in our selfie-centered world.
If one of the key ingredients to a successful marriage is constant communication then the challenge for all of us today is to never stop expressing the many ways that you cherish and treasure one another.

What if you wrote one love letter expressing words of encouragement to one another once a week from here on in? What if you performed a random act of service when it was least expected whenever the Spirit moved? What if you turned down the noise of the culture and just invested some quality time in doing nothing more than being together? How about surprising one another with simple little gifts that remind each other of the bigger present you have received in the company of each other? And never stop kissing one another hello and goodbye and holding hands and offering a holy hug at the moments you need it most!

Love only dies when people no longer put their heart and soul into the process. Isn’t it funny that when couples date they can’t get enough of each other but when they get married, they begin to take each other for granted? Sacrifice always accompanies the deepest unions. God so loved us that He gave us Himself. He has always offered us nothing less than His absolute best. What if we did the same? And you know what?  We can because He put that kind of love in our hearts. He fills us to spill us. And when we live to give, say “Goodbye” to the empty souls forever.

Carly and Shane are just beginning their journey. How about you? Does your spouse still see the look of adoration and appreciation in your gaze? Are you intentional about offering the very best of who you are to one another? Are you accentuating the positives and eliminating the negatives with the goal of building each other up without ever tearing your partner down. Love is not just a word or a sentiment meant for fairy tales. We were made to love and love was made for you and me. Today could be the start of something wonderful and that’s the kind of news that brings life and hope. If true love never dies then let’s stop wasting our time in the shadows of artificial dime store novels and let God write the masterpiece that we were created to experience.



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