Granted, given that we are flawed humans, it is more a utopian dream than a practical expectation that someone would give 100% to a marriage without anticipating anything in return. Nevertheless, there would be fewer broken marriages, dysfunctional families and shattered lives if more spouses would strive to meet their partner’s needs and wants instead of attempting to have their own desires fulfilled or insisting on some kind of equal tradeoff. Someone who is 100% committed to their mate, or as close as is humanly possible, will be more likely to remain faithful to their marital relationship when trials test it.
Over 40 years ago, I fell in love with Barbara. Our love has matured and grown through the struggles of life. Together, we have enjoyed the high points of life and shared the disappointments of the low points. Her commitment to me was never more evident than when I had my heart attack and was on a very uncomfortable emergency room bed waiting for the doctors to decide what to do. Right beside me the entire night was Barbara on an even more uncomfortable chair. I have had the time to reflect on how much more difficult my health crisis experience could have been and might still be had I not had someone faithfully and supportive there with me through it all.
One of the great privileges Barbara and I had attending a Bible College was that we met other couples making the same lifelong commitments we made and traveling the same marital path we took. Some of our friends have seen their spouses go on ahead of them to the next life after many years together. Others continue to celebrate new anniversaries of life together. They all can attest to the power of love in living life to its fullest as a couple. Whatever the future holds, the past has been worth the journey as two people bonded together in love.
This Valentine’s Day, I hope others can find the same love that I have had with Barbara.