Valentine’s Day: Marriage Tips

Valentine’s Day: Marriage Tips

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, which is all about romance, and romance belongs in marriage. We want to have a great marriage for our children, but it’s also Biblical. The Word says marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for his bride.

Last week we had a lady who suffered through a rough marriage, but this week we have an author who has enjoyed a great marriage for almost 49 years. Terri Gillespie loves all things Jewish, and she offered marriage tips. She also described what a marriage ceremony during the time of Christ. Very interesting and useful!

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For more information on having a good marriage, click here.

Valentine’s Day: Loving Your Husband

Valentine’s Day: Loving Your Husband

Since Valentine’s Day comes this month, all our posts will be on love. Today’s post is about loving your husband.

Certainly romantic love and marriage should go together, but a husband and wife can drift apart. That’s what happened to my guest this week. Author Kathy Collard Miller had wrong ideas about men and marriage and ended up hating her husband. However, she the Lord gave her insights, and she turned her marriage around. Now she is delighted to share her insight to help others.

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For more on loving your husband, listen here.

Build a Great Marriage with Greg and Julie Gorman

Popular media today seldom depicts enduring love in marriage, but it is possible to build a good marriage. Greg and Julie Gorman share how God healed their broken home, and they offer tips for troubled relationships.

The Blind Date

The Blind Date

Cynthia's parents

Buddy and Alma Jo Thomas

Alma Jo bit her lip as she gazed at the dresses in her closet. She’d finished her hair and her makeup. If only she could decide what to wear.

 

Why did I agree to go on a blind date? 

 

A friend talked her into this. Whoever this man was, he couldn’t be as handsome as the one she’d dated a few weeks ago. Besides, anyone who needed someone else to find dates for him must have a problem.

 

Her eyes strayed to the clock beside her bed. Decide something. It’s getting late.

 

She pulled out a blue dress and fingered the fabric. It had a belt that fastened with a rose. This one made her feel comfortable, and tonight she’d need that.

 

But wait. What was that? The fabric on the sleeve was fraying. Her father’s long illness made it necessary to cut corners, but she refused to look dumpy. It could be mended, but not tonight.

 

The red dress. She tugged it out and held it up. Annie Ruth always told her the color looked great on her. After she slipped it over her head and zipped it, she peered at her reflection. A strand of hair hung in the wrong place and she snatched her comb to fix the damage.

 

A knock sounded on the front door, and her heart banged against her chest.

 

“Alma!” Her mother’s voice rang through the house. “Can you get that? Your daddy wanted biscuits, and I’ve got flour on my hands.”

 

“Sure, mom.”

 

A little breathless, she flicked curls one last time and hurried to answer.

 

A slender man with a fair complexion and a full head of dark hair stood on the porch. “Hello. You must be Alma Jo.”

 

“And you are Lloyd Thomas?”

 

“My friends call me Buddy, and I’d like to be yours.”

 

“So, I should call you Buddy?”

 

His blue eyes met hers as he gave a hearty chuckle. “Yes, please. I’d like that.”

 

Later she sat sipping coffee at the restaurant with him. They’d talked about siblings and parents. Now what? She hated searching for topics, and she knew nothing about him. “How exactly did Lloyd become Buddy?”

 

He smirked. “Well, Lloyd’s not my name. Actually, there’s a story about that. Would you like to hear it?”

 

She shrugged. “Sure.”

 

“I don’t really have a name.” He grinned. “Just the initials ‘C’ and ‘L’. My birth certificate says C.L. Thomas.”

 

“What?”

 

“That’s a good question.” He chortled. “What do you call someone without a name?”

 

How odd. But he doesn’t seem upset. “I don’t know. What did you do?”

 

“My teachers wanted a name, so I told them to call me Lloyd.”

 

“Is that your father’s name?”

 

“No. His is Creed.”

 

“Well, that’s the C.”

 

“And Mother’s is Laura.”

 

“Hmm, Creed Laura Thomas. It doesn’t work for a boy.”

 

“Nope.” He shook his head and snickered. “But C. L. could stand for Cute Little Thomas.”

 

Alma Jo had just taken a gulp of coffee and she slapped a hand over her mouth. Her stomach quivered and she couldn’t hold back. As she doubled over with laughter, warm coffee spewed from her mouth.

 

She managed to get her cup back to the table without spilling any more. With a deep breath she worked to control herself. What a mess. “I’m so sorry.”

 

“Don’t apologize. I love coffee.” He guffawed.

 

For a moment her body shook with laughter again. But when she glanced down at her clothing, her cheeks grew warm. “I must look dreadful. My dress is drenched.”

 

He winked as he pressed a handkerchief into her hand. “It’s not so bad. You can blot it right up. You’re pretty when you laugh.”

 

“Thanks.” Her face flamed. “You never did explain about why you’re called Buddy.”

 

“Someone called me that in high school.” He chuckled. “It seemed to fit, so everyone started using it.”

 

“Yes.”  She smiled as she gazed into his face. “It does fit.”

 

Alma Jo slipped his handkerchief into her purse. The next day she ran it through the wash. As she ironed it, she thought about Buddy.  Despite her anxiety over the date, she’d had more fun with him than anybody she’d ever gone out with. Maybe he’d ask again.

 

On August 24, 1952, Alma Jo and Buddy married in the chapel of Highland Park Baptist Church.  They were married almost fifty-six years when Momma stepped into glory. Dad followed about two and a half years later. I wonder if heaven’s full of laughter as they celebrate up there together.

Celebrating fifty years

Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Thomas

Answered Prayer

Answered Prayer

Ray Simmons

Ray and Cynthia

I noticed a tightness around Ray’s mouth. His shoulders twitched, and his smile was stiff.

“Here, this is for you.” He handed me some paper as he sat down beside me on the church pew.

A bright splash of flowers spread across the front of the handmade card.  He’d cleverly taped several photos together for the front and back. The inside was notebook paper bearing a penciled flower. A brief note proclaimed his message: As spring had arrived he had fallen in love with a beautiful girl—me!

I kept a placid expression on my face. This required thought. My heart shivered as if touched first by fire and then ice. If he said he loved me, he must be serious. I looked into the depths of my soul. Was I ready to marry? We’d been dating for a few months, and I liked him. What should I say?

“It’s very pretty. Thanks!” I closed the card and stuffed it into my Bible. Later I would take it out and reread its message, pondering what I should do. How could I possibly give him any sort of answer in church? People filled the room, and they would all notice if I did something odd. He would, of course, expect me to say I loved him too.

The service started, and I didn’t have to meet his eye.  I praised God for the opportunity to work on calmness.  Before the service ended, my heart rate had slowed, and I could pretend nothing happened. For several weeks afterward, I tried to navigate around the sensitive issue. Each time he left me after a date, he would whisper that he loved me.  My response was a whispered goodbye. What else could I do? I would only profess love if I was ready to be his wife. And that was a big decision.

I thought and prayed four months. My mind lingered over the details of our relationship. We had studied the Bible together, and I had learned a lot. As we talked about God’s word, I saw Ray’s gracious wisdom, and came to respect him. He displayed the maturity of a much older man.  Months before we met, I’d realized I was adrift in my spiritual life. I had prayed for a spiritual leader, and I finally understood the Lord answered my prayer.  I hadn’t asked for a husband, but God put a man in my life who would give me the counsel I needed.  Soon after I told Ray I loved him, we became engaged.

Ray and I married thirty-four years ago this year. Our life together has been so rich, and I believe it’s because of our shared faith. I’m thankful God answers prayer in the spring.

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