Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Love Seat

We have been blessed to have known many special couples, over the years, who have made a strong impact on our lives. But none made a lasting impression like one of the elderly couples in our first church did. This little couple, and I say little because neither one of them reached my shoulder, were in their 80's when we first met them. They had been married for longer than some people ever live and yet everywhere they went they were seen to be holding hands and giving each other loving looks. They raised nine children and eight of those nine settled and raised their families close to their parent's home. They were a precious reminder of how marriage can be. They were loving and thoughtful towards each other and they felt like they were missing a part of themselves when one was apart from the other.

I remember one particular time that we visited their home. She got out some of the old family pictures. There in one photograph was this handsome young man in a uniform with his muscular arms crossed over his chest. When I asked her who it was, she blushed, yes, this woman who had been married to this man for over 60 years at that time, blushed and said it was her husband. That's love. She was even more in love with this man after raising nine children, and living together all those years, than she had been on her wedding day.

This couple came to anything the church was having, whether it was prayer meeting, church services, dinners, plays or even kids club. Being young and not very wise, I thought that maybe they had got confused when they first showed up at kids club. So I went to them and asked them if they knew that tonight's service was kids club... just for kids. Thinking that they would realize their mistake and leave, I was surprised when she turned to me and said as sweetly as she always did, 'oh we know dear, we like the puppets'. And they were faithful to come to kids club too. They were an inspiration.

But the best story of this precious couple that I have to share with you today is the story of the love seat. Their house had a large window in the living room and everyone who drove by could see them sitting together on their love seat watching TV. They were always sitting side by side like newlyweds.  Well, the time came when they decided that their old loveseat had to be replaced. It was worn out. So they went to the furniture store and chose a beautiful couch, thinking that since they had a lot of company they should get something larger than what they had. The next Sunday my husband greeted them at the door of the church and asked them how they were enjoying their new couch, to which the husband replied 'Oh,we sent it back. It was too big. She was on one end and I was on the other. It was too big, so we got a loveseat instead.'

This couple lived several years after we had moved on to another church to pastor, but they were always an inspiration to us. They were wonderful people who had so much love for each other that it made people gravitate towards them and want to be near them. It says in the Bible that the two shall become one flesh and I have never seen that evidenced so much as I did in this couple. They died within a very short time of each other and I believe it was because one couldn't go on without the other.

I once asked her their secret to a strong marriage and she said she didn't know. But she did tell me that they had never had a fight. They talked about everything and they always remembered to be polite. Sometimes I think we forget to be polite to those who are closest to us. Maybe what we all need is a good dose of old fashioned manners and a loveseat (of course).

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