Valentine’s Day is known for celebrating love. What if we celebrated love every day, the way we’ve been instructed to in the Bible?
When our daughter Lillian was planning her wedding, she asked her Grandma Betty Jo to share scripture during the ceremony. Betty Jo complied beautifully with scripture and her personal testimony of her and late husband Dale’s marriage.
“Lillian’s grandfather and I built our lives and marriage on the foundation of God’s word,” she said. “Our love and obedience to God kept Him in the center of our marriage. This is our hope and prayer for both of you.”
Betty Jo said Dale was brought up in a Christian home. While she didn’t grow up in a similar environment, he encouraged Betty Jo’s faith journey. Their marriage lasted 56 years and set an example of devotion to their children and grandchildren.
She said that prayer and devotions after breakfast before the kids got on the school bus was always a priority, meaning the kids had to do barn chores before breakfast. The family attended church every time the doors were open.
They not only worshipped together but worked side by side at Hayhurst Accounting and on Hayhurst Farms. Dale kept both the office and farm going after his father died. Betty Jo said they rarely took a vacation; Dale’s leisure was working on the farm.
“We didn’t know what a date night was,” she recalled. “Instead, we’d go to the grocery together.”
She believes today’s culture is tough on marriage. “Everybody is hurry, hurry, hurry,” she said. “Listen and wait until God opens doors for your next step.”
Betty Jo’s final wedding scripture, John 13:34, says it all. “A new command I give you; love one another as I have loved you.”
Hayhurst writes from Terre Haute, Ind.