A minister had not known the deceased man for whom he was to perform a funeral service. So he hurriedly asked the man’s friend to give him a character description. The friend thought for a moment before simply answering, “Well, he really loved his wife.” That’s it? Is that ALL he could say in tribute about his dear deceased friend? But thinking further, I decided that of all distinctions, that one statement encompasses the most important attributes a person can acquire in a lifetime.
How was it so obvious to others that the man really loved his wife? Most likely he demonstrated deference and devotion, kindness and courtesy, fidelity and faithfulness. In a “me-generation” that cries out for finding oneself with all-consuming focus and gratification, these traits are rare and refreshing. In my opinion, learning how to love and how to show love—in every relationship—constitutes the ultimate success in life. The world flashes alluring invitations for selfish thinking, and shouts false definitions of worth and beauty. To detach from these influences and really love one’s spouse through the ups and downs of life—is a magnificent victory—worthy of the highest honor. Alan and I hope to earn the tribute: “They really loved each other” as our greatest acclaim. I smile to imagine our love continuing to grow throughout the eternities, side by side!