“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. . . . Love never fails.” — 1 Corinthians 13:7-8
It’s Valentine’s Day, 2008. I wanted to wait for this special day to share with you a tender (yet powerful) story of a young Christian couple who kept their marriage strong and vibrant during World War II. Married for two days, they were separated by active duty for three and a half years (he on the front lines in
Louise and Eugene met while attending classes at
But after two years of dating he was drafted, and it wasn’t long before he found out that he was going to be assigned overseas. Unbeknownst to
Intrigued by her courageous story, I had to ask several key questions that evening:
Knowing that your husband was in combat every day, how would you pray for him?
Louise answered, “I would just turn him over to the Lord. I told Him that I couldn’t do anything but He could do it all.”
She added a story of witnessing to her bunkmate, “Well, I had my Bible with me, and my bunkmate from
How would you and Eugene communicate with each other?
“He would write when he could, and I would write every night.” Louise told me that during one spell, she didn’t hear from
Did he ever talk about the war after he got home?
“A little bit, but not too much. He wouldn’t. . . He was mum on a lot of stuff. Whether he wanted to forget. . . .I don’t know. . . .So I just let him talk when he wanted to. . . . In the summer time, if it came a thunder cloud, I would have to put him in a car and go to ride. He thought it was guns shooting. It took him a good while to get over that, but he did.”
When you would write a letter to him in
“Sometimes it would be a couple of months. . .sometimes the mail would be slow because it would go over on a ship.”
Did you ever get lonely?
“Oh, more times than I had fingers and toes.”
How did you get through that?
“Prayer. Reading the Bible. I’d pray and I’d read, and I’d pray and I’d read. I’d get through. And he had his Bible. . . . .he would write about how he would ask the Lord to guide him. One time he asked me where I was reading in the Bible and when I answered him I told him. And he wrote back that he was reading up with me.”
So you kinda’ read through the Bible together?
“Yes. He read mostly in the New Testament and he would tell me where he was reading and that way we could keep up with each other.”
Did you ever think, “This is too hard. I don’t know if I can make it?”
“No. I was totally committed. . . .to my job, to my commanding officer, and to my husband. And I knew he was like me. I never doubted him.”
What would you have to say to these service members and their spouses today?
“If they’ll trust in the Lord. . . .if they’ll put Him first. . . they’ve got to put Him first before themselves and trust Him and He will take care of them. But they’ve got to believe. Commitment is the main thing. Be committed to your husbands. . . and husbands, be committed to your wives. It’s a two-way street.”
Louise was not in
Married two days, and separated by war for three and a half years with letters as their only means of communication. Perhaps you know a couple like this. Perhaps your grand-parents lived this. Perhaps you have a story similar, as the cycle of deployments has become so stressful throughout the years.
Where do you turn? Try turning, like Louise, to prayer and your Bible.
“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”
— 2 Thessalonians 3:5
Questions to share:
1. Do stories like this give you greater confidence in your marriage? How?
2. Can you use your circumstances to witness to someone close by — like Louise did with her bunkmate?