Barb: When we came back from camp, my mother had been revitalized in her faith and the church we were attending was not real strong evangelically. We started looking for a church. So we went out of town to Oconomowoc to a church that was starting in a home. I began praying for a Christian boyfriend, not knowing there was a boy praying for a Christian girlfriend. That boy (now my husband, Dick) saw me in church and told his friend, “I’m going to get that little blonde” and I didn’t stand a chance. We got married 10 days after my 18th birthday. And we have been married now for 60 years!
What surprised you the most about being married?
Barb: Within 11 months we had our first child – a baby girl, Connie. That was a surprise! It was hard because we really didn’t have much money and for a few months we even lived in a cottage that had no bathroom, just an outhouse! Fortunately that only lasted a couple of months but then Dick went to Bible School and we lived there at the school.
Dick: The first few years of our marriage was challenging not only because we had very little money but I (Dick) struggled with direction. How was I going to take care of my family, and where was God leading me? I struggled in my faith a little and I confess for a while there I had a hard time going to church. When I did, I often sat in the back row. Then the Pastor at the church asked Barb and I to help out with the youth group. We didn’t feel qualified but they didn’t have anyone else to help, so we took it on. God really moved and our love for youth started during this time. That youth group grew and a lot of those kids went into full-time ministry. It was while we were working with the youth that we both heard God’s call to ministry.
What has marriage taught you about yourself?
Dick: I am not as cool as I thought I was!
Barb: Marriage brings the worst out of me! Also, I was not good at verbally communicating love and I had to learn how express love in words as well as actions. Marriage taught us both how important it is to handle conflict in a healthy way. [Read more…]