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No Matter What, I Love You Every Day: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Sunday, February 14, 2021 by Becky Cerling Powers and Robert G Cerling

My parents were married 68 years before my mother passed away in 2013. Their affection for each other was so obvious that singles who didn’t even know them would secretly watch them from a distance and comment, “If I ever marry, I want my marriage to be like Mr. and Mrs. Cerling’s.”

Our three children had the chance to see their grandparents up close, faults and all, and by the time they were all in their 20s, they all said the same thing: “Grandma and Grandpa just accept each other. They’re best friends. If I marry, I want a marriage like theirs.”

So in February 1998, the month of sweethearts, I asked my dad to write about his marriage. This is what he wrote then, and I have updated it to include the years that Mom and Dad had together from 1998 to 2013:

When I was a boy, a framed motto on the wall of my room read, “God is Love.”

I often wondered what “love” meant. I knew that my mother and dad both loved me. And I knew that they also loved each other, but with a different kind of love. In Sunday School I heard that Jesus loved me, too…but what was love?

Gradually I realized that love involved commitment – that if you loved someone, you would want to do only the best things for them, no matter what else might happen.

When I met Laura Jane, we dated for about four years, and then we were engaged for another three years. We married during World War II.

Meanwhile, I had been thinking about that commitment.

I realized that there were times when I did not have a strong feeling about relationships, especially if I was tired or sick. Yet at those times, when I was concerned with my own problems, love would still be there beneath the surface.

I decided that when Laura Jane and I were married, I would tell her every day – by word or action -- that I loved her, whether I felt like it or not.

For over 65 years that decision kept me from doing many rash or thoughtless things.

By the time she passed away in 2013 I renewed that daily commitment over 24,000 times, and our marriage was like the wonderful one I saw between my dad and mom.

What St. Paul said

“Love…always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:7)

Today’s Prayer

Lord, make me a channel of Your love, pouring Your love out daily to my spouse, my family, and others. Amen.

©2018 by Becky Cerling Powers

Reprint with attribution only (www.beckypowers.com)

You can find more family stories from Becky Cerling Powers in Laura’s Children: the hidden story of a Chinese orphanage and My Roots Go Back to Loving and other stories from “Year of the Family” in the Bookstore

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