Weekly Thought – March 2, 2021
Fred and Mary Alice married in 1937. For their honeymoon they rode a trolley downtown Nashville, split a Crystal hamburger, then went back to the one room they rented in a woman’s house. They pledged fidelity “until death do us part.” In June, 2004 they celebrated their 67th anniversary five months before her death. They raised three children, building into them the importance of love and commitment.
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Finding Loyal Love
As I was leaving Greensboro, N.C. after being there to consult with Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company, I called Bill Westfall because I heard his wife of 60 years had recently passed away. As soon as I got him on the phone I realized he wanted to talk about her. During her final illness he kept her at home against everyone’s advice, but he wanted her near him to the end. “Bill, you loved her, didn’t you?” “I did, Fred, and I feel good for I waited on her to the end. Then one night she went to slee and didn’t wake up.” In their love they found loyalty.
Eating in a Grand Saline, TX country café a fortyish couple sat next to me. They were farm people who were out for a Saturday lunch. He got up, paid the bill, and then came back. Standing by her he paused for a minute, then reached down and lifted her up from the chair. As she put her arms around his neck he backed out of the café door, moving to his pickup truck parked outside. He gingerly put her into the front seat. I then realized she had a full body cast making her totally unable to stand. Everyone in the restaurant looked, but didn’t say a word. As they drove off the waitress said to me, “He took his vows seriously, didn’t he?”
Loyalty, not passion, is the greatest evidence of love. We see this in families who stress the importance of faithfulness to each other. This is reflected in not just the marital relationship, but down through the children and grandchildren.
Friendships often show loyal love. I often ask others, “How many long-term friends do you have?” I ask that question of myself, as well. Longevity of relationships depends on loyalty. It pulls us through the valleys. Loyalty is more than agreement; it is the willingness to observe, wait, and instruct.
While watching Johnny Cash sing one night I listened carefully to his signature song which contains the line: “Because you’re mine, I walk the line.” It crossed my mine that perhaps it should be “Because I’m yours, I walk the line.” Maybe it doesn’t rhyme, but doesn’t it express a greater truth?
We don’t think enough of what we owe to those people who love us. It is a big responsibility to be loved. Loyalty is far more than not crossing a line. It is staying by, and contributing to our mutual responsibility to honor one another.
Loyalty is proof of love. In this fast-paced world of instant gratification and self-centered love it is good to stop and think about William Barkley’s prayer that the Lord would give us “in our love, loyalty.”
This week think carefully about: 1) How loyal am I to those who love me? 2) What evidences do I have of loyalty in relationships? 3) Who exemplifies a truly loyal friend?
Words of Wisdom: “Longevity of relationships depends on loyalty.”
Wisdom from the Word “You prove to be loyal to one who is faithful; you prove to be trustworthy to one who is innocent.” (Psalm 18:25 NET Bible)