the thread around my finger, part 2

by Sandra

Lesson from Turkey number two:

One of the most wonderful things I got to see while in Turkey was the marriage between our leader Chris and his wife Karen.  These two have been serving in Turkey for almost their entire married lives (20+ years) and I was so inspired by seeing two people who were still so much in love, even in a marriage that required so much adjusting, not only to married life, but also to life overseas, learning a new language, a new culture, all while raising four daughters.  I loved the way Chris told the story of how they met, at UCLA when they were just nineteen.  He even said that there were girls that he thought were prettier, but that Karen was the only one who would consistently encourage him and ask how she could pray for him.  He made it clear that they had been friends beforehand and that the introduction of the romantic element into their relationship was awkward at first.  It wasn’t until they were married that he found her truly beautiful, and now he finds her stunning.  “I still get a little infatuated,” he said of her.

Hearing that story and seeing the two of them together made my heart melt.  It also made me realize what I wanted in a marriage — someone I can serve with!  I had never thought about a marriage partner in that way, but Chris and Karen made the prospect seem so exciting, being on the same mission field as your spouse.  It became one of my prayers on the trip that God would make me worthy of a spouse like that, of a man that godly, with that much character.  Hearing that they were merely nineteen when they discovered the importance of character in a partner floored me — some people don’t realize that ever!  Karen said she felt too much importance is placed on chemistry between a man and a woman and not friendship.  Well, after seeing she and Chris in action, my mind is definitely changed.