He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD. Proverbs 18:22
BONNIE: If you were taking a long and dangerous journey and you knew ahead of time that it was a path that turned into disaster for many, you might want to hear from someone who had successfully completed the journey, right?
I’m Bonnie Sala, guest host today of Guidelines for Living. With me in the studio are two individuals who have made the long and dangerous journey we’re talking about today, the journey called marriage for the past 58 years. The couple happens to be my parents, Guidelines founders, Harold & Darlene Sala.
HAROLD: Bonnie, our journey began the day I walked into a classroom as an undergraduate, expecting to teach a Bible class and there she was—Darlene, playing the piano.
BONNIE: Was it love at first sight?
HAROLD: Not exactly! You see I had years of study ahead of me. But I confess it was “like at first sight!” I saw something in her that reflected Christ. I said to myself, “I’d like to get acquainted with the piano-player so I found out who she was and invited her to go to church with me the following Sunday and she turned me down!
DARLENE: You see, I already had a date for the next Sunday. I will say, I liked his teaching. And if you’re going to marry a preacher, he’d better be a good one because you’re going to be listening to him for the rest of your life!
HAROLD: The following week I made the same request and this time she agreed. This was the beginning of a three-year courtship. Over our third summer, I bought a diamond ring and drove to California to propose to her. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and after expressing my sincere love to her, I asked her to marry me! She burst into tears and they were not tears of joy as she sobbed, “I can’t marry you!”
DARLENE: The reason I said, “No” was that there were still things I needed to talk over with Harold and I had not yet learned that it was safe to communicate my true thoughts and feelings to him.
HAROLD: Never have I been so devastated! We had both told each other “I love you!” and I expected a positive response to my proposal. That night I picked up my Bible and read Hebrews 12:6: “Every son whom the Lord loves, he disciplines…”
DARLENE: That night, I opened my Bible and read the same passage from Proverbs 3, “Every son whom the Lord loves, he disciplines…” A coincidence? Not a chance. It was the Holy Spirit’s way of saying, “I’m working in both of your lives!”
HAROLD: We had both returned to University when my sister died of Lupus and I flew home for the funeral. When I returned to the campus, Darlene, who had met my sister, wanted to express her condolences so we met for the first time in six months. Relating the account, I wept openly and poured out my heart, and we began to communicate freely.
DARLENE: Let me say a little bit here about family culture. Neither right nor wrong in itself, family culture is something to be reckoned with when two people marry. When it came to communication, our families were very different. Harold comes from a family of extroverts: what they thought, they said. I, however, come from a family of introverts who felt issues very strongly but didn’t talk about them openly. I learned that I could talk about anything and Harold would value my opinions and feelings.
HAROLD: A few weeks later, I asked her the same question and this time there were no tears but a joyful, “Yes!” To my delight, the same ring I had bought earlier was still available at the jewelry store, and I repurchased the ring--the same one that is on her finger 58 years later!
BONNIE: Well, I for one, think that’s a happy ending!
Resource reading: Genesis 24:1-67
With guests Darlene Sala & Bonnie Sala