Just below a beautiful cathedral atop a hill in Linz, Austria, is a chainlink fence covered with padlocks. Each is a symbol of love between two individuals. Since the keys have been thrown away, the myth is that as long as the padlock is secure, the love will remain. The couple are locked together in love.
In 1975, the Captain and Tennille sang Neil Sedaka’s “Love, love will keep us together …” but sadly, divorce has separated the Captain and Tennille. So, what is it that will keep us together?
72 years ago yesterday, June 25th, my parents married in a small town in Manitoba, Canada. They had high hopes–family, and domestic mission work in an even smaller village where three of their children, including me, began our childhoods. Despite Dad’s shy nature, he pushed beyond his comfort zone to preach on street corners and teach Bible school; while Mom’s beautiful, well-trained soprano solos, which she accompanied on her accordion, invited passersby to stay and listen. Together they invested in the lives of children and teenagers, some of whom are still in touch with my mother today. Their love and commitment bore fruit.
And there were sacrifices … Mom put the possibility of a music career on the back burner to be wife and mother first. Perhaps not necessary in our day and age, but in their time and culture, more so. Dad returned to school to become a carpenter. When the frigid Manitoba winters became too difficult, Mom left her close-knit parents and siblings in Winnipeg to move with Dad to California, where the housing industry was booming. Dad obtained his contractor’s license and went on to build beautiful, luxury homes in the Los Gatos/Saratoga sections of the Bay Area. Mom taught music to private students, raised four children and made a warm home into which she and Dad also welcomed all our friends. The Froeses’ was a good place to hang out.
Friday nights were family night. Since we didn’t get a television until I was in high school, we played games together, made popcorn, watched 16mm movies borrowed from the library (we had the projector), and laughed and prayed together. As soon as my younger brother, Bob, turned five we taught him to make the popcorn, thereby working ourselves out of that job!
When Dad was eighty-five he was diagnosed with acute leukemia, and passed into glory exactly a month later. One night he asked Mom if they were going “home” that night. “Not yet,” she replied. “But Jesus is building a mansion for you in heaven” (John 14:2). A builder at heart, he looked up. “I’d like to see the specs.” He asked if she would go with him. “I’m not coming now,” Mom told him through her tears, “but I’ll join you there soon.”
This is a promise kept. A faithful marriage through good times and hard, joy and sacrifice, for fifty-eight years. No padlock kept them together, but their promise to each other before God. Promises made and kept. And reunion to come.
Who has been an example to you of promises made and kept? How has that person/persons impacted your life?