My wife Kari and I have known each other for about 35 years now. We started dating when we were both teenagers…she was still in H.S. and I had just graduated when we met. In fact I always tell folks I am a product of an arranged marriage. My Brother-in-law David, my sister Barby and my Mother-in-law to be began to conspire and plan for Kari and I to meet long before it happened. (I will be indebted to them all for the rest of my life).
I met Kari for the first time in a Sunday School class where she was sitting up front and I was sitting in the back…after the class her parents tried to introduce us, but she was too embarrassed and I got a glimpse of her waving at me as she ran across the parking lot to the car. I need to let you know that David was the minister at Kari’s church. We saw each other a couple of times before I went back home to Kentucky, but never went on a date. Our first, kinda date, was when we were at a pizza place with the entire youth group, and a girl named Rosemary looked at Kari and said, “How are you getting home tonight?” It seemed that she was being a little sarcastic so I said…”I’ll take you home.” We took the long way…talked a lot and then God put a train in our way. Our first kiss…it took place at a train crossing just about a mile from her house. To make a long story short Kari and I dated…and waited (yes that is what I mean) and both she and I wanted to honor God with our relationship. I have a couple of priceless possessions. My Dad’s first toy, my grandfather’s copy of “In His Steps,” inscribed by my Mom a month after I gave my life to Christ. And a Bible…a little maroon bible that has “The King’s Couple…Rick and Kari.” embossed on the front.
When I stood in front of my brother-in law David, who not only introduced us, but married us….I didn’t think anyone could love or long for someone like I did for Kari.
I was wrong…and almost 33 years later, June 27th to be exact…I look back and wonder if I really loved that absolutely beautiful brown haired/brown eyed teenager who said “Yes,” when I asked her if “she’d be the grandmother of my grandchildren.” Now she is….and through 33 years of heart attacks, teenage pregnancies, ministries, children’s divorces and sons away at war…she and I both are a lot more wrinkled and war torn…but infatuation and longing have become a love much stronger…held together with God’s glue…and she is more beautiful today than on that day I saw her running
accross the parking lot. It is my prayer that God will give you and bless you with a love like this…O yeah, by the way…I love her 18.9% more than she loves me.
A Part of “The King’s Couple.”