So wrote the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:8. I thought of this Scripture when sister Polly Phillips sent me the following letter she received from her husband, brother H.E. Phillips, on her birthday on October 26, 1982. Its words remind us of the strength of human love. Solomon wrote, “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be condemned” (Song of Solomon 8:6-7). You will witness that love in this letter.
To My Wonderful Wife:
In the early springtime of life our eyes met and started the fires of love which within a year brought us to join hands and hearts in marriage vows, and God joined us together for the rest of our lives.
In the springtime of our lives all the joy, thrills, dreams, ambitions, and love were ours! What more could we ask for?
As the summer came on we were filled with the happiness of young parents, but we faced the hardships, plans, disappointments, anxieties and pain of young parents! We had the complete joy and happiness of sharing ownership of the greatest blessings on earth — our children. They brought us real fulfillment in our lives.
But in the autumn of life we shared an ever greater responsibility: the caring for, training, and loving unpredictable teenagers with their schools, dating, finances, and finally marriages. There were many solemn hours which only we and God shared. The hot sunshine, the blistering winds, and the stormy seas, separated by the periods of refreshing calm, brought us through the adolescent and young adulthood of our beautiful, loving children. They were worth it and a thousand times that much. It was not really bad — it was only the inexperience of two young, concerned, loving parents, who wanted the very best for their children. Because of you they got our best.
Now we walk hand in hand in the beginning of winter. Our steps are slower, the sound of the birds is softer, and the beauty of the sunset is not so brilliant. But we thank God for all the happy memories, and for the many wonderful things we now have.
As the shadows lengthen and we realize that our “three score and ten years” is not far ahead, our hands hold tighter, our love grows stronger, our faith in God is greater, and we rejoice that we have been so blessed with so much so long!