By Tonya S. Swindell
My babies’ daddy is a friend that I’ve known ever since middle school. Although he jokingly tells people I moved to our hometown during high school, the truth is I was born and raised in the area, just like him. But he didn’t notice me until we sat beside one another in our high school chemistry class! I remember discreetly pressing the tip of my elbow into his left biceps to wake him after he dozed off in class, but beyond that we didn’t talk to each other very much. When prom time came he asked me to be his date and I eventually said, “Yes.” After the prom, he took me back to my parents’ house where we sat in the living room and talked. I told him I had accepted Christ as my personal Savior. He said he had made the same commitment to Christ when he was in 7th grade. Ever since that night, we’ve had one amazing adventure after another. Sometimes have been up, some down, but we always end with a feeling of “Wow, Lord! What’s next??!”
My husband of almost 23 years is my babies’ daddy! We have four active, loving, and intelligent children. Not long ago my husband and I had a debate about the topics of “love” and “like.” My position was that it is possible to love a person without liking them. His stance was: if you love someone, you automatically like them. The conversation was very good. We asked family members to share their opinions on the subject. I’ll just say the final tally was 3 opinions to one with my position being the most popular!
On two occasions, my husband wrote verses of scripture as love letters to me. The first time, he was out at sea with the military so we had extremely limited contact with one another. I felt lonely and depressed because I was living alone and far away from my family and friends. When I got a handwritten letter from my husband, I laid on my sofa to read the priceless words he wrote to me from Isaiah 60: 1, which says: “Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you – rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!” [Amplified Version]
One other time, my husband surprised me during one of my college classes. After my instructor finished her lecture one day, I followed my classmate’s instruction to walk down the aisle of the auditorium, up a few steps and onto the stage to sit in a chair. One by one, several of my classmates read verses from 1 Corinthians 13 out loud so that I and the whole class could hear them. Then each person handed me trinkets of my husband’s affection, including the 3 by 5 inch cards where he wrote the scriptures. This happened before we had cell phones to videotape memorable occasions, but the event is etched in my memory!
Another time he sent me on a treasure hunt to different stores to receive items he purchased for me. My final destination was a hotel where we spent the night together totally by ourselves. On another occasion, after we had children, he arranged to have family members keep the kids while we flew together to Kentucky to see the hit musical “The Color Purple.” Recently he told me to go and rest for a weekend at my mother’s house while he kept the kids, just so I could get a break! Wow!!!
If you love a person, do you automatically like them? My husband and I have different opinions, but we both value the importance of “love” and “like” in relationships. I love him because he’s my brother in Christ, my husband, and my babies’ daddy. I like him because he’s my friend, we have good conversation, and he makes me laugh, which releases tension when I’m feeling uptight or thinking way too much about a situation! I love my babies’ daddy, but I also like him, and that’s probably because we were friends before we were lovers.