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  • kimcordell2

Love Is All That Matters

My first boyfriend was in my Kindergarten class. He came to my house one day and we sat in the garage on a stack of newspapers that were waiting to be recycled. He said, “Let’s kiss on the count of three.” I puckered up and never forgot the thrill of that first kiss.

My dad told me that he had kissed fifty women before our mother appeared in his life. I did not really believe that because he was a quiet and reserved man. Even so, I asked dad, “How did you know when you found true love?” I was only thirteen, and I don’t remember what he said, but it was probably, “You’ll know. When you are much older.” Then the discussion continued, “No make up until you are twenty and no dating until you are thirty” “Daaaaaad!” I was already wearing make up and getting phone calls from boys.

Love was always on my mind throughout my teen years. I asked dad again in a letter during my freshman year of college, “How do I know when I have found true love?” Every young man that I dated made me swoon. Dad replied by writing a letter to me that I have saved and shared with my own daughters.

“There four elements of true love that must be present:

-Excitement -Admiration -Respect -Common belief

“Excitement is the physical attraction and desire to be together.” (He cautioned me not to let it lead to physical intimacy before marriage).

Admiration is actually liking who the person is and how they conduct themselves.

Common beliefs would be their perspectives on life including religion and politics.

Respect is appreciating what they have accomplished and what goals they have for the future. When all four elements are mutually felt by two people then there is true love.

Infatuation is more of a hormonal response with out the cognitive connection.”

He must have known my next question would be “How will I know when I have found the right person to marry?” He concluded the letter saying, “When you feel ready to make a commitment and you have found someone that has the same mutual attraction, admiration, respect, and common beliefs; then that is the one to marry. There is no hurry.”

Dad said I should not turn down a date when a boy is brave enough to ask me out. Luckily, I did not have to kiss 50 frogs before I found my Prince. I was nineteen, I met the love of my life.

He showed up on my doorstep along with a friend that I had met in college. His grandmother lived next door, and she may have also been a catalyst. Dad answered the door and said to me, “Now there is someone you should date.” It must have been the argyle sweater and well groomed appearance. He looked like Tom Hanks from the long curly hair days, so I did not know what to expect. By the end of the evening, I was smitten. Soon, I learned he felt the same. Our love is still blooming forty-three years later.

The chemistry was apparent when we danced to the music of the Spinners that was playing on the juke box of the local club. My admiration grew through his letters that started out as philosophical reflections, and evolved into loving recitations. My respect for him developed as he pursued a law degree and I navigated through the world of retail sales.

The final element, our faith in God, and our decision to follow the way of Christ, was the foundation that has made our love stronger each day. It has helped us through stress, loss, and disappointment. Love is what matters most. It is our desire for everyone to know the love of God and that all good things come from God.

We believe the simple truth in 1 John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”

I believe the four elements my father talked about are exactly the things that define our love. Our love story is our testimony to the best part of our lives. It is one we want to pass down to our children and grandchildren. It is what motivates us to do our best and to give what we have to others.

I still look forward to the kisses. The “good morning”, “see you later”, “Honey I’m home”, and “Good night” kisses are part of our routine. The unexpected ones are the best.

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