We love because He first loved us | Beth’s true love story

It’s Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. We are kicking off our #truelovestories TODAY by highlighting a couple that is daily inspired by God’s love: Beth and Gerald Longjohn.

The Longjohns have been married for 26 years, and would still choose to spend everyday together if they could.

Beth even shared her favorite Valentine’s Day memory with us. Scroll all the way to the bottom to find out what it is!

Describe your husband, Gerald, in three words.

Kind. Humble. Smart.

How did you and your husband meet?

We met in college (at Moody Bible Institute).

Fun! Who was interested first?

I think I was interested in Gerald first, although he noticed me two years before we started dating and thought I was out of his league. ☺ We had mutual friends who realized we would make a good couple, and thankfully they set us up on a blind date!

What qualities about your husband made your realize he was marriage material?

Gerald has many qualities that made me realize he was “marriage material.” He loves God, he loves people, and he also loves to laugh. All of these qualities brought out the best in me and made me realize that I didn’t want to live my life without him by my side! Over 26 years later, we would still choose to spend every minute of every day together if we could!

Beth and Gerald on their wedding day!
Look at those sleeves!! Classic!

What was your favorite detail of your wedding day?

Our wedding day was filled with wonderful moments. Of course, walking down the aisle to Gerald would be at the top of my list! But the music was also a very special part of our ceremony, because we had carefully chosen songs that would focus our hearts on the Lord, and the musicians were exceptionally talented friends of ours who sang and played so beautifully which was truly a memorable gift to us on that special day.

What’s your best advice to young women in dating relationships?

My best advice to young women in dating relationships is to be prayerful and patient. Ask God to reveal the right person at the right time, and don’t settle for anything less.

What’s your best advice for those pursuing sexual purity?

My best advice for those pursuing sexual purity is to establish boundaries and accountability. Memorize Scripture that will keep your heart and mind focused on God’s priorities and His purpose for your purity.

What has been your biggest lesson in marriage?

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in marriage is how to imitate Christ’s humility by putting someone else’s needs above my own, as described in Philippians 2:3-4, “… in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

How do you keep God the focus of your relationship?

One of the ways we keep God as the focus of our marriage is through spending time with God in the Word and in prayer, and also sharing with each other (usually over a morning cup of coffee) what God is teaching us and how He is shaping us to be more like Him through the ups and downs of life.

Since it’s Valentine’s Day today… what’s your favorite Valentine’s Day memory?

Believe it or not, my favorite Valentine’s memory was the year before I started dating Gerald. At the time I wasn’t dating anyone and was feeling sorry for myself and wondering if I would ever meet someone who would love me, when the Holy Spirit reminded me that God’s love is greater than any man could give. I was overwhelmed with a sense of joy and delight as I realized “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Eph. 3:18) and I knew then that His love is enough for me.

That knowledge of God’s all-sufficient love is the foundation of our Christ-centered marriage, so every Valentine’s Day since then I’ve been reminded of how I can only love Gerald and receive his love for me based on Christ’s love for us. “We love because He first loved us!” (1 John 4:19)  

Photo of Beth and Gerald today, 2019.

Follow our series #truelovestories!

We interviewed some of our favorite couples to ask them what true love looks like.  And we are so excited to introduce these stories to you.  True love exists, and it’s worth the wait. #truelovestories #acrossmyheart

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