Commitment to Marriage

David Reading BibleAbout King David         God called David a man after His own heart. This is the shepherd boy and later the king of Israel! David was courageous and strong in battle, trusting in God for protection.  David wrote in Psalm 23:6   Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

And now I’d like to introduce to you another David, also a man after God’s own heart.

Meeting David

I met David in graduate school over 40 years ago. In fact, I met him on the first day of class! He was sitting at the end of the cafeteria table and everyone introduced ourselves. During that first year of school, I noticed him many times on campus and particularly in chapel.

Not too many music majors went to chapel, but there was David…everyday… sitting very close to the front. He was always taking notes. This should have been my first clue that here was a man of commitment…commitment to The Lord and His Word.

As summer school rolled around, the campus took on a more relaxed attitude. Students often met outside the dorms on the grass for some fast and furious games of volleyball. David and I met again. This time we were on opposite sides of the net. I suppose David wanted to let me know he had noticed me, too. He spiked a ball which came right down into my face. Hard! So hard, my glasses were broken. So hard, I thought my nose was broken. I was determined not to cry because I thought he would think I was trying to get attention. He was thinking I would never speak to him again. Really? Was he kidding me? He had not spoken to me since that first day of class!! We began to date that summer.


Fast forward to a year later. We were married on May 18, 1973 and went immediately to Seattle to work  as student summer missionaries. As we worked side by side, I realized even more the depth of commitment David had to The Lord: as he led the congregation in worship, as he led groups in Bible study, as he talked to children about Jesus, as he prayed for God’s will in our lives.

Here is just one of many examples. We were late to a dinner commitment an hour away. It was a cold, dark rainy evening during a Northwest winter. (For those of you who have never been to Seattle, it is dark by 4:15 in the winter.)

We were caught in heavy Seattle traffic on the freeway, when suddenly we had a blow out. David made his way across three lanes of traffic to the shoulder. Before we got out of the car, we divided the tire-changing tasks. Quickly, doors were open. We were out into the downpour and the trunk was up. Suddenly…David said, “Wait. We forgot to thank the Lord!” Are you serious? But we stood there with our backsides getting soaked as David followed the Lord’s admonition to “be thankful for all things.”  That is commitment.

Health Challenges

In 2001 David was diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinson’s Disease. We watched as slowly the disease began to cause his body to stiffen. As the years have passed, he has been given more medicines and higher doses. Yet David pushes himself to keep active. You will not hear him complain. He recently has had two brain surgeries to try to slow down the disease. We wait to see how the Lord will continue to heal and work in David’s life. Remember the scripture verse above? …the one penned thousands of years ago? Those words could also be said for today’s David!! Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

A Celebration of Commitment

On May 18th we celebrate 40 years of marriage, 40 years of commitment to each other. It has also been 40 years of watching David be an example of what it means for a husband and father to be committed to The Lord. The photograph above was taken of David kneeling as he read his Bible by the side of our bed…a commitment to stay in God’s Word.

Links to other posts about Commitment

This post is one of several written about commitment. If you missed the others, you can find them here.

Commitment, Part 1

Commitment, Part 2

An Ultimate Commitment

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17 Responses to Commitment to Marriage

  1. Celeste says:

    Thank you for writing this…It has been one of the joys of our lives to know you both….


  2. Liz says:

    Oh that is beautiful. All of it. What a rich love you both share. I am so happy that you experienced this as so many do not.
    All my best blessings for 40+ more…


  3. Pingback: The Way We Were

  4. What a lovely and loving tribute Ruth. Congratulations to you both as you celebrate this amazing milestone.


  5. What a beautiful shining example of true love. Happy Anniversary to both of you Ruth. Wishing you many more healthy and happy years of marriage together. xo


    • Ruth Packard says:

      Thank you, Suzanne. We sat down and thought of 40 different memories for me to scrapbook. It was interesting to see what each of us remembered! It will be a treasure for our children.


  6. Congratulations, Ruth and David, for 40 years. What a tribute to your guy and a wonderful example of faithfulness and love. Did you ever go through the Beth Moore study of David? A man after God’s own Heart? It is one of my favorites. May God bless you with many more years of setting a true example and lots of strength.
    Peace & Joy ~ Suzanne


    • Ruth Packard says:

      Thanks so much! Hmmm…I don’t know whether I would choose Beth Moore’s David or Breaking Free. In fact I love everyone I’ve studied!!

      This post was part of my gift to David. We sat at the computer as I read it to him. He was touched that I had published it and has loved reading the comments on the blog and on FB.


  7. Lisa Lampkin says:

    Beautiful Aunt Ruth! What a blessing you each are to the other. I cried when I read this, it moved me deeply. I would love to hear about the 40 memories you came up with together. You are a blessing to your children. What an inheritance you are leaving them. I love you!


    • Ruth Packard says:

      So special to have you comment, Lisa. You absolutely can see our 40 Memories scrapbook when it’s finished. Come out here soon…that will be my incentive to get it done!

      Love you!!


  8. Karrlin Bain says:

    What a wonderful story about how the two of you met. It is wonderful. What a lucky girl!!! Happy Anniversary!! I really enjoyed this post!!


  9. As I reflect on my own relationships, this is a powerful post in perfect timing. I know you wrote it some time ago and for some reason, I wasn’t ready to read it. Now I understand 🙂 Commitment is a powerful word and way to live!


  10. Oh, and a big congratulations!!


  11. Amy Putkonen says:

    Wow, that is a beautiful post Ruth. It looks like you both have a real sense of the word commitment in your lives. Congratulations!


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