I awoke this morning and realized that this was the fiftieth anniversary of my first Valentines Day with Judy. On that day in 1969, she handed me a homemade Valentine. I opened it and a large red heart, glued to the end of a compressed curler, sprung out at me. I was delighted and felt especially honoured. I didn’t know it then, but this would be the pattern. Every Vantine’s Card since has been an original creation, and it has had the same effect, the feeling of being loved and honoured.

We met on a blind date just before Thanksgiving in 1968. I was 19 and Judy 20. Our first date was ho-hum. But on the second, just before Christmas, she set the hook. From that day forward we have been inseparable. At the time neither of us were Christians. But, after our marriage, two years later, by the grace of God, we were both converted. Since then Christ has been the ultimate source of our marital joy.

Judy Stroh Farley

God has been exceedingly kind to us. It would be impossible to enumerate his many blessings. They include five children and twenty-two grandchildren. In addition, our children have all married believers. Three are in the ministry or married to someone in the ministry. I also enjoyed a wonderful career in the business world. Then, in 2002 God gave me the privilege of planting a church. My oldest son now pastors it. Added to that has been the blessing of publishing six books.

But the greatest grace, the matter of supreme joy, has been my marriage to Judy, my best friend. Nothing else, except my conversion, remotely compares. I would surrender all my other earthly blessings before I would part with this one.

So on Valentine’s Day 2019, I rejoice with “joy unspeakable and full of glory,” as I thank God for the gift of a lifetime Valentine love.