Not everyone gets to meet their wife’s ex-boyfriend from high school, much less, gets the privilege of anticipating that meeting.
It was the Summer of ’09. My wife, Julie, and I packed the kids into the minivan for a pilgrimage to Topeka, KS where we would join many other pilgrims for a reunion of the youth group in which my wife grew up. (You’ll find my wife in the picture, 2nd from the left on the front row, holding the snazzy t-shirt made for the event.)
Only the connective power of Facebook could make something like this happen. Indeed, Facebook not only made it happen, it told us who was coming.
So I knew ahead of time that I would be meeting Bill. (That would be the ex-boyfriend from high school.)
And even more joy, because he’d be coming with his wife and kids.
But WAIT! The joy just keeps on coming, since both of Bill’s sisters (who were also former youth groupies) would be attending as well, along with their families. And even Julie had forgotten how involved Bill’s parents had been in the youth group back in it’s heyday and, YEP, they came too.
So basically, thanks to Facebook, I got to attend the family reunion of my wife’s ex-boyfriend from high school.
Thanks, Facebook! You shouldn’t have.
No really, you shouldn’t.
Actually, to be perfectly honest, Bill turned out to be a great guy. It was a pleasure to meet him. And his wife and kids. And his sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews. Yes, and his parents too.
Of course there was the occasional awkward moment, like when someone commented to Bill’s eldest teenage daughter, “It must be pretty boring coming to something like this and having to hang out with a bunch of old people.”
Her response seemed to suck all of the air out of the room…
“Oh not at all! I wanted to come here and meet all of my Dad’s ex-girlfriends!”
Ahhh… the subtlety of youth.
But I digress. Back to Bill, the former youth group ladies’ man.
At one point, I was explaining to him the vision behind what we do at Future Marriage University. He was genuinely intrigued. Not only that, he seemed to totally get it. In fact, when I was done he replied, “So what you’re saying is…
“True love doesn’t just wait. IT PREPARES!'” – Bill Gandy
I stood there staring at him in disbelief.
Here I’d been talking to college students, youth and young adults about sex, dating and relationships since 2003, but after the briefest of conversations, this guy – my wife’s ex-boyfriend from high school, of all people – is somehow able to sum up the vision of FMU in one perfect sentence.
Clearly, Bill not only had a way with women. He had a way with words too.
And that’s why I hate him.
Not really. But I did make a little doll in his likeness which I use as a pin cushion to this day. Not literally, but in my imagination.
All bitterness aside, and, in fact, in honor of Bill, I offer a few other thoughts on True Love. (None of them as good as his, of course, but not everyone can be their wife’s ex boyfriend from high school.) They’re all quotes I’ve shared in a series of Reasons to Prepare for Relational Success Before You Fall In Love.
Reason #114: Saying, “As you wish,” requires a true love that’s willing to serve sacrificially for life. – Westley (Princess Bride)
Reason #150: Finding your true love isn’t half as hard as having and holding on to them until death do you part.
Reason #153: True love’s kiss won’t pay the light bill.
Reason #217: True love doesn’t materialize in a moment of magic. It grows out of relational intimacy over time.
Reason #300: True love is not intuitive.
Reason #326: True love is synonymous with true sacrifice. And that is what makes marriage truly difficult.
Reason #327: True love must be nurtured as if it was a living thing. Because it is.
Reason #328: True love is NOT something you find. It is something you share. And you can’t share something you don’t already have.
Reason #330: True love is NOT something you lose. It is something that will never let you go. But counterfeits abound.
Every quote above (including Bill’s) has been previously shared as one of many Reasons to Prepare for Relational Success Before You Fall In Love on both:
Want to share one? Please hashtag #B4UfallNluv and tag me @FMUniversity. And let us know your favorite in the comment section below (unless it’s Bill’s quote and in that case I don’t care).
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
Want to go beyond what a blog post can accomplish? The LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE YOU FALL IN LOVE!
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through it on your own, but it’s more fun with friends, so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study. Even better? And ask a married couple you respect to lead it!