I have a niece getting married in just a few days. Attending a bridal shower for her, I sat in the living room where my grandparents lived most of my growing-up years. Thinking about love (and marriage), I remember Gramma and Grampa Attig with a smile.
Married on May 31, 1919 they raised three children and lived a quiet, simple life. They said they’d never had a disagreement. No one, not even their children, had ever heard them argue. One woman responded to this claim saying that Gramma must have “suppressed her own personality and just given in.” Obviously, this person did not know Gramma – or Grampa.
Ralph Attig was a kind man – willing to help others if he could. He was a farmer most of his life, ran a grocery store/post office in Lowpoint, and even in retirement raised chickens, pigeons, and a very large garden. We had apple, apricot, pear, cherry, and peach trees, strawberries, blueberries, and grapes. Lydia froze or canned all the produce and made jam, jellies, cookies, pies, and cakes. I even remember her making smearcase and hanging it on the clothesline. (cottage cheese) We lived next door and we all were well fed! Gramma liked to crochet, sew, (She was always willing to sew a ruffle on the bottom of my dresses when she thought they were too short.), bake, and play the piano. She was a bit of a ham and full of spunk! Grampa was extraordinarily musical as he taught himself one instrument, then traded it in for a new instrument to learn. I’d watch in wonder as the hall closet yielded, over time, a bass, a cello, a baritone, a clarinet, a trombone, a cornet, a violin, and a viola.
Every morning at breakfast, Ralph and Lydia would read from the Bible and then kneel at their chairs and pray. Included in those prayers were petitions for each member of their family. Ralph and Lydia lived their lives according to God’s Word. Each Saturday night, Ralph would prepare his Sunday School lesson. Self-taught, he knew his Bible. He read through it every year. He was the spiritual leader in the family. They loved God and were content in the lives they lived. And the love they had for each other was patterned after the love Paul describes in Ephesians 5:22-29.
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church.”
Ralph loved Lydia more than he loved himself.
Lydia loved Ralph more than she loved herself.
And that is true love.