Reflections on 40 Years Married to Steve Douglass

We were married June 8, 1975. He made wonderful promises.

He has kept those promises.

Forty years later he still says things like this often:

Is there anything I can do for you?     

I love you more than when I married you!   

I would marry you again today!   

You get more beautiful all the time.

Forty years of such affirmation is a remarkable gift.

Here’s the funny part.

I’m the writer, storyteller, emotional, concerned about people one.

He’s the engineer who loves to get things done and learned all he knows about emotion from me.

Turns out, he’s the romantic one. At least more than I am.

But oh how I love his love and affirmation of me--spoken and demonstrated daily. For birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas, he carefully picks meaningful cards. Or he writes amazing love notes instead. (He even wrote poetry when we were dating.)

Here’s what he wrote for me on my 70th birthday—and read to me in front of friends gathered at the party he threw for me.

Dear Judy,

 It has given me great joy to make a life together with you. The first impression I had of you was your     big, joyful smile….

I also remember that evening at Swede and Judy Anderson’s home. It was a going away party for         Bailey and Elizabeth Marks, but I only remember being with you most of the evening.

I remember feeling a little lonely on a rainy Saturday afternoon and asking you over to read together by the fireplace.

I remember many tennis matches and bicycle rides together. Who can forget the ride to Yucaipa and back?

I remember our prayer times in my office some mornings. I particularly remember praying with you         that Bill would approve the new magazine for staff donors. And I certainly remember later that day       as we exchanged glances as you and others were going into Bill’s home for that fateful meeting on       the magazine. Moments later Bill said it was my decision. I guess you would say I made the right decision—all the way around.     

I remember proposing to you and watching you cry tears of joy. I hadn’t yet learned enough from you about emotions, so I was just happy and in love.     

I remember our many planning weekends, starting with some time on our honeymoon.

I remember encouraging you to finish and publish your first book.     

I remember being proud of you as you served as an officer of the Evangelical Press Association and     hosted their convention at Arrowhead Springs.     

I remember being there as Debbie was born and feeling helpless as you learned to cope with her         constant demands on you. I remember the blessing it was for Michelle to be a more relaxed child.      

I remember coaching soccer together. Who would have ever seen that coming?     

I remember your revelation from God which resulted in Josh coming to live with us.

I remember the challenges and joys in the years that followed.     

I remember walking our kids through relationships and eventually marriage. I am now particularly enjoying seeing you function as a fabulous “Jeedoo.” You are so good at keeping up with the grandkids’ desires. You bring them joy just as you do to me and so many others. Now, at this point in your life and career, I enjoy watching you achieve an incredible level of use of the gifts and experiences God has given you. I admire and try to encourage your use of Facebook, Twitter and the Blogosphere. You are having such a ministry and influence for God. So I end where I began. It has given me great joy to make a life with you. It is my prayer that God will give us many more joyful years together.

Your loving husband,     


Steve and Judy Douglass

Steve and Judy Douglass


As I said, 40 years of such affirmation is a remarkable gift.

Our relationship took awhile—we dated for five years. Many times I have said, “He was worth waiting for.”

Forty years later, I know he was well worth waiting for.. And I’m thinking I will stick with him for as many more years as God gives us.

Thank you, Steve, for 40 amazing years of walking through life together!

I love you,