Love Suffers Long

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NKJV. 

57 years ago, Tony and Frances Toto got married. Sounds like they have a great marriage to be married for so long. Tony Toto said this in some of the articles about their marriage: “We’ve been blessed that we had, this time together all these years. There was one time when we had some rough times.” 

What marriage hasn’t had a few rough times? Of course, the Toto’s marriage probably has excelled in having “rough times.” I once worked with a guy in the oilfield whose wife had shot him a couple of times. His nickname was “Bull” short for “Bullet.” But that was just a little spat compared to the “rough times” of the Totos. There has actually been a movie produced about the couple called, “I love you to death.”

What happened to this ideal family with four kids and who had a successful pizza business? It appears that Tony had an affair and Frances was not very happy about it. So, Frances decided to end the marriage by putting Tony out of his misery. She hired some hitmen to try to kill him five times. Blew up his car once, attacked him with a baseball bat another time, and she tried to poison him. They shot him twice, one in the back of the head, and another through the chest. In defense of Frances, she says she wasn’t “thinking straight.” Tony was in the hospital for 12 days and still has a bullet in the back of his head. Frances went to prison for four years.

Why is this marriage still together? They forgave each other and they received counseling. They stress the importance of the need for communication between spouses. With the Totos we see that love truly does suffer long! (Fox19 Cincinnati, OH 02.17.23; bestlifeonline dot com 02.19.23; Lehigh Valley Regional News 02.14.23 and various other news venues.)

I believe it is true that in the times that we live that couples give up on marriage too quickly. In fact, I think that many marry with the idea that their first marriage may just be one of two or three or more that they will have during their lifetime. Of course, some just skip the marriage thing altogether, which is saying up front “this isn’t going to last.”

When my wife was teaching a teenage girls group the girls were talking once about the wedding dresses they would wear to their wedding. Actually, they were talking about weddings. For their first wedding they would wear this kind of dress, for their second they were going to wear another kind, and on and on.

When we marry it should be a lifetime, a one time kind of thing that we will fight for with the last breath that we have. Why? Because, true love founded on a relationship and a commitment to Jesus Christ “never fails.”

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