The Full Story
An Indwelling Love Story
Our love story started well before either of us was actually born. You see, we believe God the Father assigned us to be husband and wife on Heaven's side.
You can get married and serve each other, but it’s only a Christ-As-Life marriage if Jesus is released through each other to each other. Both husband and wife need to grow together in their walk in Christ. You should be experiencing the overflow of the Holy Spirit with each other as both walk through the challenges of married life. Your purpose should be to serve Christ by serving the Spirit of God that indwells each other. After that, it is a walk in the park.
The Love Bug
While Stephen & Jane believe God assigned them to join in matrimony in Heaven, they met for the first time at a birthday party for Stephen's brother. Both were in their early twenties. Stephen was immediately smitten by the "love bug" at first glance. Jane, however, did not share the same sentiments. She had heard many "stories" about him and was more reluctant to view Stephen as a candidate for an everlasting relationship.
The next time they met was two years after this party. During those two years, Stephen slid down a slippery slope of moral decay. He lost his job due to selling drugs through his workplace. Now unemployed, he is led to renew his relationship with Jesus through Corrie ten Boom. After this "factory reset." with Christ, Jane sends a letter sharing an employment opportunity with an organization serving the handicapped. Desperately needing a job, he applies for the position. To his surprise, he was employed.
On the day both were to sign their contracts for employment, Stephen came out of the CEO's office to see Jane signing her contract - at that moment, he said to himself, "I'm going to marry this woman." Within two weeks, after seeking her father's permission, he asked Jane to marry him. In shock, Jane said, "I can't say 'no,' but I will think about it." Stephen told her to keep the ring and put it on when she is ready. That took two weeks. They set the next year aside to get to know one another before approaching the altar.
Meantime, Jane continues living a moral Christ-centered life. Being a college graduate, she was educated, "smart," wise, and full of Christ. However, her soon-to-be groom couldn't read or write and was functioning on "fake it until you make it." When Jane discovered this challenge, she taught him to read and write by using the Word of God. Both spent their one-year engagement getting to know each other through Bible studies, working together, and exploring the tenderness of an honorable relationship.
Due to Stephen's past immoral relationships, he pushed the boundaries of their pure relationship. With Jane's immovable honor unto the Lord AND herself, by the Grace of God, their relationship remained pure. In June of 1977, they joined the Lord in Holy matrimony. Both consider their marriage vows, and ceremony, to be the foundation of a Godly marriage made in Heaven. Each of them maintained this purity to this day.
Soon after their marriage, God blessed them with their first child, Abigail Grace. Then came number two, Elizabeth Marie, and their final blessing, Jessica Louise. Since Jane had difficult pregnancies, the doctor recommended Stephen get a vasectomy. A decision both regret to this day.
Their 45+ years of marriage were filled with all the "normal" challenges that come with marriage. However, due to solid Biblical discipleship through the years, both handled those challenges by releasing the Life of Christ from within. They are advocates of resolving all challenges through Christ. Both believe this approach to life's challenges IS the solution. One of the leading principles they have maintained is never to let the sun go down on your anger. For the most part, this single belief has kept the enemy at bay.
Now in their sixties, Stephen & Jane are committed to the institution of marriage - one plus one equals one. Stephen has become a prolific writer, media producer, and discipler. Jane teaches Bible Studies, disciples women, and is a faithful encourager to her daughters and grandchildren, presently eleven of them. The two of them faithfully support needy children in several remote countries. They are encouragers of struggling believers worldwide. Dr. Phinney also pastors a small local fellowship weekly. However, their greatest love is building a legacy for their grandchildren.
The mission within our marriage is to build a legacy of the Life of Christ through the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. We consider the fruit of Gentleness as one of the key manifestations of building lasting marriages and relationships.
We are passionate about seeing all lost souls go to Heaven. As for our marriage, we find great comfort in knowing if one of us passes from this life before the other, knowing the other will be in Heaven makes it easier for the other to go home - "Knowing You'll Be There."