Today’s Featured Couple is Jeff and Pam!
Every couple has valuable treasure hidden in their relationship. The Spouse Dates Featured Couple Interview is designed to “mine” some of that treasure in order to share it with you.
As you read Jeff and Pam’s story I hope you find a gem, jewel or golden nugget that will encourage and inspire you in our own marriage!
Jeff & Pam have been married for 26 years and have 3 adult children. They have been in ministry since they graduated from college with the majority of that time focused on youth ministry. A few years ago they began sensing a new direction and are now planting a brand new church in Neptune City, New Jersey.
How did you first meet?
We met when I (Jeff) was a senior in High School and I was visiting my brother at college where Pam was also a student. I flirted a little and she rebuffed me promptly. After I graduated HS and began attending the same college I dated around a little. The summer of my freshman year we ended up being camp counselors in New Jersey together. A few months passes and I realized she was on my mind more than anyone so I set my sights on her exclusively. After a few more rebuffs (including a really one big one) she caved.
What was your first date?
Our first official date was at the old movie theater in town. We saw either The Princess Bride or American Tale. I can’t remember for sure but the Pizza at Franks afterwards was spot on, and big slices too!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome as a couple and how has that shaped your marriage? How would you advise another couple facing a similar thing?
We have had a number of difficult situations throughout the 26 years and it’s tough to say which one was the biggest. Two in particular were significantly traumatic.
Pam was near death on several occasions. With 3 kids and a typical 70 hr work week for me the burden was heavy. The kids were too young to realize what was actually happening.
The second major challenge was a few years later when we found ourselves without jobs, ministry position, church family and no place to live. Prior to this transition Pam’s mother passed away. For several years we ended up living at her Dad’s place.
In both situations we did all we could to support each other. When one was particularly down the other would lift them up. We always kept our eyes on Jesus and consistently tried to do the right thing. That is not always an easy thing to do in traumatic situations like that. We just kept moving forward. We just kept looking for the next best decision even if it was between two not particularly good options. Love is like that. Sometimes it’s just about commitment when you don’t feel emotions. To quote a famous fish…”Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.”
If you could go back in time and give one piece of marriage advice to your newlywed selves, what would that be?
I would tell myself to consciously enjoy the family time. Make a concentrated effort to be all there. The ministry will move on and no one will be there for you when you are old except family so invest more fun time into them.
What do you most look forward to doing with your spouse in the years to come?
How do other people describe you as a couple?
What is the most important thing you need to do prior to getting married?
Go into marriage with your eyes wide open. This is one decision you need to be right on. Make it good.
What is the most important thing you need to do after you get married?
Once married go through your life together with your eyes closed. To make the best of your marriage you will need to close your eyes to your mate’s faults often and extend unfailing love.
What is something you do on a regular basis that increases the strength and vitality of your relationship?
Weekly dating. Open communications about everything, even the difficult issues and emotions.
What is one of the most inspiring or rewarding experiences you have ever had together?
Raising our 3 kids. We could not be more proud of them and it truly was a perfect combination on both of our parts. Her strengths tended to be my weaknesses and visa-versa.
If you found an idea that encouraged or inspired you, be sure to pass it on!
Share it with your spouse, a friend or even in the comments below.