Filed under Series Resource Recommendations
When I was in elementary school, our dear librarian Miss Kisiel had a rule: you had to read three biographies before you were allowed to enter the special closet where the Nancy Drew collection was stored and select one of the precious books from the shelf.
I’ve long since out-grown my passion for Nancy Drew, but today I enjoy biographies more than ever. The other night I finished Winston and Clementine: The Personal Letters of the Churchills.
I am not aware that either of the Churchills were believers in Jesus Christ, and there are aspects of their family life I would not want to emulate. However, through these letters you get a glimpse into a marriage that was, in many ways, remarkable.
For fifty-seven years, through two world wars, countless political campaigns, two terms as prime minister, relationships with kings and presidents, and travels around the globe, Winston and Clementine maintained a loving and affectionate relationship. The record of which can be found in their countless letters to one another.
One letter from Winston to Clementine, early in their marriage closes with these words: “My dearest you are very precious to me and I rejoice indeed to have won and kept your loving heart. May it never cool towards me is my prayer and that I may deserve your love my resolve” (p. 75).
Fifty years later, Winston received this note from Clementine upon his return from a trip: “My Darling, The Time has seemed long without you—I shall be on the door-step to welcome you Home. Your devoted Clemmie” (p. 643).
Every biography, every life teaches. It warns or inspires. The marriage of Winston and Clementine, although not perfect, encouraged me to show even more affection to my wonderful husband. For it struck me that this couple’s consistent expressions of affection for one another over half a century were as much a means of preserving their love as a reflection of the love they already shared.
Now I only write one letter to Steve a year—on our anniversary. But almost every day I try to put a little note in his lunch. And I cherish the emails or text messages he sends me just to say, “I love you.” As a result of reading this book I’m inspired to email him more often. I’m thankful for the encouragement to grow in expressing tender love for my husband.