George Guthrie, biblical studies professor, and his wife Pat related the story of their marriage and shared lessons from their own experience in the first Crabtree Family Life Series chapel service Wednesday.
The lectures focus on preparing students for what Todd Brady, vice president for university ministries, called one of the most significant aspects of their lives: marriage.
Guthrie introduced the subject by saying the student body’s generation suffers from “a lot of confusion about relationships,” and the audience is part of the “I Kissed Dating Goodbye generation.”
The couple’s talk centered around the story of how they met and fell in love at seminary, while punctuating the narrative with three core pieces of advice.
First Guthrie said a student ought to seek the Lord before anything else.
“If you’re going to thrive in a relationship, you need to navigate the tunnels…know what you’re after,” he said.
Guthrie’s wife said she was smitten immediately when she first met her future husband in a seminary class he was teaching.
“[But] I wasn’t going to help God out,” she said. “Every class, when the bell rang, I was gone.”
The couple emphasized that they met at a time of mutual submission to God’s will for their lives, in which they were both “really seeking the Lord,” Guthrie said.
This Valentine’s Day marked the 29th anniversary of their first date, and this May they will celebrate their 28th year of marriage.
They told students the common cultural approach to relationship starts with questions of intimacy and goals before assessing God’s role. God ought to be the first priority, and that it is only through the mission God appoints that true intimacy is fostered, they said.
Pat said her husband had shown true sacrificial love to her in their marriage, helping her understand and handle her emotional baggage.
“George loved me and accepted me no matter what,” she said.
Guthrie said during those first years his job was to heed scripture’s instruction to lay down his life for the marriage.
Friday, Feb. 19, the Guthries will speak again in chapel, focusing more on understanding marriage as a platform for the kingdom of God.