Till Death Do We Part

by | Apr 17, 2020 | Death, Salvation

Harold and Ruth knew one another as children, but they began their courtship as pen pals while Harold served in the Army during World War II. They married in 1947. Ruth would later joke: “I let him chase me until I caught him!”

After their marriage, Harold became a teacher, coach and athletic director at Fort Recovery (Ohio) Schools, according to the Dayton Daily News. “They raised six children while looking after each other with a devotion that didn’t seem to diminish.”

As they grew older and their health declined, they moved into nursing home and shared the same room. A photo taken this summer shows him lying in a bed with his arm stretched through a guardrail in order to hold her hand. She is leaning in to press the top of her head to his.

On August 11, 2013, Harold Knapke passed away. 11 hours later, Ruth followed her husband in death. He was 91; she was 89. They died just a few days before their 66th anniversary. Relatives say that their love story’s ending reflects their devotion over 65 years of marriage.

“It is really just a love story,” said Carol Romie, one of the Knapke’s daughters.

“They were so committed and loyal and dedicated, they weren’t going to go anywhere without the other one.” *

“’Til death do us part.” The Knapke’s lived out these marriage vows to the end.

Their devotion resembles the kind of devotion that God has for YOU and for me! Yet, we often do not manifest the same devotion to Him, for we “sin and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Our sin separates us from Him… but He still loves us.

God loves us so much that He sent His Son into the world to die on the cross for our sins so that we can be reconciled to Him (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21). Through Christ we can have salvation and eternal life (Romans 6:23).

It’s the greatest love story. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” — Romans 5:8

We are reconciled to God through Christ when we place our faith and trust in Christ (Acts 16:30-31), turn from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:26-27). We are added to His family, the church (Acts 2:41, 47), and He continues to love us with an everlasting love (cf. Jeremiah 31:3), with a devotion that will never end. He will even continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).

One day, Jesus will return to take God’s children home to heaven (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Jesus loves us so much that He doesn’t want to return to His eternal home without us (John 14:1-3). If we stay devoted to Him, even DEATH cannot keep us separated from Him!

“No, in ALL these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.“ — Romans 8:37-39

Won’t YOU accept God’s offer of salvation and life by trusting and obeying Christ, and then remain devoted to Him until He comes again?

David A. Sargent


Till Death Do We Part