When wealth or fame elude you or fade in the light of day, the grounding that a committed help-mate and best friend can give to one's life is priceless. We have the greatest riches a couple can acquire: a family that loves the Lord and one another. - Bill Duncan, Groton, S.D.
As a trial lawyer, I would say that Joel Belz's unsubstantiated statement that the civil justice jury system is dominated by the "down and outers of society" reflects neither the Minnesota experience nor my courtroom experience. It is simply wrong. Try convincing my school-teacher wife (who begins jury duty next week) and other Minnesotans that they constitute the dregs of society. - Jim Ballentine, Minneapolis, Minn.
Mr. Olasky asks an impossible task: Describe, in 100 words or less, Why marry? ("Make up your mind," Feb. 8). Marriage is laundry, lawn mowing, dishes, candlelight dinners, grocery lists, errand running, Valentine roses, flu-bug hand-holding, joint checking accounts, Christmas hideaway cash, and serious living with a sense of humor. It's covenant over contract, lovemaking instead of having sex, big dreams and broken lives, heaven and the valley of the shadow. It's living the pale allusion of that eternally faithful relationship. It's partaking in the deep romance of the Incarnate Word. Marriage whispers the mystery of Christ's love lived out by two devoted souls in the everyday commonplace. - Michael Barfield, St. Charles, Mo.
Both God and my husband are inexplicable at times, but I won't split from either one! - Sue C. Wheeler, Lansing, Mich.
The greatest benefit of a long-term marriage relationship is that I get to hold my wife's hand every day. When she sits down beside me and slips her hand into mine, much is said without a word. We clasped those same two hands together on our wedding day and again during the birth of our children, at baptisms, graduations, weddings and funerals of loved ones. To hold the hand of my wife brings me as close to true tranquility as I will experience this side of heaven. - Galen Martin, Roaring Spring, Pa.
In "Rocking-chair rockers" (Feb. 1), Mr. Veith states that many baby boomers are "fixated on their faded youth, still listening to the same tunes they listened to in high school and refusing to grow up, even now." Why does he think that someone who still enjoys rock music is "refusing to grow up"? If someone has always enjoyed country, classical, or any other type of music, are they too "refusing to grow up"? - Randy Dycus, Ingram's Mill, Miss.
Peering at juries
"Whose peers?" (Feb. 8) was excellent. Just last week I was discussing with my sons the weaknesses of raw democracy when coupled with an incompetent, ignorant, and unethical populace. - Mark Chanski, Holland, Mich.
I read with great interest your article on Parental Alienation Syndrome ("Up in arms," Feb. 8). As a happily married father of five, it breaks my heart whenever couples feel the need to present custody disputes to family-court judges. As a family-court judge, I frequently see two parents who have difficulty refraining from badmouthing the other to their kids. While I love my job, I truly am sorry there is the need for it, because it means families are in disarray. The greatest resource I have in my deliberations on who gets primary custody, etc., is prayer. - M. Drew Crislip, Clarksburg, W.Va.
Thank you for your timely article on PAS. The issue arrived Friday evening. Saturday morning my attorney called and informed me that I had not only lost in my attempt to get custody of my younger daughter, but I had also lost custody of my younger son because the professional witness had diagnosed him with PAS. - Phil Knapp, Arco, Idaho
In my experience, most psychologists are only one step above witch doctors. For too long, all a worthless mother had to say was "molested," and she was guaranteed custody of the child. Are courts starting to recognize the destructive influence such mothers have on their children? It is about time. - John T. Bigham, Bartlett, Tenn.
As a loyal WORLD subscriber and a Behavioral Medicine physician, I was dismayed by "Up in arms." This very real, bona fide disorder exists and is nefariously evil. - Wm. R. Collie IV, Little Rock, Ark.
I was really impressed with Patricia Heaton's stance against inappropriate language ("Clearing the air," Feb. 8). People like Ms. Heaton will make this world a better place because she is not afraid to let this generation know that personal morals and character do count. - Michael Sickenius, Granite Springs, N.Y.
I don't worry about turning gray and wrinkled. I have a partner who is committed to loving me "for better or worse." And when the time comes for death to end the partnership, I know God will be there to walk with the one remaining. - Gale Wiseman, Camden, Ark.
"Until death do us part" was not a prison sentence but the most liberating vow we've ever uttered. After 22 years, we know that the best foundation for that intimacy is Spirit-empowered, mutual lifetime commitment. At times it is no picnic; but the ants, storms, and bad mayonnaise of life can mark new beginnings, not the end. - Todd & Jenny Sorenson, Suwanee, Ga.
We consider each other as best friends. He has helped me to laugh more and I have helped him to keep his feet on the ground (he's sometimes a dreamer). My John is an answer to my prayer: a good Christian husband who loves me. - Maxine Ouellette, Williamston, N.C.
Marriage is a team sport, and a healthy marriage enables us, parents and children, to accomplish more for Christ as a team than as individuals. - Kim Ykema, Voorheesville, N.Y.
By the grace of God my parents gave me a secure and loving home because of their long-term marriage commitment. As the youngest of five children, would I have been born if short-term gratification had been part of their worldview? - Fred Stoll, Rock Hill, S.C.
Nothing has happened in our 47 years together that was not better because we shared it. To have another human being vitally involved in the same goals, the same children and grandchildren, the same God, and the same decisions through all the long journey, up hills and down, gives a certain sense of security and cohesiveness to life that you cannot have when you travel alone. - Michael & Carol Korpak, Grand Junction, Mich.
We recently celebrated our 50th anniversary. We are children of the Great Depression and of WWII. Though not without conflict, we have honored our vows, been blessed by children and grandchildren, and had a loving, laughing, adventurous time. No short-term, live-in arrangement can match that. - Emily N. Thomas, Shelbyville, Ky.
God's special favor
Over the last year or so, many U.S. Protestant leaders have urged the endorsement of far-reaching and unilateral political commitments to the people and land of Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, citing Holy Scripture as warrant. Media presentations claim that "70 million evangelicals in America" believe that God shows special favor toward ethnic Israel, and that the Bible's promises concerning the land are fulfilled in a special political region or "Holy Land," perpetually set apart by God for one ethnic group. Such statements damage the cause of Christ and His gospel, particularly in the Middle East and the Arab world. Faculty members at Knox Theological Seminary have posted an open letter concerning "the People of God, the Land of Israel, and the Impartiality of the Gospel," and I encourage readers to view it at www.knoxseminary.org/Prospective/Faculty/WittenbergDoor/index.html. - E. Calvin Beisner, Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Hurrah for Prisca Shrewsbury for winning the hard way ("No qualifiers needed," Feb. 1). I was pleased to see WORLD point out the discrepancy with racial quotas: they are double racism. When will colleges accept students based solely on their academic performance? - Abby Johnson, Powhatan, Va.
The USAF aircraft picture on p. 18 of the Feb. 15 issue is a C-141 Starlifter.