I received another email (the first part of this post is here) about the sermon yesterday, for which I am also grateful, but which also calls for comment. The writer thanked me for the message, and then gave me additional information about the life of Robertson McQuilkin that corrects things I said in my closing illustration. The correct facts are even more beautiful than the mistaken ones I gave.
When Muriel McQuilkin was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Robertson was president of Columbia International University, a critical leadership position in a rapidly-growing school with a strong witness for Christ. His writing and speaking ministries were taking off. However, Dr McQuilkin made the decision to step down as president in order to personally care for his wife. (At that point in time, she still knew him and was able to communicate with him.) His close friends did not urge him to divorce Muriel (as I thought): they urged him to put her in an institution and remain as president of CIU, continuing his important work for the cause of Christ.
I think we can all see the temptation, even the logic, that McQuilkin faced. However, in his own prayers and convictions, he believed he only had one choice. His statement was, “Anyone can be the president of Columbia International, but I am the only person who can be Muriel McQuilkin’s husband.”
Later he wrote a book about his experiences, A Promise Kept. I haven’t read it, but the writer of the email says it is a book that every engaged couple ought to read. She goes on to quote John 15: “No greater love is this, than that a man lay down his life for a friend.”
I thank BOTH emailers for helping me be a better communicator! It is great to be a part of the Body of Christ at All Saints!
-Rev. Steve Breedlove