“I think we need to get squared away how we feel about each other.”

the story of the story of Elisabeth Howard & Jim Elliot

Just before our graduation, he took me out for a walk and he said, “Bet, I think we need to get squared away how we feel about each other.” I was floored! I almost went through the sidewalk because I didn’t know Jim had any feelings for me.

My Mama had told me when I was thirteen years old, “Never chase boys! And keep them at arm’s length!” So I had done my level best to make sure that nobody had any idea that I was interested in Jim Elliot!

So it made me a little bit irritated to think that Jim Elliot was saying, “I think we better get squared away how we feel about each other!” I thought, Well, what gives this guy any idea that I have some feelings for him!?

Listen to Valerie Elliot Shepard retell her parents’ love story on Revive Our Hearts:

Listen to Elisabeth Elliot tell parts of her love story with Jim Elliot on FamilyLife Today®:

One week before I graduated, a junior from Oregon named Jim Elliot, who had been sitting beside me in Greek classes and studying Thucydides with me in the hall outside the library, got around to admitting that he was in love with me. Marriage, however, was not a possibility, it seemed. He was convinced that God wanted him to be single like the apostle Paul, at least until he had been in jungle missionary work for long enough to determine whether a wife would be a liability or an asset. It was five and a half years before we got a green light from God to be married, five and a half years of learning to trust Him with what matters most, of walking by faith and not by sight, of believing the promise of Psalm 84: “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (v. 11).

-Elisabeth Elliot in Love Has a Price Tag

Read more of Elisabeth & Jim’s love story:

"God was slowly just using a bunch of different things to convict me that I had a certain script laid out for how [my love story] was going to go. He just impressed upon me the need to hold my hand more openly and not decide how it was going to look like and how it was going to go—that I would not be so quick to judge and so quick to determine [my husband] was or wasn’t him."

(Lisa Jacobson in "Are You Ready for a Real-Life Love Story?")