For Dave and Beth Stone, the word “service” has been central to their journey through life together. Whether serving God, their friends and family, the congregation at Southeast Christian Church, or one another, the Stone’s have demonstrated how the key to long-lasting, fulfilling love is in giving love away.
This week, we sat down with the Stones to talk about their history as husband and wife, and how after 26 years of marriage, their love is stronger than ever.
How did you meet?
Long before Dave and Beth ever began dating, she knew him as the youth minister who always dressed in a suit and tie at her church.
“He was a youth minister at a church here in Louisville and my family started going to that church,” Beth explained.
“I was in college and she was in college,” Dave said. “But, I was her teacher,” he grinned. “We started dating a while after. She helped out with some different programs and we spent some time together through that.”
How did he propose?
When it came time to ask Beth to marry him, Dave decided to get creative. He took her to Bashford Manor Mall, where he had a special surprise in store for her.
“I had set (the proposal) up at a wedding store,” Dave said. “We had talked about getting married and talked about the ring, so one day I said, ‘Hey let’s go in the store and look at invitations.’ ”
When Dave and Beth entered the store, a lady brought them a book.
“Beth was ready to go,” Dave continued. “We started going through the book and it had all these nice embossed (invitations) and I turned to one that I had hand-typed to our wedding.”
Dave asked Beth what she thought of the customized invitation, but she casually shook it off as uninteresting.
“I said, ‘Look at it again, I think you might like it.’” Dave said. “And she said, ‘No I don’t.’”
“I just glanced at it; I didn’t really look at it,” Beth laughed.
After going back to read the wording of the invitation, Beth soon discovered her parents’ and Dave’s parents’ names on the invitation.
“She knew something was up and when she turned to look at me, I was down on one knee,” Dave said.
How do you make it work on a day-to-day basis?
“I’d say respect,” Beth said. “Flexibility and (the attitude of) what can I do to help you today and what can you do to help me? We have that attitude of let’s help each other instead of (butting heads).”
“I’d say unselfish love and sacrificial love and unconditional love.” Dave added. “And don’t settle. Keep your standards up high and don’t lower them for some goofball guy.”
How do you divide up household chores?
It took a few years for Dave and Beth to figure out who would complete which set of chores.
“Now we’ve landed on what everybody’s responsibilities are,” Dave said. “I do all the taxes, the checkbook, the bills and she does the cooking and cleaning.”
“We’re pretty traditional when it comes to that,” Beth said. “We’re not one of those couples who says it has to be 50/50. That just works for us.”
Where do you like to go when you’re Out ‘n’ About?
Even though they are comfortable with being a rather high profile couple, sometimes they just want to escape from the city so they can spend some quality time alone.
“We like to get out of the area code because we don’t have a whole lot of privacy (here),” Dave explained. “Everywhere we go we run into someone, which we love, but when we only have a short time to go out to dinner to catch up, sometimes you do just want to get away.”
“We love to go to Tom Sawyer (park),” Beth said. “He runs and I walk.”
“We like to go to U of L games, too” Dave added. “And our favorite restaurant is Sake Blue.”
What is one thing you always do as a couple?
“Fridays,” Beth said. “Fridays are his day off, so we always take that day to eat lunch together and hang out. We really try to protect that day.”
“And we have prayer time together,” Dave added.
“I get a big Coke at McDonald’s on Friday,” Beth said with a smile. “And we’ll try to spend the day together even if it’s running errands.”
What is some advice you would offer couples – new or old – who desire to walk through life in tandem?
“We always tell (young couples) to protect your marriage and your relationship, one, by having a date night,” Beth said. “For some people that’s once a week, for some people it’s once a month. Also, don’t put the kids first over your relationship because it’s easy to do when you start having kids. Even when the kids were little, we always protected that time together.”
“There are three different routes you can go,” Dave advised. “That’s to have a Christ-centered relationship, for him to be a part of our family. Then the marriage comes next, and the kids know the marriage comes next, and then the kids. And, all three of those are more important than the job.”
Dave’s Do’s: “Do forgive. Marriage is an ongoing series of forgiveness. And love with unconditional love.”
Beth’s Do’s: “Forgive, serve, don’t be selfish. Just have fun and laugh. You have to laugh at each other.”
“Don’t hold a grudge,” Dave said.
“Don’t have divorce as an option,” Beth added. “This is it. It’s a commitment.”
November 1, 1985
Savannah (married to Patrick Garcia) 22; Sadie, 19; and Sam, 16
Dave is senior minister at Southeast Christian; Beth is a stay-at-home mom.
Cats or Cards
“C-A-R-D-S!” Dave cheered.
Category: In Tandem
About the Author (Author Profile)
Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).