In the margin of my Bible, near the passage of 1 Peter 3:1-4, I have the words, “Bonnie Carlile” written. Bonnie was one of the finest Christian ladies I ever met. The very first thing Bonnie ever told me when I became her preacher was, “You’ve got to help get my husband Dale to become a Christian.” Bonnie and Dale had been married for 57 years. They raised 4 children who now all had children of their own.

Bonnie never missed church. She raised her children in the church, but Dale just wasn’t interested. No one was quite sure why, although Bonnie believe someone had hurt his feelings years and years ago and he just quit coming.

Bonnie would come by my office once a week or so and say, “Can we have a prayer for Dale together today?” I was always more than willing. Bonnie once told me that there had never been a day pass in her life that she hadn’t prayed that Dale would give his life to Christ. I told her to just keep praying. I can still hear her say to me, “I can’t stand thinking about enjoying heaven with out my Dale.”

Dale and I got to be great friends. Dale was a good man who loved to talk of the Dallas Cowboys and the local happenings, but he never really wanted to talk about God, Jesus or church. I do remember when she called me, so excited, saying, “Dale wanted to know what you preached about this morning and what we studied about in Bible class.” Dale was beginning to ask questions.

Not long after that Bonnie began to get sick. She began to struggle mentally. Alzheimer’s set in quickly and the family soon had to make the decision to send Bonnie to a nursing home. Her body was still so strong, but her mind just quit working. Bonnie never got to see her Dale become a Christian, but thankfully that’s not the end of the story.

One Sunday morning I looked up while preaching and there sat Dale on a back pew. He scooted and before anyone really took notice of him. It wasn’t long after that, that Dale started to come a little more often. He began to attend devotionals and worship with Bonnie at the nursing home where she was staying. Although, mentally Bonnie didn’t realize it, Dale was seeking.

On October 20, 2001, I was blessed to witness Dale Carlile confess his faith in Jesus Christ and be baptized. He began that day a new relationship with God. And while I think God had much to do with softening his heart, so did his sweet wife Bonnie, who never ever gave up on him. Bonnie is an example of 1 Peter 3:1-4

“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
That’s why I have written in the margin of my bible “Bonnie Carlile.” She was the perfect example of this. I was a little sad the day Dale became a Christian, because she was not there to know it. Bonnie was to sick to know that her beloved Dale that she’d prayed for so fervently for all these years had become a Christian.

I did Dale’s funeral in June of 2005. He got to heaven first. Bonnie passed away 7 months after Dale from her battles with her Alzheimer’s. Because of her sickness, those last few years of Bonnie’s life, she didn’t know that Dale given his life to Christ. Oh how I would have loved to have seen her face that day she saw heaven. Can you imagine when she looked up at the glories of heaven and there among them was her Dale? The same Dale she’d prayed for every day. The same Dale that she told me, “I just can’t imagine enjoying heaven without my Dale.” I think she probably shed a tear of joy and maybe, just maybe, danced a little. Now those two old love birds will spend an eternity together, because the faith, perseverance and example of a faithful wife.

What a love story! And it’s all because of Jesus.

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
26 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Tim Archer says:

    Thanks, Trey. I needed the encouragement today.

    Grace and peace,

  2. The Preacher's Household: says:

    PRECIOUS! I am reminded of the old Acapella song, “I want to die just a moment before the final judgement call. So the Lord and I can come right back, and I can take you home.”

    Whose to say she didn’t understand even in the midst of her fog. Her soul could have still been in the habit of praying.

  3. Stachia says:

    What a wonderful story and it is awesome to know he was waiting on her when she got there. What devotion!

  4. Bobby Cohoon says:

    Great job trey! The last paragraph drew a few tears.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Prayer really works!!!!
    What a testimony, what a story!
    God and Dale—both smiling as they plan Bonnie’s welcome home party—-Way Cool Trey.


  6. Chris says:

    Trey, exceptional post and example of scripture living in modern times. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Next time, however, there needs to be some type of warning attached to articles of this nature so that people such as myself who have soft hearts and cry easily and work in a manly environment of construction will know to read from home rather than while at work!

    I love stories such as this.

  7. That Girl says:

    It’s not nice to make me cry at work. I still pray for my ex husband. I tried to be an example but I was no Bonnie.

  8. Mommysmart says:

    I was just going to read your blog really quickly and start studying. Now I am bawling like a baby and can’t dry my eyes. That was a WONDERFUL story. Thanks for sharing.

  9. DJG says:

    I think she was probably dancing ALOT!!

  10. TREY MORGAN says:

    Donna – I agree.

    I’m so glad I’ve made everyone cry today. Just kidding. You just can’t keep a love story like this to yourself.

    Come to think of it, I told this story in a sermon a while back and struggled (big time) to get through it.

  11. W.W.W, says:

    Thanks for sharing. I love real stories with great ending!
    Love you,

  12. Gallagher says:

    Beautiful story….There will be rejoicing in heaven!

  13. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Are you just trying to get us to count our blessings instead of complaining?

  14. TREY MORGAN says:

    Here is something really strange (Twilight Zone strange). I talked to Bonnie Carlile’s daughter today about the post I had written about her today. She told me that today would have been her 76th birthday.


  15. Bob Bliss says:

    Is that their picture?

  16. NB says:

    You always have just the right story at just the right time. This one was perfect!

    I love happy endings. And what are the chances that you posted this on her birthday? I’m sure Dale and Bonnie are smiling about that one.

  17. Paula Harrington says:

    These are two folks I can’t wait to meet. Thanks for sharing their story.

  18. jel says:

    this is a great story!


  19. Brandon Price says:

    That is a beautiful story. Maybe we’ll get to watch that reunion during movie nights Up There. Good stuff, good stuff.

  20. TREY MORGAN says:

    Bob … not their picture. But it is a great picture.

  21. Don Neyland says:

    Cool story.


  22. Keith says:

    Great post. I knew many women in the church growing up just like her, who spoke volumes without saying a word with their meek, loving spirit of meekness for their mates. I’m sure she appreciated your prayer times together on behalf of Dale. She spent a lifetime trying to rescue that one special lost sheep. You helped.

  23. Liz Moore says:

    What a testimony of love and of God’s love because she chose to be Jesus with skin on in her husband’s life. And I’m sure many other lives around her! Thanks for sharing this story.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Bonnie and Dale were an awesome couple!
    Even tho I knew this story (and saw it) it still made me cry.
    I remember sitting in the Wednesday Night Ladies Bible Class and Bonnie expressed her concern and love for Dale. Made me cry then, too!


  25. David Kirk says:

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing it!

  26. Mike says:

    This reminds me yet again that God answers prayer, I think that when some of us get to heaven God will say “come over here and look in this room”, then he will say “These are the things that I would have given to you if only you would have prayed and asked for them”

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
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