Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Purity of Heart Interview with Good Friends Joel and Debbie Penfold

Joel and Debbie Penfold- 2010
I want to introduce you today to some very good friends of my family. Joel and Debbie Penfold have been an exemplary gift of purity in their marriage. May this interview inspire you to remain steadfast in God’s principles.
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First, let me thank both of you for doing this interview with me! Your love story is one I love to hear and always reminds me of the power of a lasting love. I especially loved it in your last letter, how you said, “Joel is still the one”. I am excited to introduce you both to my blog readers today!
First, I know we all wish to know, how long have you been married?
38 years on December 9th, 2010
Wow, so many years together! What an example you have set (and are setting!). Would you mind telling us briefly about how you two met?
We attended the same Junior High. We had noticed each other, but met at a movie we attended separately when Joel came down and sat with Debbie. From that time on, we started seeing each other.
Did you at any point in your relationship before marriage, ever question your reasoning to stay pure?
Even though we were not Christians at the time, we knew that it was not right to be sexually active.
Why do you believe it is so vital for young people to stay sexually pure before marriage?
It is vital for young people to stay sexually pure because 1: God commands it. 2: He knows what is best for us mind, body and spirit. 3: Sexual purity keeps one from regrets that can affect their spiritual, mental and physical well being
What joy is there for you both, knowing that your relationship began completely untarnished? Has it made your marriage stronger?
It is a joy to us to know that we have only had each other. We have grown and learned only with one another. We believe that God put us together and it honors him that we have been faithful to each other and the plan He had for our young lives. Even though we were not aware of His working in our lives when we were 15 years old.
We don’t have extra baggage to carry in our marriage, because of our faithfulness to one another. We are determined by God’s grace to be faithful to one another knowing He will preserve us, whatever we face, if we are faithful to Him and to each other

As a couple who have been married several decades now, with children also in sound marriages, do you have advice for the young person struggling in their convictions, or encouragement to continue to maintain that strength?
First, remember that God’s grace covers all sins. Young people need to be aware of sexual temptations in their lives and plan ahead not to be lured into tempting situations. Be careful where you and who you are with.
Know in your heart and mind that marital sexuality is a beautiful gift from God that is worth waiting for. No regrets for waiting. Stand firm in what you know is right.

**Reminder that every comment this week on the Purity of Heart series, enters you for one of four chances to win a novel by Julie Lessman**


  1. It's good to hear from a couple who were both not Christians when they were dating and still committed themselves to purity. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Joel and Debbie sound like a great couple. Enjoyed the interview. They seem like a good role model for others. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Nice interview, Casey! I was blessed by what Joel and Debbie shared and it certainly is beautiful to meet a couple that waited and stayed pure from each other - sounds like my parents story :) But they are very right when they said that God’s grace covers all. Love certainly does cover a multitude of sin. I would tell those who haven't waited that even if someone hasn’t stayed pure for their future spouse, the Lord can repair and restore the brokenness so they can present something beautiful and whole to their future spouse someday. Once God gets in your heart and cleans house you can be sure that He will make all things new again and "restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten." We serve a very loving, patient and forgiving God :)

    I’m excited for more testimonies! Thanks again for doing this, my friend :)


  4. Really enjoying this week's posts/interviews! Looking forward to the rest of the week. Thanks!!

  5. MARGARET, it is, isn’t it! And the fact that NOW they are such a strong example for Christ is so inspiring! :)

    PATSY, oh they are! I do so love spending time around Joel and Debbie. :)

    AMANDA, YES God can do amazing things in the darkest of hearts. ANYTHING is possible with Him. I love that one song from Casting Crowns about casting your sins as far as the east is from the west. So beautiful! That scripture is SO comforting, especially as I can cling to my past mistakes and bemoan what I have done. Such a reminder of our God’s great love! I need to listen to that song again… :)

    JACKIE S., I’m so glad! Thanks for coming by. :)

  6. Enjoyed the interview, Casey, Joel, and Debbie! Certainly a wonderful testimony, and great encouragement.

    Thank you for sharing your story,
    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

  7. Wonderful interview.

    Thanks again for sharing this Casey! It's great to see this being talked about!

    <3 ya lady! So proud of you!


  8. MICHELLE, there testimony is incrediable! I love to listen to them tell it. :)

    CAROLM, so glad you got a sec to stop by and enjoy it!

    <3 <3 ;-)

  9. WOW, Casey, I LOVE hearing the story of couples like Joel and Debbie because it shouts to the world that true, deep and committed love is a reality, not a fantasy!!

    And Joel and Debbie, AMEN to that "extra baggage" comment!! As a wild child of the 60s and 70s, I became pure again at the point of Christ, but although forgiven and a new creature in Christ Jesus, one never remains unscathed by the baggage of one's past.


  10. Thanks for sharing this lovely story. How amazing that you met at age 15 and never wavered! That's the kind of love we writers dream of writing!!

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  11. I enjoyed the interview with Joel and Debbie. What a gift God gave them when they had the knowledge and fortitude to stay pure from the very beginning of their relationship, even when they were not Christians.
    I hope they have many more years together.


  12. Sound advice from a nice looking couple with a pair of handsome dogs too. :)

    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

  13. What an awesome posting. I always love to hear testimonies like this.

    Cindy W.


  14. What a beautiful love story! 38 years! Thanks Casey for bringing it to us!
    I love that you are doing this series about purity.

  15. Ditto that... 38 years? Awesome! Thank you so much, Mr. and Mrs. Penfold for such wonderful reminders about purity. As a teenage girl, it's something that is a daily battle. Your story reminds me that it'll all be worth it some day. Thanks to you both and Casey! : )


  16. Thanks so much, Joel and Debbie. It's so refreshing to hear you say, "Joel's still the one."

    Warmly, Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

  17. Wow! What an amazing story.
    I second what Tahiri wrote.

  18. JULIE, I know, so do I! I will often wonder if love such as theirs is the stuff of romance novels, but then I see couples like them or you and Keith or my parents and it’s not. It’s real and you just have to WAIT for it! :- )

    SUSAN ANNE, don’t you just love that story? I ask to hear it every time they visit. :- )

    PAM K., I thought the same thing, when I read that part of the interview. God was preparing them before they even knew it. I know they are supremely grateful for that now.

    PEGG THOMAS, LOL! There are dogs are very nice pets. I love them. :- )

    CINDY W., Thanks for coming by to read it!

    FAYE, I’m so glad it is blessing you! I know it has done that and so much more for me this week! 38 years is nothing to sneeze at and I hope they are given at least another 20 together. :- )

    TAHIRI, yes it will be worth it, won’t it! And when you get to where Joel and Debbie are and look back, you will have NO REGRETS. Seems to be a theme this week. :- )

    ANN LEE, I loved that too when I read it. I don’t think you could say anything sweeter about your spouse.

    LEAH, thanks for coming by to visit us today!

  19. Thirty-eight years... wow. Spending that, and the rest of your life, with someone you love must be a wonderful experience. I hope I meet 'the one' soon.


  20. SAMANTHA, keep prayin' girl! I'm joining you on that same journey. :)

  21. Another incredible couple and story! Thanks for sharing!

    leanniegehrke at hotmail dot com

  22. It's really sweet how both of you stayed pure until marriage! Now a days, guys don't seem "manly" or whatever unless they've been around the block once or twice. As a 16 year old girl, I have no idea what the appeal of that is, but oh well. Thanks for sharing your story and giving me hope for my future :)

  23. this message is so much needed these days.

    Love a chance to win Julie's newest book. I have the other 4. I'm a julie fan

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  24. Thank you for the great testimony! And I would love any of Julie's books. I don't have any of them!

  25. LEANNE, theirs is one incrediable story and if you could meet them in person, it would make it even more real. :)

    ALEX, cling to that hope and do not let go! Guys that have "been around the block" will the first ones to "walk again" after being seriously committed. Hold to high standards, girl! Hold to high standards! Thanks for visiting!

    APPLE BLOSSOM and SPLASHESOFJOY oh it is! Glad you could come by to take part. :)


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