Sunday, June 25, 2017

Book Review: A Promise Kept


An absolutely delightful story. Insightful. Inspirational.

Robertson McQuilkin served as president of Columbia Bible College and Seminary from 1968 until 1999, when he resigned to become full-time caregiver to his wife Muriel. The couple had enjoyed a full, productive life, serving as missionaries to Japan from 1956 to 1968. At the seminary, McQuilkin taught ethics and hermeneutics. Then he faced an ethical decision of his own as Muriel descended into the darkness of Alzheimer’s.

Muriel became more and more dependent upon her husband and finally became panic-stricken if he was not by her side. After considering his options, McQuilkin reasoned he had taken a vow to care for Muriel “in sickness and in health.” She had supported his career all their married life. Now it was his turn to support her. In his letter of resignation to the seminary he wrote, “I don’t have to care for her. I get to. It is a high honor to care for so wonderful a person.”

A Promise Kept chronicles their journey, a journey through the ups and downs of daily care giving. McQuilkin’s love for Muriel (he calls her “my precious”) and his sense of humor shines through the pages of this short six-chapter book. He shares some of Muriel’s witty, on-target remarks. Once when he indicated she didn’t know everything, she responded, “I don’t know everything? Why I know more than everything. I know some things that aren’t so.”

Pages decorated with floral art enhance the beauty of the story. Your heart will be touched and your resolve to do the right thing will be strengthened should you ever find yourself wearing shoes of a similar size. This is a special story of how God’s grace flowed through a husband to touch the life of his precious wife.


The book was published in 1988. Muriel died in 2003; Robertson McQuilkin died at age 88 in 2016. They raised six children and enjoyed 55 years of marriage.

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