The Promise Keeper's family: David and Kathy Kruse and Caleb (center); Joel and Tyler (back).
Photo by Oscar Roloff.
by Oscar Roloff
One day, while chatting with next door neighbor Rev. Steve Walker of Canyon Hills Community Church, I said with sadness, "Steve, over the more than 20 years that I've been interviewing people on the Eastside, many have said to me, 'Oscar, our country is falling apart due to immorality, and it bothers us and the children. What can be done?'"
A thought then arose and I asked him, "Could you have a Promise Keeper's family come to my house? I'd like to do a story on such a family."
He did, and soon a Bothell family of five (David and Kathy Kruse and their three children, Joel, 11, Tyler,7, and Caleb, 5) arrived.
I asked David, a Boeing assistant analyst and currently attending City University, "As a Promise Keeper, are you a changed man?"
"You bet I am," he answered. "I'm more happy, a better father, and a better husband. No smoking, no drinking. I've invested myself in the quality of time which is very important in a family structure. After the first conference I rushed home, got on my knees, cried, and asked my wife and children to forgive me for neglecting them."
This, they did.
"At a conference, one of the speakers told us to look into the faces of our wives to see if we note happiness or sadness. If it is the latter, we must change it. That's the key, the speaker said."
I then asked David to step out while I asked his wife some questions.
"My life has completely changed," she said. "Life hasn't been the same. Each year, he improves. He's so committed to a better family. He shows humility. Our children love him. So much closeness."
I said to David, "I'd like to take a photo of you and your wife." He responded, "Could we not have a photo taken of our entire family?"
I agreed, but thought, "How correct. I should know better."
As I stood at the door as the Kruse family left, holding hands, I thought, what a fine family.