uncommon marriage

An Uncommon Love Story

February 11, 2014


My friend Lauren Dungy has been married to Tony Dungy for more than 30 years.  I love the story of how they met, so I’m sharing it with you today.  It’s taken from their new book,  Uncommon Marriage.

This part of their “how we met” story begins after Lauren finishes a phone call with her church pastor, John, who’d been trying to set her up with Tony..

Turning to face my mom, I said, “You’ll never believe why John’s been trying to reach me. He wants to introduce me to a guy—some football player with the Steelers. He’s supposed to be a Christian, but you know I would never go out with an athlete.”

After finally learning why John had been calling and then promising him to pray about it, I just tried to avoid him. I honestly wasn’t interested in dating an athlete. His matchmaking didn’t seem very promising, especially when John said he’d met Tony only once at a father-son breakfast at our church, St. Stephen’s Episcopal.

That’s not to say I wasn’t interested in meeting my future husband. My friends were getting married, and I looked forward to joining the married ranks myself. At the same time, I wasn’t in too much of a hurry. I was going to wait on the Lord and make sure that it was His voice, not my own desires, that I was following. I was assured that He would answer my prayer in whatever timing He knew was best.

I didn’t want to settle.

But John wouldn’t let it go; he just kept telling me that Tony loved the Lord and he thought we had a lot in common. He was so determined and convinced that God had ordained this relationship that he refused to give up until we had at least met once. I’m not sure I would have admitted it, but eventually he’d piqued my interest enough that I agreed to let him set up a time for me to meet Tony.

I was relieved when John suggested Tony come to my house, since I knew I’d have family around who could make excuses for me if I wasn’t comfortable.

Tony arrived right on time that Friday morning. My dad had been coming down the hall when Tony arrived, so he greeted him right away and began grilling him about the Steelers. My mom came out to meet Tony a few minutes later. Then my siblings began passing through as they were getting ready to go out for the day. By the time he’d been there about five minutes, Tony had met everyone. Tony says it was like a cartoon—one person would leave and another would show up, but he was simply seeing the normal bustle of our household.

I didn’t say much at first, but I felt pretty comfortable right away. Tony was smart and respectful, and he had gorgeous brown eyes. He was not at all how I’d pictured a professional football player and coach. He seemed like a nice person.

By the time the afternoon ended, I felt a bit sorry I’d put Pastor Guest off for so long. But then, just before he left, Tony told me, “Give me your number, and maybe I’ll call you and we can play tennis sometime.”

This is Lauren’s love story, what’s YOUR love story? If you share an answer to this question on iMOM, you might just win a Club Wyndham Resort Getaway. 

Find the rest of Tony and Laruen’s love story in their new book, Uncommon Marriage: Learning about Lasting Love and Overcoming Life’s Obstacles Together.

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