How Mike Pence Kept Jesus First While Pursuing His Future Wife

by | Jun 24, 2019 | Man

Mike Pence had been attending a nondenominational Christian church, but one Sunday morning in October 1983, he went to St. Thomas Aquinas, the nearest Catholic church. A striking young woman with dark hair and eyes played guitar and sang during the service. Taken by her stunning beauty, Mike caught up with her afterward in the church parking lot and tried to engage her in conversation. He mentioned he’d also like to play guitar during services. She shrugged him off, saying he’d have to talk to the person in charge of worship music. Realizing he was getting nowhere fast, Mike introduced himself.

Through their brief interaction, Mike learned her name was Karen Whitaker and her sister, Sheryl, like Pence, was attending McKinney law school.

They ended their conversation and went their separate ways. Mike was infatuated, but frustrated. He didn’t ask Karen for her phone number. The way she was carrying her guitar hid her left hand, so he couldn’t tell if she was single or married.

“He’s enthralled with her. It really is love at first sight for Michael,” says Jay C. Steger, Mike’s best friend. “After he talks to her, he beelines over to my office, which is only about three blocks away, and literally talks for an hour and a half, describing everything about her—her hair, her brown eyes, the way she played her guitar, the kind of guitar she played, and so forth. And after this went on for [so long], I said, ‘Michael, how long did you talk with this girl?’ He said, ‘Two or three minutes.’ I threw him out of my office at that time and said, ‘I’ve got work to do, get out of here!'”

Mike couldn’t get the brown-eyed beauty out of his mind, so he looked for a way to find out if she was married. The first thing he did was call the elementary school where Karen was teaching art. He told them he was working on a church directory and needed to know if he should put “Miss” or “Mrs.” in front of Karen’s name. They told him “Miss.”

Then Mike went to the Indiana University registrar and asked for Sheryl’s phone number. No, he was told, it’s against the school’s rules to give out students’ personal information. He walked away .. .then went back and explained why he wanted the number. His honesty touched the registrar and she relented. Handing him the number on a slip of paper, she jokingly told Mike to make sure she was invited to the wedding.

Hanging out with a buddy later in the day, Mike built up the nerve to call Sheryl to ask for Karen’s number. However, when he called, Karen answered the phone. Flustered, Mike hung up on her. His buddy encouraged him to call her back … so he did.

As it turned out, Karen was babysitting her niece and nephew for the week while her sister and her husband were out of town. Karen remembered Mike from church and invited him over for a taco salad dinner. A few days later, on Nov. 6, 1983, Karen asked Mike to join her and the kids for ice-skating. It became their first of many dates.

Karen says, “When I first met Mike Pence, it was love at first sight.” During their first date, she says, “We skated around for a little while, and then he reached over and took my hand. Of course, Mike was right there to catch me if I fell. … He has a servant’s heart, and he always puts others first.”

Both Mike and Karen quickly realized they shared common beliefs in faith, family and education. They continued to date, and their mutual faith in God was the foundation of their relationship. Mike worked hard at being the spiritual leader of the union and guided Karen into making a confession of faith and receiving Jesus as her personal Savior. Their relationship only strengthened.

God Must Be Number One

“When we first started dating,” Karen says, “I remember saying something to Mike, something silly like, ‘Oh, you’re my No. 1.’ And he stopped right there and he said, ‘You know what? I’m probably going to disappoint you if you make me No. 1 in your life.’ What he was talking about was you need to have God as No. 1. Jesus needs to be No. 1 in your life. [Mike] doesn’t mind being No. 2, but he just said, ‘You know, I’m human, and I’m going to let you down.'”

Six months after Mike and Karen started to date, they attended the wedding of Steger and Annie Curtis. Mike served as best man.

“Mike wrote one of the most beautiful toasts I’ve ever heard at any wedding,” Steger says. “Of course, I’m only a little biased; he was my best friend and my best man, and it was my wedding. But he wrote a toast on 1 Corinthians 13, and he had the entire room both in stitches one minute and then crying the next.”

Not long afterward, Mike started to consider the idea of marrying Karen, but it was important to him that she understood his future ambitions.

“Before he proposed to her, he made it very clear that he had envisioned a life in public service,” recalls Steger. {eoa}

Edited excerpts from The Faith of Mike Pence, © 2019 by Leslie Montgomery, published by Whitaker House. Used with permission.

Leslie Montgomery is the author and ghostwriter of over a dozen books. She is best known for writing the spiritual biography, The Faith of Condoleezza Rice, when Rice was serving our nation as secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration. Leslie has been a writer for Focus on the Family for more than 20 years and is the former director of publications for the American Association of Christian Counselors. She is also the founder of Yeshu’a Ministries. Leslie has four children and six grandchildren, and resides in Boise, Idaho. Visit whitakerhouse.com/product/the-faith-of-mike-pence.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder we used to tell our kids was, “Don’t think about it, don’t hesitate,...

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

RECENT ARTICLES

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding...
God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

The Biblical Way to Rise Above Mediocre Expectations

The Biblical Way to Rise Above Mediocre Expectations

We spend a lot of life figuring out if we “measure up,” a phrase someone coined in the mid-1800s. Even in childhood, we begin comparing ourselves with siblings and kids at school, and it never seems to stop. The problem goes back to Cain and Abel, doesn’t it? Most of...

A Better Way to Witness to Others for Christ

A Better Way to Witness to Others for Christ

”Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (Rom. 2:4). Looking retrospectively at my past as an atheist, I can see where God...

Why Does God Want Us to Speak with Tongues?

Why Does God Want Us to Speak with Tongues?

Why speak with tongues? There are many reasons for speaking in a spiritual language. Primarily, though, the Scriptures require it. The apostle Paul commanded us, saying, “Pray in the Spirit always” (Eph. 6:18). Jude commanded it in verse 20, saying, “Pray in the Holy...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]