By Lee & Leslie Strobel – JesusCalling.com – Episode 36
Narrator: Hello! We’re so grateful that you’ve chosen to listen to the Jesus Calling podcast featuring Lee and Leslie Strobel today. If you are enjoying these personal stories of faith each week, will you take a moment to give us a review on iTunes? It takes just a second—and it goes a long way toward getting this podcast in front of more folks who may need to hear these inspirational messages. After the broadcast, simply go to the Jesus Calling iTunes page and leave a review. All of us here at the Experience Jesus Calling podcast want to thank you for listening. Now on to today’s podcast:
Lee and Leslie Strobel: “The Case for Christ” in Marriage – Jesus Calling Podcast #36
Narrator: Atheist-turned-Christian Lee Strobel is the former award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune and best-selling author of more than twenty books. His classic, The Case for Christ, is a perennial favorite which details his conversion to Christianity. Lee and his wife Leslie share the story of their journey to Christ and talk about “The Case for Christ” movie which released to theaters in 2017.
Lee Strobel: We actually met in high school: we were 14 years old. Fifty years ago, 1966, we were 14 years old. We never met. She was with a friend of mine; this guy, and they had gone downtown Chicago by the train to return some Christmas presents. I was with a friend of mine downtown. I’d taken the train downtown too. I saw my friend who was with Leslie, right outside the train station. So he introduced me to Leslie, and we looked at each other and it was love at first sight. Leslie went home and told her mom; “I met the boy I’m going to marry.” Sure enough, by the age of 19 for her and 20 for me, we got married.
So we were childhood sweethearts mostly through high school; we broke up a few times. I knew if I could just get a fuzzy steering wheel and a racing stripe on my Volkswagen Beetle I knew I could win her back.
Leslie Strobel: For myself growing up. Honestly all I wanted to do was be a mom when I grew up; the idea of having my own home someday always appealed to me. And so when Lee and I met, and it was clear that down the road that we’d be getting married, it was my single motivation in terms of how I wanted to live my life. I just wanted to be a mom and raise kids.
Lee: We had a church wedding because my parents and her parents thought it was appropriate. We didn’t care, because it didn’t matter to us, so we got married in the church but we didn’t have any faith component to our marriage.
Leslie: For me, my mom had been raised Presbyterian, my Dad didn’t have any church background.
Lee: My parents were Lutherans they went to a church and they took me as a youngster but gave me the freedom to be able to say when I got into high school, whether I wanted to go or not. They sort of left it up to me, and as soon as I was free not to go I decided not to go, because I didn’t find it interesting; I thought it was boring. I thought it was irrelevant.
Leslie: Church was not really part of our background.
God Is Not A Priority: The Early Life of the Strobel’s
Lee: I graduated from the University of Missouri journalism school and got an offer to be a reporter with The Chicago Tribune so Leslie and I moved to Chicago.
When I went to the University of Missouri, she was working at a bank and she was helping support me and her as we were going to college at the University of Missouri.
Then, I got a Ford Foundation fellowship to go to Yale Law School to get my Master of studies in law degree. So The Tribune continued to pay me, God bless them, and I went off to Yale and Leslie came with, and I got my master’s degree in legal studies. I came back to the Tribune and became legal editor of The Chicago Tribune. So the Tribune was really our focus.
Very busy, We had a great relationship and had two children after awhile. But God was really not important, not a factor. It wasn’t anything we were hostile toward, we just were disinterested and didn’t really understand the Gospel message. Nobody had ever really explained it to us in a way that we get it.
Leslie: As a child I can remember being curious about it. I’d ask my mom questions, but her faith, I still to this day believe that she was a believer, and she’s passed on now, but it was something that was very personal; very quiet. She just didn’t really have a strong understanding of scripture or theology. It wasn’t ‘til I was working at that bank that we mentioned, that my boss, who was a believer, started to ask me some questions and witness and that. That was the first that I really heard any kind of Gospel presentation.
I was a little uncomfortable with it. It was just so new to me, and so I just kept it in my hopper, more or less, I never pursued it. Then we moved and once we had our daughter Allison, we’d gone out to the suburbs to live. As soon as we moved there, we were in a condominium, a woman from from downstairs brought up a plate of cookies and her little girl was about the age of our Allison and she was a believer. We became good friends.
It was through Linda that I really got my questions answered. She led me, basically to the Lord and helped me understand and got me into a Bible study and she mentored me. That is where my growth started to happen.
“I Didn’t Have Any Interest In Being Married To A Christian”
Narrator: Lee & Leslie’s lives were rocked as God began to work on their hearts individually. As Lee determined to make a case against Christ, Leslie quietly sought guidance from God for their marriage.
To see the remainder of this blog, click read more.