Today is my parents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary. They married right after my dad finished college. Their honeymoon consisted of driving to a new state for his new job. They moved cross-country five times. They have had many adventures and many heartaches. They have had their rocky times and their happy times.
Watching them has taught me a few things about marriage.
1. Marry your best friend.
As a culture, we idolize romance, but it is the friendship that helps you enjoy each other for the long haul. I saw them spend time together camping, boating, fishing, etc. They truly enjoy each other’s company.
Again, our culture teaches us two extremes. In one extreme, the husband rules over a meek and quiet wife. In the other, the woman is so independent, she hardly needs her husband. My parents have mutual respect for each other. Each respects the other’s intelligence and areas of expertise. They need each other because they complement each other.
3. Don’t hold on to anger.
They let each other cool off after an argument, but they didn’t stay angry for long. Early in life I learned my mom’s secret code. When she was done fuming, she served everyone ice cream. It seemed to be her way of saying that everything could move on. They modeled forgiveness.
4. Spend time with Jesus each day.
We never did family devotions when I was growing up, but I always knew they took time to read their Bibles and pray. If I woke up early enough, I could always see dad in his office quietly reading and praying. My mom usually read her Bible when she “took a nap” each afternoon. Their devotion to God was private, but it spilled into all aspects of their lives.
Marriage is an adventure. It is a fireworks display of two independent people coming together as one. Like fireworks, it is beautiful and painful all at the same time. It can be one of the hardest challenges in life, but it is also one of the most rewarding.
For those who are married, I pray that your marriage will grow and flourish through the hard times AND the good times.
For those who are single, I pray that you would patiently wait for God’s best for you, whether it is to remain single or to get married.
For those who are divorced, I pray that you would feel God’s comfort as your heart heals.
For those who are widowed, I pray that the emptiness in your heart would be filled with God’s peace and love.