Yesterday my parents celebrated 48 years of marriage. Their wild romance of meeting as traveling musicians, falling in love, and then making music together was one for the storybooks. One hailed from small town Texas and the other from back east in the city, neither entirely meeting with their family’s approval. They carved out a life together, fiercely committed to their love for each other and their love for Christ. As with any relationship, there have been bumps along the way. Two strong personalities don’t always mesh gracefully. Plans don’t always work out as expected. Money gets tight, kids come and change the dynamics, seasons of God’s leading change and all the while transformation is ongoing. My parents submitted their lives to God’s meddling and have been obedient to His course corrections along the way. There were times when one or the other had every right to call it quits. There were and still are times when the romance fades, and the work of love takes over. Through it all (the title of one of their songs) they have chosen to tenaciously hang on to their relationship. When I see the sparkle of love between them with regular hugs and kisses or in their tone of voice when they speak about each other, I am cognizant of the joy they still find in being together. They are still living God’s grand adventure together, staying open to His leading. In a time where so many live the reality of expendable relationships or marriages that begin with only partial commitment, these two break the mold. They went all in. They still do. Their model of love and commitment for each other is part of why I believe my brothers and I are still married to our spouses today. We know it can be done, and we see the fruit of what happens to people who pledge their lives to each other for the long haul. It is a beautiful thing to behold, and perhaps their greatest gift to us.
Mom and dad, I am so grateful for your love for each other. I am so grateful that you never gave up on your marriage. I am blessed by the reality of what it means to love someone “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, until death do us part.” I have seen it in you, and it inspires me to live it in my own marriage. Happy anniversary. May the God who has led you all this time continue to bless and keep you and make His face shine upon you.