Today marks my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary. They are brave, bold, hilarious, and truly loving. Here are three things they have taught me about love and marriage.
1) Love – you just can’t hide it.
They have always been affectionate with each other around my brother and me. Growing up they were constantly hugging, kissing, holding hands, and cuddling up. Of course, my brother and I were totally grossed out by this when we were younger. And they laughed a lot with and at each other. They had fun, and still do. Now more than ever, maybe. This was so good for us to see as kids. It anchored us in the solidarity of their relationship. Deep down we knew that, no matter what fights came up, our parents loved each other and loved us because we saw it with our own eyes.
2) Love doesn’t overlook the issues
Some times it’s easier to turn a blind eye to issues and conflict than to talk about them and deal with them. They will be the first to tell you they aren’t perfect. They certainly make mistakes. So when problems arise don’t look away. When hurts happen, or conflict arises don’t ignore it. Talk about it. Bring light to the issue. Look the problem squarely and say to the other, “we are in this together. Let’s deal with it together.” Love gets you through problems, issues, and fights. I’ve seen them do this so many times – and they are the better for it – together.
3) Love isn’t about you
They serve each other so well. They constantly put the other person before themselves. My Dad has such a servant’s heart towards my Mom in so many ways. And Mom totally supports and builds up my Dad. They truly put the other first – and this has been so beautiful to see over the years. It’s made me a better husband and a better person. They know that their love isn’t grounded in just the other person. It’s anchored by their mutual love of God, His grace, and the covenant they made with Him back in 1979 to honor and serve the other. And they are still living in that today, maybe now more than ever.
They taught me that love isn’t about us. It isn’t about our present feelings. It’s about the other person. It’s about truly knowing that we are better people with the other in our lives, despite how we may feel about them in the present. Love is about putting them first all in the Grace of a God who first loved us.
So thanks for teaching me so much, Mom & Dad. I’m so blessed to have you as parents.