Saturday, July 27, 2013

marriage is not for the faint of heart....but my parents seemed to get to the heart of it

Today my mom and dad went out to eat in Corona del Mar celebrating 50 years of marriage.
This is no small thing seeing that a mere 8 weeks ago my family sat crowded in a hospital room
praying that my mom would open her eyes, breathe on her own,
and come back to us after experiencing cardiac failure.
God answered our prayers and the prayers of hundreds of others in a miraculous way.
It was nothing short of a divine intervention. A coup de grace.
We are living in that high heady place of thankfulness
knowing that while still on the road to recovery,
Mom and Dad have many more years together before them.
Marriage is not always an easy journey but Mom and Dad have seemed to master its finer nuances.
What they don't realize is that over the years we kids have studied them....
we have picked up things by osmosis...we have watched them and then....
we have tried to emulate what they showed us in our own marriages.
I have learned most of what I know about marriage from observing them.
It's good stuff. I hope I get it right over the next 50 years.
I have seen them.....
1. Laugh a lot. 
This is a given with Mom and Dad. Dad knows if he can get Mom laughing, he wins.
Laughing makes everything that is hard bearable and everything that is good even better.
This is a family passion that has been passed down to us.
2. Speak the truth.
Hearing the truth is always good. Even when it's hard. Because growth and healing come from it.
Mom and Dad are truth tellers. Mom often delivers truth with some good one liners. We have
always enjoyed hearing these. They often lead to more laughing.
3. Spend time together.
This seems like a given....but it is amazing how easy it is to live separately while you are married.
Mom and Dad like being in each other's company. And in turn, we like being in theirs.
4. Treat each other with kindness.
My parents have gone out of their way to care for each other even when it wasn't convenient.
It shows in how they talk to each other, how they arrange their schedules,
how they talk about each other to other people. It is lovely to see.
5. Do things together that you both enjoy.
My mom and dad's personalities are night and day.
They are completely opposite in many ways that they enjoy life.
But they have found more then a few areas of common ground that bind them together:
Jesus, their love of family, road trips and a fondness for dessert to name a few.
What more do you need for a solid marriage?
6. Forgive each other...regularly.
My parents aren't perfect but they have decided not to hold that against each other.
It seems to be working out well. Grudge matches rarely aid a marriage.
7. Enjoy the season you are in.
I didn't hear my parents complain a lot. (I have not learned this trait but I am trying!)
They seemed to embrace each season they were in, soak up the good stuff out of it
and believe that God was in the season whether it was hard, easy or somewhere in between.
8. Make good friends.
No matter where my parents lived they invested in the people around them. Loving
them, listening to them and inviting them over for pie paved the way for life long
friendships. Our life was richer because of their relationships.
9. Kiss a lot.
This is awkward, I know. Even as I type it I remember the feeling of "ewwww" that
welled up within me as a kid seeing my mom and dad kiss. But it seems that a keen affection
towards your spouse actually builds a healthy marriage. Go figure.
10. Love Jesus.
Before Mom and Dad ever loved each other, they decided to love Jesus. To follow him.
To put Him first. To trust Him with their lives. Rooting themselves in the One who loved
them first, grounding themselves in His firm truth, set them on a good path of loving each other.
And in turn, set our feet on that same path.

Thank you, Mom and Dad. For teaching us kids what love looks like. For showing us that
a good marriage perseveres even when life seems to go sideways. And for always, always,
loving us so well. We are who we are because of you.

Here is to many, many, many more years of laughter, good friends, fun times, persevering,
loving Jesus and yes, even kissing! We love you the most!

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