Yesterday my parents celebrated 50 years of marriage. Fifty years! Half a century!
A few days ago, our entire family gathered to honor them. As I reflected on the occasion, one word kept coming back to me.
In a world in which relationships are casual and commitments are non-existent, my parents persevered. In a time when it’s easier to throw in the towel, they stuck with it. Don’t be disillusioned, though. Their marriage wasn’t always easy. (Don’t be upset that I’m revealing that, Mom and Dad.) In fact, they had some really rough patches. And it’s precisely because of that that we honor them. If marriage were easy, then 50 years would be no big deal. It would simply mean they both lived long enough to be married for 50 years. Big whoop.
And for those of you who are married, you know that marriage is no cake walk. While there are definitely times of pure delight and intense passion, there are also times of boredom and pain. And that’s where the rubber hits the road.
I told my kids before we left for my parents’ party that they are blessed to be growing up in a family where their grandparents have been married for that long. Heck, their great-grandparents were married for 74 years! It’s a blessing to see what real love looks like–messy, caring, honest love. It’s a blessing to know that no matter what our culture says, you can still choose to work through and persist in your relationship.
So today, I honor you, Mom and Dad, for 50 years and one day! Thank you for your commitment to God, to each other, and to us.