Tomorrow my parents celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary. I am so thankful for the example they set for me and my siblings with their relationship. At one point in elementary school I remember learning about some of my classmates parents getting divorced and I was concerned that my parents might get divorced, too. My mom reassured me that it would not happen. “How do you know?” I asked. “Because, we decided a long time ago that divorce is not an option for us.” It felt good to know that as a kid and it’s something I’ve carried with me into my own marriage. We will never even consider divorce as an option, no matter how angry we might be with each other or no matter how much we don’t feel in love at any given point.
Why am I writing about divorce? Oh right…I guess because the key to a long, successful marriage is commitment. It’s not about staying in love, keeping it fresh, romance; though those things are nice. But really, it seems to come down to a decision, a covenant, a contract that’s made between two people that says we will stick it out and stick together. We will not quit. And, of course, if we want to have a happy marriage, a whole lot of love helps, a whole lot of putting my spouse’s wants before my own and finding ways to serve him everyday. My parents’ marriage has been a great example of that, too. My mom loves to serve others and take care of her household. My dad loves to spoil my mom with gifts and dinners out and vacations. They’re a sweet combination and I’m thankful they’re my parents.
Another invaluable piece of advice my parents taught us: a couple that prayer together stays together. Praying for each other, encouraging each other, rooting for each other, honoring each other (especially in conversation with others)… those are all really important, too.
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! Thanks for leading the way!