Love, commitment, and self-sacrifice…these are words that have long been used to describe marriage. They are accurate descriptors, and because they are, you can easily see in our culture how marriage would not be “in vogue.” There is no glory in it. A society that wants immediate gratification does not embrace the idea of a long-term relationship. The work of marriage is not often honored in our media saturated environment.
Therefore, I am thrilled to honor two relationships that have stood the test of time. Both my parents and Bill’s parents are celebrating their 50th anniversaries. Swimming against the tide of independence and separateness, they have learned companionship is mutually respectful. They know that commitment goes hand in hand with flexibility. Giving up their own desires at times in order to honor the wishes of the other, is something that comfortably ebbs and flows. Their love has grown as comfortable as an old pair of jeans, they fit. Together they have faced life. Hand in hand they have cried and laughed, mourned and rejoiced. Now they wear contentment on their faces as old friends and intimate sweethearts. It is a precious thing to see an example of God’s unfolding love for us by watching them love each other.
Does this mean they have it all together and never fight or argue? Not at all. It means that they love each other despite their differences…choosing love over selfishness. The choices they make honor the commitments they made to one another 50 years ago. It takes Gods grace to accomplish such a feat, and in such vibrant relationships his glory shines through. People want to know the secret of a successful marriage…God’s love displayed to another…laying down your life…dying to yourself. Is that easy? No way. So today I bless and honor our parents for their dedication to each other. Our marriage bond is stronger from having watched generations of family; on both sides navigate the waters of matrimony. Thank you for your example. Thank you for the love you share. You are an inspiration.