It really is quite remarkable. Lasting love.
In a world where the average divorce rate is almost 50%. Where marriage is no longer just meant for a man and a woman before God. Where friends, or strangers for that matter, can pay a few bucks on the internet and suddenly be ordained to speak a binding knot over two people. Where much more care and attention is spent on the wedding and the party to celebrate instead of all the years together to follow.
It really is quite remarkable. 38 years. My parents have made it look so easy. They still do. They still laugh with each other….most of the time it is at each other these days…but their smiles are so real. They still hold hands. They still sleep in the same bed. They still call each other “honey” and “babe”. They still share everything. They still give each other gifts. They still celebrate the little things. They still go on dates. They still pray together.
I don’t remember a single day without them both in it. I don’t remember hearing them fight; not a serious one that is. I don’t remember a day my Mom didn’t have the house cleaned and dinner made just the way my Dad liked it when he got home. I don’t remember a day that I didn’t see them hug or kiss. I don’t remember a day I didn’t hear them tell each other “I love you”. I don’t remember an issue that they weren’t on the same page about.
It really is quite remarkable. Inspiring actually. They have modeled a Christ-centered marriage for as long as my memories exist. They model it still; everyday. Their love for each other is overflowing. And it pours out into the lives of everyone around them. Like when I used to sit in the front row of all their outreach crusades and roll my eyes because my parents were dressed as clowns together; doing crazy skits while sharing love and Jesus to other boys and girls who didn’t get it at home. I feel so honored, so special, so spoiled to have gotten the chance to witness and watch their love story. It may sound cliché and cheesy; I almost hope it does – but I want to be just like them when I grow up.
This is the kind of love story the world needs to hear. This is the kind of love story I fantasized of as a little girl. Instead of seeing some fairy tale on a big screen – I got to see it at the dinner table. And in our living room. And in the car. And when they tucked me into bed at night. There has never been anything romantic to me about Cinderella and Prince Charming. Never anything romantic about Romeo and Juliet. Or Bonnie and Clyde. But a woman and a man who have woken up, every day, and have chosen each other 13,870 times. That’s romance. A woman and a man who have taken turns being strong when the other was too weak. That’s romance. A woman and a man who have vowed to remain faithful to each other and to God until their last breath. That’s romance. A woman and a man who display what God intended love to look like. That’s romance. A woman and a man who moved away from their comfort zones and their families as newlyweds and relied solely on each other. That’s romance. A woman and a man who embody the expression “high school sweethearts”. That’s romance.
Mom and Dad – thank you. Thank you for giving me the best gift you could have given me. Thank you for showing me what love is. What it feels like. What it looks like. What it sounds like. Thank you for being such an inspiration to my husband and I. For silently rooting us on our own love journey. Happy Anniversary. It’s special. It’s rare. It’s amazing. I can’t wait to watch you continue to grow old together; hand in hand.