Saturday my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. Quite an accomplishment. I feel so incredibly blessed to have parents that have trusted in God and allowed him to work in their marriage to make it last for 40 years.
We had a little lunch for them yesterday with my brother and sister-in-law and my parents' best friends - Richard & Lynn. It was very nice. We all said a few words about what their marriage means to us, since all of us have been greatly impacted by it.
So, here's what I said, then followed by what Dave said.
Dear Mama & Daddy,
Wow, 40 years. What an amazing accomplishment. Congratulations!
I wonder if 40 years ago you had any idea where you would be today. Living in San Antonio, 2 PhDs, both working for the federal government, the owners of several houses and only 1 “trailer” that you don’t have to live in, an elder couple in a 10,000 member church, 4 kids who love the Lord, 2 grandkids and God willing more on the way, and happier with your marriage than maybe you ever thought possible.
You have accomplished a lot. Gained a lot of worldly knowledge along the way – formal & informal. But, where would we all be if you had decided that that knowledge made more sense than God’s wisdom? If you hadn’t been committed to the institution of marriage? If you had decided that God didn’t want you to suffer during the tough times?
So, thank you for choosing God’s way. Thank you for choosing to stick it out even when one or both of you didn’t want to. Thank you for trusting God’s plan over your own.
Thank you for knowing that his wisdom is far more important than worldly knowledge.
Thank you for teaching me about Jesus.
Thank you for teaching me to be committed to the institute of marriage, not just to Dave.
Thank you for teaching me that fights are going to happen in marriage, but through God’s power and by His grace, they can be resolved and you can be closer because of it.
Thank you for loving each other more than you loved Evan and me. Thank you for giving us the security that comes from knowing that.
Thank you for teaching me God’s plan and the importance of sex. Why it should be withheld before marriage and NEVER withheld within.
Thank you for loving me unconditionally amongst all the hustle, bustle, and craziness of our lives.
Mama – Thank you for showing me what it looks like to have a strong personality but to willingly submit to your husband.
Thank you for having a passion for Jesus like no one else I know.
Daddy – Thank you for loving me so that I didn’t have to seek that love in unhealthy relationships.
Thank you for modeling what a Christ-like husband looks like, so I knew what to look for when it came time to choosing mine.
Thank you, both, for showing me a marriage that isn’t perfect, but is amazing, because you love and trust God and each other.
Thank you for leaving Evan, Amy, Dave, and me, and our children the legacy of a godly marriage.
Thank you most of all for loving Jesus first, each other second, and us kids third.
I love you both.
Happy 40th Anniversary.
And, here's what Dave said:
Dear John and Judy,
I sit here at the keyboard with Page’s ode to your marriage still resounding in my ears. I agree with all of her statements, and cannot begin to think I could add any real meat to it. She is the detail person in our marriage, and I am the right-brainer. If we were parts of a painting, Page would be the razor edged perfection in the details of the treeline, and I would stand behind her, a random mixture of colors which give the treeline its context. One without the other is incomplete, mere points of friendly debate between connoisseurs of abstract art.
So, instead of adding to the list, I will try to paint of picture of what I have witnessed in your marriage these last few years, in keeping with the nature God has given me.
I find few families who cherish their time together as much as you do. Page has continued your legacy, and she has helped me understand that my family has first priority, even when work or church feels more important.
Your openness and candidness about the successes and failures you have experienced together have given me a foothold in marriage; I have a better idea how tall the mountain is, where and when to set my safety lines, how steep the crags and cliffs can be, and how beautiful and majestic is the grassy plateau at 7000 feet.
Your love for the Lord has given me courage to believe what He says about marriage. The biblical viewpoint of love and marriage is completely and wholly opposed to what our culture says about these topics.
Seeing the result of his work in your marriage picture gives me confidence that my canvas will one day hold a similar masterpiece. He is truly the author and finisher of our faith, and I see this verse personified in your lives.
I love you both, and am sincerely thankful for the wonderful masterpiece of marriage the Savior has constructed in you.