“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”Ephesians 5:31
My parents were married on April 2, 1970. They were young and inexperienced in many ways and heard others whisper that their marriage would not last. Although they lacked life experience, they did not lack commitment to one another. The rings they exchanged symbolized a circle which had no end, much like their commitment. I am a product of that commitment as I followed six years after their wedding date. I have come to learn much in my years by simply observing the example in front of me.
I would like to say my parents’ marriage was perfect, but two imperfect people cannot produce perfection. There were disagreements and contentious moments, but there was no violence or separation. Throughout the years, our home welcomed family members who lived with us from time to time, and it seemed like we never had the house to ourselves. I saw that my parents were always willing to help others, whether it was family or people from church. My parents were a team and united against my sister and I. They spoke Spanish in the bathroom and shower when they were sharing things they did not want us to hear. We caught some words, but we were no code talkers.
My parents served in ministry alongside each other and they were much like the dynamic duo. I remember my mom making my dad cherry cheesecake for his birthday as she did again this past Sunday, and I recall my dad buying my mom flowers, “just because.” I saw my mom nurse my dad back to health, and I saw my dad put in long hours to provide for his family. I saw them serve together in church, and I saw their faithfulness to God. I saw their love for each other and I still witness that love to this day.
I did not see a perfect love, but I saw a love exemplified by the passage in I Corinthians 13 which states, “[Love] suffereth long, and is kind; [love] envieth not; [love] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” I saw parents who followed God and were committed to a lifelong love. I was taught marriage is not easy and it requires constant work and attention, but it is fulfilling and enriching when done God’s way. Love is not selfish, but rather is considerate of the other party and puts others’ needs before their own. Love is not always perfect, and cannot be when two imperfect people become one flesh, but it should be pleasing to God, I am grateful for my parents who endured the hard times and celebrated the good times to make it to fifty years of marriage. Fifty years did not come without tears, trials and heartbreak, but it also included happiness, excitement and memories that will not fade away. I celebrate with them on this day, and will be forever grateful that two became one. I learned how to love from this marriage, and I was taught that marriage is a lifelong commitment. Congratulations Mom and Dad, and may God continue to use you both in His service.
Where are you today friend? Are you thinking of throwing in the towel? Do you love your spouse as God would have you to love him or her? Do you confess your faults one to another? Do you seek God’s glory or your own glory? Do you put your needs above everyone else’s, or are you selfless in how you love? May we love each other as He loves us, and may we be forever committed to our Lord and Savior. Lifelong commitments are just that – they are meant to last a lifetime. May we endure to the end and may He who is faithful find us faithful to the end.