25 years. Let that number sink in for a little bit. 25 years of love, laughter, trials, and victories. This past week, my wonderful parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. This anniversary was a big milestone and deserved to be celebrated. As I heard stories this past week of my parents on their wedding day and their life journey together, I myself wanted to take a few moments to reflect on the lessons I have learned about marriage from my watching my parents' marriage throughout my years.
1. Put God at the center.
It is very evident in my parents' marriage that God is their anchor, the center of their marriage. They seek to honor God through their marriage and to show others Christ through their actions and love for others: their kids and each other. My parents always say that if God isn’t at the center, things will fail. But if God is at the center, there is nothing you can’t get through.
2. The flame never has to die.
Sure, my parents have been together for 25 years, but you can still tell they love each other now just as much-- if not more-- than they did on their wedding day. Little gestures like holding hands, flowers, notes, hugs and talks on the porch make it obvious that love doesn’t have to get dull and boring. They are a good example that you should continue to love and fall in love with your partner every day, even after many years of marriage.
3. Marriage isn’t always easy, but if you work at it, it is worth it.
We are all human and life isn’t always easy. Just like in every marriage, you have disagreements and rough patches. My parents have taught me that although marriage is not easy all the time, the work is so worth it. Never give up on something that means so much to you.
4. Your partner is your biggest encouragement and support system.
Your husband or wife is literally your best friend for life. They are your biggest fan, encouragement, and supporter. My mom and dad can talk to each other about everything and anything and they know that no matter what, they will have each other's backs. Your marriage should be a safe, comfortable place where you feel love and support. That is what my parents have in each other.
5. Each stage of life in marriage is something special, so cherish it.
There are many stages of life in a marriage: honey moon, just you two doing life together, kids, kids leaving for college, retirement, etc. Each one of these stages brings a unique experience and challenge in your marriage, but each stage of life is so special and should be cherished. Enjoy the simple things in life and find joy in the continual seasons of change.
My parents are my biggest role models and I look up to them and their marriage so much. Their love for each other is so evident and inspiring to me. I hope and aspire to have a marriage just as loving, encouraging and God-honoring as their marriage. They will continue to inspire and encourage me in my life and others. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad, I love you!