My parents married there with my grandfather (my mom's dad) officiating it. Needless to say, their wedding was a full family event. They met at church, and here they are now. Let's look at a picture because I love photos, and they speak mounds don't they?
This photo is my favorite of the bunch. Sure it is great seeing them smile at each other or give each other a kiss, but this is the foundation of their marriage. The rock solid foundation of Christ in their lives that pushed them through this 36 years. It was not done by their own merit, but by the love and mercy that God has given to them, they too have shown it to one another. I want to look at the overly used verse in 1 Corinthians. I say over used because I think people like the idea behind the verse, unfortunately many don't take it seriously.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
When my parents were dating and first got married my dad was not the most patient man (from what I've heard and remember as bits and pieces of my early childhood). Opposites attract is good for the patience level because from then to today she shows exceptional patience. However, I must say that those that say they are divorcing one another because "he/she was not the person I married" DUH! Those that are unbelievers this would not hold for you because you are self-seeking. As for a Christ follower thank God that He molds us to be more like His image as He pulls us towards Him. My dad is not that same man, and my mom is not the same woman she was. You see, as you allow God to shape your heart, your will, you become a new person. They both share a genuine kindness to not just each other but to others. Love is not one that is envious, boastful, and proud. I am sure that in the 36 years there has been some of this, but along with personal change comes the true understanding of what it is to show this in love.
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
I don't want to paint them as being the perfect marriage because that would be far from the truth, and really if there have been things I have learned from them it is when things aren't going too great. I never had a false image of marriage. At times they showed dishonor and self-seeking, and if you know dad anger is one thing that is a work in progress (love you, dad). As I mentioned before the sinner that we are seeks God's righteousness. I would have to give kudos to my dad that though his anger can be an issue. It is one that has changed and gotten better through his age. He has changed in this aspect. He has gotten more patient and less angry. Love will keep no record of wrongs. As a child's perspective, I am sure that at times there was a record as trust was broken or trials occurred. However, marriage is until death do us part. They are pretty good about not having that record anymore. This is of course to say that this could be brought up if accountability is being presented, but that would be love in truth. That is coming up now.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Mom and Dad hold one another accountable. They are a true partnership. They have a friendship of love that they will confront one another in their wrongs. They may not always like hearing it (as anyone would be), but their love is so strong that they will point out when one is not following laws of God.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails.
Over the years, I have to say that though times may have brought doubt in protection, trust, and hope; they persevere. Their love for one another has never failed. As the head of his family my father has been a great protector.
If you know my dad, he WILL do whatever he can to protect my mom. I know that I come third. God comes first and Mom is a close second. The kids are a low third. I'm okay with that. I wouldn't have it any other way. He loves this woman with all his heart. He does. I see it. For what my dad may lack in patience he gains with his gift as protector. It has to be said that behind every amazing man is an incredible woman, and that is mom. However, she could not be the woman she needs to be without my dad being the man he needs to be. Finally, he can not be the man he needs to be if He didn't seek after God.
I leave you with this photo. When I see pictures like this, I wonder to myself what they would say to themselves if they could go back to that wedding day. Would dad tell his younger self be ready you are going to have to hold tight as you experience seeing your wife go through three miscarriages? Would mom say there is going to be a time when you will be like a single parent raising three kids, and everything that you had shelter in will be gone, and you will have to focus on God as your Sustainer? I wonder... these two beautiful smiles will face frowns that are unimaginable, those cheek to cheek grins are going to bring floods of tears... are you ready for it?
I wonder... I wonder what I will want to tell the me of today. I don't know. I can only live for who I am today with my eyes on my Heavenly Father.
Thank you, Mom and Dad for being an example of Christ love in your marriage and in your daily lives. I love you!