How to demonstrate the meaning of marriage
Today my parents celebrate 56 years of marriage. I don’t know what you think of reaching this kind of milestone, but I think doing 56 of most anything is impressive –
Surviving 56 situps Writing 56 blog postsRiding 56 milesHaving 56 friendsTaking a 56-minute nap - - You get the picture
56 years is BIG.
One thing they’ve both said is that they weren’t necessarily “in love” all of those years if you define love in the sense of having wonderful feelings for each other.
Nope. They had their fair share of struggles, but always decided to stay together.
A couple of years ago I asked them why they made this decision. They said some inspiring things (you should read their 13 principles here).
But what they demonstrated to me, more than anything, was that love wasn’t a reflection of their feelings (which could vacillate) as much as it was a commitment and a choice to honor their promise to each other.
In other words, they decided to love each other.
I can’t begin to tell you the impact this has had on my life and on my ability to be faithful. For me, when I see something as possible for others, I know it’s an option for me as well.
In his INCREDIBLE book, The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller puts words around this topic beautifully. I’ve spaced them out and added emphasis with the hopes that you’ll read SLOWLY and be inspired.
“In any relationship, there will be frightening spells in which your feelings of love dry up. And when that happens you must remember that the essence of marriage is that it is a covenant, a commitment, a promise of future love.
So what do you do?
You do the acts of love, despite your lack of feeling.
You may not feel tender, sympathetic, and eager to please, but in your actions you must BE tender, understanding, forgiving and helpful.
And, if you do that, as time goes on you will not only get through the dry spells, but they will become less frequent and deep, and you will become more constant in your feelings.
This is what can happen if you decide to love.”
This paragraph makes me think of my parents and I want it to define me as well. I am beyond impressed that they decided to love; I am grateful.
Happy 56th Mom & Dad!