Yesterday, my parents celebrated 30 years of marriage.
Many have been blessed by their marriage and investment over the years, but Justin and I have had the blessing of learning from them as their children. And we get the honor of standing of their mantle of devotion and commitment to God and each other.
Last week I joined others in writing them a letter to thank them. This is what I wrote:
Dear Mom and Dad-
Happy 30th Wedding Anniversary!
Where do I start? There is so much that I could write about to say thank you. First, I want to thank you guys for being the image of Christ and the church; Dad, for embodying the way a husband is described in Ephesians and Mom for modeling a Proverbs 31 woman. You guys live out these scriptures well. However, I also want to thank you for the areas that no one else can—the areas that I have witnessed as your daughter, and the impact it has and will have for the rest of my life.
Ten things I have taken away from your marriage:
- “go talk to your dad” and “go ask your mom” Though these words plagued me as a child, they taught me something I didn’t know I was learning at the time: trust. In deferring to the other, you demonstrated for us what it was to trust the opinion and decisions of the other.
- Humor. You guys enjoy life and laugh all the way through… at circumstances, at us, and at each other. You knew that parenting was a humorous job, and let it have its place.
- Creativity. I don’t think I realized the immense creativity you guys had until I began describing the different types of discipline I had as a child to my roommates in college. However, your creativity not only marked my discipline, but also vacations, costumes, and science fair projects. And paired with your humor, I have watched you really enjoy marriage and parenting.
- Teamwork. Never in my life have I had any doubt that you guys were on the same team, working together, and for one another.
- Caulk. That’s right, I wrote it. I am grateful for the times I watched Dad caulk or clean out the junk drawer when there were some debatably more pressing tasks at hand. In times such as this, I learned about healthy conflict. Its part of life, so to have disagreements and resolve modeled is a necessity to experiencing healthy relationships in my own life.
- Hamsters and rodents. What greater love is this that one man lay down his life for another? Mom, you let us have hamsters. Dad, you came home from men’s fraternity to bury them. You model this such love from the smallest things (like hamsters) to the greatest (like one another)
- Morning devotions and evening prayers. Though I hardly grasped the value at the time, I am eternally grateful for the way that you guys taught us to daily spend time with Jesus and in prayer. Raise up a child in the way of the Lord and he will not easily depart from it. And so it is.
- Shared responsibilities. There has never been anything that was above or beneath either of you within the home. You both cared for us, cleaned the house, made meals, taxied us around town and so on and so on. You modeled humility, laying down what you were justified to do or not to do in order to honor and love each other. Time after time I watched this happen.
- Your yes was a yes and always will be. When you guys said ‘I do’ it was done. What a legacy we get to inherit that we have parents that are so committed to one another.
- Before you said yes to one another, you said yes to Christ and He has remained your first priority ever since. You place Him first in your marriage, in our family, in friendships, and in every decision you make. You have modeled for me what it looks like to do so. I am forever grateful for the example you have set and the way you pursue Him.
Dad, you have set the standard high as a husband and a father, and Mom, you have modeled well for me what it looks like to respect your husband.
Thank you for 30 years of marriage.
If you would like to write them a letter as well, pass it on to them. They would be delighted.