Today is Ma and Pa's anniversary. 31 years strong.
I know that no marriage is by any means perfect, but the older get I get I see how blessed I was to have the parents I did. My parental units have been good inspiration for me as I grew up and later got married. Here are three things my parents have taught me about amore over the years...
1. Say I'm Sorry
I remember growing up seeing the rents fight from time to time, but what always made an impression on me was that I also saw them forgive and apologize to each other. Forgiveness takes an act of the will, its a choice. Watching your parents forgive each other is realllyyy good practice for the hands on experience of being married. Its a powerful witness.
2. Love is a Sacrifice
Marriage takes selflessness...sacrifice is one of the basic ingredients. Over the years, my parents made plenty of sacrifices for my siblings and I, and to each other. I remember once money was really tight and my Dad told me if he had to he would take a second job on the weekend bagging groceries just so he and Mom could afford to send us kids to Catholic schools. At the time, I was horrified and more concerned what would people think if they saw MY Dad bagging groceries at Kroger's. Now I look back and am blown away by my Dad's humility and the great sacrifice he was willing to make to send us kids to faith based schools. Love is selfless and self-sacrificial. And though I have a LONG way to go in this department, it helps to have good role models to look up too.
3. Love God more than each other
I have to admit when I was a kid and my Mom told me this I thought she was crazy.and. it made me mad. "Wait what do you mean God is first, then Dad, AND then us kids?! What the heck are we, chopped liver?!?!" Talk about child neglect. But as I have gotten older I can get where Momsy was coming from. To place your spouse, kids, wealth, etc. above God is out of whack. Worship alone belongs to God. When we place other people or things on the throne of our lives, it says those other things/people are most important. I noticed when we got married I kinda put Jim on this pedestal, and that's a dangerous place to put another fallen human being because we are all going to fall and not measure up from time to time. Even in the Bible, we are told to first love God above all things AND then love your neighbor as yourself.
I can appreciate this so much more now and am glad I didn't call child protective services on my folks.
Happy 31 years you two!! Here's to the next 31...