As a young woman currently dating an amazing guy, it’s hard for me to think beyond just today let alone imagine how today trickles into forever. But I recently heard a talk that got me thinking about how the way we love and serve others isn’t just for today. The speaker explained how he loves his wife not only for today, but also for their anniversaries in the future. He shared how spending time with his son is for today, but also so that one day his son will become a man he calls a friend. After listening to this talk I realized I wanted to love for the future too.
Luckily, I have had the blessing of living life beside two people who must have figured out this wisdom somewhere along the way. My parents have stood beside each other for thirty years now. Twenty-three years of being parents. Two different homes, and two daughters. I have witnessed hundreds of good days they have shared together and a handful of bad. I’ve seen some tears, but I’ve seen exponentially more hand-holding and love. I have seen a kiss good-bye and a hello hug at the beginning and end of every time they part.
I can’t count the ways that my parents have served and loved and sacrificed for one another. I can never pack all of the lessons and love they have passed on to my sister and I in those thirty years. But as I embark on my own search for love, I am overwhelmingly proud of the thirty years my parents carry in their hearts. They have found strength and celebration through every leg of our journey as a family.
Here are three of my favorite lessons I have learned from watching my parent’s marriage. I keep them close to my heart in the hopes that I will learn to love today, but so I can also carry thirty years of love around with me in the future.
Always say “I love you”.
Every phone call and fight still ended with these words–no matter how frustrated or distant it may have felt to mumble, my parents always say it. My dad is known for calling us back if we forget to say it and although we may laugh at him for doing so, it’s a foundation our communication is built on.
Never stop dating.
To this very day, my parents go on weekend trips, dinner dates, and bike rides together. They have never stopped exploring and experiencing life together.
Everyone is family.
Our little four-pack family has always been close, but my parents never hesitated to open the door and their hearts to any and everyone who needed someone to call family and a place to call home. Their marriage and our lives were built on serving others.