Tomorrow my parents celebrate 32 years of marriage. There is something increasingly joyful that comes over me when I hear of couples celebrating anniversaries. Especially anniversaries that represent many years of faithfulness to one another. Other things make me happy too, like birthdays. Birthdays are great because they are a celebration of life. But when I hear of a couple celebrating their 32nd anniversary, or 48th, or 60th, it makes my heart do a small leap and back-flip as a smile comes over my face displaying my authentic joy. What a novelty that two people would covenant together for life, and stay committed to that covenant regardless of what comes their way.
I remember many occasions as a child being reassured by my mom and my dad that they would never divorce. They told me that before it was ever a thought in my mind. And when they told me that, I knew it was true. But isn’t it dangerous to tell a child you will never divorce? Well, if you keep it in the back of your mind as an option, yes. My sanity rested on the truthfulness of their claim, especially in my childhood and teenage years. Don’t get me wrong, God is the ultimate healer and He is mighty to save, Father to the Fatherless. But there isn’t much that devastates a child’s world more than parents divorcing.
I occasionally encounter people who are skeptical or uneasy about such a young person counseling married couples. I can understand that. I was even counseling married couples before I was engaged. How in the world would I feel confident enough to look a couple 40+years old in the eyes and attempt to guide them toward healthiness in marriage? Two reasons. The Holy Spirit’s active work in me and my front row seat to a healthy covenant marriage my whole life. It is definitely not easy, but its in me deep.
I am so thankful for my parents example to myself and to everyone who knows them. None of us are perfect . . . but Christ loves us with covenant love, and that’s the mystery marriage is about.