On June 22nd 2013, my parents will be celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary. I am engaged to be married for the first time in my life. As I look to them for an example of how to have a successful and happy marriage, one thing stands out: commitment. My parents made a vow that they have kept for fifty years. That kind of commitment is truly golden and rare.
I have many friends who come from a broken home. Either their parents divorced or they had an absent father. I had neither. My parents never considered divorce and my father was always present. My parent's attended athletic and cultural events where their kids were participants. They continue to do so for their grandkids. My parents took us out for dinner one on one. This was not an easy task since there were five of us. My parents took us camping for a month of vacation for several years during our childhood. Cell phones and laptops didn't exist, so we were without a phone or any connection to the outside world. We had each other and nature. That time bonded us as a family.
I am engaged to a woman who lives overseas.I have not been able to touch her now for eleven months. We've communicated nearly every day via Skype so we can at least see and hear each other. We've done a Bible study every time we've talked. We pray together every time. During this long waiting process, we are learning the meaning of commitment. Not being able to touch or do activities together is very difficult. We only have time of conversation, sharing videos and playing online games. We've endured many delays in obtaining a visa for her so we can marry. We've tried unsuccessfully to buy a house. It is difficult only to shop for a house over the internet. I can visit the home, but my fiancee cannot. We've endured the hardship of trying to sell a home in a buyers market. We've had to make life changing financial decisions together. Though all this we remain committed to each other. We are committed to love one another. This love is not just a high feeling. Our love from the beginning has been a commitment to show love in action.
I feel very blessed to have parents who have remained committed and faithful to one another for fifty years. I am blessed to find a woman who is committed to loving me for fifty years or more should we live that long. I, too, and committed to her for life. I know it is our commitment to each other and to God that will keep our love and marriage strong for our entire lifetime.
I am not naive enough to think that our marriage will be without difficulties. My parents certainly endured trying and difficult times. Raising five children was not easy. My dad had to make difficult choices to give up things like business travel, golf and fishing so he could spend time with family. My mom endured times of sadness. Each child presented our own unique form of difficulties. I know it was not easy for my parents, but they remained faithful to God, their kids and each other.
My fiancee and I are starting at zero years and have an example of fifty years to follow. I am so blessed and thankful that I have such a fine example of love, commitment and faith to follow.