My parents recently celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary with a vow renewal ceremony. I was unable to be there, but wrote this piece for the pastor to read to them. It was a surprise. They renewed their vows in the same chapel with the same pastor on the same day of the week. Just as their original wedding was just the two of them and the pastor and his wife, the same was true this time around. This was how I chose to honor them on their special day.
Myles Munroe once said, “It is my conviction that marriage is such a good idea, only God could have thought of it.”
The idea of marriage indeed came from God and we find it in Genesis 2. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” It is God-ordained and till death do us part.
50 years ago you stood at this very spot. Two teenagers with no wealth, no family, and an uncertain future. Some must have shook their heads and whispered, “It’ll never last.” But God had a plan. Here you stand, having reached a milestone that few in this day and age will ever reach, proving the doubters and scoffers wrong.
The journey to this 50-year milestone wasn’t without its challenges. A new marriage between two who were just kids themselves had to have been difficult. Navigating a new-found faith in Christ, getting to know the virtual stranger next to you, and looking into the eyes of your little girl realizing the full weight of that responsibility was a tall order. But you both rose to the challenge. With the tenacity of bulldogs, you determined to make this thing work, to raise this baby girl, and to live for Christ. There were hard times: moves across the states, bankruptcy, fights, the loss of a son, and the agony of a prodigal daughter who has yet to come home. These hardships sharpened you. They chipped away at the hard places and carved your marriage into what it is today, a reflection of Christ and the church.
God ordained marriage between two distinct kinds, male and female. He gave them each distinct roles; head and helper. And He said they weren’t optional. Dad you have grown into your role to love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. As I look at your marriage today, I see you filling those shoes in the way that you love Mom and care for her with beautiful acts of service. And Mom, you have modeled for me what it means to respect your husband and submit to him as the head. I’ve heard you defend Dad’s honor to others who would refer to him as, “your old man,” and I’ve watched you walk beside him, being his helpmate.
On this special day I want to say thank you. Thank you for keeping me. Thank you for doing the hard work to not only make your marriage last, but to allow God to work, growing it into something beautiful and strong. Thank you for raising me in a way that pointed me to Christ and for the many fun times of laughter, camping trips, rubber-band wars, water fights, and picking green beans. May God bless you and your marriage for many years to come and may your legacy live on in me, my marriage, and the lives of your granddaughters Annalise and Kendall. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!