LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

My Parents are the Real Deal

50AnnivWhat does it mean when a couple makes it 50 years in marriage? And Idon't mean they survived. No, this couple continues to thrive.

They are my parents, Ross and Karen Stevens, and this month they are celebrating 50 years of marriage. Can anyone say 'Wow!"?

In this day and age, I so respect long marriages. And I have seen this one up close and personal. It's the real deal. My parents are still in love. They honor each other, serve each other, and work through tough stuff together (how tough? Try having me as a kid!).

There are so many thoughts that my parents' anniversary brings to mind--here are just a few:

  • When they tied the knot, Mom was 17 years old and dad was not yet 19 years old. Who says teens can't make good decisions?
  • I don't know of one divorce in my ancestry. My grandparents on both sides stayed married until death. My great-grandparents on both sides stayed married until they died. What a heritage!
  • My mom is really, really smart--and could have worked her whole life in a very good job. But she chose to stay home when we were young to help instill values and character into me and my brother and sister.
  • I never remember them fighting. They worked through stuff behind closed doors and provided a house of love for all of us.
  • They sacrificed much for us to get us the best education available. It went unnoticed to me at the time, but now days I think about it quite often.
  • I realize now how patient my parents were with us. Between the piano, french horn, clarinet, and rock-and-roll--we had a loud house!
  • I can't imagine a kid being more supported. It didn't matter what I tried, they were cheering me on: soccer (I was terrible), basketball (never made a basket...ever), band (I was okay), preaching (uh, no)...they were there for all of it helping me find my sweet spot.
  • My parents taught me to love the church. I learned the joy in having a solid, value-based family centered around a thriving local church...where authentic relational community could happen.

I could say more, but for now let me just leave this message to them: Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad...I love you very much and am so grateful for the heritage you have given me, and the privilege I have of walking in your footsteps.

(Even if you don't know my parents, feel free to leave your greetings in the comments below...I'll be sure they read them!)