This weekend, I’ll have the privilege of “officiating” the renewing of wedding vows for my in-laws on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. I had the same opportunity to take part in a renewal of vows for my own parents on their golden anniversary eleven years ago, and I am honored to be able to do it a second time.
I must say, I have some very special in-laws and I am exceedingly proud of them. The Scriptures speak much about children bringing honor to their parents, but they also say a lot about parents leaving a legacy of honor for their children (and children-in-laws). My in-laws sure have, and I am very grateful for the heritage they have passed down to their children, and grandchildren.
It takes a lot to live with someone for fifty years (especially if they’re a Gentry!). Traits like patience and perseverance. Thick skin. Longsuffering. Self-sacrifice. Genuine love. And yes, the health to live that long.
But perhaps the one character trait that stands out, especially in this day and age, is faithfulness. The secret to a great long-lasting marriage is not so much the spectacular or romantic as much as it is doing the every-day-life things, every day. And, over the course of fifty years, that’s a lot of days of staying the course, together.
When the apostle Paul in the New Testament compared our relationship to Christ with marriage–we are the bride of Christ–I think he had much of that idea of faithful love in mind. Jesus promises to always be faithful to us, and it is His model of faithfulness that we are called to follow.
I hope that of all the character traits you exhibit in your walk with God, and in your service to His church, a life of consistent, steady faithfulness will stand out above the rest.
Thanks to my in-laws for their testimony of faithfulness, first to the Lord and also to each other and to their family–and thanks to each of you as well for your weekly testimonies of faithfulness to Him and to his church. My prayer is that He would truly find us faithful.