One of my favorite memories of my mom and dad came after I had moved into a new apartment. My folks had driven up to help me hang pictures – a job that’s hard to do by myself. It turned out however, that I wasn’t really needed for the task because my parents had long perfected the art of working together. As I watched them I was mesmerized as my mom handed my dad the tools he needed without him even asking. I was touched by my dad’s trust in my mom to know what was needed. They worked symbiotically together, each applauding and relying on the other one’s strengths to accomplish the task at hand.
It was a simple, yet accurate reflection of how my parent’s marriage functioned each and every day. They relied on each other, encouraged each other, and worked together to make things more beautiful than they otherwise would have been. This was who they were and this particular story is dear to me because it so accurately demonstrate the greater story of their marriage.
Since my dad’s passing I’ve had the opportunity to tell that greater story a lot. People are fascinated by it. Perhaps that’s because a good marriage is an increasingly rare thing. Perhaps because it’s even more rare for children to not only recognize that their parents’ marriage was great, but to want to emulate it.
Their story always has three parts:
1) They loved Christ and were committed to serving Him.
2) Because of their love for Christ, they were committed to each other and reflecting His love in their marriage.
3) They raised up their children in the way they should go according to Biblical standards.
These three things are the touchstones of my parents’ lives. It’s what they invested their time in, what they thought about and what they worked towards. My parents would be the first to admit that they didn’t do this perfectly, but from someone who had a front-row seat to their marriage, I could tell you that more often than not, they did them exceptionally well.
And it’s because their commitment to each other and to their kids was grounded in their commitment to love and serve Christ that they can have confidence that not only will they see each other again, but when they do so, they will hear “Well done, my faithful servants.” And that’s the best type of happy-ever after ending that there is.