And the Greatest of These is Love

4 years ago
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Today marks the 40th wedding anniversary of my mother and father-out-law.

(Quick backstory: they're not in-law's and we aren't related by blood, but they're my family, so we're "Out-Law's")

Wow! Forty years. Count them, FOR-TY. I can't think of many things that endure that long, yet their love has. In the age of quickie divorces, it's reassuring to know marriages can last...if you're willing to work.

Renewing their vows on the beach. "Officiating" is a great-niece.

This morning our pastor said that blowing out someone else's candle doesn't make your flame burn any brighter. He was referring to judging others, but it got me thinking about the unity candle many couples light at their wedding. (Mine melted in the trunk of my car; hope that's not a bad sign.) When the two separate candles come together, their flames do burn brighter as they meet at the one big candle. That's what marriage is supposed to be. Two unique individuals, flawed as they may be, coming together to make the other's flame burn just a little brighter.

Over the last four decades, my out-laws have endured struggles, hardship and heartaches. They've had trials that tested their marriage. In the last five years alone there have been deaths, job losses, a cancer diagnosis and extended family drama, just to name a few. Very little about their journey has been smooth, but they take their vows seriously. Sometimes I wonder if my generation even knows what a vow really is.

Like two puzzle pieces that seem completely different, but fit together perfectly, my out-laws compliment each other. Their personalities are in contrast, and it would be a lie to say there wasn't friction at times, but through conflict comes resolution. As gold is refined through fire, so is a strong marriage.

Congratulations, Jesse and Susan! May God continue to bless you and your marriage. Thank you many, many times over for demonstrating what true love truly looks like. <3

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