What did I learn from my parents’ 45 years of marriage?

A couple of days ago, my parents celebrated their 45 years of marriage. I praised the Lord for giving them the opportunity to enjoy these 45 years of togetherness! Here are what I have learnt from their marriage: 

  1. Communicate

It amazes me that even 45 years of marriage, my parents still share with each other the little details of their daily life: the news, a funny video clip someone sent to them, the details of their conversation with my 3 year-old niece. It was such a lovely sight to see them talking and enjoying each other’s company. I guess the ability for them to keep their conversation interesting after all these years make them life partners as they navigate through life together.

Words are powerful (Proverbs 18:21, James 3:5-6). I am so glad that when my parents talk to each other, they choose to use words that build each other up rather than tearing each other down. By choosing loving words, words that build up, appreciate and encourage (1 Peter 4:8), my parents continued to deposit into each other’s love tanks.

2. Forgive and move on

Even when my parents get into a quarrel, they apply this rule in the Bible: “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26, NIV), or in other words, “don’t go to bed angry”. They have their disagreements but will not hold on to grudges. I couldn’t even remember them having a cold war and not talking for 2 days or more. My parents show me what it meant to forgive and move on.   

3. Do things together and give each other personal space 

My parents do a lot of things together. They eat every meal together every day, attend online Sunday service (due to pandemic), bathe the dogs and enjoy some television shows together. But they also give each other space to enjoy their hobbies: my dad in the garden and my mum watching her favourite Korean dramas.  

4. Small things count

Small things matter. Catch opportunities to compliment each other. My parents know each other’s favourite food and drinks. They always think about the other. By watching their examples, I realise that love does not have to be “expensive”. We do not need bouquet of roses or exquisite fine dining on special occasions, but happiness is where the family can sit down peacefully and enjoying a simple meal. “A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.” (Proverbs 15:17, NLT)

A lasting relationship takes a lot of work and effort from both parties. Both have to be equally committed to the other. Love is more than just a feeling as feelings come and go like waves at the sea. Love is committing to one another even during tough times when we do not feel like it. I am thankful that my parents are showing me the example of what it means to be loved and to love.  

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