On an Exemplary Marriage – My Parents

There was once a young guy, and as is the case with most young men, a certain girl caught his eye.  She was his opposite in most every way.  Before this turns into a fairy tale or is mistaken for Will and I (because we are most definitely opposites), let me clarify – I am talking about my parents.

Last month my wonderful parents reached 40 years of marriage!

(And right now they are on their celebratory cruise so I won’t get in trouble for singing their praises for a few days)

This is my favorite picture of them from our 40th Anniversary family photo shoot.  It captures how much joy they still bring each other after all this time.

This is my favorite picture of them from our 40th Anniversary family photo shoot. It captures how much joy they still bring each other after all this time.

Will and I have been married for 2 years and 10 months. We have hardly put the full scope of our marriage vows to the test yet. I say that because I know I am blessed to have the longevity and richness of my parents’ exemplary marriage to look up to, but I also know that I have absolutely no clue just how valuable that example may prove to be as life goes on for Will and I.

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However, I already know a few key things that I have learned from my Moms and Pops.

  1. Keep God first – in your relationship with each other, in your goals, in your finances, in your parenting, in the battles you pick… Basically in everything.
  2. Never stop acting like moony teenagers – flirt with each other, hold hands in public, laugh, don’t take yourselves too seriously, etc.
  3. Embrace each other’s families.
  4. Support each other’s interests and endeavors.
  5. Serve together.
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My mom was very relieved that Dara and I forgot our props for the photos of the two of them.

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Their lives are not filled with pinterest perfect decor or instagramable date nights.  They aren’t caught up with any of that.  They are content to live below their means and find value in the simple things – like how my dad brings my mom a weekly Sonic drink, or how my mom would always keep Dara and I (mostly me) quiet after my dad would go to sleep since he had to be up at 4:30 every morning.

My parents grew up in their church.  My dad asked my mom out for their first date at church.  He proposed to her at church.  They got married at church.  They raised us as a part of that church. And they have never stopped serving people at and through the church.  It’s not really the church part that matters, it’s the fact that my parents were actively seeking to have a marriage that focuses on making an eternal impact.  They have opened their hearts to so many people.  I know from experience serving with Will, that sometimes you can serve more fully when you are serving with your spouse.  As a team you can bring out the best in each other and love others more completely.

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This is what I see in my parents.  They are a team.  They push each other to love those around them more completely, because that is how Christ loves us and calls us to love others.  Sure they also push each other’s buttons too, but they know how to laugh about it, give grace, and pick the battles that really matter because they both have their eyes on the love of Jesus.

I hope you guys are enjoying your cruise!  Thank you for being there for me with advice, wisdom, and the lifelong stockpile of actions to back it up. My gratitude for the two of you and your marriage only continues to grow.

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ps… if you are in Lexington and looking for  a good photographer, check out Jenny with Rugged Joy Photography.  She was wonderful to work with!

Parent's Anniversary

  • Lauryl McFarland

    Devra- this was so sweet and lovingly written. I always admired your parents and their relationship! Glad everything is well and that you are loving and learning in married life as well. xoxo- Lauryl

    • Lauryl! Thank you so much! Thanks for stopping by the blog and for commenting. You are so sweet! I hope all is going well in Cali! xoxo back atcha! ~Dev

  • What a beautiful tribute to your parents! I would be proud, too. Congratulations to them!