“And these three remain Faith, Hope and Love but the greatest of these is love” 1 Corinthians 13.13
On May 1st, my Mum and Dad had their fortieth wedding anniversary. When my parents were married forty years ago they had 1 Corinthians 13 as their wedding passage. For forty years they have had engraved inside their wedding rings: “…these three remain faith, hope and love…the greatest of these is love”
For forty years I have been blessed with a mother and father who love each other and have committed to the vows they made on their wedding day. Although no where near perfect by any standard, my parents made mistakes and there have been really difficult times. For better or worse, I lived in a home where LOVE was the foundation, FAITH demonstrated in all things and HOPE seen in what was to come. I was raised knowing GOD is LOVE as reality from early in life. That is a gift. There are many things that I’ve realised that I have gleaned from being in that environment and by how my parents lived their lives without ever really saying them as principals or words.
My thoughts and reflections have been random and profound:
- The Bible is the Word of God. Living and active, sharper than any two edge sword.
- Christianity is holistic – whole of life. Not just part.
- Care for aliens and strangers and the outcast.
- God is our provider. Everything comes from him.
- Family devotion grows us all and bring family together.
- Prayer is active. As a family help to stay strong in our faith and with each other. Prayer reminds us of who we are, what we are about and where we are going.
- We are part of the whole family of God. Worshipping with them is important for the building of our faith.
- We build community by building relationships.
- Worship God no matter what the tradition or context.
- Being missional encompasses all areas of life.
- Faith in God is personal and knowing Jesus as Saviour but this life is not about me. There is no room for selfishness.
- You will need other ‘parental’ people to be there for you in as you walk with Jesus.
- Be Kingdom builders.
- Open home: a home has elastic walls, enough food to go around, a spare bed, a listening ear, a cup of tea and another chair at the table when its needed.
- Family of God is big and it means there is plenty of older and younger brothers and sisters.
- Family is important.
- Children are important. Caring for them and being part of their growing up is one the best things in the world
- All life is precious and valuable
- All babies are precious and wonderful!
- Work hard so stuff gets done.
- Going away as a family: camping and holidaying is an adventure.
- Playing games as family helps us to learn, brings us together and work as a team
- Not having a screen in the house until around the age of ten taught me to listen and be creative.
- Hospitality and being generous is normal. We give out of what we do have no matter how small.
- Driving places and enjoying the journey, creates memories.
- Love and accept all people. They are people.
- Invest in your neighbours. All the people around. Have close friendships and invest in them.
- Love and serve people who ever they are and where ever you are.
- Be patient with others and each other.
- Care for the sick and dying.
- Discipline, structure and order help to create space.
- Clean up after yourself, it makes it easier the person coming behind you.
- Be honest and truthful.
- Care for extended family when you can.
- Don’t be idle with your time. Time is valuable.
- Don’t go with the status quo just because it is.
- If there is a pot to stir. Be wise about about how it is stirred. Honour and respect authority during the process.
- Be careful with what words you use and how you say them.
- Think outside the box.
- We can learn a lot through music, its expression and lyrics.
- Reading is one of the best things you can ever learn to do. Books are better than watching any screen.
- Walk patiently and gently with those who don’t learn or catch as quickly as you do.
- Look for the best in the other person.
- Give space in life for the other person to be their best.
- Be patient with the other person.
- Conversation and communication when there is conflict with a spouse whether written or said fiercely can help.
- When life is hard. Keep going. Figure it out. Work together.
- Grow together even if it means you can’t be together
- Marriage is not easy but worth it.
- Be affectionate with each other even when you have kids that grown and don’t like it.
- Commitment is commitment.
- Marriage is for better or worse, in sickness in health, to love and cherish, til death do us part.
- Worship, pray and read scripture together.
Our kids said about their grandparents by watching their lives and who they are:
- Very generous with everything and who they are.
- Be willing to do what God wants, when he says and what he says.
- Be compassionate and kind with others.
- Hospitality and meals together are important.
- Use team work even when they’re grumpy.
- Honesty is important all the time.
- Provide a place that can be home for everyone.
- Creativity can be practical in all areas of life.
- They Grow great kids that have grown great kids.
- Being missional is important.
- Love people from other cultures and learning new languages.
Written in honour of my parents who have set an example of love and worship of their heavenly father, live life through faith in God and know the hope that is to come in all things. May you be blessed in all things! Happy 40th Wedding Anniversary!
Psalm 128 – “Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD who walk in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of your labour of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within yiour house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD. The LORD bless you from Zion! May you see prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!”