May 21, 2012

What My Parents Taught Me About Love

My mom and dad on their wedding day

Today would have been my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary.

Before my mom passed away, my parents had been married for 27 years. In this day and age, that’s simply incredible to me. My parents saw marriage as a gift, something to be celebrated and held as sacred. I’m so blessed to have had their example.

I learned so many things from watching them throughout my growing up years, things I want to apply to my own marriage. I want to reflect on a few today.

Present a unified front.
You know how kids try the whole “divide and conquer” thing when it comes to getting their parents to let them do something? Yeah, didn’t work with my parents. I also don’t remember them ever really disagreeing in front of me and my brother.

I always whined that they were ganging up on me, but now I see that they were simply making decisions together, and standing together in those decisions.

Never let go of the fun.
I’m sure my parents’ marriage had rough spots just like any other, and obviously that included my mom’s illness. But you know what? They never stopped having fun together. Laughing. Spending time together. Being silly. I love those memories. They’re some of my favorite.

That’s the kind of stuff that lasts in our minds years and years later. 

Never take love for granted.
I used to love taking pictures of my parents when I was younger. I’d hold up the camera and instruct them to kiss (yes, I was a bossy child…). And they’d kiss—simple, eyes closed, mouths curved in a smile—longer than it took to take the picture.

Sacrifice your comfort for the other’s well-being.
Nothing showed me what love was more than my dad’s actions toward my mom when she was sick. Nothing.

I remember how he woke up at 3 am every morning to give her more pain medication. Probably more often than even that. And he still went to work the next day and did so much more than I probably even know.

Real love is sacrifice.

Real love is selfless.

Real love is hard to put into action.

But it’s so worth it when we do.

Your Turn: If you’re married, what’s a great lesson you’ve learned about love and marriage? If you’re not married, what’s a great lesson you’ve learned from a married couple you admire?

16 comments:

  1. All wonderful things to learn! I'd say THINK before speaking, sometimes in heated moments words hurt. That's been a huge lesson for me to learn. And for every thing you need to address that seems "wrong" make sure to tell your spouse what he or she is doing right first, and last!

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    1. Such good advice, Jess. I know I tend to focus on things that need to be improved and forget sometimes about all the things he (and we together) is/are doing right!

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  2. Your post is beautiful, Lindsay. I've learned that most arguments and troubles in marriage come from selfishness - if we can truly learn to place each other above ouselves, than our marriage will be more peaceful and joyful. It isn't always easy, but when you are purposeful about thinking of your spouse first, it becomes second nature. Thanks for sharing your parents with us today. :)

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    1. Ah, selfishness...yep, I'm totally with you there, Gabrielle. It's a challenge to overcome it, but it's so worth it when you do!

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  3. That united front one is HUGE! And I think we're learning how much we balance each other out and to appreciate each other's strengths.
    ~ Wendy

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    1. I hope we can apply the united front when we have kids. I guess it also applies with other people, like parents and such.

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  4. Oh, Lindsay, what beautiful memories and what a tribute to your parents. When you described your parents kissing, longer than it took to take the picture, I got tears in my eyes. Yes, being silly together is huge - brings joy to your life. And being kind to each other. Thank you for sharing your lovely insights.

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    1. Aw, thank you, Dana.

      I love being silly with my husband. Those are some of my favorite times.

      It was so nice to meet you on Saturday! I look forward to getting to know you better.

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  5. What a wonderful, touching post! Thanks for sharing. I got teary-eyed too!

    Being each other's best friend is what I have learned. Sometimes that means teasing, having fun together, being silly, but it may also mean being honest...sometimes brutally...because you care for the other's well being.

    It's great to have friends of the same sex be your "best friends" but there are things you share with your husband that should always remain between you two and no one else.

    That's what I learned over the years! Honor that special bond and covenant.

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    1. So much truth in what you say here. I always want Mike to be my best friend. Always.

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  6. Beautiful post, LindsAy!! I'd recommend being quick to forgive. Life is too short to hold grudges.

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    1. Ah, such good advice--and it can be applied to all relationships, not just marriage!

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  7. Oh, the dreaded united front... speaking as my teenaged self. And oh, the beauty of the united front... speaking as a parent of a teenager. :) Yes, that's one I used to loathe, but now I employ with my husband, and we've gotten through some rough spots just because we refused to be anything but on the same page with discipline.

    We celebrated my parents 60th anniversary two years ago, and so many people commented how my parents sticking together has been a stabilizing force in our family. I never realized the impact of their marriage until that party!

    Lovely, how you honored your parents in this post, Lindsay.

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    1. That's so cool about your parents and their marriage being an example to everyone! What a neat legacy.

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  8. I feel so privileged to read this, to know of the love that your parents passed on and to have seen it first hand. It was always inspiring to me too. Mr Comer and I finally reached our 25th!
    I am so proud of the beautiful woman you are!
    Evelyn (Mrs. Comer)

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    1. I'm so glad that my parents' legacy was so evident to everyone. I was truly, truly blessed.

      And thank you so much. Love you!

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