…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
On August 10, 1957, Jerri said “I do” to Jerry. That’s when Mom and Dad officially became a married couple. A few years earlier, mom called dad, a member of her Sunday School Class, to see if he wanted to buy tickets to her band concert. Her exact words were, “Would you like to go to my band concert”? Dad, something of a playboy, assumed mom was asking him out, and said, “Sure. What time should I pick you up”? The rest, as they say, is history.
Sixty years is a lot of living, especially with another person in such close proximity. Mom and dad have completely different personalities. Opposites, really do attract. For instance, mom is more prone to read a book while dad likes to watch Reality TV. Mom prefers peace and quiet, and dad likes loud and boisterous, which pretty much describes him to a tee. Mom’s an introvert, dad, you guessed it, an extrovert. I guess opposites really do attract. In spite of their obvious differences, this unlikely pair has managed to stay together sixty years—and rather happily, I might add.
So, what’s the secret to their success? Sixty Years is known as the Diamond Anniversary. Here’s why…
The quality of a diamond is measured by the so-called 4Cs: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carats. Likewise, the quality of a long-term relationship is determined by the 5Cs of Commitment, Character, Communication, Comic-Relief, and Christ-Centered.
• Commitment– The marriage vows weren’t just something they said during the wedding. They lived them. “For richer, or poorer”-when dad lost his job our family of five moved in with mom’s parents; a one-car garage that my grandpa had remodeled. Funny, I don’t remember the situation being difficult, though I’m sure it was—there were eight humans and one toilet. You do the math. But, what I do remember is how much fun I had staying with my grandparents, eating dinner with them, and playing “hangman” on the blackboard my grandpa had made for me and my brothers. Who needs video games!?
• Character-It takes a lot of character to admit you’re wrong. Even more important, learn to “pick your battles”. It means being faithful and truthful. Honesty is important. Forgiveness, crucial.
• Communication-And, not just verbally. It’s gently holding each other’s hand. It’s dad getting mom her first cup of coffee in the morning. It’s mom giving dad a kiss as he’s on his way out the door. And, dad returning her kiss when he arrives back home. And, when they argue, it looks more like an episode of “Burns and Allen”, an old comedy starring the real married couple of George Burns and Gracie Allen. The words are never mean, never cruel or hurtful. In fact, I’ve never heard my parents utter a single cuss word. Something I find absolutely astounding and charming. I really admire that.
• Comic-Relief-In crowds, my dad’s the center of attention. A real hoot. He makes you laugh. More important, he makes my mom laugh. And, that’s a good thing. A very good thing. Mom’s been known to throw in some well-timed “zingers” of her own. Laughter is not only good for your health, it’s good for your marriage.
• Christ-Centered-Last, but most important, mom and dad keep Christ at the center of their relationship.
I still can’t believe mom and dad have been married sixty years. This weekend our family will be celebrating their Diamond Anniversary. A diamond’s quality is determined by the 4Cs. And, the quality of mom and dad’s relationship can be summed up in 2Js—Jerry and Jerri.
Love ya’ Mom and Dad.