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Things I've Learned from Watching My Mom and Dad

I've learned a lot from watching my Mom and Dad's marriage. It's led me to know what I want to look for in a marriage, eventually, when I'm older, if I ever DO get married. Their marriage helps me know what a marriage is really about, and I couldn't thank them more for that.

You see, a lot of girls my age dream about marrying the perfect guy. Living in the perfect house. Having a lot of money and clothes and having a happy family and good, stable jobs. I'm not saying that that's a bad thing, but I think it's a bit unrealistic. It's not impossible, I suppose (other than the perfect guy, thing. Nobody's perfect! *Hannah Montana song now stuck in my head forever*), but in order to have all those things, you need to have a few others.

So, here's what I want for my future, if I ever get married.

Jesus. Not every marriage has Jesus, and a lot of them do okay without Him. But it's a lot harder, I think. Without Jesus, who do you have as your role model for love? For your overall relationship? For respect and true dedication? The latest famous actor/actress? Your favorite singer? Probably not the  best to go off!

Respect. Both spouses need to have respect for each other - it isn't a one-way ticket and it's not always easy, but as I've seen with my Mom and Dad, respect = happy family.

Dedication. My parents are dedicated to each other, and to us. They spend more of their time on us than they do on work, really, because even when they're working hard they're thinking about the family. I want that kind of dedication. The kind of dedication that keeps you and your spouse truly loving each other, even when you're not 20 anymore.

Hard Work. Dedication and hard work are similar, but they aren't exactly the same. Hard work is like when my Dad was working three jobs and Mom was working one when they first got married so that they could work together to support each other and keep food on the table. Hard work is like when Dad and Mom took dancing lessons together, and they each had fun and tried just so they could dance together (I know, romantic, right?).

Sacrifice. My Mama and Daddy did not get where they are today without sacrifice. They picked themselves and their entire family up and moved us all to Thailand because that was what God wanted. They sacrificed time with friends and family so they could do what God called them - us - to do. 

My Mom sacrifices the time out of her day to cook us a nice, big meal each and every day. My Mom sacrificed being skinny and youthful (not that you aren't gorgeous, Mama ;) ) to give life to four babies. My Mom sacrifices hours of her day to teach those four babies everything they need to know before they go out into the world, and keeps on teaching them after they leave. My Mom lets me hug her whenever I want - and if you know me, you know that I hug people a lot. My Mom is a superhero.

My Dad sacrifices his energy to teach other people how to be pastors so their villages can learn about God and so we can have a roof over our heads. My Dad sacrifices time out of his day to teach us everything we need to know about the Bible and the Lord and how much He loves us. My Dad lets me hug him whenever I want. My Dad is a superhero.

Without those sacrifices they've made and will continue to make, their marriage wouldn't be as amazing as it is. Their family wouldn't be as happy as it is.

Time Together. Even with all us kids around, my parents go out for a date once a week. After being married for 27 years, they still go out on dates! They take the time to sit down over dinner and just talk to each other, without us kids around to bother them.

Patience. I'm sure my parents have fought at some point in their lives, but I honestly can't remember those fights if they happened. All I think of is that when they're "arguing" it's more like a debate, with calm voices and patience with each other. That's the kind of thing I want for myself, and whatever future husband may or may not come around.

True Love - Just Like in the Fairy Tales. I mean, fairy tales have to have a basis of some kind. I'm sure that that basis has to be off my parents. Like I said, they've been married for 27 years and not a speck of their love has faded. Sure, they may not be all gushy all the time like all the weird teenagers on the planet, but that sort of love doesn't last forever, I think. My parents were MFEO, and I know it. They know it. 

I still see Dad looking at Mom with the Mr. Darcy look on his face. My Mom is Lizzie, and my Dad is Mr. Darcy, and that won't ever change. Because their love is true.

I don't know about you, but that's the kind of marriage I want one day. Because I think that all of this adds up to make True Love.


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