“More is caught than taught.” If I ever doubted it before, I don’t any more. We got a package in the mail for our anniversary. It included an original canvas and a letter.
Happy 25th anniversary! I don’t know where I would be without you both…literally and figuratively! Like I said in the note with the flowers, I admire the relationship that you two have modeled and I could not have asked for a better example of how a marriage should work.
I have learned that happiness is not dependent on the other person, but happiness sure is able to come from that person.
I have learned that relationships are an equal balance of compromise and cooperation.
I have learned that personal wants and desires sometimes need to be sacrificed for a marriage to work, but the unexpected blessings that arise leave absolutely no room for regret.
I have learned that there are specific roles in marriage that each spouse has, neither being subservient to the other.
I have learned that love is not always in the form of words or touch, but in doing the little things.
I have learned that marriage gives you someone who will always love you even if your jokes are lame.
I have learned that a true relationship is one that is felt not only in the good times and the bad times, but all the boring time in between too.
I have learned that a marriage cannot be founded on the fallibility of each other, but on the infallibility of Christ.
I have learned that marriage is a dynamic and continuous learning experience—for there are always aspects that can be bettered.
I have learned that to get respect, you have to give respect.
There is plenty more I could say, but here is one last one:
I have learned that a marriage is something, that after 25 years, both will sit on the couch at nigh (one browsing—browsing, eh?—train prices on the computer and the other eagerly scrutinizing her quilting handiwork) and wonder how in the world it has gotten to be 25 years.
As for the gift, I would like to explain it because otherwise it is simply an abstract piece of art. Which I specifically chose to do, mind you, because then if it ended up looking terrible no one can judge…it’s abstract art, people! Haha. So to begin, I would like you to notice the colors in the painting: red, white, silver, and golden yellow. First off, we have the red and white striped background. Together, red and white are used as ceremonial Japanese wedding colors; oftentimes the newlywed couple receives red and white ornaments as a tangible symbol of happiness and celebration. The color red signifying passion and the color white symbolizing purity; I believe strongly both colors imply two important facets in a successful marriage. Moving on, I would like you to notice the sprinkled gray and golden yellow paint. The color yellow is sometimes understood as the color of joy and happiness, both being attitudes which I have witnessed through my cognizant years of your marriage. Furthermore, the complete luxury and richness of life and in heart that comes from a marriage is typified by the golden hues of the yellow paint. Lastly, however insensitive and callous it may sound, the silver color archetypally represents old age. But what I would love to focus on is not the graying of your hairs but the wisdom and sagacity that has come out of your many years of life together. Silver symbolizes security, reliability, and maturity, which likewise are all aspects of your marriage that I see firmly today.
I love you both more than words can say…
There’s no way on earth we could have intentionally taught all this. Heavens—some of this is simply a result of being committed to the marriage, not specifically a conscious decision to act in a certain way. It’s far more than I ever hoped or dreamed they would see in us. I am humbled. God’s faithfulness is seen by those around us, simply by acting in a manner worthy of Christ.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. ~Phil 2:3-4
**One thing to note: this came from our child whose gift is most definitely words. She’s a talented writer and artist. But the others gave gifts that are equally thoughtful, and much more fitting to their personalities. We have a child with an incredible servant’s heart. We have one with the gifts of mercy and compassion. We have one blessed with a quick wit and a tender heart. All of them expressed their love to us in their own unique style. It just happens that this example is the easiest to share…