50 Years Together

Jun 23rd 2012
This weekend, we (the Nold Clan plus) are celebrating my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary.  The date was actually last December, but they wanted to celebrate this summer when all of us could be there.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much my parents have shaped me for the  good.  A father gives their children, their first taste of Father God.   My father gave me a taste of God that made me hungry for more.  My mother, in the same way gave me a different taste of God, she was more like the Spirit of God, full of compassion and joy, life and love.  Together their marriage gave me a glimpse of the love that Jesus has for the church.

Were they perfect?  Goodness no.  If they were perfect, they would have given birth to and raised perfect kids.  I am proof that they weren’t perfect.  But when I look back on the last 49+ years of knowing my mom and dad, my heart is filled with a lot of gratitude.

The letter below is one that was included in a book of thanks that was put together for them.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Wow.  Hard to believe it’s been 50 years married, well 50+ now.  So let me start by just saying thank you.  During the last 20+ plus years of being a pastor I’ve officiated at the weddings of hundreds of couples and as I have counseled with them beforehand, I’ve always said, “Look at your parents, for better or for worse your parents gave the foundational shape to your views of marriage.  For better or for worse, your parents showed you the value of marriage and family, and taught you how to do both.”  I can’t tell you how thankful I am that from the two of you I had far more “for better” than I had “for worse.”

It was fun reading all the well-wishers, being reminded of all the lives I have watched you touch and hearing about some of the ones I didn’t even know about.  The two of you partnering together has left a great Jesus-shaped mark on the world.  But I have to say that I believe your greatest legacy is in your kids, your grandkids, your family.

Thanks for showing us Jesus, for taking us — sometimes forcibly — to church, for modeling grace, for having fun, for teaching us and discipling us to work hard, and to love life.  Thank you for memories like camping in Yellowstone, and drives to California, and hunting.  Thank you for being at sports events and for modeling generosity.  Thank you for all that you have given me.
I’ve only been there for 49 years and 4 months of your married life — :) — but they have certainly been good years.  

Thank you!