When I was a child growing up in your home, you were my favorite people in the world. You were my role models, you were my first and most important example of what love is. While I watched Disney movies and heard about fairy tales every day, I knew those were just stories, and your example of what true love looks like was real life. You told me about how you met, showed me pictures from your wedding day, and expressed love toward each other every day. I took all this in and started dreaming of what my love story might look like - and what I pictured was exactly like what I saw. Even as a child, I knew you two were perfect together, you worked together well, you made the cutest couple. I once had a friend say to me, "I really hope my parents never get divorced." While sympathizing with her, I realized that I had not a single doubt that my parents would love each other forever. I never had to worry about the future, because my parents created a strong, lasting impression on me, that the home they had established was built on such a strong love and commitment that would never fall apart.
As I grew older, you became more open with me about struggles that can happen within a marriage. You told me about how you disagreed, and how you handled the inevitable trials. But because of the strong foundation you had built, I still knew I had nothing to worry about. Watching how you fought for each other in difficult times gave me a more realistic perspective on love. You showed me that even when you find the one you're meant to be with, you still aren't perfect, you don't transform into a perfect couple. I saw day by day how a marriage helps to make two imperfect people more like Christ. I watched a beautiful commitment and love between two imperfect people grow to model the love described in 1 Corinthians 13. I learned that giving up was never an option, and I prayed that God would let me have a love like yours someday.
When the "fairy tale" I always dreamed of became a reality to me, I never had any concern that it wouldn't work out. From the day we started dating, I knew it would last - first, because I had your blessing and approval, and that told me you believed in us too, and second, because I had watched a real and perfect example of how a godly marriage works. You had taught me about how important communication is, and I took that to heart and implemented it into my own relationship. You showed love to each other in every circumstance, you prayed together and grew together in your faith, you took time to be alone together, and you forgave each other and kept on loving each other, knowing that you were both still imperfect. Because I knew of all of these things, I was able to build a relationship and now a marriage on a strong foundation, just as you both had. I knew marriage wouldn't always feel like a fairy tale, but because of you, I knew that it would be worth it.
Thank you for giving me this perfect example of a godly marriage. Thank you for teaching me that through lots of effort, forgiveness, prayer, and God's help, we could work through any obstacle. Thank you for being my real example of a real life fairy tale. I love you both, and I am thankful that we have your support as we are still beginning this journey of marriage! Here's to many, many more happy years for you.
Oh, also, you guys made some really attractive kids. ;)
Happy 25th Anniversary!! Hey, look how great you guys look in Arizona. Hint hint. ;)