Today my parents celebrate 50 years of being married. This is such a rare thing these days. As I pause to reflect on the 46 years that I have known them I conclude that they are extraordinary people. And whilst I am totally biased, I thought I would share some of the observable qualities of the way that Mum and Dad, Jeanette and Philip Pilt, have done family life and married life that puts them here, together and still genuinely in love 50 years later.
- They honored God the entire time throughout their marriage. I only just found out recently, that after the wedding service at the church (St Marks Picton) and after the wedding reception (Wollondilly Shire Hall), Mum and Dad went back to the church and shared communion together and invited God to be part of their Marriage, before setting off on their Honeymoon. I have seen them attend church every Sunday, read and follow the Word of God with ardent zeal, pray together, and raise their four children in a God honoring environment.
- They did church life together. Dad has been a lay preacher in the Anglican Church for over 50 years….During my childhood, every Sunday Dad would preach in one of the 7 churches in the Picton parish and Mum would teach Sunday School at St Marks Picton. But there was a sense of team, both supported the other. Mum taught scripture in the local school and together they ran the Youth Ministry at St Marks. I still remember we would always go to church together every Sunday Night and even as a four and five year old I remember I would fall asleep at the back of the church.
- They did life together. Mum and Dad have always seen life and marriage as a team sport. Even just ten minutes before I sat down to write this blog, I was photographing Mum and Dad pruning a hedge together (in the rain I might add) in preparation for the 50th Anniversary Party. They have not lived in each other’s pockets, each having their own careers, but as I was growing up there was always a sense of team between the two of them.
- They did the small things for each other. I still remember Dad would often bring home a rose (which he had picked from his mother’s house in Thirlmere) for mum. It was a little way of saying, I was thinking of you. Dad had grown up in a home where they didn’t have dessert and mum wanted to bless dad with a dessert after dinner and let me tell you…mum would make the most amazing desserts.
- They honored each other’s parents. Dad’s father had died before I was born so I only knew three of my grandparents, but I witnessed them love each other’s parents as much as they loved their own.
- They were involved in the broader family. Dad is one of 8 children and Mum is one of 5. So there have always been lots of aunts and uncles and multitudes of cousins. Mum and Dad have always seen the broader family as very important and certainly communicated the value of family to me.
- They served others. I cannot begin to tell you the amount of hours in my child hood I spent mowing old ladies lawns, cutting wood for people, packing fruit and other practical help. Mum and Dad were and are still exceptionally others focused.
- They had fun together as a family. When I was growing up, there were certainly times of discipline and conflict but overall, my childhood involved a lot of fun. From family holidays, to the raft Dad built so we could swim and have a diving platform for the dam, to the Sunday Arvo Bushwalks, to the motorbikes and bush tracks that Dad provided for me. The family was a place of laughter….family movie nights, family concerts and even family working bees complete with 75cent hamburgers from the Oaks at the end of a hard Saturday.
- They married because they were genuinely in love and they have nurtured that love over the 50 years of their married life. Love can stand the test of time. Love can endure through the good times and tough times of marriage and family life.
So if you are a young married couple or about to be married or even longer term married……believe in the concept of a life long marriage partner. From my experience it’s one of the great blessings of life.
Thank you Mum and Dad for your commitment to marriage. Happy 50th Anniversary.