This last Saturday morning I officiated Lanie and Farron’s wedding at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, Texas. I shared with them and their guests a message that had some similarities to a recent message I shared at a baby naming, coming at it from a different angle:
So here’s the deal with these two – they have the full package – they really do. They are deeply connected to their families, they view each other as allies and best friends, not just lovers, and each one of them will tell you that their relationship has brought about mutual improvement and growth. What is their secret?
Well, from what I can gather, it seems that if we look at the trees, we might have an answer regarding the apples. You see, quite often, the most significant adjustments in any loving relationship have to do with what is the “normal” way of doing things, and the translation of “normal” really is “the way my folks do it”. My wife and I are a great example. A few days after we married 18 years ago, I suggested I make scrambled eggs for breakfast, and she enthusiastically agreed. She left the room for a few minutes, as I began to make the eggs. When she returned, she had a horrified look on her face. I was perplexed, and I asked her what was wrong. She, her voice quivering, said that I had broken the eggs into a glass, and not a bowl, which is the normal way to do it. I looked at her like she was crazy, and I insisted that normal people break their eggs into a glass. Again, instead of normal insert, “the way my folks do it.” Now, of course, in our home today, we break eggs into a bowl, because that is what normal people do… but that is really beside the point.
Now, I do not believe any couple since the dawn of time has escaped such adjustments. Every couple has the type of adjustments my wife and I dealt with. It is though, I believe, in the hands of parents to raise their children in a way that can minimize these. It is up to parents to raise children with not only a set of standards of behavior, but also with the understanding that different people do things differently, and that that is OK. It is up to parents to raise children that understand that, sure there are things that are black and white, but most of the world is pretty much gray. It is up to parents to raise children who are open to learning, and are not afraid to try new ways of doing things. It is up to parents to broaden the scope of what is normal.
Lanie and Farron, from our discussions, from what you told me orally and in writing, I think this is your secret. Your upbringing by your parents is what brought you together in such a harmonious relationship. You see, in a way, in my introduction, I told the truth but not the whole truth. I talked about learning from couples, where really many times, and this is just one more of those times, I find myself learning from families too.
Lanie and Farron, what we wish for you is that you do the same. You may come from different cultural and religious traditions, but I encourage you to continue the shared tradition of your parents. Build a home where pluralism is central. Raise a family where the words "my way or the highway" never come into play. Inculcate your children with the spirit of learning and growing your parents inculcated you with. Through this you and they will find complete, utter and true happiness.