My Parents’ Lessons About Commitment

pauljaniewedding

Paul and Janie Clark
Married Dec. 27, 1973

My dad lived quite a bit of his childhood in Massachusetts. As he turned into an adult he realized there was not any women there he wanted to marry. He wanted to find a good Christian woman to be is wife. Then he packed all his and his brother’s belongings in his baby blue Volkswagen Beetle and moved to Texas.

One of his sisters already lived in Texas and went to the same church as my mom’s sister. It was on the steps of that church that my parents met for the first time. 

My Dad took her swimming on their first date. She thought that she looked terrible when her hair was wet and had predetermined that she was going to immediately get it wet in order to just get it over with and run him off. She didn’t want to like someone that wasn’t going to stick around. 

My Dad on the other hand had gone on a very boring date a while earlier with another girl that wouldn’t get in the water for fearing of getting her hair and make up wet. So when my mom ran on ahead of him and immediately jumped into the water he was thrilled. He wanted a wife willing to get her hair wet. 

And that is exactly what he found in my Mom. He found someone willing to go camping with him, hike with him, and even roof our house with him. My mom has always done things with my dad. 

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This picture was taken during a time that my dad was laid off of work. I didn’t even know until I was grown.

And my mom found a man that wasn’t all about looks but loved her on good hair days and bad. When my dad told her he preferred the way she looked without make up. My mom quit wearing it. She decided that he was the only one she wanted to impress anyway. She didn’t care what everyone else thought. 

My parents were both preacher’s kids but hadn’t taken church very seriously early in their marriage. Then I was born. They took me to church. The pastor told my Dad, “Bro. Paul, that baby will only take church as seriously as you do.” My parents took me and my brother and sister to church every service. Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, revivals, Vacation Bible School, anytime the doors were open we were there. 

I remember we went to a watch night service on a New Years eve. My Dad had learned to drive on icy roads when he lived in Massachusetts. A Texas icy road wasn’t a problem. I believe we were the only ones that showed up for that service besides the pastor and his wife. My Dad was committed to taking us to church.

My parents used to take us to a Mexican Food Restaurant. After the meal, as we would leave my dad would buy us children a peppermint patty and he and my mom would have peanut brittle. My mom would always take both pieces from him and look at them before handing him one of them. At first he wasn’t sure what that was about then he began to realize she was giving him the bigger piece. He then traded her giving her the bigger piece. My mom loves to give unconditionally. 

I don’t remember ever hearing my parents argue. If they ever disagreed on something they only talked about it quietly behind closed doors. I’m sure they had disagreements but they did not express them in front of us children.

pauljaniebluebg (2)There is one other important thing I remember about my parents. They didn’t let us children undermine them. If one parent told us, “No” that meant “No!” If we tried to asked the other parent, we got in big trouble. My dad would say, “If your mother says, ‘No’ don’t come ask me. We’re on the same team.”

That is exactly what they are a team.

Are you on the same team as your spouse? Do you do things together and back each other up? If you are not married do you know someone that has that kind of relationship with their spouse? Please share with us in the comments.

This is Day 4 in the series 31 Days Building Commitment based upon my book “Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment“. If you haven’t gotten your free copy, you may do so by clicking here.

Tomorrow, I’ll be having my first guest post. My dad will be sharing with us his thoughts on commitment. You don’t want to miss it!

 

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About Anastacia Maness

Anastacia Maness is a preacher's wife, homeschooling mother of 6 blessings, and writer. When she's not busy counting her blessings she's writing about them right here on her blog, encouraging and strengthening families.

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