Something about this time of year has a way of reminding me of what all I have to be thankful for. I am and always have been thankful for my mom and dad, and lately, I have been feeling especially blessed to have such wonderful parents.

My parents have been married for 35 years. To me, that is incredible because it seems like couples these days don’t stay in it for the long haul anymore. Did you know that approximately 50 percent of marriages in the United States end up in divorce? Here’s another statistic—Alabama has the sixth highest divorce rate in the United States. Those numbers are scary for couples who are on the brink, but those same numbers are impressive for couples like my mom and dad who have beat the odds.

When my sister, Nicole, and I were growing up, we didn’t have to listen to them fight, because that was something they just didn’t do around us. If they ever did fight it out, it was done in private. We grew up watching them talk and pray through their problems instead, and if you ask them, they still credit God for their successful marriage.

My mom was over at my house earlier this week, and during our visit together, we started talking about marriage and what makes one successful. Mom mentioned how, once you’re married, you no longer consider only yourself, and that struck me hard. She started talking about the different ways she and my dad have considered one another over the years, and how communicating and working together has gotten them as far as they are in their marriage.

Listening to her talk about all of those things made me realize, yet again, just how blessed I am to have parents who are considerate, not just of each other, but of me, my sister, other family members and even God.

They never took the easy way out. They have always stepped back and accessed their situations or problems before trying to solve them. They have worked through all of their difficulties, prayed about all of their struggles, have celebrated in their success and have done all of these things together, as a team.

They have demonstrated true teamwork and have been an example of what genuine love and a Godly relationship is at its core, and because of that, I am so thankful.

I am thankful that I grew up with parents who stuck it out. I’m thankful that I was never exposed to harsh fights and slamming doors. I’m thankful that they loved me and Nicole enough to want to give us a good, stable upbringing. And, mostly, I’m thankful that my parents have maintained a strong and pure marriage in a nation plagued with failed ones. I have witnessed 26 of their 35 years of marital success, and that has inspired me. Knowing where their success comes from continues to remind me that, despite living in a world where things often fail, God will always pull us through.

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Kayla Beaty is the managing editor of the Times-Journal. She can be reached at kbeaty@times-journal.com.

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