Family / Life / December 21, 2011

Happy 43rd!

December 21 is one of the most important days of my life. That’s because without this day there would be no me. On this day in 1968 Johnny Piper of Greenville, SC and Noel Henry from Barnesville, GA were married at the entirely ordinary and wonderfully picturesque Midway Baptist Church just outside Barnseville.

Mom was a stunner and dad, well, he looked like Buddy Holly. Which, in retrospect, just made him 43 years ahead of his time in sheer hipsterhood.

There are numerous things I could say about my parents to praise them and express thankfulness for them.

I could express how they teamed up to be present and active at all my little league soccer, football, and baseball games in spite of demanding schedules. Sure mom crocheted throughout and dad was occasionally a bit overly vigorous in his umbrage at poor refereeing, but they cared and they were there. 

I could write all about how they have loved me through thick and thin, up and down and have never pushed me away when I have been a disappointment to them or hurt them.

There’s an entire blog post to be written about their consistency between public persona and private reality in the home.

And how many of you have a complete library of original autographed and personally inscribed works by John and Noel Piper? Actually don’t answer that; some of you are just obsessive enough to have accomplished that.

But as a married man with two children and, hopefully, many years left as a husband and father the thing that I am most thankful for is to see two people in their mid-sixties with 4+ decades of marriage under their belts still striving to get better. Marriage is hard work as often as it is blissful (and just as often they go hand in hand), and to see my parents still figuring things out, learning, growing, showing humility, and not throwing in the towel is so hopeful for me. I’m so thankful that they are still parenting hard and doing an even better job raising my little sister better than they did raising me and my older brothers. (It helps that she’s a significantly better kid than I was.)
I am not yet thirty, but life is moving awfully fast and it’s not hard to picture being 65 myself. And I hope I am just as committed to my Lesley, my Grace, and my Dianne when I get there as my parents are to each other and to their children. Daddy and Mother, you have set a 43 year course that you would doubtless describe as imperfect, but it is just as doubtlessly encouraging to me.
Thanks for getting married.

Thanks for staying married

Thanks for working so hard at it.

Happy 43rd Anniversary! 


Dec 21, 2011


Dec 21, 2011

When I think of Buddy Holly…

Anyways, congratulations to your parents. They are a great example to all of us, having just celebrated my 10th anniversary this year.

Dec 21, 2011

Beautiful tribute! Your parents are a great inspiration. As my 15th wedding anniversary approaches in January, I have a real appreciation for the hard work and daily dying-to-self a good marriage requires.

Dec 21, 2011

I follow your dad on twitter. I have read many of his books and been influenced by what he has written to have a stronger, more committed relationship with Christ. The Holy Spirit has taught me so much and my faith has grown as a result of reading your dads books.
Your post did bring tears to my eyes. My husband and I have two daughters and have been married 32 years. It is hard. It still takes work. I pray that we can continue to live out Christ gratest command to love others as ourself by first loving and serving each other.
Thank you for posting this beautiful tribute to your parents.

Dec 21, 2011

From Humility, gratitude
From gratitude, Love
From Love, wisdom
From wisdom, freedom.

From Jesus, humility.
I appreciate your words, most of all, because of who you are: son of encouragement, son of humility.

Dec 21, 2011

Thanks Barnabas. Your dad has greatly influenced my understanding of God and his greatness. I’m coming up on my 32nd anniversary and this summer, the youngest of my 5 children turns 12. Her name is Piper.

Dec 21, 2011

This was a great post. Thank you!

Dec 21, 2011

Helpful to read your words, and they ring true. Sometimes the extra oomph I need to keep working on my marriage (30 yrs!) is realizing my 6 kids are noticing EVERYTHING.

Dec 21, 2011

Helpful to read your words, and they ring true. Sometimes the extra oomph I need to keep working on my marriage (30 yrs!) is realizing my 6 kids are noticing EVERYTHING.

Dec 21, 2011

May this be said of my wife & I by our daughters!
This is so respectful and honorable to your parents!

Congratulations Pastor John & Nicole!

Dec 21, 2011

God bless you!

Dec 21, 2011

Strike Nicole…Sorry…Noel!

Dec 22, 2011

Awesome. Loved this, man.
I get married seven months from today and can’t wait to start the adventure. Thanks for sharing this.

Dec 24, 2011

Beautiful way to honor your parents and celebrate marriage. Blessed to read this today.

Dec 26, 2011

What a lovely tribute to your folks!

Thanks for this! You do have wonderful paths to follow in!

Aug 13, 2012

My heart is glad to hear a son speak of his parents so.

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