This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a friend's wedding in south-western Virginia and I have some good stories to share.
2) Weddings in general
I've been to a bunch and I've been in a few - perhaps more than my share. When you're of a particular age, or perhaps have been in your own wedding(s) in the past, or are unhappy about singleness, it's somewhat expected to have a somewhat reluctant approach to weddings. Yeah, it stinks when you're there and wondering "why not me" - but I prefer to turn my thoughts to the joyful way a marriage should be and pray for the bride and groom that way.
3) This wedding in particular
This, comparatively very young, couple have known each other for many years.
Both had siblings standing with them and each took a turn to speak about them and bless them and their marriage. Some had words from scripture, others shared deeply heart-felt thoughts and all came with genuine tears or laughter. It was amazing to hear their parents talk to and about them in such glowing terms. There was so much story there that is good and interesting.
Her parents know and understand who he is, and his parents know her. Their admiration for each other's parenting, their children, now poised to become one with each other - it was written all over their faces. I particularly enjoyed his father's thoughts on marriage.
Scripture commands husbands to love their wives sacrificially as Christ loves. It does not command wives to love (it's ok if they do) but to respect their husbands. A wife who respects her husband is easy to love, just as a husband who loves his wife is easy to respect. Not one before the other, but both.My challenge to those reading this is to be sure you follow your own commands, and let God hold the other accountable to theirs. In other words, it's not your job to point out how your spouse doesn't do what they are supposed to, but rather to take care of your own assignment in marriage. That's kind of like grace.
The pastor gave an impassioned, scripture-filled, albeit somewhat rambling message. His key thoughts were about God's amazing love.
To have a manifestation or a revelation of that loveTheir words to each other focused on lifting each other up for Christ's purposes. They both spoke about their roles as husband and wife. Then the pastor started with the ring and vows. He asked the groom to repeat after him. Then, he announced that he had the wrong notes. The groom repeated that announcement - hilarious of course. Thankfully, the pastor was able to complete his work from memory.
Hope will not disappoint
And that their grace for one another and others will be evidence of that love
1) What story do you want to tell?
The bride and groom at this wedding have an amazing story to tell about knowing each other, figuring out each other and in a beautiful old-fashioned way, court each other. I personally admire their commitment to each other and to doing things in the way that honored God and each other. They honored their families, their friends and there was nothing about their experience where one could have said, "gee, it's too bad that they..."
It's really a blessing when things work out that way isn't it? It's awesome when you know up-front what story you want to tell about your life and then go about living in such a way that you get to tell such a beautiful, good story. If you have the opportunity to tell such a good story, I highly recommend it.
Not everyone gets that opportunity. I'm so in awe of God's amazing love in this. I've messed up and I can't get back anything that's lost to me. There is nothing I can do, no magic incantations, surgeries, or penalties I can pay to start my life again. So, here's where God comes in. We have an extraordinary opportunity for a do-over. It's not license to keep messing up, but loving grace to keep trying. So, if I ever do get married again, I can be assured that I can bring her, the purest me I can, and a forgiven, new creation because of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:16-20
17 [CEV] Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new.
That is unfathomably good.