October 16, 2017

What he said to them, and how she answered

By Chaplain Mike

As the young couple stood before the minister, dressed in wedding finery, room filled with well-wishers, a life stretched out before them, this is what he said to them.

“A reading from 1 Corinthians 13:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

“As you prepare to make your vows to each other, these words about love from the Bible can guide you in understanding the nature of what you are promising.

“On days like today, the idea of love can seem almost magical. You stand here, beautifully dressed, with your friends and family surrounding you. We are all incredibly happy for you, and we are glad to be here participating in this celebration. Everyone’s smiling. The atmosphere is positive and optimistic and hopeful. We live for moments like this.

“However, there can be a big difference between the moments we live for, and the moments we live in.

  • The moments we live for are the extraordinary moments; we enjoy them periodically, and they provide special memories for us.
  • On the other hand, the moments we live in most days involve the ordinary activities of our life, and they are not always exciting or memorable. It is easy to feel loving during the special moments, but it is not always easy to show and practice love during the daily grind of life.

“But those are exactly the times when we must practice the kind of love we read about here, when we must be patient and kind, when we must avoid being rude and irritable, and when we must not stubbornly insist on our own way. When we get tired and grumpy, when we don’t like what our spouse says and we feel anger rising within us, when life gets hard and the money gets short and the house is messy, that’s when genuine love is most needed.

“The Bible tells us that God is love, and this kind of love grows in our hearts when we trust in him. It is almost inconceivable that two people can promise to love each other like this for a lifetime without knowing all that they will have to face together. I guarantee you that it will be a thousand times harder than you think, and that you will fail many times, as we all have. It is in those times that you must love one another by practicing forgiveness.

“So, as you make your promises today, please realize that what you are vowing is impossible without God’s help and the support of your extended family and friends. And it will never happen if you don’t learn to forgive one another as Christ forgave you. Anyone can have a wedding. It takes years of practicing faith, hope, and love together to have a marriage and build a life and family together.”

Later, that evening, as the minister (who also happened to be the bride’s father) danced with his daughter to a song they had heard together through all her growing-up years, he was worried that she might be upset about the mishaps that had befallen them over the weekend, changing some of their plans and leading to tense moments. He whispered in her ear, “I’m sorry everything didn’t turn out perfect. I hope you aren’t too disappointed.”

She responded, “Oh dad, that’s OK. This is about marriage, not just about a wedding.”

And that is when he knew it would be alright.

Comments

  1. Lovely. My son just got married last weekend and this was almost exactly what the pastor shared with them during the ceremony. It’s something that we all need to be reminded of every now and then!

  2. Congratulations and blessings to the newlywed couple, and to the proud father from across the big pond!

  3. Richard Hershberger says:

    I have been married going on ten years. The whole wedding culture seems to me very weird. I realized early on in the wedding planning process that very little was actually about the wedding. Nearly everything was about the party afterward.

    I suppose I was being hopelessly male, but the party didn’t much interest me. Or rather, the elaborate plans didn’t. Get the right group of people together and you have a good party. Get the wrong group and you don’t. Make sure no one is hungry or thirsty, and let them enjoy themselves. Centerpieces and party favors won’t change things one way or the other.

    The actual wedding ceremony interested me far more. Here the problem was fighting against faux traditions. Why anyone thinks that 19th century theatrical music is appropriate in a liturgical setting is beyond me, much less why anyone thinks it necessary.

    But it all worked out in the end. We could never divorce for a myriad of reasons. We have two beautiful daughters. My wife needs someone to kill bugs and take out the trash. A divorce might lead to my going through another agony of wedding plans. So we are together for the long haul.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Don’t forget the Bridezilla who’s been planning My Perfect Wedding Day since age six.

      So much planning and effort and time and energy put into the Wedding that there’s none left over for the Marriage afterwards…

  4. Clay Knick says:

    Mike,

    This was splendid. Good job. One day in the next 10 years or so I’m going to be doing this for our children. How did you get through the service? Whew! I’m getting choked up just thinking about it.

  5. Not bad, dude. Not bad at all. 🙂

  6. Perfect.

  7. I’m with Kozak… perfect. Praise God for His goodness and very, very well done Chaplain Mike 🙂

    Love and congratulations from mine to yours.

  8. Denise Spencer says:

    Beautiful. My prayers go with them.