A Wedding Story
What examples are we leaving for the next generation?
In August of last year, my son got married. The year before when planning the wedding they mentioned their desire for an outdoor wedding. My first thought, well that’s going to memorable, we will be talking about how hot it was and how we sweated through our clothes for years to come.
I was right, it was memorable, but not even close to the reason I just mentioned. The setting was storybook. The temperature unseasonably cool. The ceremony Christ-centered. Great connection and conversation between families.
We will talk about these for years to come and smile BUT we will also talk about an event at the rehearsal dinner.
It took just a few words to re-focus everyone’s attention from the conversations around the table to the front of the room. Simultaneously the rain began to subside. Where there was once the rumble of conversation and weather now there was quiet.
I had the honor of saying a few words about family and the couple and even had them give a detailed description of their first date. It was a date like no other: Olive Garden food, Walmart, and dried flowers. There is more and maybe one day I will tell the whole story.
When going away to college, both Spencer and Katie had decided not to get into a serious relationship. They wanted to enjoy the college with a group of friends. God had other plans. Sometime after they began dating I made the statement to Spencer that his mom and I wish we had spent more time, while we were dating, praying and studying the Bible together. His reply: “don’t worry dad, that is what we do on date nights.”
Yes, God had a plan to put them together.
Our desire was to conclude the rehearsal dinner evening with a time of prayer for the soon-to-be-married couple. In planning that last activity I began to think about parents and grandparents of Spencer and Katie. It then occurred to me, the grandparents, cumulatively had been married for 244 years. Yes, you read that correct, 244 years. Brands 58 years. Carlsons, 60 years. Jones, 60 years. Smiths, 66 years.
That’s amazing. Four couples made a commitment years ago to each other, in front of God and friends to be man and wife for life.
There’s a number bigger than 244, you see, each of the four couples were followers of Jesus before they were married. Their commitment to God, in years, outnumbers their years of marriage. That’s the right example of a marriage.
I called the four couples to the front, along with the parents which added 60 more years of marriage to the total and asked them to surround Spencer and Katie so we could pray. It was one of the highlights of the wedding weekend.
That night, before the rehearsal dinner I had a brief conversation with a lady manning the front desk at the hotel we were staying. The family had taken over the hotel and she knew it was a wedding party. In the conversation she made these statements:
"A wedding is just a legal contract, with a religious twist and an excuse for a party."
Marriage was ordained by God and is a covenant between a man and a woman and a reflection of Christ’s relationship with the Church.
Spencer and Katie, have started their relationship off right, by placing their faith in Christ and by making Christ the center of their marriage. I can’t wait for them to be able to tell their children about the legacy their grandparents made for them.