What Others Say

"Thank you for the words of wisdom in today’s Abilene Reporter News. In the midst of wars violence and pandemics, your words were so soft spoken and calming."

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Weddings and Marriage

 Last week our 19-year-old grandson came to visit so he could participate in his best friend’s wedding.  Weddings are exciting: handsome groomsmen lined up in their tuxedos, the groom nervously looking for his bride, bridesmaids in matching dresses, the flower girl and ring bearer announcing the bride’s entrance, and then, the bride, adorned for her husband. All of this followed by a reception: good food, joyful singing, and dancing.  Weddings are an important passage for every generation as they come of age.  .

 The only public event we attended during the height of Covid in 2020 was the wedding for our young neighbors across the street. We watched them meet, date, fall in love and exchange their vows in a local church. That was two years ago. Now they come to visit bringing scones and their 4-month-old baby, Charlie.

 Weddings are events.  They can be planned, staged, and often cost tens of thousands of dollars.  Marriages, on the other hand, are lifelong relationships that take time, effort, struggle, sacrifice, love and forgiveness, things that money cannot buy.  We all want marriage to work.  We all wish every marriage would live up to the thrill of the weddings in which they were formed. No one really knows what goes on in a marriage except the husband and wife who share the marriage bond.  Some marriages appear strong and stable to the public eye but are inwardly crumbling. 

 Last year my wife and I celebrated our fifty-third anniversary.  I remember how she appeared beneath her wedding veil at the altar, the tear that formed in her eye when we exchanged our vows. She was nineteen.  Some images in the brain never fade.  Even though the years have aged us both, her nineteen-year-old beauty remains whenever I look at her.

 We were naïve.  We had far more to learn than either of us knew.  I think it took the first ten years to begin to understand who she really is, and I am still learning. Along the way, she helped me discover who I am. 

 Our marriage has had its celebrations and its sorrows.  We have celebrated the birth of three children and six grandchildren, and we have wept at the graves of our parents.  We have known exhilaration and depression, achievement and disappointment. We have traveled the world together and built a home. She nursed me to health after my motorcycle wreck.  She is a breast cancer survivor.  

 Throughout the years we have discovered building blocks that make marriage work. The first is faith. It was our faith in God and His son Jesus that brought us together and kept us together. But faith that merely professes to believe in Jesus would not have been enough.  Marriage, more than any other relationship, taught us the importance of living out the things Jesus taught: honesty, trust, respect, humility, confession and forgiveness.  Without these elements faith is empty, especially in marriage. 

 We are still learning the meaning of love and our love is still growing. We are still striving to live out the Bible’s definition: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Cor. 13).

No comments:

Post a Comment