Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wedding Day

My niece will be getting married this afternoon and so, of course, it has caused me to remember my own wedding day and to think of weddings in general. When my husband and I were going through the required premarital counseling with our pastor, he told us that when we say our vows we are not only saying them to each other but that we would be saying them to God. Like most young couples, who are about to be married, we had stars in our eyes and butterflies in our stomachs but that sobered us up and we realized how serious our vows actually were: we would be saying them to God. It was a holy occasion. The pastor's wife told me to consciously step back, from time to time during the day, and engrave the images of our wedding day on my heart so that I could treasure them in the years to come, and I did.

A wedding is a beautiful thing, no matter what the venue is or how fancy or simple it happens to be. It is the joining of two individuals into one and the joining of two families. It is the first big event that the couple will plan together and where they learn their first lessons in problem solving and dealing with each other's family. It will teach them to budget and to work together. It will teach them how to consider the other's feelings and many other things as well.

 But the focus cannot be on the wedding day itself but should be on the marriage that will be. Long after the wedding and the honeymoon, real life sets in and the lessons that were learned during the planning stages of the wedding will be a good beginning for a life together. Many mothers get overly involved and insist on their way of doing things for the wedding and I believe they are not only taking over the wedding but are actually doing more harm than they even know. A couple needs this time to learn to work together, to make decisions together and to learn about each other. If that is all taken away from them then I think it makes it harder for them when they are alone in the marriage and face their first crisis or big decision.

There are many wedding programs on TV now and they are extremely popular and while they give good ideas and hints to prospective brides, they never give any advice on what to do after the wedding. The focus is only on the wedding and not on the marriage. It's easy to say that 'the two shall become one flesh' as it says in Genesis but that is not an instantaneous thing. It is a gradual process of growing together; of being grafted into each other not that you lose your individual personality but that you compliment each other in such a way that together you are better than you would have been on your own.

 When a farmer wants to graft two trees together, he will cut a piece from one tree and bind it to another and over time the two will become one tree. It will be just about impossible to see where one ends and the other begins because they are one tree. But if that grafted piece refused to bond with the tree it would eventually die. So it is in marriage; if both people refuse to become one flesh, by demanding everything their own way, then they will never become one flesh as God intended. Marriage is loving the other so much that you want to please them and working together to be mutually satisfied. It is giving of yourself and the other doing the same and over time the two do truly become one.

God has a plan for marriage and as in all things, when we do things His way, with Him in the center, we can't go wrong. We only get into trouble when we are like petulant children and demand our own way. When we do we will quickly find ourselves miserable. But God will help us out of the mess we find ourselves in if we will lay down our own will and take up His. When Christ is the center of the marriage and both people are seeking to please the other and Christ, that is a strong marriage, and not easily broken.

One day, all those who have named Christ as their Saviour and Lord, will take part in the most wonderful wedding ever known. When the bride of Christ, which is the church, is united with her Groom, Jesus Christ in Heaven, we will all sit at the marriage supper of the Lamb. What a day that will be!! Just as a bride readies herself for her wedding day in anticipation of being joined with her groom, so should we be readying ourselves for eternity with Jesus. We need to keep our lives and our hearts free from sin so that we are a pure bride. We need to tell others of their need for a Saviour so they can come to that wedding feast too. And we need to be in His Word learning what pleases our Bridegroom so that we can forever please Him.

Revelation 19:9 "Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”

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