Five years ago, I vowed my love and my life to my husband. Some of you were there on that day. Some of you have read about it on my blog before. It ranks up there as one of the absolute best days of my life.
But a marriage really isn’t about the wedding day. It’s not about one day of being a bride – it’s about seeing yourself as his bride every day for the rest of your life.
Admittedly, I’m not always the best at it. It is easy to fall into routines. To take each other for granted. To get too…comfortable. After a while, it’s easy to start to see each other’s flaws. The things that once attracted you to that person start to annoy you. It’s easy to grow apart.
And that’s when it is so important to come back to the reasons why you stood in front of each other and in front of God and pledged your lives to each other. It’s about choosing love. Choosing commitment. Choosing each other.
It’s remembering the feeling that overwhelmed you as you walked down the aisle toward your groom. The way you felt in each others arms during your first dance. The smile that felt like it would break your face in half because you couldn’t stop grinning on the day you wore your wedding dress.
Today, my husband and I are celebrating five years of marriage. Five years – could it really be that long? And when I say “celebrate”, I mean it. Marriage isn’t always easy. As I’ve said before, marriage shouldn’t work. But marriage is something to be celebrated. To be honored. To be appreciated each and every day. Marriage is a journey – and it’s been the most amazing journey I’ve ever been lucky enough to experience.
I’ve shared our Pastor’s “script” from our wedding before, and I just might make it a tradition of sharing it every year. It’s THAT good. Read it. Enjoy it. Live it.
In the beginning, God created…. That’s what He does, He creates. The Bible says the Earth was formless and void, and the Holy Spirit hovered or brooded over the face the deep. It reads like the Holy Spirit was getting things ready for God’s creative word to be spoken. And in the creation account you’ll find it repeatedly stated… God said, let there be…… and it was. It’s God’s nature, it’s a part of His essence… He is THE CREATOR. So God’s first action was creation, and indeed today God’s first and foremost action in this formation of a new family… is creation. In Genesis He created out of nothing; but today He will take two people (the height of all His creation) He will take a man and a woman and create ONE. He does have two excellent parts of His creation to work, but today is no less miraculous that Day one of creation. The power of God, as the Holy Spirit is hovering over this gathering, is here to supernaturally created ONE out of two. And those two, recreated into ONE will together have a higher proclivity to bringing God glory together than they ever could apart. God’s first part in this wedding today is CREATION.
After God created, he gave man his assignment and it was centered around choice. The first man and woman had the privilege of choice. The could choose to follow God, honor God and fulfilled God’s plan for their lives together, or they could choose otherwise. Today, your part in the wedding is CHOICE. People in this room today will wipe away tears, they will laugh and they will experience a gamut of feelings and emotion… but your part today is not feeling or emotion… your first part to play in this wedding today is neither emotion nor feeling… it’s choice. In front of God and in front of this congregation of friends and family you will take solemn vows and make lifelong promises, and not one of those promises is built upon a feeling or an emotion… it’s about choice. No doubt feelings have been a big part of this relationship to date. You saw her and your feelings said… she looks good. You saw him and your feelings said.. that’s a handsome man. You talked with each other and your feelings were stirred as you laughed and your emotions were stoked as you spent time together. Both feeling and emotion are there, but the far more important part of both this wedding and this marriage is your CHOICE. When you chose God individually, it was powerful. As you choose God together there is strength and grandeur you never dreamed.
Callie I know you have a passion to help people and a passion to make your life count. I remember conversations where you spoke with me about missionary causes that were close to your heart. I look forward to seeing that passion multiply into changed lives as you and your husband dream together and reach into a great future.
Nathan, I have watched you grow from a very small child, not even old enough to get into children’s church. And from the beginning you have had a reckless abandon about life that was a joy to watch. As a little boy, you were like a chiahuaua looking for a pit bull to tangle with. When everyone was learning to snow ski properly, as a little fellow you just squatted down on the skis and barreled down the mountain at break-neck speeds and God help the person who was in your way. You knew how to go fast, but you didn’t spend much time learning to turn or stop.
I dare you both to do something dangerous and passionate with your marriage that leaves a mark on society that says “a family sold out to God traveled this way” and left a legacy of life and hope behind.
CHOOSE GOD, CHOOSE EACH OTHER. That’s what you’ll do today, and that’s what I pray you do for the rest of your lives. God’s first part is CREATION, your first part is CHOICE, but there is a second part that both you and God must play…. That part is commitment.
God is the quintessential example of commitment. He’s kept His commitment to His people when they refused to even acknowledge Him, much less remain committed to Him. You can be sure that God will be faithful to you in total and complete commitment. But God’s commitment is just part of it, your commitment is equally vital. Commitment not only to God, but to one another. Choose to love, honor and be faithful to one another…. Regardless of emotion or feeling.
God will create, You will make choices, and together in commitment a marriage and family will begin a journey full of love, surprises, as well as heights and depths you never dreamed. But you can walk knowing that God is committed to you and guiding your lives and He will cause all things to work together for good, no matter what the situation.
Family, and friends, your presence here today is also very vital. You will witness their vows and you will witness the commitments they make, but you will also be endowed with a responsibility. You must pray, and help protect this new marriage. Husbands and wives, your life should be an encouragement to them. Should circumstances ever tempt these two to make a decision that is not honoring to the covenant they will enter into today…. Tell them to turn around, tell them they will get through this, tell them you’re praying and God will see them through.
God will create, Nathan and Callie will choose, commitments will be made and a covenant will be formed that is eternal.
Happy Anniversary, sweet husband. I love you more with each passing year.
Love, Your Bride