NOT Just Any Old Bride & Groom
Last Saturday I had the privilege of witnessing the marriage of two wonderful people. I have known the bride a long time. In fact, when I first met her she was a toddler. I can still see her beautiful smile (she has always had a beautiful smile) as she ran (as only a toddler can) down the center aisle of our church before wrapping her arms around me with a big hug and kiss. Now she is an adult, a beautiful young woman. Last Saturday I watched her walk down the same center aisle at the same church with an even more beautiful smile and a much more graceful gait. Her eyes, glistening with tears of joy, focused intently on the young man at the front of the church, the man she was marrying. As I watched her exchange vows, I was struck by her beauty, a lovely young lady giving her heart to the man she loves. And I realized I was not merely witnessing the marriage of a young lady, but the marriage of a precious child of our heavenly Father…a heavenly Father who has cared for her and protected her in so many ways. Exchanging her vows, she stands before her groom as a reflection of her loving Father. She bears His heavenly image: strong yet willing to become vulnerable in giving her heart to the one she loves; compassionate and gracious, willing to share her life and resources with another; honest, willing to speak the truth in love if and when conflicts arise. Yes, she is a child of our King, the temple of His Holy Spirit, a sacred vessel of God deserving of great respect and worthy to receive the deep love of another.
I have only met the groom a few times; but, based on those meetings, I know he will treat her with that respect, caring for her as a precious and sensitive daughter of our Eternal King. I have seen glimpses of the strong leader inherent in this young man. He, too, bears the image of His Heavenly Father. I see that image reflected in his willingness to lead his marriage through humble service and his respectful pursuit of intimacy. I pray he will protect his bride and his marriage from the trap of busyness that causes couples to drift from one another. I ask God to give him the wisdom to protect his bride from the world’s lies that prey on the lonely and disconnected. I pray that, as a leader in his marriage, he will take the initiative to pursue peace and actively seek out opportunities to cleanse her with words of kindness and gratitude on a daily basis. I pray knowing he will do these things. I’ve seen it in his actions and words already. He is a man of God…a child of our Eternal Father.
So, as I watch the bride and groom seal their marriage with a kiss, I smile and give thanks to our Father for the wonderful work he has done in the lives of these newlyweds. I rejoice to see His image reflected in the bride, the groom, and their union. I look forward with great anticipation to bear witness to the new and equally amazing work He will do in their lives as a couple. Love you. Congratulations…and may the celebration never end!