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Archive for August, 2014

I LOVE WEDDINGS. Fresh flowers, beautiful dresses, decadent desserts, and HUGE smiles.ring bearer Even though receptions are often packed full of food and fun, the ceremonies are always my favorite.

WATCHING the beaming bride walk down the aisle, SEEING her father give his blessing as he gives her away, LISTENING as the minister shares thoughts and scriptures with the couple, FEELING the tender beauty that’s captured in the exchange of vows, CHEERING at the kiss, HEARING them being announced as husband and wife for the very first time.

Yes.

This summer I’ve had the unique privilege of watching my husband, Josh, OFFICIATE a couple of weddings, one of which was this past weekend. His message to the couple has been echoing in my mind and heart the past few days. It’s so good, I thought I’d share a snippet of it here with you…

..A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

wedding prayerThe couple chose a portion of Ecclesiastes to be read as part of their ceremony, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart” (4:9-12, NASB). They understood that a marriage built on Christ will last the storms of life and the whims of our human hearts. Thus, their marriage was a bond between three, not two: husband, wife, and God. Josh elaborated on this…

First, he shared HOW CULTURE TELLS US to approach relationships:

  • FIND the right person (do your makeup, dress cute, go out, flirt, party, post sexy selfies, be social, etc)
  • FALL in love (be swept away in the euphoria of love’s emotions)
  • set all your hopes and dreams on THEM (live happily ever after as they fulfill your every need & desire)

When you “fall out of love” with that person, they let you down somehow, or all your hopes and dreams are not met in them… just repeat. And then repeat. And repeat again.

Then, he shared A DIFFERENT APPROACH to relationships. It looks like this…

  • BE the right person (as you walk with God, let him continue to shape your character, attitude, actions)
  • WALK in love (a conscious commitment to show love day after day, even when the good feelings aren’t there)
  • set all your hopes and dreams on GOD (release them from the burden of trying to meet all your desires, and leave that to God)

When life gets hard, as it inevitably does, repeat.  When that fight happens… be the right person (communicate clearly, with kindness and respect), wedding dahliaswalk in love (choose to seek unity in facing problems, seek/give forgiveness, refrain from rehashing & talking badly about them with friends), set your hopes on God (keep perspective, God knows what we need, hears ALL our prayers & loves us like crazy). When that break-up happens (in a dating relationship),  you haven’t “wasted your time”. Your future plans haven’t crumbled since your dreams weren’t riding on that person in the first place. When you wake up on a cloudy Monday morning and you’re not feeling the sizzling ecstasy of new love in your marriage, it’s not game over. Be the right person… focus on ways God is challenging you to grow right now, rather than zeroing in on their faults. Walk in love… decide to follow Christ’s example of loving them when they aren’t lovable, when they don’t deserve it. Set your hopes on God… release your spouse from the pressure of being everything you need all of the time, protect your heart from building resentment against them when they inevitably let down your impossible expectations. Embrace God’s incredible love, and ask for his strength… we need both!!

I remember sitting in the shade outside a Pete’s coffee shop with Josh when we were just dating… he drew me a picture on a brown paper napkin… a circle with three focal points, an arrow between each of the three (steps). It was the way he wanted to approach our relationship then, it’s the way we still want to approach our relationship now. : )

 

kisswedding cake 1

 

 

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