By Brenda Black
So much work goes into a wedding day – hundreds of hours of preparation and a lifetime of dreams. The bride wonders if guests will show, hoping the dress will fit and the weather will hold. The groom sweats fearful beads across his brow for the responsibility he's about to assume. But he also anticipates the great reward that awaits his persistent pursuit. At least that's how weddings are supposed to unfold.
When the couple vows to have and to hold, to cling forever to one another before God and witnesses, it does a heart good. Still, I wonder each time I hear those tearful promises exchanged, whether the two caught up in gushing love truly understand the implications. Sickness, health, poverty wealth. Bad jobs, broken down houses. Kids who cry and have snotty noses. In-laws and black sheep in the family. Bad breath, snoring, whining, worrying. This is reality. That blissful wedding day adorned with roses and lace won't look like that every day in the ensuing marriage.
I wonder if the cost is counted, the resolve intact. I wonder if two young hearts can comprehend the amount of dedication it takes to stay committed. The greatest test of determination for most folks by the time they've hit their twenties has more to do with car payments and college exams than “from this day forward.” It's one thing to trade in a car or fail a calc quiz. It's quite another to keep a love purring likes she's brand new and ace the tests that life is sure to bring.
The wonder of a wedding where two lives are melded together in holy matrimony is actually quite the miracle...and more rare than common these days. Modern culture dismisses its significance. Or perhaps the new generation is just plain too afraid of failure. But to never trust oneself to have the ability to love one to death is a sad state of affairs. On the contrary, to risk it all, and take that long, nervous walk down the isle to oneness is a great indication of maturity. But be careful when you think love alone and shear determination are enough for the long haul. Without faith in the God who instituted marriage, there is no forever. The power to say “I will” and “I do” must come from a higher authority. For the wonder of wonders is that God joins together two fallible souls and His love makes it perfect. Perfectly filled with highs and lows, one life is complete in the other.
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God...Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord...Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy...'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.'” (John 5 selected)
Tis the season of weddings and romance. May those who launch into such a love relationship, never lose sight of the God of Wonders who makes that love possible to the very end.