Weddings Weddings --- Marriage!
The wedding was beautiful, or should I say the bride was beautiful. No body really cares how the groom looks unless his appearance detracts from the brides. As Jen walked down the aisle I could see the neverous anticipation on Steve's face. He had seen her in her dress earlier but walking down the aisle was different. There was an inevitableness and purposefulness about the procession. Steve didn't exhibit a fight or flight response but more like a child who is excisted but can barely control his impulse to jump up and down. He took her hand and they both turned to face me. They are a perfect match!
I am sure that they heard little of what I said (which is always the case and somewhat dissappointing as a pastor, oh, well). Steve rocked gently to keep his legs from locking and his body from fainting. Jenn smiled at Steve and then occasionally at me as to say, "Let's get on with this." As they repeated their vows there was no hesitancy or doubt. They loved (love) each other deeply and this was a defining moment in their lives. During their honeymoon Steve posts on Facebook "I have a WIFE WIFE WIFE WIFE WIFE". The reality is setting in and it feels good.
As they say the honeymoon will end and the reality of being cut loose from their parents care will set in, but the journey, the struggle, the marathon of marriage is well worth the effort. There will be times of exasperation as they work out the details of two lives entwined. There will be conflicts as two wills clash. There will be moments when one or the other will think, "was it really worth all this hassle?" Conflict is inevitable, but conflict isn't bad. When seen in its proper light conflict forges two hearts together. Because just as there is conflict there inexplicable joy!
Joy is a feeling of deep satisfaction. It is the reality of knowing, without anything being said, that I am accepted and all is well in the world. There will be physical ecstasy but it pales compared to two souls deeply experiencing the joy of a committed relationship. It is inhaled each time they hug, kiss, sit close, or glimpse the other in their peripheral. It is exhaled as they serve one another and give deference to the others feelings. Oh, that every married relationship would find this kind of connection. I am glad that I have, and after almost 31 years of marriage I can say that it is well worth it.
The Scriptures say that one day Jesus will return to recieve His bride (the church). Everything up to that point is preparation for the wedding. The peace and love that we experience now through the indwelling of the Spirit is only a guarantee of things to come; much better things. It's hard to imagine paradise, but if it is a fraction of the joy I have experienced with my wife, it is hard to contain the excitement of what's ahead. Every time I perform a wedding I am reminded of a more glamorous celebration at the consumation of the ages, and with a giddiness I smile at the bride and groom and think, "If you only knew!" I'm just saying.......