My dad just posted this to our comments page and I couldn’t help but to share it with all of you. This is too important to be a comment. I take it as a charge to all who are getting married, and who are married already. It most perfectly tells everything and more that we hope to convey on our wedding day.
Thank you Daddy for being the best most amazing Dad and girl could ask for. I love you and I can’t wait for you to walk me down the asile and give us your blessing. This note is exactly what I want and Will wants to exemplify in our marriage. You couldn’t have said it better and I know God has placed this in your heart just for us.
So here it is…..Daddy I hope you don’t mind me sharing. I love you. Thank you.
Dear Jessica and William,
June 1st: one week to go, but this note has been written for some time in my heart; now an attempt to put it on paper.
The journey you’ve begun is a fantastic one. Excitement. Romance. Challenges. Full of beautiful sights and sounds, tastes and thrills to be shared together. The path you’re taking is new and ambitious and will not be void of twists, turns and surprises. There will be some dangerous cliffs to avoid and some swampy bogs to slog through. Villains and robbers? Perhaps. Nonetheless, a fantastic voyage awaits!
The aim of this note is to encourage your adventure and perhaps instruct of some lessons learned and pitfalls encountered, especially since the steps you’ll be taking are serious and many lives will be affected by your determination to finish this lifelong endeavor. So, here it is: Dad’s take on marriage.
I believe marriage is a very much a picture of the relationship we experience with Jesus Christ. The Bible refers to Christ as the bridegroom and the church as His bride, so shouldn’t we examine this connection and see how it might apply to the bond we call marriage? Wonderful themes that apply to everyone, not just brides and grooms.
Christ: The Bridegroom.
Just look at the eternal consequences of Christ’s choice to love us, His Church, His Bride. We’re reminded that while we were still sinners, He loved us and died for us. Our redeemer: someone who was willing to pay the price to purchase our redemption, not considering the cost of such a purchase in that decision. And the price was not small. Just think—our sins are against Eternally Holy God, should they not have eternal consequences? Since the damage of sin is eternal in nature, the power of the forgiveness received must also be eternal in quantity. Is it any wonder that the wedding vows are ‘til death do us part”? The grace of God is greater than any power found on Earth; His love is supreme in nature and we not only imitate that love, but it is found within us through His Holy Spirit, enabling us to forgive the most offensive actions unconditionally, forever, cast as far as the east is from the west! Forgotten forever! There’s power in that kind of love; there’s power in that kind of grace. Power that sustains on excursions that are treacherous and long, and quenches thirst and refreshes during “dry spells” in desert places. He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again! (Psalm 78:37-38) Jesus said “I have loved you with an everlasting love. . .That you might have life, and have it more abundantly. . .I will never leave you nor forsake you”. . .you get the picture. Since we have received such great a salvation (eternal forgiveness), we are to grant the same. We imitate Christ as Christian husbands and wives. Forgiveness, grace, love all found abundantly without limit in Him and should be replicated in us. When one of us slips on the path, the other is to help us back up. “Two are better than one…but a chord of three strands is not easily broken.” (Eccl 4:9-12)
His Church: The Bride.
We get our most awesome picture of the church (the bride) in the descriptions found in Revelation. The church is eagerly awaiting Christ’s return and has prepared herself for the marriage supper of the Lamb, dressed in fine and radiant linen, dazzling white. We find ourselves eagerly anticipating and preparing for His coming (the end of our journey but the beginning of eternity). C.S. Lewis called this life just the cover and title page of what is to come in eternity. Psalm 34:3: O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together! Wow – what a great theme this could be for a marriage! To share a common purpose of magnifying the Lord, awaiting His return, preparing ourselves and helping groom one another for that great day! If that is the theme of the marriage, everything else will fall into place! Only when we focus on the mundane contents of the title page of life, do we get bogged down with the cares and concerns of this life. When we take our eye off the prize and wander just slightly off the path, our enemy watches to see what captures our attention, and is able to set traps for us along the roadsides. As the church, our lives are set on the road to eternity in heaven, where He will receive the glory for all He has done for us! Perhaps this is oversimplified, but I don’t think so. Two great commandments: Love God and love your neighbor. To obey is to show God our love. Jesus said “If you love me, you’ll keep my commandments.”
In John 10:28-29, Jesus reassures us: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are One.” Let that be your confidence and your hope. “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.” Romans 8: 31-39 (or each other for that matter — for His Spirit is within us, we have that in common) Yes, the journey you’re on is more than an excursion but an adventure to an undiscovered world. I’m so happy and excited for you, eager to see what the Lord has planned and will place along your path. You can be confident that He will direct your steps if you trust in Him with all your hearts –Proverbs 3:5-6.
Love you both,