For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. –Viktor E. Frankl
This past weekend I attended the wedding of a couple who really love the Lord and are committed to ensuring that their marriage will glorify God. They are dedicated to the Lord first and then to each other. The ceremony itself took place in a renovated barn which was open to the elements on one side. Just as the bride’s vehicle drew up outside, the heavens opened up, and it poured down with rain and hailstones. There was a scurry inside to move benches out of the way of the rain and the beautifully placed decorations and lanterns were hurriedly ‘rearranged’.
As the bride walked through the door, the storm, the commotion, and everything else prior to her arrival were forgotten as the joy on her face eclipsed everything else around her. I doubt she even registered the storm and what the barn now looked like as every fiber of her being was concentrated on the man she loved, the man she was about to promise before God to live with for the rest of her life. Nothing else mattered. As she reached her groom, the storm abated and there was a beautiful silence broken only by their joyous laughter.
As a guest remarked later, married life is filled with storms but the aftermath of a storm is filled with quietness and cleanliness and we need to use the ‘storms’ in our marriages to ‘clean’ out the things that are making us unhappy and dissatisfied in the relationship.
You could literally feel the joy, the excitement, the sheer happiness of this couple radiating from them as they made their vows before God to ‘honor and obey and love each other, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer till death do them part’.
I was reminded of these words in Revelation 19:6-9:
…Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. Then the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'”
How blessed I felt to be invited to this wedding supper. A very small foretaste of the celebrations to come when we meet Christ one day.
We are made righteous through the blood of the Lamb and the white wedding dress is symbolic of the righteousness of Christ that protects our marriages.
The rings are symbolic of God’s unending love for us, there is no beginning and no end, and we wear them as a reminder of our love for each other.
The bride’s veil is symbolic of when Christ died and the temple veil was torn in half and we were no longer separated from God. As the groom lifts the veil from his bride’s face they now have complete access to each other.
The cutting of the wedding cake together and then feeding each other is symbolic of God’s constant provision for us and a commitment to provide for each other.
A marriage seldom fails when God is the main priority in the relationship.
One of the most beautiful verses in the Bible must be 1 Peter 4:8:
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Partners in a marriage are imperfect, they hurt each other, make mistakes and fail but love allows us to forgive each other, overlook hurts, and build each other up. It is difficult for resentment and anger to take root when we choose to love each other as Christ loves us.
Dr Seuss once said, “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
A marriage based on God is far better than any dream.