This past weekend I was asked to be a part of a sweet wedding in Tennessee. I’ve known the groom since he arrive a bit early weighing not even 5 lbs and I remember thinking that his pacifier was as big as his head. He had scrawny legs and no butt and we loved him like crazy. His momma is my dear dear friend that I’ve known since I was three. The relationships in our families go back at least 4 generations. Our grandparents were teachers together, our fathers school chums.
Somehow, that little baby grew all the way up and found a beautiful girl to be his forever. They stood at the front of the church holding hands tightly and grinning like crazy at one another. Love was everywhere. They promised to love each other forever. Come what may.
I couldn’t help but think that THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE GETTING INTO!!
It was as it should be. It is wonderful to remember those early days of courtship and marriage. But marriage is sometimes hard. Sometimes you make each other so mad you could spit. JD confesses to wanting to throw a paint brush at me once as I flounced out of the room and don’t get me started on the state of his home office and how it vexes me.
So when Riley and Ashley asked me to say a little something after reading I Corinthians 13 (the love chapter), this is what I came up with.
This chapter on love is beautiful indeed. To be reminded of all that love entails and all that it calls us to do is a good thing. The foundation of your marriage is built on all of the characteristics of these words to the Corinthians. On a day such as this it is hard to imagine that your life will be filled with anything but the love that we all feel surrounding us in this place today.
As those of us who have been married more than 6 months know, life has a way of piling things on top of that love and making it hard to find sometimes. There may come a time….and I’m speaking hypothetically of course…..when you may find yourself in a conversation where your spouse says to you, “clearly our ideas of cleanliness are very different” and your head wants to pop right off your shoulders.
And so I think that it is important for us to remember the role that grace and mercy play in our marriages. There is no other relationship in your life that will give you the opportunity to both experience and practice these attributes more. If love is the foundation on which our marriages rest, I would put forth that grace is the mortar that helps hold it together. When we extend grace to one another we are mirroring the grace that God shows us each and every day. When we choose to focus on the strengths of our spouse and not on their weaknesses we give them a safe place in which to grow and flourish into the person they are meant to be. Marriage can help sanctify us. In living together well, we can each sharpen the other in ways we cannot do alone.
So, Ashley and Riley, it is my prayer for the two of you that you will cherish the love that brought you together. That you will extend grace to one another as needs be and that just as the Bible says about God and his relationship to us, that your mercies toward one another will be new each morning. May you live together happily all the days of your lives.
May I practice what I preach.