As newlyweds, I thought I should share a little about how we began our journey into married life.
When we were planning our wedding ceremony, it was very important to us to make it personal. We wanted every detail to be totally and completely “us.”
Yes, this meant I carefully selected and altered a dress to make it perfect for me, and yes, Wyatt insisted we serve pulled pork for dinner. And yes, I walked down the aisle to a very nontraditional piano version of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” by Jon Schmidt. Oh, and we made a special crossword puzzle all about us for the place mats on the tables at our reception.
But more than that, we wanted our ceremony to reflect what was important to us. And that was how thankful we were for the gift of love from our Heavenly Father. And from the legacy of marriage our families have passed down to us through blessed, beautiful examples.
Marriage is such a beautiful picture of God’s love for the church.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
1 John 4:7-16
Wow. So powerful. We can ONLY love because God gave us that incredible gift. Without him, there’s no true love. What an awesome responsibility we’ve been given, through marriage, to live out the love that God gave to his people.
With this in mind, we had our minister, a great friend, write our vows especially for us, based on this verse:
“But Ruth replied, “Do not urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
This verse has always seemed the perfect description of what a Godly, friendship-based marriage should be. Wyatt is certainly my very best friend in the world, and we’re committed to sticking it out and staying together, no matter where life takes us. Sure, we’re newlyweds now, but already, we’ve been through a move to a different city, a huge lifestyle change (we’re from small towns, and the country!) and several struggles we’ve never had to deal with before. But no matter what, we believe that our marriage is sacred because it was created by God. We strive to take care of each other and take care of our marriage, “for as long as we both shall live.”
Plus, it was the verse my parents featured at their wedding thirty years ago.
We also had our minister recite this poem, which follows along those sentiments so well, and is so beautifully written.
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
We also each recited promises to each other during our wedding. Promises that we each wrote specifically to the other, fully intending to keep them for the rest of our lives.
Some of these are silly, others sweet. Others contain inside jokes. And others make me cry just thinking about how special they are.
We did this because the idea of marriage as a promise is so key. It’s a promise from each other to each other. But it’s also a promise from God to the church. From our Father to us, that he’ll show us how to love more perfectly so we can live a life committed to pursuing each other, pursuing our marriage, pursuing him.
No matter what, though, it’s perfect to think that our wedding was not only a fun, exciting day to share and celebrate with friends and family, but it was the perfect starting point to a life of living out the vows and promises we made to each other, forever.