I love weddings! Its true. I know, as a guy you aren’t supposed to admit that. I mean, how many weddings have you been dragged to wondering when the ceremony was going to end and the free food and drinks would start to flow!??
In my defense, these days my perspective is a little different because I am not usually sitting in the audience watching the wedding, I am performing the wedding ceremony. Because of that, I get to meet with the couple beforehand, talk with their family and friends and be on the outside of the entire thing looking in. Sure, there are some aspects of weddings that aren’t that great.
Like the stress that the bride and groom feel to have a perfect wedding, which by the way…NEVER happens. There is always something or a few somethings that don’t go as planned. There might be technical glitches, the flowers may not be exactly what you ordered and the food might be less than stellar. Who knows, maybe the minister is late?! Not that this has ever happened to me you understand, but I’m speaking for a friend of a friend.
Those types of things are going to happen every time. So perfection is not the goal, however having a meaningful day that you’ll remember for a lifetime is. No pressure. That being said, its amazing to me how when the actual day rolls around, regardless of all of the drama that happens ahead of time, the day is always special. The things that go wrong, were meant to go wrong. All of those imperfections, just give the event character.
The groomsman that show up and didn’t bother to check their tux to make sure it fit…and it doesn’t fit? That just becomes a story that you use to give that guy a hard time for the rest of his life. The aunt or uncle that complains about the food the whole time? That just becomes a fun story to tell when you remember that individual. The wind that was blowing so hard that the pastor had trouble turning the pages of his outline and kept losing his place? That was super frustrating and never should have happened! Curse you weatherman!!!! Sorry, that was coming from a very real place for me.
My point is, all of those imperfect details lead to a special memory that is personal and unique only to the two of you. At the end of the day, the ceremony is great and it is certainly memorable. However, it is really just a way to commemorate the beginning of the real journey. That journey is a lifetime of loving the other person.
During the ceremony, I always like to include the story of how the couple meets and falls in love. Each one of them is very different. I’ve heard it all. Everything from high school sweethearts, to office place romance; from meeting in a Bible study to meeting at a frat party. The story of how two people meet, connect and then eventually fall in love is all over the map.
There’s really just one element that remains the same throughout all of those stories and that element, of course, is love. Most couples that make it to the point of engagement, have managed to fall in love but staying in love takes a different set of skills. Skills that make them a nightmare for people like you. Sorry, I couldn’t resist the opportunity. I’d be sorry if I hadn’t Taken it.
In all seriousness, marriage isn’t for the faint of heart and if you don’t hone those skills that keep you in love, it will be easy to put the whole thing on autopilot and as we all know, if you don’t work at marriage it will only be a matter of time before difficulties arise.
So, how does a couple stay in love for a lifetime?
Look, I’m no expert. Just because I do wedding ceremonies doesn’t mean that I have the market cornered on how to have a great marriage. However, being 20 years into this whole marriage thing, I have learned quite a few things by messing up a lot! Not only that, I’ve met plenty of people with great marriages and some with horrible ones. Over the next five weeks I’d like to tell you the things that I’ve seen work and the ones that I haven’t.
Not only that, since the whole concept of marriage was God’s idea, I’d like to share with you some principles in God’s love letter to us, the Bible, that give us direction in this whole journey of loving for a lifetime. I hope you’ll join me the next few weeks for the discussion. Thanks!