Marriage is important to me. It is now and it was 33 years ago when Lisa and I stood before our friends, our family and our God and promised to be faithful for the rest of our lives.
I was only 20 when we took our vows yet I understood the significance of the moment. That ceremony did not merely mark the beginning of a legal arrangement or the change of Lisa’s name, it was the declaration that we were entering a relationship ordained by God from the beginning of time. From that moment on we would be one. Personal agendas and individual goals were cast aside. Everything we did for the rest of our lives would be done not as a man and as a woman but as a husband and a wife. Every deed and every word would be a reflection of who we were as a couple and a family and not just as individuals.
As we planned the wedding I considered how we could communicate to those in attendance the significance and meaning of the ceremony. I desperately wanted to tell the world that our union was spiritual and holy in the eyes of God and that we were promising to serve Him together. We decided that the best way to accomplish this would be to take communion together as our very first act as man and wife.
At the completion of our vows, we knelt and took the bread and the wine together. Communion is a sacrament established by Jesus Himself, intended to represent the sacrifice He had made for His people. His body was broken and His blood was shed when He was crucified, nailed to a cross. He did so as payment for the sins of His people. By taking communion we were telling all in attendance that we recognized the sacrifice Jesus had made and that the primary purpose of our marriage was to reflect the perfect sacrificial love that Jesus had for us.
The Bible teaches that this is the purpose of marriage. The husband is to love his wife with the same sacrificial love that Jesus displayed for His bride (the church) and that the wife is to love and honor her husband as the church is to love and honor Christ. We wanted our marriage to reflect that level of love and sacrifice.
While we taking communion my friend sang a song, the words of which perfectly expressed our desire for our future-
“As for me and my house we will serve the Lord, now and forever more. He’ll be our God, we’ll be His people. And in the bond of His covenant, we share the bread that is heaven sent, ever mindful to be thankful of the One who sent His Son.”
This promise has sustained us for 33 years. When the tough times came, we reminded ourselves of our commitment. Just as Jesus would never leave us or forsake us, so we would never we leave or forsake one another. Just as Jesus saw our rebellion and sin and chose to die for us, so we also have worked to love and sacrifice for one another even when we did not deserve it.
The oneness that we declared on the sixteenth of July 33 years ago has become a greater reality with each passing year. We are who we are as individuals because of who we are together and I could not be more grateful. While Lisa is not perfect, she is the perfect wife for me.
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