Back in May, Earl officiated at the wedding of a gal who used to babysit our kids and who we have watched grow up. These weddings are always a joy for us to be a part of.
One of the things I love about Earl, is that he takes each opportunity during these weddings to personalize the wedding charge to each couple, in a very unique way.
This particular bride grew up watching The Princess Bride with her family and chose to come down the aisle to “Once Upon a Time Storybook Love”, which is the theme song to the movie. So, along with imitating the “Impressive Clergyman” at one point and eliciting laughs and reminding us that laughter was fitting for such a joyous celebration, he made the movie the theme of his charge.
Here are some of the highlights from his notes (There are certain perks of being married to the officiating pastor):
* True love is powerful and enduring
“The Bible affirms the blessing of love between a man and woman in marriage.” (Song of Solomon 2:4, Song of Solomon 8:7)
It is a picture of . . . “the nature of the love of Jesus Christ for His bride, the Church, as revealed in the cross.” (Romans 5:8, 1 John 3:16)
* Marriage should involve healthy competition
“Have you ever considered the call to love in terms of a holy competition?” (Philippians 1:9, 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10, 1 John 3:16, John 13:34, 1 Corinthians 13:1-8)
“ . . . pursue the ‘true love’ reflected in the cross of Christ through a friendly and godly competition, so to speak, to outdo the other in gracious, sacrificial, Christ-exalting love.”
“The Lord Jesus calls you to love each other like He has loved you. And He died to take away the guilt of your failure to love each other that way. And He died to enable you more and more to love each other that way.” (1 Peter 3:18, 1 Peter 2:24)
“So may you look at each other with the heart of Christ, in the good times and in the hard times, when you feel love and when you don’t, when the other blesses you or when they sin against you, whether you find yourselves . . .
on the cliffs of insanity,
or in the pit of despair,
or in the Fire Swamp with ROUS’s (Real Obstacles of Unexpected Seriousness)
or in getting use to disappointment,
or in fighting giants,
or in the inconceivable battle of wits to the death,
or even at the end of hard days when you feel ‘mostly dead’,
“May you look sin in the eye and all that threatens your relationship to God and to each other and say,
‘Hello, our name is the Bride of Christ. Almighty God is our Father. Prepare to die!”
“And as unlovely as you may be at times toward each other, may you look at the other, with the cross in the rear view and the crown in the front window and say, ‘As You wish . . . Lord Jesus!’ and then love them to the death . . . or even to the pain!”
“May God’s grace be with you . . . and may you have holy joy stormin’ the castle of despair and unbelief for your greater joy in marriage and in God.”