Does attending a wedding make you all sentimental and mushy? It can't be just me. What is it about weddings? For those of us who have been married a while (we just celebrated our 17th anniversary) we reflect on our own wedding day and how we felt embarking on this new adventure called marriage. Perhaps also reflecting on how the reality and challenges of being husband and wife weren't exactly what we anticipated as we stood together in front of our friends, family and God so many years ago. Weddings make me feel blessed and thankful that I am married to such a great guy. Not every day is sunshine and flowers, but I wouldn't want to be walking though them with anyone else!
Weddings are a different event altogether if you aren't married. Worrying about who to go with and what to wear, who you will see and what people will think (all a tremendous waste of energy). Single women wistfully wish they were the beautiful bride, and the single men are thankful it isn't them taking the plunge!
We discovered an entirely new dimension to weddings this weekend - the prospect of being the parents of the bride. We have two teenage daughters and the possibility of being a bridal parent is no longer a far, far away event, but one that could possibly happen in the next decade. Wow.
As I watched the mother of the bride quietly wipe away the tears, I knew without a doubt that I would be wringing out a few tissues when it is my turn. I should probably promise my daughters that I will do my best not to embarrass them on their big day! I can't promise dry eyes, but I will promise to wear water-proof mascara and be as discreet as possible. I have wept at every significant moment of their lives so far, I can't see that changing any time soon!
My husband surprised me at how strong his feelings were about being the father of the bride. As we chatted about the ceremony during the drive to the reception, he noted how hard it was for him as he watched the father of the bride hand over his beautiful daughter to the groom. His eyes filled with tears at the mere thought of that painful yet joyful moment in the future when Daddy's Little Girl becomes another man's young wife. He pondered the possibility of abandoning the rest of the ceremony after his official duties so he could go "ball his eyes out" before the reception. Thinking back to my own wedding I don't know who was more of a wreck as we waited to walk down the aisle, my Dad or me! Gotta love those tender-hearted Daddies.
At the reception, the hosts further enhanced this sentimental journey by showing a slide show of the bride and groom. From wee babes to engagement photos the pictures went by one after another, watching these two delightful young people grow up before our very eyes. I wasn't sitting near enough to see the parents of the bride and groom, but if I were to hanker a guess, there wasn't a dry eye at that table. I know I was feeling a little mushy, and they weren't even my kids! How quickly our children go from totally dependent to totally independent. Cherish every day you have because very soon they will be all grown up and you will be quietly weeping in the front pew.
I leave you with the love chapter from 1 Corinthians 13. These passages are read at many weddings, this wedding was no exception and the pastor did a great job weaving a wonderful lesson from it's passages through the service. Human love is grand, but there is no greater love than the love of God for you.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
In His Peace -