After an amazing week at the beach which included my baby girl’s wedding, I’m afraid I’m still flying high and can talk of nothing else. What a perfect build-up to a wedding: four days at a beach resort with nothing but beautiful weather and wedding guests filtering in every day. Rick and I decided this must be what heaven is like – spending the days and evenings, outside in impeccable weather, waiting for your closest family and friends to arrive. We’d welcome them with shouts of, “Yay! You’re here!” as we pulled up a chair for them to join us.
The highlight of the week, of course, was the wedding. The rain didn’t cloud up our joy, and it brought cooler temperatures - perfect for makeup and fancy dresses. (I was actually grateful we didn’t have to walk out in the sand.) We held the ceremony under a breezeway situated by the beach with a full view of the ocean. The weather cleared up enough after the ceremony for pictures on the beach. What more could you ask for?
I don’t think it would have mattered where we held the wedding. The love and devotion emoted between my daughter and, now, son-in-law touched everyone. I didn’t notice the water, or the sand, or my surroundings, or flower arrangements. I was caught up in the excitement and joy of the day as was everyone around me.
My son-in-law is a very passionate person and had tears in his eyes before the ceremony even began. I wondered how I would get through it without my makeup smearing all over my cheeks. But leave it up to my husband. Rick married Megan and Ben and, at the risk of sounding biased, performed the most beautiful, intimate and humorous ceremony I’ve ever been to. He talked about what a fighter Ben is – having beat stage 48 cancer (a Rickism expressing Ben’s strong will). He talked about their matching scars all the way down both of their abdomens. (Megan had surgery to remove a football sized tumor ten years ago.) His words were so personal and poignant that there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience. Thank goodness for all the comedy he included or the wedding pictures would have been ruined by all the running makeup had he kept it too tender.
I wrote an article a few weeks ago, after the bridal shower, of my renewed hope in marriage. This wedding has raised that hope to levels I didn’t know existed in this day and age. Never have I seen a couple so in love and so devoted to one another. If only we would all start out marriage on this note. (Too many couples marry for the wrong reasons.) But not only that, they left such an impression on all the unmarried people who thought that love and marriage no longer thrived in our world. It does, and it gives me hope that we can somehow swing the pendulum back to the importance of marriage in our society. I heard numerous couples say, about Megan and Ben, “I want what they have.”
People still want to get married – they are just afraid of it. The world has demoralized the importance of marriage, and many people have bought into it. Not to mention the difficulty of envisioning a healthy marriage when your parents have divorced or have taught you nothing but heartache in marriage. It seems easier to live with someone outside of the confines of marriage these days. Statistically, those relationships don’t last.
I felt the presence of God at the ceremony, and He reminded me that marriage is just as much for Him as it is for us. Next to our relationship with Him, marriage is the greatest thing that we publicly commit to and vow to uphold. Marriage is ordained by God and created by Him. Of course He wants to be included! Marriage is also practice for our relationship with Him.
Since God’s purpose for me is to reach out to help married couples, I’m thrilled to see the hope for marriage in the next generation. We can all make a difference in our society by strengthening marriage. Share with others what makes your own marriage healthy. Be a positive example to your children. Seek help, if you need it, in your marriage. Most of all, remember to include God in your relationship. God wants to bless your marriage, and since He made it, He also wants to be a part of it! And remember: the couple that prays together, stays together!