This Monday Morning Message is a little different as I did not preach yesterday. My Beloved and I were returning from beautiful Savannah, GA where I had the privilege of marrying two wonderful people. It was a nice trip that gave My Beloved and I the opportunity to celebrate, a little early, our 19th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful time together as we reminisced, laughed, ate way too many pralines, and saw some beautiful places. It was a reminder of why 19 years have gone by so quickly, we are definitely having fun!
In the midst of all our personal celebrating and helping the families prepare for the wedding there were a few experiences that struck me simply because of their contrast. If you'll bear with me I'll try and relate them succinctly.
The first was on the day of our arrival in Savannah. My Beloved and I boarded the elevator with some other guests and entered polite conversation with them (I detest not talking with people in an elevator! How dare we not acknowledge each other's existence! But I digress...) and we shared that we were celebrating our 19th anniversary. I was saddened by their response of shock and surprise. One even indicated they were now in their 3rd marriage. My Beloved and I entered our marriage with no back doors. Ours was a commitment "till death do us part" even if it meant one of us killed the other! It is sad that the expectation for so many marriages has been cheapened. Instead of being one of the finest and most treasured commitments of life, it is all too often a disposable commodity.
Another moment that struck me was immediately following the wedding. I was talking with a member of the bride's family and she stated, "I wish my husband had been here. He needed to hear that. We've been married for three years and I think he's forgotten what he promised." I tried to offer her words of hope and encouragement but inside, my heart was breaking for this beautiful young woman. Her story is repeated far too many times in this world that thrives on broken promises. I will never forget counseling a man who was having an affair and he asked me how I kept from doing the same, "After all, you are a man." My reply was simply that I had made promises that I intended to keep.
One final event was happening a couple of blocks away that stood in stark contrast to the joy-filled celebration of God's design and plan for marriage and this wonderful couple . At the very same time this couple was affirming before God their desire to live in a way that honored Him, a Gay Pride event was taking place. It was quite the picture of contrasts to have this bride and groom in all their wedding finery walking across the square where drag queens were performing for a couple of hundred people celebrating Gay Pride. I could not help but think of the words I had shared with the couple only moments before, "Your marriage is a picture of Christ's love for the church. Put it on display for all to see." They had the unique opportunity to do just that immediately following their pronouncement as husband and wife.
To all of you who are married I say, love your spouse. Treasure them. Be certain they know it today. Keep your promises. Be that picture of Christ's love for His bride, the church.
To those of you waiting or preparing for marriage, I challenge you to consider the weight and responsibility of joining your life with another. It is not something to be entered into lightly.
And finally, to those of you involved in a homosexual lifestyle, I ask you to examine your life in light of God's word and in so doing, discover a love and mercy deep and rich enough to truly satisfy your soul.