Saturday, I had the great privilege to officiate my sister's wedding in Colorado. Here are some notes from the ceremony:
On behalf of Mark, Sarah, and their parents I would like to welcome everyone to Crested Butte this beautiful day. We have come together on top of this mountain to witness the marriage of Mark Denton ... my future Brother-in-Law, and Sarah Holloway ... my sister. Later today we will celebrate with them this important milestone in their relationship.
Erik Erickson believed that a person’s identity, their very self-concept, is defined by their relationships. In my own mind, outside our relationship with our Creator, there is no relationship more important than the relationship between two people married.
Marriage redefines relationships ...
... Not just between the two making a lifetime commitment to each other, but also between friends, family, and co-workers connected to the individuals being married.
The identities of everyone here today ... everyone’s self-concept ... will be changed to some extent by the marriage of Mark and Sarah.
Two days ago I sat with Mark and Sarah and we discussed their relationship and pending marriage. Sarah and Mark talked about their love for each other ... that they view their marriage as a natural step in their relationship ... that they are getting married not because of social pressure, but because they know they want to spend the rest of their lives together, to be able to continue to talk to each other, to listen to each other, to take care of each other.
One thing Mark said that stands out in my mind is that their relationship has been, and he anticipates will continue to be, a type of journey: A journey with both good times they can enjoy together, and a journey with difficult times, where they will need to lean on each other.
Mark, Sarah, here are two things to think about:
First, know that hard times will occasionally come. It is almost impossible to anticipate from which direction they will come, or what form they will take, but they are a part of life.
However, when you “both” focus on the needs of the other, when you each love and serve the other, you will emerge from the hard times closer, stronger, and happier.
Second, know that you will each make mistakes along the way. It is important to remember: The key to a happy marriage is not effective communication alone, but rather the effective communication of forgiveness. -- We are human and we make mistakes. For humans forgiveness and love are inseparable.
Mark ... Sarah ... You are a gift to each other. Your love for each other is observable and evident by the way you take care of each other. Sarah, the other day when I asked you why you wanted to marry Mark tears came to your eyes and your emotion was beautiful. Grow together, and love each other deeply along your journey.
"Father, thank you for the gift of relationships. Bless Mark and Sarah's marriage. We pray for their happiness and that You are glorified by their life together. In Jesus name we pray."