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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Gerstenberger

Marriage is in Season

Updated: Jun 13, 2019

There are few things more special than a springtime wedding. Over the past week my wife and I have had the pleasure of attending two of them.

Both were lovely, celebratory occasions for members of our extended family. The daughter of one of my wife’s cousins and our nephew who is also my godson both married people they’ve known for several years. Both of these down to earth couples are serious about their relationships with one another and appear to be off to a good start in their respective marital journeys.

One of the ceremonies, my nephew’s, was particularly special for me as I was asked to officiate as a fill in for his fiance’s uncle who, at the last minute was unable to attend the ceremony due to having to perform the funeral service for a friend who unexpectedly passed away.

While honored to conduct their wedding ceremony, it came with a “catch” which I sprung on the couple during the middle of the ceremony.

What I didn’t tell them was that part of the deal in me conducting the ceremony was that I would give them some instruction on marriage.

Since the institution of marriage is so important in our society here’s what I shared with them. My hope is that in addition to encouraging them, it might also encourage you and anyone with whom you choose to share it.

“The word “love” has a number of different meanings. But the meaning that I want to call to your attention for just a moment this afternoon is what is called “agape” love…or the self-sacrificing love that God has for each of us.

As was mentioned in the prayer we recited at the beginning of the service, marriage is a gift from God, part of his design for the world.

But not only is it a gift from God, but this gift is personal and customized. You see God knew both of you from before you were born, and he selected each of you as a gift for the other.

To put it in context, the husband in a marriage was chosen by God to be a special gift from Him to the wife; and the wife in a marriage was chosen by God to be a special gift from Him to her husband.

This is why, in just a few moments you’re going to hear the words, “what God has joined together let no one put asunder or separate.”

So let’s go back to agape love. Your Aunt and I have been married for just over 42 years. And while I can tell you we’ve had a great marriage I can also tell you that it hasn’t always been easy.

My prayer today is that the two of you will also enjoy a long marriage. And as you do, my guess is that when you look back over your years of being married that able to agree with what your Uncle Leigh shared with you today and be able to say that, ‘we too had a great marriage, even though it wasn’t always easy.’

So here’s the advice and encouragement I want to offer you today. If you want a great marriage get good at agape love.

In other words, get good at sacrificing for one another the way God sacrificed himself through is son for each of you.

One of my favorite verses in scripture comes from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and it reads as follows:

“Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

The reason I like this verse so much is that in sixteen words, it tells us everything we need to know about marriage.

If you sacrifice, in other words, put the other person first ALL THE TIME, your marriage will be a success. It may not always be easy…but it will be successful.

So, simply put, what I’ve learned about marriage is this. There is a direct relationship between your love for Christ and your love for each other.

The better you become a having a relationship with Christ, the better you’ll be at loving one another.

You see Jesus Christ wants to have an intimate and personal relationship with each of you. He wants to be at the center of your marriage. He created you for one another and He rejoices today with all of your friends and family as his plan for you is being realized.

So, honor Him, by putting him at the center of your marriage where he belongs and deserves to be. Amen.”

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