Moving In

Don’t you just love young love?

Saturday was another wedding performed; another young couple set out on their own. It’s an honor to be asked, especially by those I care about. I love young love—the smiles and looks, the optimism, the gleam in their eyes.

Marriage is at the core of how we follow Jesus well and finish our life strong in His will and pleasure. The Apostle Peter, for example, spoke to the spiritual side when he said to husbands, “…grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7). As I write, Cheryl is out of town for a few days. Please don’t tell her I shared that particular verse…

Every time I perform a wedding I am reminded marriage is such a gift to me. When I share a message as part of the ceremony, it stares right back at me. Slightly amplified here, this is what I said to Stephanie and Eric last Saturday—and to me: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave (cling) to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:24-25).

God has given foundational principles to establish a healthy marriage. First, it requires severance from previous relationships. This is often hard for both the new couple and their family. It is something like biblical repentance for salvation: we change our mind and heart about who we trust and depend upon, and intentionally turn to God.

Second, we must view marriage as permanent. God said, “a man shall leave and cleave (cling) to his wife.” The strong implication is: it is forever. I liken it to a rock climber who hangs on to his rope for dear life—because it is a matter of life and death. Don’t let go.

Third, we must constantly grow in oneness, for God said, “they shall become one flesh.” Though we don’t lose our uniqueness, two lives have now become one life. Very practically, it is no longer “my” money or account. It is “our” money and our account.

Last, we get to grow in the wonder of intimacy. God simply said, “the man and woman were naked and were not ashamed.” This involves the whole person. Transparency, vulnerability, and openness all invite joy as two increasingly becoming one.

A friend recently described his transition from vacationing at a cabin to moving in for retirement. Now, storage had to be settled. Projects that were easy to put aside were now imperative. Marriage (and following Jesus) are like that: we are no longer visitors; we have moved in.

Welcome home!


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