®TP2¯®PL49¯®OF2¯®RM51¯®IP0,3¯Jennifer Peterson & Mark Rooney Wedding - August 10, 1991
Texts: Eccl4:9-12, 1Cor13:1-8
Grace, peace, and love--the love of God in CJ-be to you.
Talk about a SURE THING. Well, maybe there is no such thing as a SURE THING, but if I were a betting person, I would put my money on marriage of M and J
Of all the marriages with which I have been involved, I have never seen a couple more ready to get married than Jennifer and Mark.
It's more than just the fact that I've never seen anyone more prepared and organized so far in advance for the wedding SERVICE as M and Je. (I suppose you'll give Je most credit for that, M?)
More imptly, I am confident that those of you who have known them longer and better than me would agree with me that they make a wonderful couple.
I do know from my counseling with them some of the strengths they each do bring to their relationship.
Each couple preparing for marriage completes a standard questionnaire which is then sent off for computerized scoring and returned to me. We emphasize that this inventory does not predict marital success or failure. It is mainly a tool to highlight areas of strength and growth in the couple's relationship and to help develop good communication between them. In the past, in addition to affirming a couple's strength's, I have always had areas of growth we could talk about.
Well, when J and M's results came back, it was all strengths. So much so that I thought I should maybe have them speak today instead of me and give us all some advice on developing good relationships!
In any case, I guess I won't try to give you any advice on how to have marital bliss. There are, however, a couple things I would like to remind you about God's place in your marriage.
In the Eccl passage your father read, M, it gave some very practical wisdom: the two of you can succeed where each of you alone might fail. But then the last verse goes on to say that a rope of 3 cords is not easily broken. I want you to remember that that 3rd cord in your marriage, the one that will really keep your marriage tied together, is God himself.
It is God's love intertwined among your love for each other that will keep your love strong and growing. In fact, God's love is the only thing that will keep your mutual love alive. //
Now I don't say that just because I'm a pastor and I ought to say something religious at a wedding.
I want to remind you about God's love because I truly believe that it will be vital for your marriage. Because THERE WILL BE TIMES when you're going to wonder about the love you have for each other. Even with a great pair like you, who are so compatible and bring such outstanding strengths to your marriage, THERE WILL BE TIMES.
And that's why I want you to understand correctly the passage from 1Cor that your father read, J.
It talks about those 3 great things: faith, hope and love--and how the greatest of them is love.
It says: Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
What a declaration of love: eloquent, beautiful, inspiring--impossible. For all the newlyweds who have been moved by these verses, not a single wedded couple has ever been able to live up to such love until death parts them.
Do you know why? It's because when Paul is talking about you having love, he is talking about having the love of God within you. He is referring to God's love FOR YOU! The love you share with each other can aspire to such magnificent expression only insofar as it expresses God's love for you. The best you can hope is that your love will indeed reflect the love of God, though for now it may only be a dimly mirrored reflection.
So, when IT'S ONE OF THOSE TIMES, times when human love falters, that's when you will most appreciate God's love. It will be God's love for you which is that 3rd cord that will preserve your marriage and keep it from being broken.
And God's love for you, expressed so marvelouly now in your love for each other, is indeed a SURE THING. It is a SURE THING that you and everyone of us can bet our marriages and our lives on. AMEN