Wedding for Michael and Kristin Tuley
September 16, 2006
Did you know that Jesus liked to go to weddings? In fact, His very first miracle was performed at a wedding celebration. Just as Jesus was invited to that first century celebration, let’s invite Him right now to be the central figure in this ceremony. Let’s pray…
Welcome and Personal Comments
Welcome to the wedding celebration of Michael and Kristin! Thank you for coming today to show your support and commitment to this young couple. My name is Brian. I’m one of the pastors here at PBC. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Michael and Kristin through our premarital sessions over the past couple months. I can stand before you this afternoon and tell you that as far as I can tell, they are ready to get married! They completed some tough assignments and are looking forward to living their married lives under the leadership of Jesus Christ.
Question to Kristin’s Dad
Q. “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”
A. “Her mother and I do.”
Someone has said that there are really four rings that a couple shares when they get married:
• The engagement ring
• The wedding ring
The first two are relatively easy to put it on. I want to focus on the final two because most couples want to take these rings off when hard times come, and they will. These truths from Malachi 2:14-15 can help keep your rings on tightly even when things are not easy…because there will be times of suffering and enduring.
The LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth… she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.
Has not [the LORD] made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.
I’d like to draw out five principles from this passage that will help you have an enduring marriage. Marriage has its roots in the dust of creation. It’s not some romantic illusion but is grounded in the dust of our origin.
1. God is the witness to your vows: “…the Lord is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth…” Michael and Kristin, you are vowing to be forever faithful to each other and you are doing so in the presence of God Almighty. It’s as if God is giving expert eyewitness testimony, “I will hear what you are going to promise and I confirm it. Your marriage will not just be recorded by the County Clerk, I’ll have the record in heaven.” Don’t enter it lightly. Ecclesiastes 5:4 says, “When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.”
2. Your spouse is your partner: “…though she is your partner…” Genesis 2:18: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” This word “helper” refers to a partner or companion. Literally, in Hebrew it means, “one who answers to, or corresponds to, one like himself, one who speaks his language.” You two are partners. You are not better than your wife or better than your husband. You are in partnership.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 say, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
• Marriage provides support. “If one falls down, the other can help him up.”
• Marriage provides soothing. “They will keep warm.”
• Marriage provides safety. “Two can defend themselves.”
• Marriage provides strength. “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
3. Marriage is a binding covenant of commitment: “the wife of your marriage covenant.” There are nearly 300 references to the word “covenant” in the Bible. A covenant was an exclusive, solemn and binding mutual agreement between two parties.
In God’s eyes, marriage is a covenant of committed companionship. As we learned in our premarital sessions: “Love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person.”
The fourth foundation is that God wants you to be soul mates, not just roommates.
4. God’s intention is for intimate oneness: “Has not the Lord made them one?” In order to fully understand this phrase, we need to go back to Genesis 2:24: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” In order for oneness to be established two things have to take place.
• Leaving. God says first of all that when we get married, we need to leave our parents. What this means is that we need to sever the emotional umbilical cord. Your loyalty now belongs to your spouse. Your partner should never have to compete with your parents.
• Cleaving. Second, God says that once you leave, you then need to be committed to permanence. The word “united” literally means to be permanently glued together -- “to melt two separate entities together to form a permanent bond.”
Once leaving and cleaving take place, then you can become one flesh. This phrase conveys the idea of oneness. When a married couple becomes one flesh, their hearts and lives are knit together. This unity is to be experienced emotionally, spiritually, and physically. God’s objective for marriage is a loving relationship of oneness. Jesus said it this way in Matthew 19:6: “They are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together let man not separate.”
5. Marriage is a platform to extend God’s glory: “In flesh and spirit they are His.” Marriage is the prism through which God reveals His covenant relationship with His people. This is stated strongly in Ephesians 5 where we read that when the husband and wife fulfill their God-given roles and live out His purposes, everyone around them learns more about the loving leadership that Jesus has for the church.
Michael and Kristin, your marriage is meant for ministry. While some refer to marriage as a joke; its really a yoke. Remember a yoke was designed for work. That means you’ve been brought together not just for your own enjoyment but also for God’s purposes, for His glory, and for the benefit of others.
• God is the witness to your vows
• You are partners with each other
• Marriage is a binding covenant
• God wants you to experience intimate oneness
• Use your marriage to extend God’s glory
If you live out these five truths, you will have an enduring marriage, even when you go through times of suffering.
To Michael: Michael, will you have this woman to be your wedded wife, to live
Together after God’s ordinance in the holy state of matrimony? Will
You love her, comfort her, honor and keep her in sickness and in health;
And forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?
To Kristin: Kristin, will you have this man to be your wedded husband, to live together After God’s ordinance in the holy state of matrimony? Will
You love him, comfort him, honor and keep him in sickness and in health;
And forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?
Exchange of vows [Face each other and hold hands]
[Michael, repeat after me…] I, Michael, take thee Kristin, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance.
[Kristin, repeat after me…] I Kristin, take thee Michael, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance.
Exchange of rings
The commitment you are making here today before God and your friends can best be symbolized by a marriage ring. There’s no beginning and no end to a ring. Idea of tying the knot… (Illus. From wedding)
To Michael: “Do you have a token of your love?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Do you Michael, give this ring as a token that you will keep this pledge and perform these vows?”
[Repeat after me] “This ring I give thee in token and pledge of our
constant faith and abiding love.”
To Kristin: “Do you have a token of your love?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Do you Kristin, give this ring as a token that you will keep this pledge and perform these vows?”
[Repeat after me] “This ring I give thee in token and pledge of our
constant faith and abiding love.”
Lighting of Unity Candle (Song: “I Will Be Here”)
This wedding prayer was adapted by Dr. Ric Cannada:
O God of love, you have established marriage for the welfare and happiness of mankind. Yours was the plan, and only with you can we work it out with joy. You have said, “it is not good for a man to live alone. . . . I will make a helper suitable for him.” Now our joys are doubled, since the happiness of one is the happiness of the other; our burdens are halved, since, when we share them, we divide the load.
Bless this husband. Bless him as provider for the needs of those he loves. Sustain him in all his struggles in the contest of life. May his strength be her protection, his character be her joy and assurance. May he so live that she may find in him the haven for which the heart of a woman truly longs.
Bless this loving wife. Give her a tenderness that makes her great . . . a deep sense of understanding and a great faith in You. Give her that inner beauty of soul that never fades, eternal youth that is found in holding fast to the things that never age. May she so live that he may be pleased always to reverence and adore her.
May they never make the mistake of merely living for each other. Teach them that marriage is not living for each other. It is two uniting and joining hands to serve You, the living God. Give them a great spiritual purpose in life. May they seek first the kingdom that is yours, and its righteousness, so that all other things may be added unto them. Loving you best, they shall love each other all the more. And faithful unto You, faithful unto each other they will remain.
May they not expect that perfection of each other that belongs alone to You. May they minimize each other’s weaknesses, be swift to praise and magnify each other’s strengths and beauty, and see each other through a lover’s kind and patient eyes. Give them a little something to forgive each day, that they may grow in the grace of long-suffering and love. And may they be as forbearing with each other’s omissions and commissions as You are with theirs.
Make such assignments to them according to Your will as will bless them and develop their character as they walk together. Give them enough tears to keep them tender, enough hurts to keep them humane, enough of failure to keep their hands clenched tightly in Yours, and enough success to make them sure they belong to You.
May they never take each other’s love for granted, but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims: “Out of all this world, you have chosen me!” Then when life is done, and the sun is setting, may they be found, then as now, still hand in hand, thanking you so very much for each other. May they serve You happily, faithfully, together, until at last one shall lay the other in Your arms. This we ask through Jesus Christ, great lover of souls. Amen.
By the authority committed unto me as a minister of the church of Jesus Christ and of the State of Illinois, I now pronounce you husband and wife. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. What God has joined together let no one tear apart!
Kissing of Bride
Michael, would you like to kiss your bride?
Presentation of Michael and Kristin
I’m privileged to be able to present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Tuley!