Summary: This wedding message was used at a bi-racial wedding ceremony. The audience was mostly non church going people. Had a lot of positive comments on the differences between covenant marriage and contract marriage.
Marriage Ceremony of Dan and Kimm
August 5, 2006
On behalf of Kimm and Dan, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all of you. I know that some of you traveled a great distance to be here, some of you even came from another country, Texas, just to be here to celebrate this marriage, so we really do appreciate it. Thank you for being here. And now, I would like to ask a very important question, “Who gives this bride in marriage?”
Prayer: Pray for Dan and Christine who are in the service of our country.
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13
Kimm and Dan, in the world that we live in, few things are more important to the church than addressing the needs that exist in Christian marriages. I believe that it is important for all of us to understand that marriage is more than a legal contract to be honored. Christian marriage is much more than a contract, it is a covenant.
The culture that we live in is a contract-oriented culture. And because of that, many Christian couples have brought this contract mentality into their marriages and they spend much of their time trying to force each other into living up to them. It’s like the Hollywood marriages where the couples sign a prenuptial agreement. I read some time ago that one of the prenuptial agreement had to do with how much the wife would weigh. If she exceeds 125 lbs, then . . . .
Contract marriages tend to be self serving. It is motivated by the desire to get something from the other person. It is based on an “If . . . ., Then . . .” mentality. Contracted marriages serves to protect ones own interest and because of that, it is not permanent. And this is the mentality that many Christians have bought into their marriage today.
But a covenant marriage is what God had intended for all of us. Covenant is a Biblical term, because our God is a covenant making God. When you study the covenants in the Bible, you will notice several things. One of the things that you will notice is that covenants are initiated for the benefit of the other person. And in this covenant relationship, it is made with unconditional promises. Covenant relationship is based on “loving kindness” the love that is described in 1 Corinthians 13 and because of that, it is permanent.
Kimm and Dan, today you will enter into a marriage covenant before God and all those who are here. A covenant is a commitment that the two of you will make for the benefit of the other person. I would like the two of you to hold on to two very simple commitments in your marriage.
FIRST, I would like you to make a commitment to God. My wife and I come from very different family and cultural backgrounds. I was born in Indonesia, she was born in Long Beach CA. I lived in Hong Kong for a few years while I was growing up and she lived in Central Africa Republic. I am Chinese and she is Scotch- Irish, German, and Armenian. Even our personalities are vastly different. And yet it is our commitment to God that has kept two very different people together all these years. Kimm and Dan, you will not make it together for a lifetime unless you are both committed in like faith to Jesus Christ. Marriage is a spiritual experience. As you grow together in your commitment to God, you will find love and joy even in the midst of a culturally diverse relationship.
SECOND, you need to hold on to your commitment to each other. The reason is because your love will be tested from time to time, especially when that romantic aspect of your love wares off a bit. You will be tested in many areas. In the area of cleanliness, whether or not you pick up after yourself. Someone once said the reason why men leave their clothes and their socks and their cups and plates all over the house is because they are just marking their territory. But on a serious note, the reason why you need to make each other a priority, in other words, spend time together, listen and learn how to meet each other’s needs, is because a strong relationship will weather the storms of life There will be times of disappointment and there will be times of joy. With life’s ups and downs, your love must be able to stand firm on solid ground. Your commitment should be willfully, sacrificially, and unconditionally to accept and love each other no matter what happens in life. And now . . . . .
Kimm and Dan, if you are ready to make these vows to God and to each other, would you at this time please turn toward one another and join hands.