Summary: This was a very non traditional wedding sermon for a couple who met online.
What began as a Facebook search resulting in the response “Boy, he’s hot!” turned into a sneak attack setup date resulting in the response “Boy, she’s hot!” turned into a relationship… turned into a friendship… turned into an engagement… and now has turned into a marriage.
Much has happened since that first click of a computer mouse brought you together… and you have already gained so much knowledge of each other’s unique qualities, strengths, and weaknesses. And still here you are, despite everything you now know about each other… to be joined as husband and wife.
The scripture verse you picked for your wedding was 1 Corinthians 13… also known as “The Love Chapter of the Bible.” And I tell you what… this verse is one that continues to give married couples trouble over and over again. Cause it is here, that Paul calls us to such a high standard in treating each other kindly… despite how unlovable you will ever act towards one another.
Take for example verse 4, “Love is patient, love is kind.” Seems so sweet and nice! Try that verse on for size when he’s been working all day and instead of coming home to his wonderful wife to discuss his day and talk about his feelings, he plops down in front of the TV to watch the Cubs…. AGAIN! Try that verse on for size when you are looking forward to a weekend at home and she wants to run to Fairbury to be with her family… AGAIN! And in the back of your head you will hear “Love is patient, love is kind.”
And Paul doesn’t stop there… he keeps on at it… verse 5 he hits us again with “(love) is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” So when he wants to move to chase that $500,000 a year job and she wants to stay put… you will tell yourselves “not easily angered… not easily angered!”
When the honeymoon is over, and your marriage will one day find its tougher days… you will remember these words of Paul… and be tempted to find this Paul person and give him a good throttling! Because everything inside of you will want to loose your patience… get angry… and be unkind!
Yet… this Paul person is not completely clueless… I think he knows how hard it is to stay in a marriage… to push through the tough times… to stand by each other… IN LOVE. Because of where he turns us next in verse 8. “Love… NEVER… fails.”
Anyone who’s been married any length of time will be able to tell you that NOT every day will be sunshine, butterflies, and roses! There will be days where you will be so frustrated that you wont be able to stand the sight of each other… yet even those days… where there is love… there is patience to be found! That is what we see when we look at you as a couple. We don’t see a bubble gum, pop song, temporary kind of love. We see a love that will hold you together through the really really good days… and the really really bad ones.
A love that understands that despite however the other one is acting… you still love them… still stand by them… still support them… that you still want what’s best for them. THAT is the kind of love that always protects… always trusts… always hopes… and always perseveres. That is the kind of love that will never fail.
That is the kind of love that will bring you together as a couple… not just two individual people living together… but one whole… working together… completing each other. Your strengths will compensate for the others weaknesses. When conflict arises… you already have to gift of strong communication to get you through it… and Justin… when conflict arises… you will be able to keep things calm and in perspective – Kelsey… you will be able to keep things organized and moving forward. Together these strengths (or weaknesses depending on how you look at them) will help you to balance each other out… to become stronger together than you could ever be apart.
That is what marriage is really about. My prayer for you two is that you will always remember to treasure each others strengths even as you value each others weaknesses, that you always remember that being married means work… but it also means a very special kind of love that can only be found in the bonds of marriage. It is that kind of love that will always endure… and seek goodness for each other… all the days of your life.