Unfortunately, I can’t use my usual wedding story, because Adam and Sarah heard it at Debbie and Paul’s wedding in Dymchurch in June this year. So I had to find something new.
Story: Richard Daly was Mayor of Chicago for 21 years between 1955-1976. He was a rather forbidding guy to work for.
One day, one of Mayor Daly’s speech writers came in his office and asked for a pay rise.
Mayor Daly replied in his usual irrascible manner.
“I’m not going giving you a pay rise.
You are already getting more than you are worth.
You should be paying me for the privilege of working for a great American hero like me.
Daly quietly congratulated himself as the speech writer walked out with his tail between his legs – and thought no more about it.
Two weeks later Mayor Daly was on his way to give a speech to a convention of veterans.
The speech was going to receive nationwide TV coverage.
Now one other thing Mayor Daly was famous for
- was for not reading his speeches - until he got up to deliver them.
So he stood up - before a vast throng of veterans and the national press and began his speech.
Addressing the veterans, he said “I’m concerned for you.
I have a heart for you.
I am deeply convinced that this country needs to take care of its veterans.
And so, today I am proposing a seventeen point plan to take care of you - that includes the city, the state and the federal government.
By this time everyone, including Mayor Daly, was on the edge of their seats, wondering what this revolutionary plan of Daly’s was.
As Daly turned the page of his speech over, he saw the words - and these words alone:
“You’re on your own now, you great American hero.”
In contrast to Daly – in marraige - you are not on your own, you’re in it TOGETHER
You are there to support and cherish one another. The two have have become one.
Getting married – as you have today – is the easy bit – staying married is the hard.
There are in my opinion three habits to keep a good marriage healthy and together and I’d like to share these with you today .
Habit 1 “Get your priorities right - Make regular time for each another”
It is so easy to get caught up in the bustle of life and family - especially when we have been married for some years – and that we neglect our partners.
Don’t neglect one another.
I would like to encourage you to set aside quality time for one another.
Tell each other how much you love each other.
Indeed don’t just say it, show each other how much you love each other by your actions.
And each of you will have your little foibles, that the other will have to put up with. Don’t be surprised at that.
Habit 2 - “Be proactive”
When we love each other, we will be proactive.
Adam, how about bringing her - now and again, a bunch of flowers – not only when you have had a blazing row but as a surprise.
Love brings out a gleam in our eye.
Being proactive means that- instead of waiting for things to happen, we take active steps to make them them.
Story: For example Adam, when Sarah asks you to put the dustbin bag out – you need to be one step ahead of the game:
You need to anticipate and be able to say. “I’ve already done it, dear.”
Love is more than a feeling it is a verb, it’s an action, it’s an act of our wills.
In our reading from 1 Cor 13:4-8 – we see
What love is…
What love does, and importantly
What love does not!!
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”. (1 Cor 13:4-8)
III. Habit 3 Protect your marriage
By protecting your marriage, I mean taking time to keep your marriage fresh!!
One important way of protecting your marriage is to be able to say”Sorry”
There will be times when you row, but remember this “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.”(Eph. 4:26)
Don’t let that get in the way of taking time to communicate with each other.
Many marriages break down, because the couples stop communicating with each other.
You came here today to make your promises before God. I believe that the best foundation for a happy and enduring marriage can be found when both partners have a deep relationship with Jesus Christ.
For the Christian faith gives you a fair base line to operate from – and a firm basis for bringing up children.
And knowing Jesus - gives a partner to whom you both can turn when things get tough – and one who can share in your joys together too. Amen