Summary: To begin a marriage with a good set of blue prints is important.

____and _____, today you are at a beginning. You begin today as husband and wife. Everything is ready. Optimism abounds, you are eager build upon your relationship and everyone here is cheering you on. It is a time of excitement, a time of awe and wonder, a time of not a little apprehension. Can we make this work? Who is this person standing next to me?

Today’s lessons are a blue print for success. In Matthew we read about building our house upon rock and not sand, in 1 Corinthians we read about what love is and what love is not. And in Colossians we read a blue print for success in marriage. You can’t miss if you take it seriously, as you allow God to build your life with you.

It begins with a statement of who you are. You are God’s chosen people. It doesn’t get any better than that. You are singled out today for the joy and celebration that is lavished upon you. You are beginning your married life together in the best possible way B coming before God to receive God=s blessing on today and the rest of your life together.

You are holy and beloved. Holy, created by God to live in relationship with God and other people. especially your spouse. Beloved, loved by God, by your partner, loved by all who gather today to witness your vows and pray for you.

There is no better basis from which to start your journey together. You are God’s chosen people, holy and beloved.

This is a blue print for you to build upon. Here are instructions on how to begin the work of married life. Yes work, some days it will be harder work than others.

Work to prepare yourself. You are to actively put on the following because they will not just happen. Put on compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, patience. You are giving these to your spouse as gifts. These are attributes which listen to the needs of the other and answers with caring. Self-giving which is not demanding.

This is work for you as a couple. You are to be forbearing for one another. Giving room and space. Tolerating those days when we you are having a day that is less than great.

Forgiving one another. There was a line in the old movie "Love Story" that got far too much attention. It was "Love is never having to say I’m sorry". Likely the stupidest line yet. Love is to be always ready to say, "I’m sorry." To accept those words and move on.

Put on love. Love that is a gift from God which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Always work for the harmony which seems so real today. Remember how it feels today for those days when it seems so remote.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. Let -- allow Christ to enlighten and inform your lives. This is the peace that "passes all understanding". The peace where you live in harmony with God and all people -- especially your spouse. Let the peace rule in your hearts. Make God a priority in your lives. You begin well today -- before God. Don’t leave it here. Take time to be found among God’s people who are also working at their own blue prints.

Finally, be thankful. To God, for choosing you, declaring yo holy and blessed. To your family and friends who are gathered here today. To each other for what you have been for each other and for all you will be.

Today you set out on the sometimes turbulent sea of married life.

You have set before yourselves a blue print to help your marriage which you are building to be full of life and be strong. Hold that blue print close, consult it often and build yourselves a beautiful and strong marriage.

God bless you as you grow in grace as husband and wife.

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