Summary: The wording of this message is largely adapted from an excellent Ceremony on SermonCentral by Kevin Higgins. This one contains the addition of a Blessing of the Hands theme during the ceremony.
at CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX
WEDDING CEREMONY FOR JASON STRAUB / MICHELLE FLEMING
(The wording of this message is largely adapted from an excellent Ceremony on SermonCentral by Kevin Higgins. This contains the addition of a Blessing of the Hands theme during the ceremony.)
We are gathered here today at the invitation of Jason & Michelle to join with them in one of the most solemn & meaningful events of their lives.
The marriage of two Christians, I am convinced, is viewed by God as an occasion of great joy since it marks the beginning of a relationship that is second only to our personal relationship with the Lord Himself. Let us acknowledge that & seek His blessing as we bow our heads before Him in prayer.
Question: Who presents Michelle to be joined to Jason in marriage?
Response by father
Message: Long ago, the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning gave us a beautiful expression of love when she wrote:
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth & breadth & height
My soul can reach,
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise. . .
I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life!
And if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death. (Sonnets to the Portuguese)
There have been many beautiful expressions of love given to us through the years. One of my favorites is the story of how Jacob loved Rachel & served her father 14 years to gain her hand in marriage. The Bible says concerning those years, “…but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.” (Genesis 29:20)
So this afternoon, as we share in this wedding ceremony, it is well that we remember that in the beginning, when God created the heavens & the earth, He concluded, “It is not good for man to be alone.” So, He created woman to share in man’s life – to assist in his strivings & to satisfy his need. And He created woman to be loved, honored & adored by man.
Jason, God has ordained the man as the spiritual head, & as the responsible provider in the human relationship. By His plan, your strength must be your wife’s protection, your character must be her pride, & you must so live that she will find in you the haven for which her heart truly longs.
Michelle, it is God’s plan that you be a loving wife, that you respond to your husband’s love in tenderness with a deep sense of understanding, through a great faith in Christ who brought you together. It is His desire that you have an inner beauty that never fades, & an eternal youth that is found in holding fast the things that never age.
Christian marriage is not living merely for each other; it is two people uniting hearts & hands to serve God. Seek His kingdom first, & His righteousness, & He will add all other things to you.
But realize also that nothing is easier than saying words & making promises, & nothing is harder than living them day-by-day. What you promise today must be lived tomorrow, & all the tomorrows that follow thereafter.
Do not expect perfection from each other; do not minimize each other’s weaknesses, but always be swift to praise & magnify each other’s strengths & see each other through kind & patient eyes.
God will lead you into situations that will bless you, & which will develop your character in your life together. As you look to Him, He will give you enough tears to keep you tender, allow enough hurts to keep you compassionate, enough of failure to keep your hands clenched tightly in His, & enough of success to make you certain that you are walking with Him.
May He remain the central figure in your relationship. May you never take each other’s love for granted, & it is my prayer that when you come to the end of life’s journey that you love each other more than you do even today.
As an expression that your hearts are bound together in love, I ask you to hold each other’s hands.
Jason, the one whom you hold by the hand is to be your wife. She has offered you one of the most sacred things under heaven: a woman’s life, & a woman’s love. You may bring her great joy or cause her deep sorrow.
But it is not what you bring in a material way that will make true happiness – riches without love are nothing. It is only as you love her unconditionally & cherish her completely that you will keep her heart won to yours.