Summary: Short Wedding Ceremony
July 16, 2005
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 and served her father fourteen years to gain her hand in marriage. The Bible says concerning these years, “They seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had for her.” (Genesis 29:20)
As we share in this wedding ceremony, it is well that we remember that in the beginning, when God created the heavens and 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 man’s striving; to satisfy man’s need. He created the woman to be loved, honored and adored by man.
This is marriage, and it is for the purpose of joining Jimmy Hackney and Lori Woodall in marriage that we have come together today. Marriage 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. But it is only through Christ that marriage becomes what God intends it to be. Let us acknowledge His place in this ceremony and see His blessing on this union as we go to Him in prayer.
Who presents Lori to be joined to Jimmy in marriage?
Our God of love has established marriage as the symbol of Christ’s perfect love for His covenant people. We have come today to bring you as one before Him.
Jimmy, God has ordained the man as the spiritual head, as the responsible provider, and as the initiator of love in this human relationship. By His enablement, your strength must be your wife’s protection, your character must be her boast and pride, and you must so live that she will find in you the haven for which the heart of a woman truly longs.
Lori, it is God’s purpose 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 that inner beauty of soul that never fades; that eternal youth that is found in holding fast the things that never age.
Marriage is not living merely for each other; it is two persons, uniting and joining hands to be a picture of God’s love for man. Seek His kingdom first, and His righteousness, and He will add all other things to you. Nothing is easier than saying words and making promises, and nothing is harder than living them day-by-day. What you promise today must be lived tomorrow, and 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 and magnify each other’s strengths and see each other through kind and patient eyes.
God will lead you into situations that will bless you and those which will develop your character as you walk together. I want to encourage you to look to Him and make Him the central figure in your relationship together. May you never take each other’s love for granted, but always experience that wonder that remembers that of all the people in the world, you have been chosen to spend a life with.
As an expression that your hearts are joined together in love, I want to ask you to join hands.
Jimmy, this woman whom you hold by the hand is to be your wife. She has given you one of the most sacred things under heaven: a woman’s life, and a woman’s love. You may bring her great joy or cause her deep sorrow. It is not what you bring her in a material way that will make true happiness – riches without love are nothing. Has she captivated your heart, and will she continue to captivate it as the years pass? As you love her unconditionally and cherish her, you will keep her heart won to your heart.
Do you vow here, that you will be true and loyal, patient in sickness, comforting in sorrow, and forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her, so long as you both shall live?
Lori, this man whom you hold by the hand is to be your husband. Upon your life, your love, and your devotion he will lean for strength and inspiration. He is going to look to you for encouragement, for cheerfulness, and for confidence. No matter what the world may say or think, people may forget him, lose confidence in him, or turn their backs upon him, but you must not. May your life and love be the inspiration that will constantly lead him to greater dependence on the Lord.