Word of the Week

Blessing the Covenant of Marriage

While the joy of beginning a new relationship can often be fun and easy, building mutually beneficial lasting relationships are hard work. This is especially the case when a marriage covenant is involved.

Saying that you want to spend the rest of your life loving another person in the best way you know how is quite difficult, if not impossible without a lot of grace and support from those who love you.

It's trying to the soul when people change, life's bumps hit your path, and there are so many forces both internally and externally that seek to pull you a part from the person whom you thought you could love so easily forever.

But, this is where I believe gospel community comes in and has the power to shape the journey of those who have made a covenant of marriage together.  For, if we are going to continue to hold weddings in our sanctuaries and do marriage counseling in our offices,  is our responsiblity as a church family to do everything we can to support those who have covenant to partner for life.

Ellie and Chad, a couple recently married who is a part of our congregation recently returned from their wedding in another state and honeymoon. We wished them well, but many of us were sad we could not be a part of their ceremony.

To begin this process of seeking to be blessing in their life and marriage, we shared a special time with them yesterday at the conclusion of the service.

It was a modern marriage reading taken from I Corinthians 13. I originally got the idea from Baylor University's series called Christian Reflection: A Series in Faith and Ethics (Marriage).  And, I used it in my own wedding ceremony. Then, my friend, Amy copied me and began doing this reading for couples recently married at her church. I thought this was a great idea and so Sunday at Washington Plaza we did our own version of this.

My hope is that all couples present would be strengthened in their understanding of the ups and downs of what it means to be married.

Here is the reading and some actions shots from yesterday (Thanks, Alex for the pictures!):

Pastor:  As a community of faith with those among us who can testify to the journey of love in marriage, we come this morning to bless you, Chad and Ellie, as you have made a marriage covenant to each other.

 Chad: Love is bliss!

Ellie: Love is exciting and easy!

Chad: Love is losing myself in you.

Ellie: Love is wanting to be together 24 hours a day.

Chad and Ellie: Love is wonderful! Yes, love is divine!

(Brad and Bobby, a couple recently married) 

Brad: Love is hard work!

Bobby: Love is not always liking each other.

Brad: Love is sometimes a struggle.

Bobby: Love is figuring out who I am and who you are as well.

Brad and Bobby: Love is lonely sometimes. Love is exhausting.

 (Craig and Mary, a couple married almost 12 years)

Craig: Love is accepting you just the way you are.

Mary: Love is knowing that I can’t change you.

Craig: Love is working out our disagreements in a timely manner.

Mary: Love is knowing my life is better with you in it.

Craig and Mary: Love is making commitment to get through whatever life brings our way.

 (Cal and Thelma, a couple married nearly 54 years)

Cal: Love is patient; love is kind.

Thelma: Love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.

Cal: It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.

Thelma: It does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoice in the truth.

Cal and Thelma: It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 All couples together in unison:

Love never ends. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love!

Pastor: Ellie and Chad, above all, we desire to support you, listen to you and do everything we can to uplift you in your commitment to one another as you learn throughout your lifetime what it means to love each other. AMEN