Friday, January 03, 2014

Twenty-three Years

Because of this, a man leaves father and mother, and in marriage he becomes one flesh with a woman—no longer two individuals, but forming a new unity. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.   Mark 10:7-9 (MSG)

Twenty-three years ago this coming Sunday, I was standing at an altar in the idyllic town of Ross, a town nestled in the redwoods of Marin. The organist literally pulled out all the stops, playing the triumphant hymn Crown Him With Many Crowns filling the beautiful St. John’s Episcopal Church with music, energy and expectation.  Doors in the back of the church opened and I was enraptured with the sight of Anne, wafting down the long aisle, coming to me, to be my bride!  I will never forget that moment! I lost it…the tears started at that moment and kept flowing through almost the whole ceremony!

On that day, Anne and I abandoned ourselves to each other, threw caution to the wind, forsook independence, isolation, and all others. We made vows to each other of our undying love. Looking back from the perspective of 23 years, I must call that experience what it was–it was perfect madness! What did we know back then about the colossal vows we were promising to each other and before God? 

Little did I know that day the journey God would take us on together.  Little did I know the battle that the forces of darkness would rage to lure us towards isolation and away from the design of oneness that God has clearly laid out in His blueprint for marriage contained in His Word. Little did I know the power of God, the grace of God and the value of community that has served us so well as allies developing in us a growing, prevailing marriage that has prevailed for 23 years (and counting!).  Little did I know that the fruit of our relationship would produce four beautiful princesses, and then be given a fifth from Africa, all of whom are the absolute biggest joys, blessings and challenges of our lives.

Ours is not a perfect marriage, and we have faced incredible challenges throughout, but I honor God today, and my wife for the grace and commitment to vows expressed 23 years ago.  God is faithful!

In their book Love and War, John and Staci Eldridge give an incredible perspective on marriage:
"The heart is God’s most magnificent creation, and the prize over which he fights the kingdom of darkness. Now consider this — marriage is the sanctuary of the heart.  You have been entrusted with the heart of another human being.  Whatever else your life’s great mission will entail, loving and defending this heart next to you is part of your great quest."

What a quest! Anne and I have leaned into a select group of mentors to guide us along our journey of marriage. Here is an article from one of those that I believe will bring true and lasting value to your marriage. It’s entitled What Makes A Marriage Good? You can access the article here.

By the way, does your marriage need some encouragement? Why not access our marriage coaching ministry? We have a team of trained couples ready and willing to come alongside you and strengthen your marriage. Learn more about that by clicking this link.

I look forward to being together this Sunday.  We will be accessing the book of Hebrews and looking at the endangered trait of encouragement! It will be a great time together! Happy New Year PCC!
I love being your pastor!