Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Garden, Not a Gamble

I got the opportunity yesterday to go to a wedding. A girl who was formerly of our youth group got married, and Angela and I were happy to attend. I have to say that after you get married yourself, you look at weddings completely different. Before they were boring services designed for women that were only delaying the food at the reception. I would guess that is how most unmarried guys view them. However, when I got married in August of 2005, all of that changed. Our wedding was awesome. Looking back I honestly would not change a thing. From the parent vows, to the message stressing the covenant relationship of marriage, to my best man (and best friend) dropping the ring, it was all the perfect mix of joy, laughter, sincerity, destiny, commitment and love. And now I am different, in so many ways, the least of which may be that I view weddings differently. As I sit and listen to the music, watch the processional, watch the grooms face as his bride is escorted by her father, listen to them repeat their vows to one another, see them officially announced as man and wife...I think of my wedding and everything comes back. I think of how I am still so amazed at how great it is to be married to an awesome woman who is so very loving. I am very blessed.

Anyway, I was struck by something that Jim, our Pastor and the one performing the ceremony, said that I thought was incredibly profound. He said that, unfortunately, many people view marriage today as a gamble, a virtual rolling of the dice, hoping the person they are pledging their lives to is the one, that it will work out. This has caused a whole host of problems in our world today, the greatest of which is the divorce epidemic and children living in broken homes, but I won't get into that here. Jim followed up with saying that marriage is more like a garden than a gamble. A garden you tend and plow and water and plant the things you want to grow and, with time, they grow. It is not a gamble; it is nature. It is the life process. Marriage is the same way. With love and respect planted, and a relationship nurtured, the marriage will bloom. Jim stated that in 40 years, each couple will have the result of what they have done to tend the garden. If we looked at Marriage like this more often, we would be better off. May we see ourselves as gardeners of the most important kind. My we love and respect our wives as much as we possible can, and in doing so, I think we will make the world a better place.

1 comment:

Joel Maners said...

You make some great points here. Your reflections remind me that a wedding is not about the bride, the couple or even the families involved. A wedding is about the community of faith. When we witness a couple getting married we, in a real sense, recommit ourselves to our spouses. We also teach our children about the sanctity and beauty of marriage. And while I don't think of marriage as a "rite" in the Catholic sense of the word, it is a public act that shows the church and the world what we believe not only about marriage but about Christ and His church.