We have had company staying with us for a week now: my brother and nephew came a week ago Saturday, and then friends (a young couple with their 3-month-old baby) arrived last Wednesday and left yesterday. My brother and nephew will be with us until Saturday. It’s a little busy around here! So, I decided this week I would re-post some articles which I have written in the past, which you may not have read, or if you have, contain messages which we need to be reminded of (me included!) and I think you will enjoy!
Please continue to comment, as I am checking my blog daily, and love the encouragement of your prayers and comments! I’m thinking about all of you and praying for you!
The following was a very popular post almost a year ago, and also shows us an example which I wish we saw more often of “love and marriage”. As I am in the process of planning a baby shower for Rachel, who recently gave birth to a little baby girl, I thought it appropriate to share about, and think, once again on the beginnings of Derek and Rachel’s life together!
Mr. K and Rachel
Derek (in uniform)
Preparing for his Bride
These past few days we’ve had the joy of meditating on marriage once more as Saturday we attended Derek and Rachel’s wedding–the 4th wedding that we’ve attended and served at this summer! Two days earlier we’d also had the pleasure of attending what the groom’s family calls a “Celebration Dinner.” I love this custom they’ve established in their family! Let me tell you about it! When one of the T family’s sons marries (this is the third), instead of hosting a groom’s dinner or rehearsal dinner, they host a celebration dinner celebrating all that God has done, and honoring and sharing with 100 or so of their closest friends and family: people who’ve been special to, or invested in the lives of, the bride and groom and their families. It’s an intimate evening of loving God and family, with the special theme of gratefulness.
On this past Thursday, the bride and groom and the groom’s family, especially, expressed humble gratitude and honor to God, their family and friends. The couple each shared their salvation testimony, retold the story of their courtship and engagement, and the father of the groom charged his son with the seriousness of what he was about to do–he shared from scripture and gave his son a personal challenge, designed specifically for him, to help him as he begins his new role as husband and leader of his own family, and is no longer under the authority of his father, but is now in a relationship of receiving counsel.
It was a very moving evening. There was an intimacy–a warmth, a closeness–in this evening, that was not present even at the wedding. It was a great privilege to be able to share in this special event. Derek and Rachel shared the story of how God had led them to each other: the patience and trust it had taken waiting for God’s leading and timing; and the importance of the parental counsel, prayer and involvement from both of their parents.
Marriage is a serious step, a serious commitment, not to be entered into lightly. Marriage is forever. Mr. T., the father of the groom, exhorted his son, Derek, to be a “good fighter,” an appropriate charge in light of the fact that Derek had just finished Boot Camp this past year and is now in the Marine Reserves. Mr. T. told Derek that he must fight against three enemies and to remember Rachel is never the enemy. He must fight against: his own selfishness (it would not be “my own” time, money, etc., anymore); fear (am I going to have enough work–how will I provide?); and lies (the world, media and people would be attacking the way they live and the choices they make, and speaking lies every day).
And he exhorted him to fight for three things. He counseled Derek to fight for his family, for truth, and for what is right. He shared from the book of Nehemiah and used the example of the building of the wall, in which each family was building right where they were: at the same time they were fighting their enemies with one hand, they were building with the other.
Then, on Saturday, the day of the wedding, two things especially impressed me.
- During the wedding reception, as Derek sincerely thanked his parents, he expressed the desire that he might become like his father someday. The bride and groom honored their guests and parents by coming to the microphone and addressing them, taking time to express their gratitude: to their guests for coming to the wedding, and to their parents for how they’d been raised, (and to each other’s parents for raising someone so wonderful). They thanked their parents for all the sacrifices, for everything they had done–it was very special. And the K family publicly thanked all the people who had helped serve (especially Mrs. D. who had planned and orchestrated the serving of the meal, and had been responsible for overseeing everyone and everything–a mammouth undertaking).
- The second thing which especially impressed me was that Rachel’s family, which now included Derek, sang and played their instruments for the 650 guests who attended the outdoor wedding. It was meaningful to me that the coupletook time to give something special back to all who were there, not only unselfishly standing in line to talk to each and every one of their guests–before they ate anything themselves–but also sharing music in an unhurried “mini-concert.” It was something I’ve never seen before–the wedding couple getting up during the reception, singing and playing instruments as a family–the bride in her wedding dress–for the enjoyment of the wedding guests.
A Grateful Bride and Groom Expressing their Gratitude
Gratitude, honor, humbleness, unselfishness, love of family, faithfulness to God and your mate–these were the themes at Derek and Rachel’s wedding:
a great way to start out life together!