Today I have the honor of marrying my sweet wife Melissa. This is a day I have waited for – sometimes impatiently – for many years. I have longed to have a wife far longer and more deeply than anything, short of my desire to be in heaven with my Lord. And now by God’s grace I will marry the wonderful woman that God has brought to me.
I am awestruck when I look at the imagery and symbolism of a wedding day in Scripture. In Revelation we see the Bride of Christ (the Church) joining with Jesus himself in a precious wedding that welcomes God’s redeemed into heaven to dwell with him for eternity. Much worship and celebration accompany that occasion, and it is a precious vision of our future. Today, Melissa and I will be married – our wedding will foreshadow the joy, the celebration, the worship, and the love that we’ll see on that day. She will be beautiful, perfect, and captivate me in every way. And I will commit myself to loving her as best I can for as long as I live, until we finally go home to see Jesus face to face.
Solomon – my favorite figure in all of Scripture – writes in his Song of Solomon about the one his heart loves, and in Ecclesiastes of the wife of his youth. Much joy, much love, and much wisdom accompany the wonderful things he writes about this woman. In the same way, Melissa is the one my heart loves, and she is the wife of my youth. I plan to enjoy many years with her, and make many precious memories with her while we worship our King together. I could fill volumes with the hopes, prayers, and dreams that I have for our life together, but suffice it to say that I have much hope in how God will work in and through us to bring himself glory in our marriage.
This wedding is for both of us a sweet redemption. Melissa and I have struggled with many things over the years – doubt, shame, depression, fear, frustration, anger, pain. But our relationship and specifically this day marks the faithfulness of God to redeem what has been broken, to heal what has been hurt, and to free what was enslaved. God has been exceedingly gracious thus far to have given us a measure of sanctification with each other, and we both look forward with eager anticipation to the days ahead and growing in Christ together. It will not be easy by any means, but by all means it will be a joy to experience with Melissa.
God has given me a weighty task in leading our family, and I do not take it lightly. Many things over the next few decades (God-willing) will test my leadership and require that I trust God anew each day. God has given Melissa a heavy responsibility of trusting God through by following me and helping me lead us. While today will be a wonderful time of celebration, we have turned our hearts and prayers toward the long journey that God has laid out for us, and we are both hopeful and anxious to get started. This season of preparation has been a joy, but I hope that it pales in comparison to the joy we have in years to come.
As I take this brief moment to step back and look at what the Lord has done in and through us both this last year and a half, and when I consider the merging of our families and how God has been gracious and blessed us many times over, I am left with an overwhelming sense of gratitude, and I am humbled greatly. He alone is worthy of our worship, he alone is our King and Savior. And yet he has seen fit to bless me with a beautiful, funny, captivating, and wonderful wife with which I will have the joy of sharing many memories in the years to come.
Truly, I have been richly blessed, and our God is exceedingly gracious.
“Enjoy life with your beloved wife during all the days of your fleeting life that God has given you on earth…”
Ecclesiastes 9:9 (NET)