Recently I had an opportunity to spend some time planning through the marriage ceremony for a couple whose wedding I am privileged to officiate. More on them later. I’ve had the opportunity to officiate LOTS of weddings and I have noticed something that I believe to be universally true: the plan for the wedding equals the plan for the marriage.
Let me explain what I mean. The people who have a wedding ceremony that is very God focused tend to have a very God focused marriage. Those who have a ceremony that is oriented toward a celebration of family tend to have a marriage that revolves around quality family life. Those who wish to have a ceremony that exalts the bride, or the husband, above all, tend to have a marriage that is filled with the same.
You may be thinking, “Matt, that’s ridiculous. The wedding ceremony is just a one day event, it isn’t a real representation of what their marriage will be like.”
I’ll admit, I don’t have data. I don’t have evidence, I just have my own anecdotal experience. The ceremony is a pre-cursor to the quality and type of marriage that will exist after that day. I think that it boils down to the fact that our values are what they are. Meaning, the things that we believe in and value deep down are firmly entrenched. They’ll naturally emerge when our lives are on the ‘big stage’, and then they’ll emerge daily on the ‘smaller stage’ of real life.
As I write this, I am challenged about the values of my life. The stated ones sound pretty good, but the unsaid ones, the ones I only admit to myself are uglier, and harder to admit. Both the stated and ‘secret’ values emerge and are obvious to all around me. Some of that I feel pretty good about, other things make me say ‘ouch’. I need some work!
By the way, based on the wedding ceremony my friends planned, they have a great, God-focused marriage in store!
Big Question: What values have you built your marriage and family upon? What values in your life would you like some help in making over? (leave your answer in the comments)