Monday, July 11, 2011

A Sweet Wedding

So on Saturday night I got to celebrate the marriage of my precious roommate and her husband. Heather and Drew starting courting and were engaged in a matter of weeks! What a blessing it was to be able to watch the whole process up close and to see God's faithfulness and perfect timing in bringing them together the way He did.

I can remember their first date...Heather really wasn't even sure she wanted to go that night! I was at a conference that night and rushed home anxious to get all the details on how it went before she went to bed. I was shocked to walk into our apartment well after 10pm to find out that she wasn't even home yet! For Heather, this is a big deal...she's pretty mindful of maintaining her 10 o'clock bedtime. I did a few things and settled down with a book on the couch. FINALLY I heard the key turn in the door.

She walked in with this giddy smile on her face and I knew in that moment he must have been pretty great, considering she wasn't even wanting to go in the first place. I asked a million questions until she shut her door on me and went to bed! She just kept saying in her sweet little girly voice, "I just really like him." It was clear that he was serious about pursuing her and that they had a lot in common--especially their love for Jesus Christ. This was just the first of many dates to follow in the weeks to come. I would say after about 2 weeks I knew this was the man the Lord had set apart for her and it was just a matter of time. I started placing bets on how long it would take him to pop the question. Turns out, I overestimated just a bit.

It was a Friday night and I headed home from work around six. I walked into the apartment and I see all of these flowers everywhere. As my eyes continue to move upwards, there's Drew sitting at our counter. This wasn't unusual though--they were doing something together most nights at this point. I said Hi as usual and walked towards my room. Then Heather walks out of her room with this weird look on her face--half elated and half speechless. As I looked up at her, I couldn't help but smile...why was she being so weird?
"Heyyyy. What are you two up to tonight?" I asked as I paused outside of my bedroom.
"Well," she began, "we're gettin' marrrrried!"

Honestly, I looked at her and smiled, rolling my eyes.
"Yeah right. Very funny." I murmured as I walked into my room to put my stuff down.

See, Drew and Heather have a history of taking advantage of my gullibility and I was determined not to fall for their joke this time.

I walked back out, Heather standing awkwardly in the kitchen and Drew just sitting at the countertop. I looked at him, straight in the eyes. "You're joking, right? I'm NOT falling for it this time! Nice try though."

As I walk into the kitchen and gaze more closely at Heather, it hit me; she is not kidding. It was funny because looking back I don't even think we said anything to each other in the moments to follow--as soon as I really looked at her, it hit me that she was serious. I started screaming and hugging her, begging for details. Shocked does not begin to describe what I was thinking--completely at a loss for words really. It hadn't even been three months since they had gone on that first date to get coffee!

Turns out, Drew had just proposed minutes before and they hadn't told anyone yet! Over that weekend, I watched Heather go into full wedding planning mode! They decided the big day would come not even two months later! After marrying in an intimate ceremony with family on June 26th in Napa Valley, CA, Heather and Drew had a huge reception this past weekend for all of their family and friends to join them in this celebration.

On Saturday, we all gathered to share in this beautiful celebration of two becoming one. Unlike most wedding receptions I have been to, Heather and Drew chose to have the reception to celebrate their marriage, but more importantly to share the gospel. Drew shared their story and then the man who married them, Kevin, shared a bit about the ceremony and their vows. Finally, a pastor from a local church here in Fayetteville preached a brief but impactful message about biblical marriage.

He emphasized to the men that as a husband, it is important to remember that this woman with whom you wed is only your wife here on earth. Scripture reminds us that our time here on earth is like the blink of an eye in comparison to eternity in heaven. He continued by explaining that the way a husband respects, cherishes, provides for, loves, and leads his wife on this earth is of huge importance because ultimately a man must think of his wife as his sister in Christ, more then anything else.

"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Ephesians 5:25

That just as a man would love, honor, protect, and value his sister he is responsible for doing the same for this woman to whom he is wed. Though they are only united by a covenant bond, there will come a day when he approaches the throne and comes before the Lord He will present this woman before the Lord, having protected her, loved her, pointed her to Christ, cleaved to her through it all. He will never leave her. What a picture of what Christ has done for us. And what an incredible gift that a marriage submitted beneath the headship of Christ enables a husband to present his wife as his sister in Christ, beloved, protected, and kept pure in her time on this earth. What a responsibility a man has as a husband!

He also touched on Song of Solomon and pointed out what a beautiful picture it is that in the midst of this sinful world...while we are living on this earth amidst so much junk, the Lord allows us to see through a book like Song of Solomon that man and woman still get to enjoy pleasuring in one another as husband and wife...that there is JOY in marriage, that is so much more then getting through it til death does you part, so much more then dinners and fights and babies and grandkids...the Lord allows these two people to come together and ENJOY one another, LOVE one another in a way that doesn’t compare to any other earthly relationship. What a blessing godly marriage is.

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Wilkerson! Thank you for allowing all of us to celebrate alongside you and for sharing the Truth of God's word as it pertains to marriage!

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