Blog – 8-16-17
My husband and I celebrated our anniversary last weekend, twelve years. I can’t believe how quickly time has passed. I feel incredibly grateful to have a marriage where Jesus Christ is firmly planted in the center of it. I also couldn’t have a more supportive husband than John, so I feel very blessed.
In honor of that, I thought it might be appropriate to share something a little different this week. I officiated my first wedding this summer, and it went really well. It was for a sweet couple, Patrick and Jessica Kurth. It was a beautiful wedding, and you can see the cute couple up above. I have had a number of people ask me for the sermon that I gave and a copy of the song that I sang, so I thought I would share them this week for my blog.
The song I wrote is called “Lifetime.” It was written for my nephew’s wedding earlier this summer and for Pat and Jess as well. You can listen to the song by clicking the button at the bottom of this blog.
Here are the words I shared with the happy couple. (I want to give credit to Barbie and Gary Rosberg who developed the covenant marriage theme.)
Patrick and Jessica, you made it! You’re finally here! Today you stand as a couple deeply in love, ready to start your life together. You come today after months of planning. You’ve planned your dress, your hair, the flowers, the food, the reception….so many details to think of.
Sometimes in the midst of the details, it’s easy to miss the most important things. Things like how are we going to do this marriage thing? How are we going to beat the odds and live out those words, “till death do us part?”
What happens a couple of years from now when the honeymoon is over and the newness wears off? How can we make this thing last?
God gives us great directions in the verses you picked out for today, which are some of my personal favorites as well. They talk about how love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it doesn’t boast. Beautiful words, but sometimes very hard to live out in a marriage.
The best encouragement I can offer you and my heartfelt prayer for you today is that you both keep Jesus Christ in the center of your marriage. Keep Him and His perfect love for you as your focus, and He will show you a way to work things out when the beauty of this day starts to dim and you’re faced with the reality of doing life together. Having Jesus in the center is the ONLY way I know to make it work.
I encourage you to have a covenant home where you promise to offer six very important kinds of love to each other:
A forgiving love when you offend each other and conflicts arise. We all know it’s not IF you are going to have conflicts but WHEN. When they come, when you mess up, when you say something you wish you could take back, when you are the recipient of harsh words, I pray you will exercise the forgiving love Jesus modeled for us.
I hope you will demonstrate a serving love by putting each other’s needs above your own. That’s a hard one to do. We are all so good at keeping score. But a serving love says, “I will serve you whether you serve me back or not. I will put your needs above my own.” That’s the love Christ calls us to.
I pray you will exercise a persevering love by walking through the most difficult times hand in hand. Pressures and problems in life seek to drive us apart and destroy our faith in each other. I invite you to go against the grain and stand side by side, even when it hurts. Exercising mercy with each other will help you persevere.
The fourth kind of love that is displayed in a covenant home is a guarding love that will safeguard your marriage and not let any man, woman or child divide you. I encourage you to guard your hearts and help guard each other’s hearts. Keep each other accountable, and always, always guard your faith.
I want to urge you to enjoy a celebrating love that keeps the spark alive in your relationship and celebrates each other as your best friend. Never stop dating! Never stop making time for each other! Never stop working at your relationship or take it for granted. Celebrate like you are celebrating today!
And I pray you experience a renewing love that says, “I’m committed to you until death do us part.” If you keep Jesus in the center, He will show you how to get through the hard times that will come.
With His love firmly planted in the middle of your relationship, I have confidence that the commitment you make today will stand.
Patrick and Jessica, I’m honored that you have asked me to be part of this special day. I pray that you have a long and happy life together as you celebrate the love that you’ve found in each other that comes through Jesus Christ. Amen
If you’re married, I hope these words inspire you to keep a covenant marriage in your home and always keep Jesus in the center of it!
And thanks so much for listening to the song. The lyrics are below. I’d love to hear what you think of it!
Hugs and love,
Words and music by Jill Miller ©2017
I have dreamed of you a million times
I have watched this story play in my mind
Where the boy meets girl
And he changes her world
Here I am standing next to you
As we say those sweet words I do
Two become one in the Father, Spirit, Son
Our new life has begun
I will love you for a lifetime
For you fill the empty parts of me
I am yours and you will be mine
In your arms is where I will be
For a lifetime
I know in many ways we’re unprepared
For the trials and the struggles we will share
But with you by my side
I know we will get by
We’ll grow stronger through the years
Our love will catch every single tear
To have to hold and to never let go
Until God calls us home