It’s Wedding Day! Beautiful September weather in the heart of the Bluegrass of Kentucky, found us all readying for our middle son’s wedding. You’d be hard pressed to find any prettier location this time of year…
It was September 27th. This was going to be Lauren and Gordy’s BEST DAY EVER... We were all about to meet at the reception venue to be “transformed”…
Major project for yours truly. But for this Mom of all boys, a day like today was Heaven on earth.
Lauren and her Mom, Pam, graciously invited me to join the bridesmaids for brunch, make-up and hairdos. The bridesmaids were in their pink, monogrammed robes getting gussied up. Fascinating fun is the only way to describe it.
Once I was literally made over (!!!), I headed back to the hotel where my dear friend, Meredith, awaited. She’d just driven in from Nashville. We walked across the street for a bite to eat. John was out riding his bicycle and scoping out the Harley store, of all things…
We all agreed to meet up around three o’clock to dress and head to the church at four o’clock. As is our predictable routine, we ran late, and started scrambling….
Wedding blunders began:
Only three of four tuxedo studs were in John’s box. Bit of a challenge as we were in Lexington, while perhaps the wayward stud was still in our home in Louisville, seventy-five miles away.
John’s bowtie stubbornly refused to stay on.
One hook on my dress was problematic.
My Grandmother’s pearls hung askew.
And you can guess, the blasted clock kept ticking…
John quickly threw on his jacket and off we raced to the church while I hummed, “Just Get Me to the Church on Time….”
Once there, Lauren’s wedding coordinator helped secure John’s bowtie, and boutonnieres, bouquets, and bridal party were all in place. Guests were already arriving and before we knew it, we were marching down the aisle…
Will Witherington, one of Gordy and Lauren’s preachers, performed the wedding ceremony. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Will weeps and trembles over God’s Word. Sincerely. He makes his passion and zeal for the Word contagious. It was a moment in time you desperately wanted to freeze.
(Sidebar: I believe Will is a nicer version of Francis Chan. Hold on, we’ll be taught by Francis next week. Just you wait….)
Four thousand, seven hundred pictures posed for later (Kidding, sorta!!!), John and Meredith and I headed out to the parking lot to go to the Reception. Sun still brightly shining, something made me look over at John.
As if a light switch of horrific realization flipped on, I blurted out, “Oh my word! You’re wearing your navy blazer!”
John said, “Oh, no! We’ve got to go back to the hotel and get my tux jacket!!! How in the world did that happen???”
I know now, I should have inspected John before we walked out of the hotel. I was too consumed with my own issues. Go figure.
We have since howled over this, laughing ‘til we cried. Only three people that we know of knew of the mysterious switcheroo. John graciously decided two important facts:
1 – Most people weren’t looking at us, they were focused on Lauren and Gordy. Rightly so.
2 – The navy blazer was already a lifesaver the night before for John Jr. He’d forgotten to bring one and needed it for the Rehearsal Dinner. So, we mustn’t blast the blazer. (LOL)
Thanks to my fashionista friends, I’ve been hearing “Navy is the new black.” Perhaps John was stylin’ and didn’t even know it.
His gracious reaction is a great segue way into finishing up our discussion of Grace Filled Marriage: The Missing Piece, the Place to Start by Dr. Tim Kimmel and his wife Darcy. (If you missed last week’s Part One, please click here.)
Tim says, “In the bigger picture, some points of contention aren’t worth making into a major issue.”
Proverbs 19:11 says:
“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (ESV) John overlooked my overlooking the navy blazer with black tuxedo pants. We call this giving each other a “grace card”.
Part Two of the Kimmel’s book addresses what grace looks like in a marriage. Tim and Darcy give us three things that grace gives us:
“Grace gives you:
a Secure Love
a Significant Purpose
and a Strong Hope…”
As well as two things grace frees us from:
“Grace frees us…
…to be Different and Vulnerable
…to be Candid and Make Mistakes. “ (Such as our wedding blunder….)
I can’t begin to express the plethora of pearls that are in this book. One of many favorite parts has to do with the freedom to be candid.
Tim says, “Communication is vital to a marriage relationship…A grace-filled spouse wants to communicate clearly and deeply with their mate, but not pummel their heart in the process.”
He goes on to define “candid” as “honesty drenched in grace.”
Don’t you want to be drenched in grace???
Tim reminds us of Paul’s “rules for fighting fair” from Ephesians 4:25-32, especially from verse 29:
Many times, I know in my heart I shouldn’t say something before I ever say it. Unfortunately my stubbornness sometimes wins out, benefitting no one. And that prayer I should have said, before I blurted out that awful thing, hangs over my head.
If you’re struggling with something in your marriage, pray about it first. In the section on “Maintaining a Climate of Candor”, Tim offers, “God does indeed have an ‘Always Open’ sign. He assumes an approachable posture that is saturated with grace.”
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Straight from scripture Tim teaches:
“God has chosen marriage as his highest example to the world of His creation.
He wanted something that could weather the extreme demands of reckless culture and endure the radical attacks of the forces of evil.
Marriage was his first thought when he made man, and it will mark the final celebration of humankind’s journey when we finally join the Lord Jesus for the grand marriage reception with Jesus in heaven.”
(CONGRATULATIONS again, Lauren and Gordy! What a picture-perfect, blessed Wedding Day you had…)
Then, as if that isn’t enough in Grace-Filled Marriage, Tim issues a supreme challenge to all of us:
“God needs the two of you to be a benchmark for His glory.
Your marriage is too important.
You’re too important.
And God’s glory….
If you’d like to hear more on marriage, our ministers, Dave Stone and Kyle Idleman recently preached an excellent, 6-part series on marriage called “Awaken Love.” Kyle recommended Grace-Filled Marriage in the last sermon. Go to: www.southeastchristian.org
Amen and amen.
‘Til next time!
(This post is dedicated to one of my long-time friends, Meredith Myers. She’s been burnin’ up I-65 to attend our boys’ weddings. We met in elementary school when we moved in across the street from each other and she’s been a sister I’ve never had ever since. Love you “Madge”!!!)