There’s a wonderful celtic saying that “going to a wedding is the making of another.” Its true.
We attended the wedding last night – one of four daughters of a family we’ve been great friends with for many years to a fine young man. The Shearer clan took up a whole row of seats. During the service, I looked over and was struck by how intensely interested our four youngest daughters (currently 9, 10, 10, and 11) were in the ceremony.
One of the purposes of a public wedding before friends and families is to make a public covenant between husband and wife. But surely another purpose is to set an example for younger friends and siblings. It sets a standard and gives them something to aim for. It teaches, without intentionally doing so but inescapably doing so, a number of profound things about what marriage is.
Publically exchanging vows makes the vows more solemn, more binding, more official. I know my generation has an instinctive reaction that this should not be so… but it is so. Publically exchanging vows also elevates the idea of marriage. It shows us an ideal picture of two people declaring their intention to forsake all others and commit themselves to each other, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer so long as they both shall live.
And that’s the ideal that our children need to be aiming for. Its one thing to talk about it, or even to preach about it. Good things to do by the way. But showing two people actually doing it is very powerful.
Our friends did a great service for my daughters – and for all the other young people in the audience. They showed them a picture of what marriage and love should be like. They gave them something to aim for.
A special blessing for Jared and Annie. Thank you for inviting us to be witnesses to your faithful act of obedience.
Director, Schaeffer Study Center