I don’t know, but every time I hear about another young couple who I’ve watched grow up in our church get engaged and then see their wedding pictures on FB, I remember my wedding day as well as my daughter’s wedding day and I start singing in my head that powerfully poignant song from Fiddler on the Roof: “Sunrise, Sunset”.
“Is this the little girl I carried, Is this the little boy at play? I don’t remember growing older, When did they? When did she get to be a beauty, When did he grow to be so tall? Wasn’t it yesterday when they were small? Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset, Swiftly flow the days. Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers, Blossoming even as we gaze. Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset, Swiftly fly the years, One season following another, Laiden with happiness and tears.
What words of wisdom can I give them, How can I help to ease their way? Now they must learn from one another, Day by day…”
Children have no idea the passage of time…how swiftly it marches on. Wedding PowerPoints that are shown at receptions somehow encapsulate twenty plus years of time broken down into about ten minutes. For all parents it is often the most poignant part of a wedding…seeing their babies grow from babyhood to adulthood in the blink of an eye.
“So what words of wisdom can I give them to help them ease their way?” A wise parent asks.
1. Praise God for bringing the two together as man and wife!
“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9
2. Remember the lessons learned from your youth.
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3
3. Remember your parent’s Godly advice as you were growing up.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you…” Exodus 20:12
4. Remember God has a perfect plan and purpose for the two of you individually and as a couple.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29: 11-13
5. Never forget how precious you are to your family and friends and to God.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalms 139:14
6. Seize the day! Make every moment count! Create a lifetime of memories!
“Seize life! Eat bread with gusto, Drink wine with a robust heart. Oh yes – God takes pleasure in your pleasure! Dress festively every morning. Don’t skimp on colors and scarves. Relish life with the spouse you love Each and every day of your precarious life. Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange For the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one! Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily! This is your last and only chance at it, For there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think In the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed.” Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 (The Message)
7. Seek wisdom and Godly counsel when you need it. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help!
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5
8. Give grace, get grace! Forgive and forget!
“So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister (spouse, friend, neighbour, co-worker, ANYONE) sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” Luke 17:3-4
9. Never go to bed angry. (It’s an oldie but a goodie, but it is one of the best pieces of advice we were given when we were newlyweds)
“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:17-32
10. Live life with no regrets. (This DOES NOT mean you have freedom to do everything and anything you want to do…don’t let the world suck you in to that kind of thinking. Living a life with no regrets, means that you wake up every morning saying “YES” to God and never miss an opportunity to walk in His way. Believe me, if you do, you will have the most amazing adventures of your lifetime!)
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:10-14
Know that our prayers are with you today, tomorrow and always with every Sunrise and every Sunset!