|Isaac and Regan (Photo courtesy of Steve Bates)|
Isaac and Regan,
We marry because we love and that is a good thing. Scripture tells us that God is love.
But marriage is not meant simply to be a means to make us happy. It was not designed solely for our own personal comfort.
Marriage, above all else, is to be a reflection of the mystery of the relationship between Christ and the Church.
Between Jesus and his Bride.
Marriage is a living parable.
Isaac and Regan, your parable begins today.
Fleshed out for all to see.
The two of you will determine whether your marriage will be a holy place.
Your choices and decisions will determine whether it is a sacred space.
Your choices, individually and together, will determine if this marriage will be simply a common, legal institution or a holy, God-ordained covenant.
A covenant requires participation from both people involved.
Isaac you are to protect Regan. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. You are now her head. This is not a place of dominion. It is a place of accountability.
Isaac you are to provide for Regan. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. And that provision should never be stingy or tightfisted.
Isaac you are to pray for and with Regan. Pray for her physical, emotional and spiritual well being. No one in the world who will know how to pray for her like you. No one.
Regan you are to support Isaac: physically, emotionally and spiritually. You are to have his back and to stand at his side. You are his helpmeet, but not his doormat.
Regan, you are to be a sanctuary for Isaac: physically, emotionally and spiritually. Be a place he longs to come home to, a place where he feels safe and a place where he is encouraged.
Regan, you are to sustain Isaac in and through prayer. Pray for his physical, emotional and spiritual well being. No one in the world will know how to pray for him like you. No one.
Isaac, choose daily to live a life worthy of respect.
Don’t be harsh with Regan.
Don’t tease needlessly.
Don’t devalue her feelings
Regan, always offer respect to Isaac.
This need is coded into his DNA. May you be the place he receives the better part of this need—not his military position, not his occupation.
Regan, choose daily to live a life worthy of Isaac’s love.
Don’t attempt to control him.
Don’t attempt to manipulate him.
Don’t attempt to change him.
Isaac, always offer love to Regan.
This need is written into her DNA. May you be the place she receives the better part of this needed love—not her appearance, not her friends.
There are many jokes about how complicated women are and how men are never able to understand what women want. Well, Isaac, here’s your answer: Regan needs to know you love her. Everything she will ever ask of and from you will be tied to this truth.
Isaac and Regan, when you walked up that aisle you came as two separate beings. When you turn and walk back down that same aisle you will leave as ONE FLESH.
In the language of Mr. R.: your lives have now intersected and will have the same trajectory. They are NOT just parallel lives.
They are lives intertwined into ONE FLESH.
When you leave this building you will be a living parable: a visible image of Christ and the Church.
Live a life worthy of your calling.