Just in case anyone wanted the text from the ceremony:
What an unbelievable honor it is to be a part of this wedding today. When Christopher and Nichole approached me about being a part of their wedding… I was excited… and a little nervous. No one has ever asked me to speak at their wedding before.
I spent 4 of the best years of my life as director of student ministry at Holden Chapel, where Chris and Nichole were both involved. As a youth pastor I figured it was inevitable that some of the kids would eventually realize that they liked someone else in the youth group. However, I got lucky and for the first two years, there were virtually no serious relationships in the youth group… just whispers and crushes. Eventually a lot of the guys had girlfriends… but Chris was not one of them. (by the way… Chris, I’d like to take this moment to thank you for your dedication to the Lord). It wasn’t until Chris and Nichole went to the college together that she noticed his quiet charm. …and the rest is history.
I am deeply honored to be a part of this special day!
We are going to spend a few moments talking about:
Love vs. Falling in Love
Today, Christopher and Nichole have committed (with all of you as witnesses) to “LOVE” each other, not to simply “Fall In Love” with each other.
Falling in love with someone is fun… you think she’s cute; she thinks that you’re funny. Your eyes lock on to each other just a little longer than usual. You’re in the grocery store and you half expect that you’re going to see her walking up to the same checkout line. Your friends keep trying to call you, but you blow them off, because she may be able to go out tonight. You go home at night and you can’t stop thinking about the next time that you get to be with her.
There’s energy, excitement, anticipation, and flutters in your stomach. “Being in Love” consumes you. It feels great!
It’s like sugary-sweet icing on a cake!
Have you ever had a corner piece of cake that is just loaded with icing? It can actually be hard to clean off your plate if you are left with just frosting and no actual cake. Most of us will naturally hit a “wall” if we eat too much sugar all at once. As a youth pastor I spent a lot of time with high school students. And as a result, I’ve witnessed a few of these guys willing to push the limits of sugar consumption that the human body can take. The point is that we can only take so much frosting before we start to feel sick. So watch out for those corner pieces of cake… the look really good, but can leaving feeling a little sick in the end.
What about the cake itself? The real substance of a cake is the… cake… not the frosting. Frosting without the cake is a big sloppy mess… kind of like most of us when we first “Fall in Love”.
So cake is like real LOVE. Love is selfless and kind. Love is commitment the other person. A marriage covenant is built on a love commitment.
Story of Commitment – Ruth and Naomi
If you read along in the Bible you will find that the Old Testament describes the early days of the nation of Israel, which was marked as a violent time in human history. Before long, you will get to the book of Judges, where you will read about war, death, looting, and pillaging. And then, just when you can’t take it any more, you turn to the book of Ruth.
The first chapter of Ruth does begin with despair for Naomi, an Israelite woman who loses her husband and eventually her two sons to early deaths. They had been in the foreign land of Moab trying to avoid a famine taking place back in Israel. While in Moab, her two sons had married local women: Orpah and Ruth.
When Naomi heard that the famine was over, she wanted to head back to her home town of Bethlehem. But she told her daughters-in-law to stay in Moab.
16 But Ruth replied, "Don't ask me to leave you and turn back. I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17 I will die where you die and will be buried there. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!" 18 So when Naomi saw that Ruth had made up her mind to go with her, she stopped urging her.
Ruth was committed to Naomi. Ruth truly loved her mother-in-law even when it meant that things could possibly be uncomfortable for her. As it turned out, her show of true love was honored by another show of true love. An honorable man name Boaz eventually married Ruth; they had a son named Obed. Obed had a son named Jesse. Jesse had a son named David… You may have heard of him.
Shortly, we are going to celebrate this commitment that Christopher and Nichole have made to each other. One of the ways they are going to demonstrate their love is by serving each other a piece of cake. It will probably have some frosting on it, but most of it is actually cake.
Next time you eat cake, watch out for those corner pieces. They look like a lot of fun, but can be tough to finish. Falling in love can be fun too, but solid relationships require you to make it through adversity, not simply the fun times.
Real love is a commitment. A commitment that has untold potential…
Christopher and Nichole – Congratulations….
And may your love commitment to each other bear all the potential you can handle.