To make that summer especially memorable, I also married the amazing woman who still walks hand-in-hand with me today. Heidi and I were married on June 13, 1987. (June 13th was also the date of Martin & Katie Luther’s wedding back in 1525) We didn’t realize it at the time, but that day gave us a hint of where we would live years later (Phoenix, AZ, aka, the Sonoran desert, for 20 years). The temperature on our wedding day was 101 degrees, in Appleton, WI. With significant humidity, of course. No problem, except that there was no air conditioning in the church…
Life’s journey is filled with challenges and blessings. Marriage (that of one man and one woman as designed by God in the Garden of Eden) and family offer a considerable share of both. But especially stunning are the blessings that life together brings! Unanticipated views of love and mercy and grace abound in this closest of relationships, which is why God values marriage so highly and compares his relationship with his people to that of a bride and groom.
To all who are married, and to those who look forward to marriage: Treasure your spouse. Have eyes and ears and heart only for your spouse. Never take each other for granted. Find strength for life and forgiveness for failings in Jesus. Take immeasurable comfort in the fact that it isn’t just the two of you – it’s the three of you in this life together: you, your spouse, and Christ!
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their hard work. If one of them falls, his companion can lift him up. Pity the person who falls and has no one else to lift him up. What’s more, if two lie down, they can keep warm, but how can one person keep warm alone? Though an attacker can overpower one person, two people together can stand up against him. A rope with three strands is not quickly snapped.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
When King Solomon wrote the following words toward the end of his life, he couldn’t have known how often these words would be used to encourage Christian marriage and Christian couples. With his 700 wives and 300 concubines/mistresses, Solomon’s example is not one to imitate. But these words – supplied by the Holy Spirit – are precious and powerful.
Christ Jesus, who is at the center of Christian marriage, will continue to bless and encourage you!
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand