We had the opportunity on Monday evening to go to a ceremony for some friends... the husband surprised his wife on their 13th anniversary and had arranged for them to renew their vows - complete with the obligatory maids of honor (their daughters,) ring bearer (their youngest son,) and proud giver of the bride (their oldest son.) There was even a slide show and a new ring involved.
It was lovely and romantic and made us all teary eyed.
It's always an amazing thing to ponder how two people are made one.
And how that union brings about other little people who make the world more complete.
For those of us who have only known Russ and Shannon as a married couple, it seemed strange to see photos of them before.
Because now they are so together.
Do you know what I mean?
Tonight I was talking with a young man Asia mentors... he and I have never really had an opportunity to talk without Asia around. But tonight Asia had to go pick up the kids from youth group and so we talked.
He wanted to be sure I didn't mind his presence at our house so often. I appreciate his sensitivity to that, but had to reassure him that we have always had an open door policy in our home - that people are welcome here always. It's one of the core values Asia and I adopted early on in our marriage.
And then he wanted to be sure that I didn't resent the amount of time Asia spends with him. And I had the privilege of telling him how much I admire Asia's giftedness with people and his desire to build relationships and encourage others... and that God has taught me to cherish exactly who Asia is... and to give him the freedom to exercise his gifts... So no, I cannot mind that my husband loves people. I love that he loves people. Even though I am an introvert and would live in a hermit hole if I were alone... I embrace who we are together. Because together we welcome people... I feed them and love them quietly while Asia boldly pushes them to be their best... It's a fascinating combination of personalities and preferences and peculiarities... We don't always do it perfectly, but we do it honestly and with gusto and we do it together.
And that, I think is the blessing of being married.
That two people can complement each other in such a way that their lives together bring about a sense of awe... a recognition that only a sovereign God could take two lives and form one cohesive, better life... I can admire that in Russ and Shannon and be led into a sacred place... a place where I have to worship the God who brings that about. Because it's miraculous and beautiful and amazing.
Haven't you ever seen two people - that you could never in a million years imagine yourself ever being able to live with - who are SO perfect for each other?
God takes quirky and strange and cranky and eccentric and crazy people and matches them up in some pretty incredible unions.
I will never take the privilege of partaking in that for granted.
It's like the crazy romance of Christ and his bride...
The church, at it's best, shines it's light on all that Christ is - bringing Him glory.
And Christ loves the church with all that He is, even to the point of giving Himself completely away for her.
Isn't that how the best marriages work?
Recognizing the best in each other and sacrificing the one for the both - the separate for the together?
That's true romance.