My brother got married yesterday, and it was, I think, the most moving and meaningful wedding I’ve ever been to. I’ve been thinking about why… and I think it’s because in this world of quick-dissolve marriages, ready-made vows, and temporary trial period mindsets, their story and their wedding ceremony stood in defiance of all of that and instead embraced the God who created marriage.
You see… this little brother of mine has been looking, praying, and waiting for a wife for a decade or so. His path has not been perfectly straight (whose is?), but like his Biblical namesake, his heart has consistently been to wait on God and His will. Time after time, he has chosen to trust God and wait… and wait… and wait, wanting more than just “a woman” and instead wanting a woman after God’s own heart for his life partner.
What I have been privileged to see of my new sister seems to pretty much be a similar story. She is a woman who has traveled the world in the service of her God, and even been offered a 200-camel bride price! (Interesting story!) But she, too, chose to wait and wait and wait until God was pleased to show her His choice for her.
They met 18 months ago, and very quickly knew that they had finally met the one God had chosen… and still they waited on His timing, seeking to build and lay a strong foundation.
And somehow, their wedding ceremony was the culmination of all of this. Sometimes I felt I could literally see the blessings being poured out over both of them from heaven, through those that gathered around them. It was so wonderful to see such an absolutely huge gathering of people… many of whom were strangers to each other… but who shared their passion for God and who were pleased to support and bless their union.
Before the ceremony even began, their friends were singing “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever.”
They asked my sister and I to light our mother’s candle as a way to honor her memory and the influence she was in my brother’s life.
Her father escorted her up the aisle, and instead of simply stating that he was giving his daughter away, he testified that he had given his daughter to God years ago, God had entrusted her to his keeping, and he was now privileged to entrust her into my brother’s keeping.
My brother and his bride spoke scriptures over each other from the Song of Solomon as part of their vows, and my father and her parents proclaimed scriptures of promise and joy over them.
Then they invited what was probably something like 14 people from their past, present, and future up on the platform to pray over them and bless them. I don’t think the prayers were dictated to those who prayed… as far as I could tell, they asked people who had been influential in their lives (outside of the family) to come and pray over them whatever God led them to pray, and the result were scripture-filled prayers of blessing and promise and joy.
And somehow, when my brother kissed his bride and faced the congregation, I felt that he stood there knowing that he had not just finally found a wife. What had actually happened was that he was standing at the point in time that had been foreordained for him to receive the bride that God had planned for him. I think my new sister felt the same way.
When we sat down for the reception, there was a photo card at each seat with a photo and “Save the date… June 23rd, 2062 – 50th wedding anniversary celebration.” On the back was a prayer from the bride and groom over their marriage.
Perhaps the culmination, to me, was when her father prayed again over the rest of the celebration, the hundreds of guests gathered, and the food… even daring to add a heavenly request that the food be anointed to grant healing to those who partook. And hundreds of voices echoed, “Amen!” Yes, hundreds.
If God has promised to be there when any two meet and agree in His name (as He has)… if prayers prayed in the name of Jesus by those who believe have any promise of fulfillment (as they do)… then this couple surely invited Him into their marriage in the fullest way they knew how.
And I—their older sister—can’t help feeling absolutely nothing but the fullest joy for both of them, knowing that the One who created marriage has been given fullest permission to have His way in this next season of their lives. I know my God will indeed show them the reality of just how beautiful and wonderful He intended marriage to be, if they continue to wait on Him in all things as they have in this.
Our God is a good God to those that wait for Him! His ways are so very, very beautiful and wonderful for those that wait for Him!
5 I wait for the Lord, my (H)soul does wait,
And [b](I)in His word do I hope.
6 My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen (J)for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
7 O Israel, (K)hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is (L)lovingkindness,
And with Him is (M)abundant redemption. –Psalm 130:5-7