My youngest son gets married

After a few years of marriage, filled with constant arguments, a young man and his wife decided that the only way to save their marriage was to try counselling. They had been at each other’s throats for some time and felt this was their last chance.

When they arrived at the counsellor’s office, the counsellor jumped right in and opened up the conversation.

‘What seems to be the problem?’ he asked.

Immediately the husband held his long face down without anything to say. In contrast his wife began talking at ninety miles an hour, describing every little detail of all the things that were wrong with their marriage.

After fifteen minutes of listening to the wife, the counsellor got up and went over to her, and gave her a long, lingering kiss on the mouth.

Then he went and sat back down.

The wife sat speechless! The counsellor looked over at the husband, who stared in disbelief!

The counsellor said to the husband, ‘Your wife NEEDS that at least twice a week!’

The husband scratched his head and replied, ‘I can have her here on Tuesdays and Thursdays!’

Peter and Amanda, marriage is a GIFT, a holy sacrament.

This marriage is uniquely yours…it’s an exclusive membership…a partnership…

it’s a whole new world of togetherness…of sharing all that is dearest and deepest within your hearts…it’s a quiet place set apart from others where you needn’t pretend, where you can be yourselves, and know within your hearts that you will be accepted. and your love for each other is something to treasure, to cherish, to guard and protect.

There’s an old Jewish saying…

The woman came out of a man's rib.

Not from his feet to be walked on.

Not from his head to be superior,

but from the side to be equal.

Under the arm to be protected, and

next to the heart to be loved."

True love according to Shakespeare is……an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken.

We’re human, our love is not always perfect, but I think it’s good advice to say that ‘Love works for those who work at it!’

And let’s face it ladies, if it weren’t for marriage, men would go through life thinking they had absolutely no faults at all!

They say a good marriage is the union of TWO forgivers…a woman’s not perfect either …so we must learn to bear with each other, and keep alive all those marvellous qualities that drew you together in the first place.!

REMEMBER

Work as a team, but keep your individuality.

Keep each other centre stage and respect one another

Keep passion alive

Grow WITH each other, welcome the natural developments of personality and partnership that happens with time.

Share your hopes and dreams, and delight in them.

Always keep lines of communication open.

You can learn a lot from people’s doodles. I have a genuine article before me, which I picked up from the desk in my study, after P had been using my computer.

I have enlarged it for A, and for you all to see!

I don’t want to worry A, but I must admit at first I wondered who Eva was…P 4 A 4 EVA????until I realized it was one of those cryptic text messages.

I REALISED IT SAID FOR EVER!

P FOR A FOR EVER!

To have this vision of your love as being eternal… everlasting is pretty special.

Love should be… FOREVER!

Right from a very early age P’s knew what he was looking for in the ideal partner. A is everything he ever wanted rolled into one, apart from the fact that she never ever worked as a lifeguard on an American beach.

Having prepared these two for marriage, I know that P thinks A is drop down dead gorgeous, intelligent, and very considerate: very caring and considerate. He enjoys the fact that they laugh so much together, and she never nags him…well she hasn’t up till now!

Give her time P!

But I’ve warned P never to argue with A.

With her qualifications in Kick Boxing, I’ve told him, if he ever comes home and she says, ‘The dinner’s late, do you want to make something of it?’ Just let it drop!

Amanda, I’ve heard it said that there are five ways to learn everything you ever need to know about a man before you marry him

1 Watch him drive in heavy traffic

2 Play tennis with him.

3 Listen to him talking to his mother when he doesn’t know you’re listening.

4 Walk in front of a television screen just as a vital goal is scored.

(I once said to Bob, ‘Do you love me?’He said Yes! I said Would you still love me as much if you missed a vital goal on the TV because I walked across the screen at the wrong time? He said…(choke) and the last one is

5. Look at his friends..(mime big muscles, flat nose and cauliflower ear)

I’m REALLY impressed that you still want to marry him!

Apart from the fact that A sees P as a very confident person, very driven, who absolutely loves his job… (as a firefighter, he is used to ‘putting himself out’…for others) I also know that she admires P for his good sense of humour and how sensible and down to earth he is.

and although she didn’t mention it, I’m sure she loves him for his good looks too. I had to insert this, as a mother who is quite biased on that score.

I think we are all agreed here today that these two both make a lovely couple, ideally suited to each other.

If we just for a moment look at the reading S read to us, which was chosen by P and A, we hear that from God’s perspective, marriage is also about modelling to the world the love He has for his people.

Marriage is 100% commitment.

It involves sacrifice…for we give up the freedom of being a single person.

It involves complete abandonment…the surrendering of our lives for another person.

It involves love in its purest form, an unconditional love that will never ever give up.

All these three things, sum up God’s love.

He loved the world so much that he gave us the gift of His only Son, to save us from our sins, to wash us clean and to restore us to a 4 EVA relationship with Him.

When we think about what marriage can be and what it ought to be, we see a perfect mirror image of God’s love reflected there; a love he has for every single one of us! Not because we deserve it or we are worthy of it, but because He can do nothing else but love us…

Nothing can ever extinguish God’s love for us, but just like a marriage relationship, he longs for that love to be reciprocated…

This is the love he expects each of us to express to our fellow human beings in the world, but especially towards each other in marriage.

A man and a woman who had never met before found themselves assigned to the same sleeping room on a transcontinental train.

Though initially embarrassed, and uneasy after sharing the room, the two were tired and fell asleep quickly: he in the upper bunk, she in the lower.

At two in the morning, he leant over, and gently waking the woman, said, “I’m sorry to bother you, but would you be willing to reach into the cupboard, and get me a second blanket. I’m awfully cold.”

“I have a better idea” she replied. “Just for tonight, let’s pretend we’re married!”

“Wow, that’s a great idea!” he exclaimed.

“Good” she replied, “Get your own blanket!”

We might laugh but, love is never taking each other for granted, love is never selfish or self-seeking.

P and A we are here today to share in your joy, and to help celebrate your wedding today. We pray that your marriage will be a long and happy one, and that your love will indeed be 4EVA.

May your marriage be filled with God's love, and may you share God's love with those you come into contact with, may you give generously of yourselves to the world in which you live, and may you find yourselves richly blessed in all you do as husband and wife.

Amen.