"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A Good Place to Be

Weddings have been a big part of our summer. I have lost count of how many we have attended. Well, if I stopped to think about it I suppose I could figure it out. ;-) I love weddings. They are a special part of life and one of the things that bring a spark and joy to our days.

I suppose there have been many special and unique moments from each of the weddings we have attended. But none gave me pause like the one we attended last night. None had a moment that inspired me to write. The wedding last night most certainly did.

Throughout the reception, as is the norm, the Best Man gave a speech, the Maid of Honor spoke and we heard the thoughts of a guest speaker that was close to the bride. I think the Father of the Bride also said a few words. All were very meaningful and the Best Man’s speech was especially entertaining. One could tell each that spoke had deep love for the couple.

Also, as is the norm, there was a good deal of poking fun at the groom. The Best Man was hilarious. The bride’s special friend was very funny too. He was also very emotional as he spoke which was incredibly touching. But warn and poke fun at the groom he did. He is a triple black belt (or something like that) and he was a member of military Special Forces for 32 years. It was hilarious when he told the groom, if he ever hurt the bride, he would find him and take him out…or something equivalent to that.

I laughed and enjoyed every moment. I hadn’t given any of it too much thought, having come to expect this kind of banter toward the groom at most weddings I have attended. It is all in fun. And most grooms have come to expect it and they take it very well, laughing and nodding their heads in earnest agreement. They also want to protect their bride! It is what they have been taught to do and this is the woman they love; most, more than life itself.

But I wanted to stand and cheer when the Bride’s mama stood to say a few words. It was obviously unplanned, and she later told me that she felt it was the Lord that prompted her to do it. I believe her. I felt the Lord in her words. Below is a pretty close paraphrase of what she said:

“It seems like we have been doing a pretty good job of roasting [the groom],” she stated. We have poked a lot of fun at him. But I just want to say a few words on his behalf since no one else has.” And she proceeded to say some of the things that she so appreciated about this young man and the reason why she is so thankful he had come into her daughter’s life.

It was beyond beautiful. And it struck a chord with me that hit deep. I have long believed our men go largely unappreciated in today’s society. They are mocked and distrusted and even belittled. I remember years ago, upon the beginning of the women’s lib movement, my dad taught me the harm this would bring to our society. My dad, (who has 3 daughters and one son) pointed out the belittling of daddies and men that was taking place on television and in the movies. He was absolutely correct and pointed out several examples. Thirty years later or so, James Dobson caught up with my dad and said the same thing. I took it to heart. I had written about this subject in the book I wrote about my dad. And I knew these two men observed something important and were trying to impart truth.

Since that time, I have watched with concern the world’s way gaining place in the Christian community. We have worried so much about our daughters, we have neglected our sons. Oh sure, we have taught our sons to treat women like the Bible instructs us, but I believe we have protected our daughters to a place that we have failed to teach them the respect due our men and sons. We are quick to point out God instructs the man to leave his father and mother, but we fail to point out the same is true for our daughters. I had noted the pastor of this bride and groom did a good job of pointing out the roles of each during the ceremony. I was impressed. But too often the words and even the Scripture go unheard and we choose the world’s way, instead. 

This wedding and this special mama of the bride spoke words that washed all of that concern away from me - if only for the moment. I could not have been more proud of this mom. And I am pretty sure I was the first to clap and woot when she finished her words. A pastor’s daughter sitting next to me just as quickly joined me.

"This needed to be said," I commented to the young woman when I saw her join my cheers.

"Yes, and it needed to be said by a woman," my intuitive new friend responded.

Many of us were in agreement that our sons have been neglected. Some do understand men are to be respected and encouraged in their endeavor to provide for, decide for, and protect their families. That is no easy task and can only be done properly when following God’s instruction and direction.

Our young women need to offer support for the man they choose. The Bible tells us they are to act as a helpmeet to their spouse as planned by God. They need to be proud and excited to take a new name and join a new family. I wish I could remember the way a friend of mine explained it not too long ago. She was thoughtful in her observations and eloquent in her words, as she spoke of the place a man should have in a wife's heart. I do not have that eloquence.

Further, each family should embrace the new member with love and acceptance. Obedience to God’s word is key. Only then, will both find true happiness and be a part of a union that works. The pendulum does swing in our community, and I think it is time to come back to where God actually intended us to be.

God uses marriage in a symbolic measure of His love and plan for us. The church – His bride. He loved His bride enough to die. But then what is the bride to do? And no, I am not saying the bride should worship her groom. But love, honor and obey is a good place for her to be…for her own benefit and the benefit of her someday family.

Something to think about, anyway.

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