It was all so wonderfully romantic.
It was to be a June wedding conducted in a natural Eden setting. Somber oaks and sycamores presided over a quite glen, colorfully dotted with wildflowers. And tucked away in a private cove was a cute little gazebo, just large enough to stage a wedding party while the area around could hold chairs for a small number of guests. It was perfect.
Or so it would seem.
Bruce stood with his best man, apart from the small gathering of guests, chatting to purge away the nervousness. His tie was uncomfortable and he was loathe to wear it at all, but it was a necessary accessory. He wiped at perspiration dotting his forehead, thinking "June is hot and humid; anyone should be out of their mind to plan an outdoor wedding in June."
The guests were congregating in the shade on one side, promenading slowly as it moved around the perimeter and they endeavored to keep in step with it. The wild flowers which provided so much natural color were now attracting gnats, bees, and other flying thingies.
Voices hushed into appreciative smiles and nods as Wendy made her dramatic appearance and carefully made her way to the gazebo. She clung tightly to her father’s steady arm as her heels sank into the moist earth and a mischievous wind whipped at her veil. She bit her bottom lip, as she felt her picture-book wedding was just one mis-step away from the next episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos.
The minister spoke loudly, “If anyone knows any reason why these two should not be united?” Six-geese-a-laying chose that pivotal moment to offer their fowl opinion, producing a ripple of subdued laughter among the group. Wendy rolled her eyes swallowing a sigh that conveyed a “what else can happen?” look.
Little girls begin planning their wedding at age four, thinking of horses and pennants and castles, not to mention flowers, cakes, invitations, and, oh yes--a beautiful white dress with lacy frills and what not. The future bride carefully dictates the smallest details of the ceremony: which songs to be played, where people will sit, and what will be served at the reception.
The groom’s job is simply to show up and say, "Tell me where to stand, what to say, and when to say it." This time-tested formula has spanned the generations as the most effective method to begin husband training right from the very start.
Time slowed as the minister turned an intimidating gaze upon Bruce.
“Bruce, do you take Wendy to be your wife? Do you promise to help Wendy find her keys, her purse and her shoes? Will you gallantly come to her rescue when she has locked these keys in the car for the fourth time? Will you smile at dinner time and eat whatever experiment she has conducted in her laboratory?”
Bruce was ready with the answer he had rehearsed, but the question seemed oddly different than what he had expected. Hesitantly, he mumbled, “Yeah, I guess so.” Then he added more forcefully “I do.”
The minister smiled, “Trust me son, these are the real details of married life.”
“Wendy, do you take Bruce to be your husband? Do you promise to look the other way as his pile of favorite socks and sweatshirts flourishes and blossoms on the bedroom floor? Do you promise to attempt to gain some understanding of baseball and football and other sports which Bruce’s world will revolve around? Will you continue to love him when compliments fail to gush forth or when he responds with honesty about your new haircut?”
Wendy hesitated, but then nodded, “Yes, I do.”
“As God has authored this union which no man can sunder, I happily pronounce you to be husband and wife. As you go forward from this day, may God grant to you a ministry that will utilize your gifts and fulfill your passions, allowing you to serve in His kingdom side-by-side.”
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