We sat on the beach after the ceremony drinking in the specialness of the moment. The couple just exchanged their vows, all giddy and happy; now off to sign the certificate. Breathing in the love captured in the moments before, I turned to my husband of 24 years and asked, “Doesn’t this remind you of our own wedding?”
Feeling just a bit playful, he replied, “Oh yes, the sand reminds me of the carpeting in the chapel and the view out to the lake reminds me of the altar.”
“No, silly,” I replied. “Not the setting, but the love. The courage it takes for a young couple to stand in front of their family and friends to say their vows – to promise until death do us part.”
What makes wedding days special for me isn’t just the love of the bride and groom, but the opportunity to revisit our romance with my husband; recapturing the exquisiteness of lace and veil, trembling hands and slipped on wedding bands.
To me, the real heroes on a wedding day aren’t the bride and groom. It is the couples in the congregation who have lived that kind of courage. Those who made just that same vow and were brave enough to let it age. The pair who takes the difficult days – the trials and the challenges – and stays faithful to those promises so easily spoke on a wedding day. A couple who finishes well and in that wild, lifelong affair affirm to the new bride and groom that you can love your spouse more after fifty years than on your wedding day.
A marriage bathed in love is possible because true love isn’t found.
It is carved. Carved out of the wedding day covenant. Carved out of holding on to God and dying to self to become one with your spouse. Carved out of all the sacrifices needed to seal that love not just with wedding kisses, but the true test of time.
A love like that cannot be forced. It falls softly. The days and years, they teach you things. Time builds the bond that makes the eyes still linger and the fingertips still softly seek each other so that at weddings, you can relive your memories and keep the flame alive. Because it is worth falling in love all over again.
Love is more than words at an altar. Love comes in the surrender – in the falling. That’s the start. But true love takes a lifetime of braiding three strands together, with Love Himself at the center.
The strength of love is not found at the altar, but carved only by a trail of years.