To the Groom and his Bride

From Mom on August 6, 2022:

Today we gather to begin the joyous celebration of Lane and Pam becoming a couple. Weddings may be the only time when all the friends and family from both the bride and groom gather together in one place.

You who gather with us are the folks that are most important to them and who have played a huge part in helping them become the people they are, and in preparing them to be each other’s partner in life. Thank you for being here.

Lane, we are so proud of you. You made us parents 31 years ago. We had to learn to parent on you. Sorry for that. We made mistakes. We aren’t perfect, but you sure make us look good.

When you were very young, your unique gifts and talents were slow to emerge because you tended to imitate everyone around you. But as you’ve grown in confidence of who God made you to be your incredible talents have shone brightly and fiercely.

You bring life, exuberance, and laughter wherever you go. You speak boldly and kindly to strangers making all feel included and comfortable. You work hard to save lives every day. You make careful choices and plans and are diligent and disciplined in your daily habits. You create beautiful music and sing with joy.

Mostly you love Jesus and that makes us happy and proud.

I prayed many years for the right spouse for Lane, if that was God’s will. We knew that she would need to be level-headed, calm, maybe quieter than Lane, complementing, rather than competing with his exuberance.

Pam, you are that. You are a gift to Lane and to us. We see your love for Jesus too, your commitment to serve him. We love that you value and work to preserve our family’s roots in bible translation. And we know there are many more treasures in you that we have yet to discover. And we look forward to that.

We see your love for each other. We know it is God inspired. And so it is time to get this knot tied.

From Dad, on August 7, 2022:

Lane, you are about to enter a marriage—not a cath lab! You would be wise to treat Pam as your wife and not as some patient you’re prepping for a procedure. You know all about the heart—how it works, how it breaks, how it repairs. However, this knowledge will fail when applied to Pam’s real heart. You want to esteem her better than yourself and love her as Jesus has loved you and gave his life for you. What does this look like day-to-day? From my counseling chair, I have observed:

  • It means learning from your wife, her influence, her emotions. Her smarts and her ability to see connections to things and to classify them. Mostly this means listening—really listening. 
  • This also means being more assertive, getting in touch with your feelings and stating them.
  • It is to a husband’s advantage to NOT wait until The List is presented. Instead, anticipate her, bring up the topic before she does—beat her to the punch as you serve each other and submit to each other. 

Lane, you have grown into a wonderful, committed man. I’ve had a close up view of this growth. I affirm your eager spirit to learn and seek advice, mostly about being close to God. You are fiercely loyal—loyal to your friends, loyal to your faith, loyal to your profession, your family. I’m certain this will be even more so with Pam.

I have witnessed your tenacity in dealing with deep issues at the heart of your soul, seeking God in the midst of struggle and doubt. Such tenacity will serve you well as you encounter the dips in married life. Continue to be this way for Pam and for your marriage.

Pam, likewise, you are entering a marriage—not a library! At times you will be tempted to classify Lane, categorize him, archive him, or just want to understand why he did what he just did or just said. But in the end you can’t conveniently explain or neatly catalog his thoughts and actions. Our key passage (Philippians 2:3–5) challenges you to esteem him more than yourself. So what is your approach to loving this husband of yours? From my counseling chair, I have made the following observations:

  • Embrace your role as an equally committed ally for Lane and your marriage, coming alongside particularly in his areas of weakness. Work as a team in leading the home.
  • It’s all about approach, negotiating timing and tone. While women are the ones who more often see the issues in the marriage, they can sometimes overwhelm their husband with their valid list at an inappropriate time.
  • It may perhaps be best, at times, to wait for him to practice his assertiveness skills.

Pam, I don’t know you yet as well as I hope to, but I’ve picked up on a few things which should serve you well in marriage. You present as a patient person, and this fruit of the Spirit will indirectly influence Lane and strengthen your marriage.

Your stable and steady personality is a great complement to Lane’s more outward, spontaneous approach. Thank you for your calming presence in my son’s life. Be this and more for Lane and your marriage.

Lane and Pam, upon the mystery of God’s love, you can commence with writing, as it were, your new joint history. You each have your individual story, and you now assimilate these into “ya’lls” co-authored story. Additionally, you are part of God’s larger story. You have chosen from the outset of your dating relationship to proceed God’s way—your foundation for a lifetime of relating. 

Always remember that God is the third and supreme co-author of the Lane and Pam Story, where actually your history is HisStory.

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20–21 NIV

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