My oldest daughter, Laura, just got married!
To say it was a beautiful ceremony would be an understatement ~ though I imagine most mothers would say that about their daughter’s wedding!
But aside from being an honored guest at the an event celebrating the joining of two lives, I was also unexpectedly blessed to hear the powerful and poignant words from the best man (who happened also to be my oldest son) as he took the microphone at the reception and toasted the new bride and groom. I won’t share all that Ryan said, but (since he left a copy of his speech on my computer desktop,) I will let you be privy to three short excerpts that I believe are particularly applicable to all believers.
First, Ryan said,
The Irish have a saying “never trust a sword to a man who can’t dance”. I think what they mean is that sometimes it is harder to feel than to fight, and sometimes it’s harder to keep your heart open, than shut it.
In today’s volatile world, all believers could benefit from this ancient wisdom. All too often we allow our culture to dictate to us the flawed notion that simply fighting is more important feeling. I realize the danger of basing decisions on too much emotion, but that’s not what’s meant here. The good and right motivations of compassion, forgiveness, love and mercy can be all too easily quashed by the need to be heard, seen, vindicated or validated. Jesus said “As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34) and that often requires us to leave our ‘hearts open’ even when the easiest thing would be to slam the door and turn our backs on those who need us the most.
To his sister, Ryan said:
I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, Laura, but you are my model for what a Christian young lady should be as she passes into adulthood. In fact, the only thing you lack is the objectivity necessary to see what a masterpiece you are.
Often sincere believers spend years in church, study the Bible, read countless spiritual books and develop a good grasp of the Gospel message, but yet cannot apply what they read to themselves. Instead of embracing the truth that ‘old things are gone, and new things have come,’ (2 Cor. 5:17) and there is ‘no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Rom 8:1), Christians continue be weighed down and oppressed by self imposed attitudes and thoughts that are contrary to spiritual reality! Just as Ryan said, we lack the objectivity necessary to see the masterpiece that we have been crafted to be through the transforming power of Jesus! If you are a believer in Christ, you are a brand new creation as the result of your faith in His atoning work at the cross! Accept that wonderful reality and begin to “live a life worthy of the calling (you) have received” (Eph. 4:1)
To Matthew, Ryan concluded:
“To say that you deserve this woman is the highest compliment of which I am capable. I trust you today with the care and love of my sister, one of the most precious gifts I have ever been given. I’ve seen your character over the past two years, and I know you want her to be happy as much as I do. Heaven knows there are a thousand people more qualified to give you marriage advice than me, so I’ll dispense with any under-fermented words of wisdom, save only to love Jesus and obey Him.”
I can’t help but wonder just how much pain and anxiety would be eliminated from our lives if we could take Ryan’s closing remark to heart. If you’re beginning a new family or building a business, if you’re teaching a classroom or training a toddler, if your serving customers or serving dinner, the advice is the same: In all things, love Jesus and obey Him.