The passage in Matthew talks about using our hearts and our minds and our souls to love as God calls us to love. It is the ultimate back up plan, because married life is committed love, it is wonderful love - it is not always easy love. The passage says heart, soul and mind; I am here to tell you that all three aren’t always on board at the same time.
That is why the Song of Solomon passage is so powerful. It talks about a love that is strong and fierce – a love that survives, a love that is worth fighting for through the spats and the selfishness and the tugs put on our lives by the world we live in. So maybe your heart isn’t into it, you darn well better make sure then that your mind is. I guarantee if you tap into one, then the rest will follow.
Today we celebrate all of these loves and lean on the perfect love of our God who gives us the gift of a passion and a desire to be together. The vows you will take are a response to God’s love for you and a commitment to one another. These vows are a declaration of love and the foundation of your commitment to one another.
Above is a section of the wedding meditation I did last year for my sister and now brother-in-law. In this case, the Scriptures they chose were Song of Solomon 8:6-7 and Matthew 22:35-40 but no matter what is chosen I always have two goals to achieve in my wedding meditations.
a) Marriage is an 'all-in' committment.
b) If you treat marriage like an 'all-in' committment, you will greatly benefit from the most amazing relationship you will ever have in your life.
Some may think it is odd that someone who is divorced would think these things are important to include but I was always 'all-in' committed to my marriage. The counselor had to pry my hands from our marriage's dead corpse.
And so as I hear folks in California, Florida and New Mexico among others talk about the sanctity of marriage, I agree with them... but think they have found the wrong place to make their point.
Our entire country needs to stop treating marriage - among other things - like something that is fine when it is easy and fun but easily disposed of when it gets difficult. I am FAR more hung up on that than I am about what genders involve themselves in a committed relationship such as marriage.
I think marriage and how great it can be is one of the best kept secrets out there. I loved being married and during what I thought was our darkest hour I remember thinking that one day we would come out on the other side and be all the stronger for it. Sadly in my case it got a lot darker although I did come out on the other side stronger.... but I digress.
As part of my attempts to be more pro-active I have been pushing some of my own parishioners a little bit on this issue. I ask them what they are so afraid of?
Don't they think God can handle it?
Why are they witholding one of the sweeter things in life from, in one case, their son.
We are a society that seems to want freedom... but not for that guy over there. You have probably heard by now that the great irony of the get the vote out effort in California is that 7 out of 10 of African-Americans voted against Proposition 8. This led Jon Stewart to quip on his show, "Free at last! Free at last.... hey! Where do you two boys think you're going?"
I used to not know where to stand or how to stand on this issue. The great irony is that the conservative, baptist, "family values" family that I once was connected to made the final, convincing argument to me that everyone should have the right to marry the one they choose, and everyone should treat it as a privilege to do so.