yesterday (saturday 8.16.08) i had the privilege of participating in the beautiful wedding of Jessika Babcock and Emmanuel Perez. (aren't they a cute couple!)
this was the second wedding that i've had a part in conducting - the first was my sister's last year. hmm, two consecutive years of weddings in august. whose will i be a part of next year?? hint, hint @rhondaberghoff ;-)
i played the part of the translator in this wedding, although i guess i did officiate part of it since the bride decided to do her vows solely in spanish for the benefit of the grooms family. i'm "pretty good" at translating general conversational spanish, but i'd forgotten how much specific vocabulary is used in a wedding that i was at a loss for words pretty frequently. everyone kept telling me (and to deb) how well i did, but i think it was mainly the english speakers who didn't know how to speak spanish so didn't know how much i was messing up.
this wedding was special to me because of the fact that it was the first wedding of two people who were in our youth ministry when we first arrived at this church. jessika had just finished her freshman year of high school when we first met her, she was 15."1 i didn't really get to know emmanuel until maybe jessika's senior year of high school.2
since first meeting jessika i've seen her grow into a beautiful young woman of God. she worships God passionately (both on and off the stage - the girl can sing!) she cares for people genuinely and strives to include others. there have been occasions where her walk with God has challenged areas in my devotional life. she's been a part of the church's worship team, performed in Fine Arts Festivals, graduated high school, did a year internship with missionaries in mexico, and then returned back home where she now leads the youth ministry she was once a part of.
as for emmanuel, he also has a humble heart before God. he has musical talents and abilities; and he can also preach. but he is also humble and always giving honor to God for the abilities he has.
emmanuel was the lucky one in a line of suitors that tried to win jessika's heart. and as the youth pastor in her final years of high school i got to see many of them try. and i tried to warn her about some of them too. in the end she realized that she wanted to marry someone who on a fundamental level she was friends with.
after-all "that lovin' feeling" comes and goes after the honeymoon is over. love is ultimately a choice that needs to be made every day. so if you aren't friends even when the loving feelings aren't there one day then your marriage won't last long. eventually the feelings will come back if you've chosen to act lovingly towards that other person; whether that's your spouse, child, parent, friend, __________.
on sunday morning deb and i prayed for Emmanuel and Jessika and their new marriage. we prayed that they would grow in love and grace both with God and each other.
during the reception they had a time for people to give them marriage advice. you'll have to ask them yourself whether they followed the advice i gave them then. but if i were to give them two more nuggets of wisdom i would say:
1) allow each other grace. grace is what says in the difficult times, "i know we're having problems right now either because of circumstances, choices, attitudes, or miscommunication but i'm going to believe the best in you anyways. i'm going to trust that you're not trying to make my life miserable right now on purpose. you truly are on "my team" and we need to work this out together."
2) have lots of sex. ok, i truly am trying to be serious here. God gave sex as a good gift for a man and woman within marriage. numerous books have been written on the subject of how men and women view sex differently, and you can research that on your own. but the bottom line is that jessika when you take care of emmanuel's needs in this area of your marriage, he will take care of you in every area. and emmanuel when you take care of jessika's needs in your marriage, she'll take care of you in this area.
if you would like more explanation on that previous paragraph feel free to call/email/or visit with either deb or i. just believe us. sex is like the grease (no pun intended) in your marriage engine that keeps the friction to a minimum.
so what was your best marriage advice? what would you say to a newlywed couple? sound off in the comments.
you can also wish jessika and emmanuel congratulations directly on their facebook pages.
// today i'm thankful for:
1. a new family formed
2. leftover wedding cake
3. one more week of summer vacation
4. our fabulous lifegroup
5. this week looks to be cooler than last week was
- 1) technically i guess i met her back when i was in college and the ministry team i was on did a service at her parent's church in Marblemount, WA. it was a tiny little town and though i don't remember much i do remember the pastor's kids running around playing after the service. i'm guessing i met her then but she would have been 8 so i don't remember her that well.
- 2) although i think technically i also had met/seen him before too. his dad is the pastor of hispanic congregation here in grandview that is part of the same denomination as was my father. so i'm sure there was bound to be times that i saw him (as a kid) running around the church network services.