This summer we will have three weddings in our family. Our grandson, Daniel, the second of our grandchildren, is marrying Molly on May 28 in Midland, Texas. They are both still in school, and will continue their education--Molly in nursing and Daniel in law. Daniel also plays a mean guitar and has several guitar students. I love to hear him play.
Our younger daughter Cindy will marry Ben on July 1. Cindy has two children, a boy aged 7 and a girl aged 14, and Ben has three daughters, ages 7, 13, and 18. Fortunately, all the kids get along great. So they are going to have a full house! Our older daughter Debbie will marry Owen on July 9. Debbie has one boy still at home, who will be a junior next year. Her other three children are either in college or out on their own, as are Owen's two children. A lot of adjustments will be made by all these family members after all these weddings.
As I was reading the paper this morning, I noticed the page about weddings and it got me thinking. Weddings used to be pretty commonplace. Our families had been through the Great Depression and money was scarce. People just got married, rather than spending a lot of money on big weddings and great parties. At least, that's the way it was in my neck of the woods.
I read the questions asked to the couples featured in the paper and thought about how that related to me and my husband. How did you meet? How did you get engaged? How did you choose your ring?
We met in college in June, and were married in November of that same year. We were in a Baptist college in Texas, he was a preacher and I knew God wanted me to be a preacher's wife. We saw no reason to wait around, we decided to get on with our life. Not a lot of planning went into our wedding. We sent out invitations, I wore a wedding dress and veil, and my mother took care of the reception, which was at our house. My dad officiated at the ceremony at our little church, and one of my college friends was the only bridesmaid. One of my husband's brothers was his best man.
My husband related a funny experience before the wedding. He and his brother, George, were waiting in a little room before the ceremony began. His brother went over to a small window, opened it, and said, "Hey, boy, come over here and stick your head out this window." My husband said, "Why?" George said, "That's your last breath of free air. Enjoy it while you can, because after tonight, it's all over!" He still married me, in spite of George's dire prediction.
After the reception we drove to our little duplex in the town where we attended college. On Sunday we moved our church membership to a church where a friend was pastor, and on Monday we went back to class. Oh, and on Saturday night after the wedding we drove to my husband's hometown of Fort Worth, bought a used refrigerator, and moved it into our apartment.
How did we get engaged? He said "Will you?" and I said, "Yes."
How did we choose our rings? We only had a little money, so we went to the local jewelry shop in Decaur, Texas, where we attended college, and bought matching wedding bands that we could pay cash for. An engagement ring was out of the question for us. We were still paying for college! And we knew that Seminary was coming next.
In spite of the "regular" wedding and the inexpensive reception, our wedding was memorable, and we've stayed married for 56 years.
My parents were married in a small ceremony and they wore regular clothes, not even wedding finery. They were married for more than 60 years before my dad passed away.
It's wonderful to have those great memories, a big, beautiful wedding, and many friends wishing you well. We didn't do it that way, but we are glad those who want to and are able to, can. But the real thing is not the wedding, it's the marriage. If love and commitment are present, and if each one honors the other over self, the marriage will last. If God is part of the union, and if the couple worships together and prays together, they will stay together. Selfishness has no place in a lasting marriage. It's a lot of give and take, but mostly give. If each partner gives and gives, willingly, not grudgingly, then the marriage will be a long and happy one.
I wish that for my grandson and for each of my daughters and their mates. I hope they have as great a marriage as we have had. We didn't have much money, but we've had a wonderful life!