Dear Katrina and Dathan,
Your request was simple… Dad, can you also fill out a card at our engagement party, “Advice and Wishes”? When I began, I soon found that a postcard size wouldn’t cut it. So as I’ve been known to do… I made a post.
This one is specific for you, with love.
Always remain friends… as citizens of the Kingdom, viewing each other as fellow image bearers of God and recipients of that Kingdom together.
Your holy marriage is an opportunity to display what Christ’s love for his church looks like in that Kingdom and how that love is given and received.
Deeper than just friends you become the closest, most intimate relationship experience on this side of heaven as the ‘two become one flesh’… by design of Creator God. It really doesn’t get any better than this (and improves with time)!
Seek oneness relationally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, and guard with vigilance against anything that might come between you and cause division.
In marriage you have the daily opportunity to practice and grow in love towards your best friend and lover everyday. (And you get to sleep with your best friend every night!) I say ‘practice’ as in working towards perfecting it for the rest of your life. I’ve heard and read that it takes 50 years or more to perfect a marriage. And you my dear children, Katrina and Dathan, are at the very beginning of the journey.
As you learn to love one another put the needs of the other first — not neglecting your own — but putting the needs of the other first. If there are times that you fail, and there will be, be quick to forgive, slow to speak and slow to get angry. Keep the space between conflict and conflict-resolve as short as possible.
Above all remain united in your love together through a deepening affection and appreciation of who Jesus is and how he so graciously loved us first and acted to forgive us first. And so we love and forgive each other as He crafts a sanctifying work in us. Again, marriage is where you practice this first hand. Practice makes perfect. And our heavenly father calls us to be perfect through Jesus Christ. So in Him you can and will do this.
Always maintain Islands of Clarity where you can weave key aspects into your marriage with intention, such as,
- keeping prayer forefront in your life,
- keeping communication open,
- seeking God’s face with intention,
- learning how to love the other as they best feel loved,
- assessing how you are loving others together,
- avoiding drifting apart,
- and seeking to bless each other in your differences.
God bless you in your sprouting and growing through your engagement as you look forward to union in marriage. May He cause you to flourish as an abundant new family tree in His Kingdom, bearing the fruit of abundance in his Name – fruit that will last.
It’s been a delight to watch you grow together even up till now. May God with His Spirit continue to be the source of your filling and overflowing from now till death do you part!
With Love, Dad