May 22, 1971 stands as the happiest day of my life. Why wouldn’t it be? After all, I said “I do” to the love of my life, and our hearts were filled with hope, dreams, and the anticipation of a wonderful future and life together. But I was also sobered by this incredible sense of responsibility. As I glanced at my parents sitting on the front row, my heart was filled with gratitude to God for the example and model of love and commitment to their marriage and to each other. I remember thinking, “Oh God, help Karen and me to have the same thing.” Then after the ceremony, Pop whispered in my ear, “C. W., remember, you asked to marry Karen. Whatever it takes, you make sure you take care of her in every way.” I must admit that my dad put the fear of God in me. But that wasn’t his intention. He was reminding me that next to my relationship with Christ, I had just made the most important commitment of my life.
Our wedding was beautiful. All weddings are beautiful. As a pastor, I love doing weddings. But it is easy to get caught up in the ceremony, the celebration, and all the trappings of the big day, and forget the reality that a marriage—the foundation of civilization—is taking place.
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