About eight years ago, I met a lovely family from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. There were a mom and pop and five lovely children, three boys and two girls. We became fast friends and these people, Mike and Nancy Visser and their beautiful kids, stayed with us and at our place in Sandpoint, Idaho and in Rancho Mirage many times.
Time has passed. We have become better and better friends. Now, the Vissers’ son is about to get married in Calgary. Because of my wife’s health, traveling there is out of the question. But the Vissers asked me to send some words to be read at the reception. Especially in light of my wife’s health issues (not fatal at all, but cruel), I sat down at my keyboard next to my wife and wrote the following:
The married couple, man and woman, is the most basic building block of civilization. Upon it rests the organized, civilized future of the human race. Without it, with making babies without a stable family in which to raise them, is chaos, crime, and despair. Marriage between a man and a woman is literally a matter of life and death.
Just so, a strong, loving marriage is the bedrock of the life of the married man and woman. With a good marriage, loneliness is forever banished. Fear — a constant of life — can be faced and faced down.
In an honest marriage without secrets there is power to confront every challenge — physical, financial, spiritual. Even political. The bond of a good marriage is the bond of physics. Basically unbreakable.
From this day forth, you have job and duty above all others. To love, honor and obey each other. To respect. To understand. To forgive. To defend. To forsake all others.
From this day forth, protecting and defending each other, respecting each other, takes precedence over every other consideration — even children because marriage is prior to and superior to children.
You will — if you play by the rules — now be together forever, for what is bound on earth is bound in heaven. So the Lord promises us.
God bless you and keep you in love and devotion to each other and to God who has brought you together and upon whose providence we all rely.
You have much work to do.
And much of it requires faith in times of trial. But you do not work alone because here on earth God’s work must surely be our own.
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