Last week, my wife and I celebrated 34 years of marriage in Paradise. On July 5th, our anniversary, we hiked 8.5 miles on our anniversary from Pyramid Peak Cross Country area (near Mirror Lake and Indian Henry’s Hunting Ground) in Mount Rainier National Park to Longmire, where we hopped into our car and drove up to Paradise, to stay overnight at Paradise Inn.
This week we celebrated the marriage of our son and his wife, Thomas and Laura, who were married at Chapman Point beach in Cannon Beach, Oregon on July 11, 2015. The day they were married was the windiest and wettest day of the summer thus far, making for an exciting and adventurous wedding experience.
At their wedding, I spoke to them about the journey of marriage, referring to the scripture passages they had friends read during the ceremony, including 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and Philippians 2:1. I encouraged Thomas and Laura:
1) Travel Light: know what to leave behind, including the 8 unhealthy and heavy items listed in 1 Corinthians 13 of “what love is not”: leave behind or seek to shed your marriage of envy, boastfulness, arrogance, dishonoring others (especially our spouse!), self-seeking, easily angered, keeping record of wrongs (let God do all that accounting), and delighting in evil. There are many other weights which need to be shed in order to better travel light in the journey of marriage. “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1).
2) Pack the “essentials”: know what to carry with you in your married life journey. Pack well and wisely. When hiking in the backcountry for a week, we always bring along the ten essentials, those items which could tip the balance between life and death in the face of crisis and survival. Marriage essentials from 1 Corinthians 13: patience, kindness, rejoicing in the truth, protecting one another, trust, hope, and perseverance. From Paul’s letter to the Colossians, we may add compassion, humility, gentleness, forbearance, forgiveness, and love.
3) Travel together with Christ: Jesus shows us the way to walk in the Philippians 2 poem, where we see him emptying himself, humbling himself, becoming a servant, living in obedience, and his willingness to lay down his life by dying on the cross. When we travel with Christ, we too are called to empty ourselves, humble ourselves, and become like Christ. As we travel with Christ together in the journey of marriage, we welcome the stranger along the way, open our hearts to listen and learn from God’s Word, open our homes to welcome others, break bread together, and our eyes are opened with surprise to the amazing presence of Christ in our midst, as we go out daily to share Easter joy with others.
Many blessings to all you who walk in the journey of marriage!