Wedding Love: A Shelter, a Playground, and a Temple

Wedding Love: A Shelter, a Playground, and a Temple

(This is a wedding homily given by Steve Larson on May 30, 2015, for Abigail Eisley and Nathan Mitchell)

(After a few introductions and greetings)… Rather than marital advice, Nathan and Abigail,  I will instead offer you, just for a few minutes, a glimpse of what I believe marital love grows into. Here’s what you have to look forward to. Here is what you will grow into, with God’s help, as you daily develop a common history. As you care for each other, you will discover that your love is a shelter, your love is a playground, and your love is a temple.

Love is a Shelter. You now have the beginnings of an intimate partnership that will fortify you against the elements, whatever may harass you outside your home, whether people or situations. You now know that when you walk through the door, you each will have someone who believes in you, who has your back, who will stand by you no matter what. You two will now build a refuge for each other, a relationship of kindness, forgiveness and faithfulness. You will now see how gratifying it is to keep each other updated, not only about what you’re feeling but also what you’re thinking. There is a fascinating oneness that comes about when you are emotionally and intellectually present to each other. You will discover that as you bear each other’s burdens in your shelter of trust, your love will be satisfying at a deep, deep level.

Love is a Playground. Congratulations, because you will find that your growing love will have an unquenchable spirit of play. You will discover that true joy is communal, joy is a team game, and you’re the team. You will see that, just as sharing your sorrows cuts the misery in half, sharing your joys will double your joyfulness. Marital love that embraces joy will have a light-heartedness that is unique in its playfulness. Your mutual trust will often express itself in childlike laughter. In this fast-paced, productive culture, you will discover how important it is to have recess together, making sure you leave space in your marriage for a field of play. You will soon see how healthy it is to drop everything at a moment’s notice to simply celebrate each other. Your deepening love for each other will develop a culture of playfulness in your home that is a joy to behold.

Love is a Temple. Each of you, made in God’s image, are binding together a oneness that is doubly sacred, and is in fact a sacrament. You are creating a spiritual friendship that will be a home for the Divine Presence, a space for the very Spirit of God. Where God is present, truth and grace will remain within reach. You will experience much comfort when you share your doubts, dreams and deeply held beliefs. As you develop this common spiritual history, you will discover a bond like no other. You will find a love that is not me-first, merely in search of self-fulfillment. And your love will not be we-first, wearing blinders that shut out the rest of the world. Instead your love will be He-first, where the Almighty God is the centerpiece of your home. In a sense your home will become a domestic church, a little sanctuary, a place where God dwells, where you each grow in the Faith, where your respect for the spiritual realities of the other will result in approaching your spouse with a kind of familiar reverence.

So, Nathan and Abigail, as you discover that your love is a shelter, a playground and a temple, rest assured that your marriage is a promise founded on a promise, promise upon promise, your daily promise to each other based on God’s daily promise to you… “Your help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over His people will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you – The Lord is your shade at your right hand – The Lord will keep you from harm – He will watch over your life together; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121). Amen.

I prayed a blessing at the end of the ceremony, from the 3rd chapter of Ephesians: Nathan and Abigail, “May the Father, out of His glorious riches, strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – That you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Amen.

3 Replies to “Wedding Love: A Shelter, a Playground, and a Temple”

  1. Great metaphors. Interesting they all make marriage a “place.” Kind of a spiritual location of growth in various ways.

  2. All three are key but I personally love ‘love is a playground.’ Too many times we see the first thing to go in a marriage is this and then it is no longer fun and you start looking to others and not your marriage for fun. You always here that marriage is not ‘fun’ until the guys have their bro time or girls night out etc.