I’ll show what it’s like when someone comes to me, hears my words, and puts them into practice. It’s like a person building a house by digging deep and laying the foundation on bedrock. When the flood came, the rising water smashed against that house, but the water couldn’t shake the house because it was well built. – Luke 6:47-48
One of the real privileges of ministry is the blessing of being with people at pivotal, deeply meaningful, often emotional times of their lives. Weddings, births, baptisms, anniversaries, emergencies, surgeries, funerals; life and death; grief and celebration; laughter and tears; the celebrations of life, the tragedy of loss, and sometimes the discovery of something brand new.
2020’s summer of COVID-19 is putting a damper on much of this, keeping us away from hospitals, keeping worship (for the time being) virtual, postponing weddings, moving funerals from the sanctuary to the graveside. But, little by little, we are seeing some cautious change.
Which brings me to the second anniversary celebration of the weekend. Saturday’s Exotic Car & Classy Marriages post featured Jim and Sue Crawford’s 50th; then Sunday our friends Keith and Resi celebrated 40 years of marriage by renewing their wedding vows.
We met in Resi and Keith’s back garden, a serene lakeside location. It was a small, intimate gathering, one of the more tender and heartfelt vow renewals I have witnessed. Their son Nathan played a hymn, I sang James Taylor’s Shower the People (you love with love), Rebekah offered powerful words of faith, and the happy couple spoke beautiful recommitments into the late-afternoon stillness. But the true focus of the ceremony was God’s providence, mercy, and grace, and the life-shaping reality of Keith and Resi’s authentic faith resonated in every phrase, every musical chord, every heart that beat around the circle of trust, commitment, and faithful love.
“Rebekah and I often talk about our marriage in this way,” I told Resi before the ceremony: “Back when we were dating and first married we fell in love. Eventually we had to pick ourselves off the floor! We have been standing in love ever since.”
There are many approaches to building a foundation. But marriages that remain solid for 20, 30, 40, 50 years and more absolutely require the firm foundation of faith, standing not just on God’s promises but on us keeping our promises – to God as well as to one another.
I’ll say this – and maybe I’m bias because Rebekah and I are celebrating 41 years this summer – but there is a rich exquisiteness and artistry in mature relationships that outshines the fresh-faced, unwrinkled attractiveness of youth. Our friends Resi and Keith are, simply put, a beautiful witness to authentic, time-tested, love.
“I’ll show what it’s like when someone comes to me, hears my words, and puts them into practice.” – Jesus
So, thanks for including us. And thank you for the testimony, thank you for the way your relationship tells the truth about faithful commitment, and thank you for modeling the hope and the promise that looks so good on both of you.
Because love always wins – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.