The combination of stress and excitement that accompany a big wedding cannot be matched by any normal life activity. Even those who try to have a small, intimate wedding become overwhelmed by the details of their vision of a simple event. So I especially enjoyed helping my niece Sarah with her well-planned wedding.
Sarah married Bobby Castro Saturday at the Patrick Ranch in Durham, California, the rural community where she grew up. The expected glorious California spring weather turned cold, windy, and eventually wet. So three hours before the wedding we moved everything into a barn, and with the help of family and friends transformed it into a beautiful setting.
Thirteen of us, Sarah’s relatives, traveled from Tennessee, Indiana, and Kentucky to participate in the festivities. She’s always lived across the country from us so we haven’t known her as well as her sister Beth who attended college in Tennessee. We were positively impressed with her organized wedding plans, her graciousness to all who came, and her concern that everyone be well taken care of. Her new in-laws adore her and we could see why. Bobby is a good match for her—a fun-loving person himself, but willing to let her enjoy the limelight at any time.
All this is prologue to explaining the best wedding gift I gave them—and one I give to every newly-married couple I care about. Right now, she probably values her Cuisinart food processor more, but the other gift does not require a credit card, or gift-wrapping, or finding a place to store or display it.
The best wedding gift Steve and I are giving them is an intangible one: we pray for them daily for the first year of their marriage. We pray for their continued love for each other, for them to be unselfish and thoughtful in their marriage, and for them to show appreciation to each other for the small daily actions that make life smoother for each of them. We pray that they will put God first and serve him together.
We tell them about this gift, and on their first anniversary we send a card reminding them that we followed through on our promise. We hope this will encourage them in both their marriage and their spiritual lives. I encourage all you pray-ers to give this gift to couples you love. It obviously will help them, but you also will have a greater awareness of them and their life together. This is not a patented idea—I freely offer it to you to use as needed!