This past weekend, I met with my nephew (Paul) and his fiance (Sarah Beth).
I get to deliver the homily/sermonette/marriage charge at their wedding in August.
Doing weddings for family members is a job hazard in the ministry. Over the years, I’ve done weddings for my brother, my brother-in-law, and now my nephew. I guess it doesn’t happen quite as often as getting asked to pray before a family or church meal (always), but it happens.
But that’s OK. Back in the day, I used to get all stressed over weddings. I’d try and make the couples jump through all kinds of hoops to see if they met my “criteria” for performing the service. All that did was frustrate the couples and create more anxiety for me. I also found out that my criteria had no real relation to the long term success of the marriage anyway.
So no more. These days, I do my best to share the bible’s view of marriage with the engaged couple and then simply enjoy the chance to get to know them better. I also try my best to make the wedding as stress-free as possible for all involved.
Having said that, I generally believe that couples ought to spend a lot more time thinking about and planning the marriage than they do thinking about and planning the wedding.
After talking with Paul and Sarah Beth, I believe they’ll do just that.