Rev. D. K. Schroeder
October 15, 2006
Dear Ken and Karen:
On this the day of your wedding, I have chosen as your wedding text the words recorded by the Old Testament prophet Joshua in chapter 24 verses 14-15:
“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshipped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
One thing a marriage always involves is commitment. The type of commitment that immediately comes to mind is the commitment a man and a woman make to each other.
In the wedding vows, we hear what some of those commitments are: for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.
When a man and a woman come together to be married, it is with a type of love that will cement the relationship regardless of what may happen. The love a husband and wife must have is one that will endure through whatever adversity may happen.
A man and a woman can and do commit to each other when they get married. They do this, at least to some degree, in any type of wedding ceremony. Two people can get married by any judge, or in a rent-a-chapel ceremony in Las Vegas, or by any one of a number of different religious practitioners who claim to be “clergy.”
But today, you have chosen to get married in your church, by me, your Pastor. By doing this, you are showing commitment on two levels.
First, you are committing to each other in the way that God wants you to. So many people today get married with no idea of what it is to really commit to each other. Some feel that you stay married for as long as it is convenient, or until the road gets a little rocky, or until something better comes along. The reason there are so many divorces today is because there is no real level of deep commitment.
Second, you are committing your marriage and your lives to God. This is what Joshua was doing in our text today, and he wants the Israelites to follow his lead. The Israelites had been wayward, and had been serving other gods. When they did this, it brought disaster upon themselves.
Joshua tells them it’s time to make a choice: You can serve the false gods, which do nothing for you, or you can serve the Lord. Joshua minces no words when he tells them who he will serve.
Just as important, is that Joshua not only commits himself, but his entire household. Everyone in his family would serve the Lord; his household would be God’s household.
When we commit ourselves to God first, then we know that he will put all things in proper order. When God is first in the lives of his people, then husbands and wives will love each other and commit to each other just as God has intended. This will indeed make for a strong and happy marriage.
Today as you commit to each other, you are also committing your lives as husband and wife to God. When you put him first, you can be assured that he will continue to bless, keep, strengthen, and preserve you during your life together here on this earth.