“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (Philippians 2: 3 ESV)
My husband Brian and I were married in September of 1984, and I cannot believe almost 31 years has passed since our greatly anticipated wedding day, each of us at the tender young age of 20. We had a simple, inexpensive, and small home wedding and this followed a two and a half year courtship. We were married in my sister’s home who happened to be a life-long and obedient Disciple of Christ and I was just beginning to live out my prodigal years at the time as I had intentionally left my childhood church behind me many years before and I did not hesitate to look back in time. Although wayward and wandering, this does not mean however I was not in communication with Christ during my childhood and adult prodigal years, for I had requested through prayer (and considering I was the child of a painful and bitter divorce caused by my own father’s selfish infidelity) a faithful and loving husband for approximately 10 years prior to meeting my husband at work. When I first met my husband at the age of 18… I instantly knew he was different, for I quickly realized he possessed a Christ-like heart … unlike all the others… and I knew he was the answered prayer from Jesus… a blessed gift…the one I was searching and praying for.
(We were also at that time, seniors attending the same high school)
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4 ESV)
I wanted so desperately to be married by a godly pastor but of course I was not a current member of any particular church so this caused a rather embarrassing predicament. My sister knew of my desperate situation, but to me…. more like a hopeless and helpless situation…. I so wanted a godly pastor to officiate our small home wedding… but I knew of no one to ask. Initially unknown to me, my sister kindly asked her pastor to marry us and to my overwhelming surprise and disbelief… her pastor graciously agreed.
I do not recall any premarital counseling but my husband firmly disagrees. He specifically remembers us driving to a North suburb of Chicago to meet my sister’s pastor about a week before our wedding ceremony. He was a handsomely aged man with a round face, receding hairline, and deep tender eyes which were seemingly obscured by a large pair of dark rimmed glasses. Quickly, I realized he possessed a genuine loving heart, and apparently he also possessed the heart of a servant, for he not only loved God but he unequivocally loved and served others, even if those “others” were outside the walls of his church….outside the walls of his own sacred sanctuary. My husband recalls a one-time meeting where we sat down in his small church office and discussed with him the responsibilities of marriage. I can only assume due to my lack of recall that I was extremely uncomfortable and nervous at this meeting, which if I must admit no doubt had more to do with my proud prodigal status and less to do with my upcoming marriage… for I was unprepared…. perhaps even unwilling… to defend my newly prodigal status. Nonetheless, my prodigal (ism) was not discussed…this according to my husband. Perhaps my nervousness caused this very prolonged lapse of memory but regarding my sister’s pastor I must say… I do specifically remember his huge Christ-like servant’s heart…his beautiful ability to ease our fears on a typically stressful day, and I will always be eternally grateful for his Christ-like love for others, his Christ-like servant hood, and his graciousness which deeply penetrated through my broken prodigal world.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2: 5-7 ESV)
“We never look into the eyes of someone whom Jesus did not give His life.”