Who gives this woman?
People have asked me to post what I said at the wedding ceremony when I was asked, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” Here it is….
Connor, you and Emily have known each other for a few years. She and I go way back. In fact, I was there the day she was born! Her daddy was the first one to hold her and marvel at the gift that had been entrusted to us by God. He said some things to Emily that morning and even though she has always been bright, I sure she didn’t understand the words at the time. The first thing he said as he danced her around the room to some praise music was, “Emily, you belong to Jesus“. Children don’t belong to their parents, rather they are entrusted to us by God, as a gift to treasure for a short time. We sort of rent them or take them out on loan. Emily was really expensive. We raised Emily with the concept that she belonged to Jesus we taught her that all of her beauty and quirkiness and all of her talents were precious gifts straight from the hands of the Master and that she belonged to Jesus.
The second thing Jim said to her was, “Emily, Jesus loves you.” It was an honor and an incredible responsibility to show the love of Christ to her so she would know what the love of Jesus looks like. Today I am reminded of Paul’s words to the church in Ephesus that says, “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church”. Connor, as I give Emily to you today, it becomes your responsibility to to continue to teach her what it looks like when the love of Jesus gets inside of a man who loves his wife; what the love of the Bridegroom for His people the church looks like.
The third thing her father told her that first day she joined our family was, “Emily, God has a special job for you”. It became our primary job as her parents to help her learn to listen for and obey the still small voice of her heavenly Father. That, Connor, is all part of your job now to hear together and obey God’s call on your lives.
In your marriage you will both fall short and fail at times. The good news is that when you fall the great mercy and grace of the Lord along with the resources of his unconditional love, will help you forgive and move forward. Because you will have a long marriage you both will have to forgive a lot. I know you both will.
Emily, you belong to Jesus. Jesus loves you. Connor loves you, and together God has a call on your lives and marriage. Because I am convinced of this, it is in memory of her dad, and with great joy that I entrust you Connor with our precious daughter Emily Ruth.