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by Byron Ware

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    What do you take away from a wedding?

“The Groom’s cake was great!”
“How much money do you think she spent on the dress?”
“The music they used, you hear it at every wedding.”
“Weren’t the flowers beautiful?”

    So, when was the last time you attended a wedding and said, “Wow, that was one of the best marriage messages I have ever heard! What a blessing.”

    There have been numerous blessings in my life, but one of the most special and consistent blessings in my life has been to cross paths with Mike & Sharon Washburn. Mike was my singles minister in Houston and later my wife’s singles minister here in the DFW area. Mike currently is the Senior Minister of Church Life at Richland Hills Church of Christ.

    Mike and Sharon have been examples and guides as we have raised our two daughters. They have two older daughters. One is in college, and now one is married. You see, Mike was the one that delivered this sermon at his own daughter’s ceremony. (He’s got grit!)

    Mike looked into the eyes of both his daughter and soon to be son-in-law, and told them that the two families desired to give them seven blessings.

    The first blessing Mike said was the most important: The Blessing of God reigning in your home.

    Mike said God needed to live in their lives individually and as a couple. Mike read from Joshua 24, where Joshua was talking to the all the leaders of all the tribes of Israel. ”...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, ... as for me and my household we will serve the Lord.” Now, in many households the only person being served is self.

    I heard Max Lucado speak recently, and he mentioned some wise advice from a friend. He had asked, “What is the most important thing you have learned this year?” His friend took a minute and said, “It’s not about me and it’s not about now.” In too many homes, the focus is about “me and/or now.” Who or what is reigning as the spiritual compass in your home?

   

    The second blessing was: The Blessing of Love.

    Mike spoke these words; “May you give it (love) in abundance and receive it in all its forms. This blessing does originate in the first blessing, God who is love.”

Who or what is reigning as the spiritual compass in your home?
    Here stood two people whose love is heightened, and Mike read 1 Thessalonians 3:12. “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.” He asked the bride to ask God to show her how to respect her husband. He asked the groom to ask God to show him how to cherish the bride. These are key needs in men and women. With some marriages love can grow day after day. With other marriages, love can shrink, become shallow and dry up. Why is there such a difference? A big difference is because we forget to respect and cherish each other. Even with God reigning in the home and having the blessing of love, any marriage will face relational difficulties.

    This brings us to the third blessing: The Blessing of Fighting Fair.

    Mike continued, “May you fight to resolve and not fight to win. May you always fight in a way that brings a healthy solution for both, so that the relationship is strengthened at the end.” How about your marriage, your relationship? Do you fight to resolve or to win? Is there a healthy solution in your disagreements that strengthens your relationship after it is over?

    This is a very tall order isn’t it? What this requires is what Mike spoke next:

The wisdom of Solomon
The patience of Job
The humility of Moses
The love of God
And the Spirit of Jesus.

    The Blessing of God reigning in your home.

    The Blessing of Love.

    The Blessing of Fighting Fair.

    These three blessings together mean that God needs to be our moral compass in our relationships and our homes. We need to bathe our relationships in love, and when we face difficulties together, we need to know how to fight fair. Mike Washburn was speaking from years of experience in counseling and serving couples. What he was sharing with his daughter and his son-in-law, we can all learn from and apply to our relationships. These are just three of the blessings, but there are more...

    ...so join me for the rest in the near future!

    Until then, be blessed!

 
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      © 2003, Byron Ware. Used by permission.

      Title: ""
      Author: Byron Ware
      Publication Date: March 6, 2003


 
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