This past weekend, we hosted our third, and most likely the last, wedding reception/rehearsal dinner for one of our kids. As the father of the bride, I had the opportunity, one more time, to welcome our guests and share some thoughts with the kids as well as the friends and family in attendance. Below is the text of my speech.
First, I’d like to thank you all for coming tonight. We are honored to have you join us as we celebrate Kaitlin and Charles’ wedding.
Kaitlin has always been the reader in our family. For as long as I can remember, on family trips the most important thing for her to pack was the latest book she was reading, or in more recent years, her Kindle. Her Kindle cover is frayed just like a book that has been read over and over, and her charger connection is just flat worn out from overuse. Books that would have taken me days or weeks to finish, she read in what seemed like just a few hours.
All that reading soon grew into the ability to write and tell stories. She would often help us entertain the other kids with fun stories while Sally cut their hair. Sally and I often thought that Kaitlin would grow up to have a career as a writer of children’s books. So imagine our surprise when she grew up to be a high school math teacher! How did that happen?
In the short time we’ve known him, Charles has shown a similar knack for storytelling – but in different ways. If you get the opportunity at the reception tonight, be sure to ask Charles to tell you the story of how he proposed to Kaitlin. His creativity and thoughtfulness were remarkable, and as I told him at the time, he was making the rest of us guys look bad.
So, with all this talk of reading and writing, my charge to you as a married couple is three-fold.
First, be a dedicated student of each other, every day. People grow and change, so make sure you’re always up to date on just who the other person is.
Second, be an open book with each other. Hold nothing back. Married life is wonderful, but it can also be challenging. And at those times, you’ll each need to know that the other one is all-in.
And finally, together, tell a story with your marriage. Decide together that your marriage will be a story of love and of laughter. A story of sticking with each other through hard times.
But most importantly – and I know each of your hearts wants this – let your marriage tell THE story. The story that God intended for marriage to represent, the relationship between Jesus Christ and his church.
Because for someone you know, your marriage will be the only opportunity for him or her to read that story.