Monday, June 13, 2016

Shower Time!

When people in our church get married, we tend to throw them a shower. That probably doesn't seem too strange to you, but just wait. A lot of the time, we throw them a co-ed shower, so both men and women are included. That's the strange part...

Not that kind of shower...
I had never been to, or even heard of, a co-ed wedding shower until I came to this church. That first co-ed shower that I was part of, more than 11 years ago now, was thrown for me and the Wife, who was still the Fiancee back at that time. It was a super fun event, and it was a great way for me to get to know the people of the church a little better. The Wife didn't need to get to know them, since she had grown up in that church.

Since then, there have been dozens of co-ed wedding showers at the church, and I have even helped throw a few of them. The most recent one was yesterday, and the Wife and I were part of the team that put it together. I wasn't in charge of the food, which everyone was thankful for, and I wasn't in charge of the decorations, which I was very thankful for. I did get the job of being the emcee, which I think went fairly well, and the Wife asked me to do some kind of devotional. I had never written anything like that before, and I wasn't sure where to start. But after several days of racking my brain, I cobbled together a few of my ideas about how to have a good marriage, and read it at the shower. I am not all that good at public speaking, but I made sure to read it loud and slow so all the little old ladies could understand me. I think it went pretty well, and I even got a couple of compliments on it.

Since I am always trying to come up with things to write about here on the ol' blog, I thought I might as well post the devotional I wrote. If you like it, that's cool. If not, that's cool, too. Maybe you'd even like to use it if you ever need to make a speech at a wedding type ceremony. I'm cool with that, too! I think professional speech writers make about $500 per speech, so just go ahead and wire that to my PayPal account after you're done. Alright, here it is, but the names have been changed to protect the bride and groom:

This is my first so-called devotional, so let’s see how it goes… The Wife and I haven’t been married as long as some couples around here, but it’s been long enough to learn some things about marriage. Being married is totally different from being single, and we would know because we were both single for a long time. When you are single, your world revolves around you. You can do whatever you want. If you want to eat cheese slices and pepperoni for dinner, you can. If you want to call in sick at work and lounge around in your underwear all day, you can do that.  If you want to spend all your money on comic books or fly rods, you can, and the only person you might be hurting by doing these things would be you. But, if you want to have a happy marriage, and I think you do, you can’t be so selfish anymore.  It isn’t about you anymore, it’s about the two of you. The two of you are going to be a team, Team Willis, and teammates have each others’ back, they pick each other up if they’re down, and they work with each others’ weaknesses and help each other use their strengths.  Being part of a team is a special thing, but being a good teammate takes effort. 

One of the most important things I’ve ever heard anyone say about marriage came from our good friend Clint Eastwood, just a couple of years ago. He and Sally were teaching a marriage class, and he told a story about how, when they had first gotten married, he, perhaps unconsciously, tried to turn Sally into “the best Clint Eastwood she could be”. In other words, he thought that his way was the best way. If she did things a different way than he did, it was just because she hadn’t learned his better way of doing it. He wasn’t trying to be mean; it’s just natural for us stubborn humans to think that we know best. Don’t be that way. Accept your spouse for who they are. If you continually try to change them or criticize the way they do things, they will start to get defensive and angry.  Lift them up, don’t beat them down. Accept them for who they are. I’ve got news for you: you are both human, and all humans have their own quirks, foibles, and annoying habits. Get used to that idea, but don’t focus on the annoying parts. Focus on each other’s awesomeness. 

Make it a point to spend time together, and apart.  Once you get married, don’t stop going on dates. Don’t stop wooing each other. Try not to take each other for granted. But don’t feel like you have to spend 24 hours a day together. Have your own interests. Do your own thing. Have your own corner of the house to get away to. And don’t feel bad about it. 

Lastly, spend time on your faith, both alone and together. Pray together before bed. Read the Bible or do devotionals together in the morning.  Go to church. Ask God how you can be a better husband, or wife. And listen for God’s answers. Here are a couple of Bible verses that can help in day-to-day married life:
1 Peter 4:8-  "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins."

Ephesians 4:32- “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."

Bruce & Demi, marriage is an amazing thing, a unique bond you will have with each other, but it’s not always easy. You’ll have to work at it, but if you do, your relationship can continue to grow until the end of your days. Congratulations, and know that the people of this church will be there for you through all the ups and downs.

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