My daughter Sarah married Ben DeCelle, the love of her life, on September 16. We recently were given a “sneak preview” of their wedding photos by Irresistible Portraits (irresistibleportraits.com). (All photos in this post are by Karen Goforth, Irresistible Portraits.) As I looked at those images, tears welled up in my eyes. Every photo reminded me of the Lord’s faithfulness in bringing these two together and giving them a future full of hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
Sarah and Ben have a beautiful love story, and it reminds me ultimately of the great love Jesus has for each of us. Here are some truths I have witnessed in their relationship:
The Lord wants to bless us with His absolute best
I remember getting a phone call from Sarah one Saturday when she was a junior in college: “Mom, I have been reading my Bible and praying, and the Lord keeps telling me to break up with my boyfriend [not Ben—someone else]. What should I do?”
“If God is telling you to break up with him, then you need to break up with him,” I said.
We talked about it quite a while. It would not be easy. Sarah had invested years in that relationship. She was comfortable in it. But in the end, she broke up with that young man. Two months later, she met Ben. They fit and complement one another so well. They each found “the one” God chose for them.
Sarah set that other young man free to find “the one” for him. He married her, and they have a beautiful little girl together.
God knows and wants the absolute best for us. Because He is all-wise, all-loving, and all-powerful, He knows what that absolute best is, and He can make it happen—if we trust Him and cooperate with His plans. That means trusting and obeying Him, even when He challenges us to step out and do uncomfortable things.
I shared in my comments at the rehearsal dinner that Ben is the young man I have been praying about for 26 years, and the Lord truly answered those prayers exceedingly and abundantly beyond anything I could have asked or imagined (Ephesians 3:20). I know he will love, respect, protect, and provide what Sarah needs, and I know she will do the same for him.
The union of a man and woman is meant to reflect Christ’s love for us
Husbands are called to love, nourish, and cherish their wives, like Christ loves the church, even sacrificially. Wives are called to respect and honor their husbands like the church respects and honors Christ (Ephesians 5:25-33). In other places in scripture, husbands are told to honor their wives (1 Peter 3:7), and wives are told to love their husbands (Titus 2:4). It’s all about love and respect, seeing value in one another and recognizing the beautiful picture the Lord paints in marriage.
I shared this scripture at the rehearsal dinner: “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NASB). Of course, two of those strands in the cord are husband and wife, and the third strand that holds everything together is the Lord. He loves married couples, and He works to bring them and keep them together.
The Lord tells us we are created for His glory (Isaiah 43:7). In Colossians 1:27, we are told that Christ in us is the hope of glory. In the New Testament the word glory is doxa, and it means glory, as very apparent, to manifest, or give an estimation of; hence [resulting in ] praise, honor, and glory [for the Lord]. In other words, the Lord put some of His qualities in each of us, and He wants them to be seen, that others might be drawn to Him.
When I look at Sarah and Ben, I think of the scripture that says the Lord is both strong and loving (Psalm 59:16). I see the Lord blending these qualities in Sarah and Ben’s marriage.
My husband David shared in his wedding toast that “When you are around Ben, you just get the sense that everything is going to be okay.” He talked about the time Sarah and Ben went skydiving and Ben told David that he was nervous until he saw Sarah’s parachute open. “That resonated with me,” David said. “I know he’s going to look after and take care of Sarah.”
I also shared at the rehearsal dinner how Sarah was sick once, and I was trying to take care of her. Ben said to me, “It’s okay. I’ve got her.” I know he does. I know he will stand by her and lend his strength to care for her.
I also see Sarah fulfilling the “loving” component. She has a deeply caring heart that loves fiercely. I shared at the rehearsal dinner how she found a hummingbird in our garage once. Its legs were all tangled up in some sort of string or webbing. It was very weak from not feeding for a while. Sarah freed its legs, mixed up some hummingbird food, put a drop on her smallest finger, and fed that tiny bird for an hour and a half until it was strong enough to fly.
David shared in his toast how Sarah sent a letter and devotion book to a young mom who lost her baby. We were told at church how that mom kept the book and letter on the nightstand next to her bed for months.
I know Sarah will devotedly love Ben. I also know the love and strength they bring to their marriage will bless others too.
This is just the beginning
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6, NASB).
The Lord did something beautiful when he brought Sarah and Ben together as husband and wife. I know He will continue to work in and through their marriage to bless one another and to show the world how wonderful He is! He was faithful to bring them together, and He will be faithful to walk with them as husband and wife. I can’t wait to watch the rest of their story!
Question: How has the Lord been faithful in your life? Comment at the link below
Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 3:20; Ephesians 5:25-33; 1 Peter 3:7; Titus 2:4; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:27; Psalm 59:16; Philippians 1:6