Skyler and Hannah on their romantic, midnight picnic
Today our friends’ daughter Hannah got married. She looked so beautiful in a strapless white gown with a long, white train, her hair in an updo with a few, jagged bang strands on the side of her forehead, with a little glitter and white flowers pinned in her hair. The groom Skyler and his groomsmen in black tuxes, the bridesmaids’ short, black dresses, and the mothers of the bride and groom in semi-formal, black dresses were very elegant.
Overall, the wedding ceremony went smoothly, other than their slideshow not wanting to start at first, and one of the toddler flower girls crying and refusing to go down the aisle, lol. At the reception immediately following the service, I served the punch. It was a unique recipe that Hannah had gotten from someone at another church – a large jug of cold Hawaiian punch and 3/4 of a liter bottle of Dr. Pepper. Adding the Dr. Pepper made the color a dark red, which was one of the wedding theme colors. A lot of people liked the different flavor.
And the chocolate wedding cake was so good – as well as the chocolate fondue fountain for the strawberries, pineapples, marshmellows, and salted pretzel sticks! All the kids at the wedding had a blast with the chocolate fountain. Afterward, Ray, Leah and I helped some friends clean up the church and the reception hall, which is always a lot of work. But we had fun!
During the vows, the pastor read Ephesians 5:22-32, out of The Message version Bible, which I loved. It says:
Wives, understand and support your husband in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out in her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor – since they’re already “one” in marriage.
No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.
The phrase, “Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives” struck me. That is how it should be in marriage – mutually. After the honeymoon, we should not stop “going all out” for each other. Every day, we should find ways to show our spouses we love and appreciate them.
For example, when Skyler and Hannah dated, he took her on a midnight picnic, bringing all of her favorite foods. What a romantic!
We as married couples can go on midnight picnics, too…or find other ways to go all out to love our spouses. Here’s a few romance tips from some marriage websites to help keep your marriage going strong:
- Wash each other’s hair or each others’ bodies – slowly wash it.
- Go out on a date for a malt or ice cream.
- Treat your spouse to breakfast in bed, and stay there all day.
- Build a snowman – or have s’mores over a bonfire.
- Take a long walk in the country, looking at the stars and the moon.
- Go back to the place you had your honeymoon. Have your picture taken, holding hands and smiling. Have it nicely framed for your bedroom.
- Have dinner somewhere different – in the backyard on a quilt, by the den fireplace, or on the patio.
- Pray with your spouse every night. Prayer builds intimacy.
- Kiss for a long time – just kiss!
- Declutter your bedroom, remove the tv or the laptop, redecorate it the way you both like. Use scented candles and fresh, clean, pretty sheets. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary of passion and rest for you both. Cook tasty hors-d’oeuvres or a good, hot Italian meal, and eat alone in your bedroom over candlenight (the kids in bed or at grandma’s!).
- Have a ‘tech free’ night – no tv, no cell phone, no computer. Just the two of you talking.
- Look at your wedding album together and family photos. Laugh, cry, enjoy the memories.
- Take country line dancing or some other type of dance lessons.
- Secretly save money for a cruise, Hawaii, or Ireland, and surprise your mate with the tickets (if it takes a year to save, that’s ok! Just start putting a little money away each paycheck! And don’t spend it!)
- Make a slideshow or scrapbook of your spouse’s lifetime achievements, letting him know how proud you are of him.
- Have coffee together in a new town, and then explore it.
- Buy your spouse something he’s/she’s been wanting a long time.
- Take up a new sport together like skiing, hiking, biking, or horseback riding.
- Do little things for each other. This can mean so much. Ask God what would really encourage your spouse today, and then do it.
- Most of all, just love each other and be kind to each other. Build friendship daily, and keep communication lines open. Verbally express your love and respect for each other every day.
Remember, “go all out.” He’s worth it!