Something took place on December 10th, 1994 that shocked a sin-saturated American culture. I married Leslie. The fact that we got married wasn’t the shocker. Rather, it was how we got married. We deeply integrated our family in the ceremony and we honored them as our dearest and closest friends. We made the ceremony entirely about the revelation of Jesus Christ and His Bride. And we demonstrated for all to see, that God can take two lives, marred by relational failure in the past, and showcase, in and through them in the present, a staggering picture of purity by having their very first kiss together be on their wedding day. No one knew what to say when they witnessed this. Some just stared in awe. Some were actually upset with us. Others were moved to tears and their lives were actually and practically altered. Most everyone was impacted at some level.
That day set a course for our lives that wholly shocked us as well. To us, this wasn’t that unusual or worthy of such hoopla. Don’t get me wrong. We thought it was amazing, but it was just our love story. It wasn’t anything more than that.
Once the day passed by, we figured it would just be a wonderful memory to hold on to. But it became far more than that. It became a symbol of Godly defiance against a system of sexuality that was killing the glory of God in a generation. It became a symbol of God’s Ways that are higher, better, and far more beautiful than the world’s ways. Word spread about this young couple in Colorado and what they had done. Speaking requests poured in. Conferences. Schools. Radio. Television.
Leslie and I, left to our own wisdom, would never have gone down this path. We would have never spoken on this topic. Twenty-three years later, I must admit that if we had just had a wedding ceremony like all the others we would have had a lot less challenge and difficulty in our life together as a couple. For our decisions to be bold for our faith and bold to profess God’s ways has led to a tremendous amount of backlash from a sexually-deviant world that deeply resents what we have stood up for.
So, ask me if I would do it again if I had to do it all again.
My answer is given without the slightest bit of hesitation. Absolutely! In fact, I would take it further, press the message harder, and deliver the power of the Gospel with even more confidence. Because with 23 years of maturity at my back, I have learned something that cannot be ripped away. God’s ways may lead to difficulty, but they also lead you straight into the Throne Room of Grace. They may be attended with challenge, but they are also attended with the comfort, the mercy, the gentle warmth, and affection of the Holy Spirit. To the degree that following God’s ways leads to an earthly pain, it also, to an even greater degree leads to amazing soul satisfaction.
I have an amazing marriage. And it is not because I have had a marriage absent the trials of life. Ironically, it is amazing because I have received a greater measure of challenge due to a strong stand in my marriage.
I know it may sound backward. But, trust me. You do it God’s way and, as Oswald Chambers once said, “He will tax the remotest star and the last grain of sand to assist you with all His almighty power!”
I love serving our great King!