My older brother Frank is set to marry his fiance Nicole in just over a month, and I couldn’t be happier for him. With all the wedding planning abuzz and everything that goes along with it (suit shopping, decorations, bachelor parties, wedding showers, etc…), it is easy to forget what the most important part of marriage is. It’s not about what kind of cake is served at the wedding reception. It’s not about how much the bride’s dress cost. Marriage is a lifelong commitment between two individuals to stay together for better or for worse. In the church, marriage is a commitment from one person to another to grow together in relationship with God and each other. There is nothing more beautiful in the world than when two people unite under Holy Matrimony.
My parents recently celebrated their 25th anniversary, and have shown me what it means to remain faithful to each other and to God throughout this period of time. They had their struggles (as any family of three boys would), but love always triumphed. They have both made sacrifices to make their marriage work, and shown each other how committed they are to one another through these sacrifices. Marriage is never easy, but if two people love each other as my parents do it is easy to overcome any obstacle that may arise. Too often people get married for the wrong reasons, and their marriage suffers as a result. I cannot personally testify to what makes a marriage weak or strong, but I do know that with a Christ centered marriage, love and grace will always abound.
When I am standing at the front of the church beside my brother Frank, I will be beaming with joy. Joy for the wonderful times I have shared and will share with Frank and Nicole. Joy for the promise that the two of them are making and the lifelong growth of their relationship. Joy for the love that God has bestowed in each of them. And joy that my brother Tony will be watching down from heaven, smiling. I know that Frank and Nicole will have challenges and arguments, but their faith and love for each other will carry them through it.