Amanda’s Wedding by Patty LaRoche

At weddings, my dress purse contains three things: lipstick, a nail file and Kleenex—lots and lots of Kleenex. This past weekend, I was in good company. By the time the celebration was over, there weren’t many dry eyes left.

This past Friday, I witnessed a sacred marriage union in which Tyler and my granddaughter, Amanda, committed themselves to God first, and each other, second. From the time they met fifteen months ago until this past Friday, they determined to keep their relationship pure. Their first kiss came at their engagement, and their next, after their wedding vows. Was it hard? According to them, crazy hard!

I pray you readers have had an opportunity to witness such a marriage. Perhaps it was your own. If so, you surely appreciated a sense of reverence and knew that you were a spectator to something extraordinary. Honoring God above all else has a way of causing that to happen.

Tyler and Amanda have many common interests. She works in the children’s ministry at church, and he is headed to seminary in North Carolina in the fall. They both ride dirt bikes, golf, line-dance and two-step, adore children and pray together daily.

At the rehearsal, the pastor brought everyone together to instruct us that this wedding would be God-centered and those in attendance would be encouraged to follow in the bride’s and groom’s footsteps and ask Jesus into their hearts. This would be no foo-foo message.

On the wedding day, the four sets of grandparents met at the church 30 minutes before the ceremony started; we were greeted by a scene that silenced our small-talk-ramblings: With heads bowed, the groom and his eight groomsmen huddled in prayer. During the ceremony, the pastor held true to his rehearsal instructions. The entire service was about God being foundational to a great marriage.

The rehearsal was no different. Toasts from the bridesmaids and groomsmen all confirmed what every guest knew: This couple had remained pure and couldn’t wait to spend their lives together honoring Jesus. Even their fun, crazy friends—most of them, actually–recognized something special in this couple. Three of Amanda’s maids-of-honor had known her since pre-school days. Together they had played softball and volleyball, ridden motorcycles, wakeboarded and taken years of dance lessons. Her friends had celebrated when—and yes, I will brag here just a little– she was voted Prom Queen her senior year, the most coveted honor at her high school, but most importantly, that she had grown in her love of the Lord and her desire to honor Him.

The groomsmen had similar stories about Tyler, and following their toasts, his mother spoke. Ever since her youngest son was born, she shared, not a day had gone by that she had not prayed for God to bring a strong Christian woman into his life. She fought tears while sharing that Amanda far surpassed anything she could have chosen.

By then, I had used (or shared) the entire box of Kleenex I had stuffed into my purse. I was not the only one grateful for table napkins.

Like I said, honoring God above all else has a way of causing that to happen.

Next time, I will bring a satchel.

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