Thursday, September 5, 2013

Our Redneck, Country, First Kiss Wedding

When he said he was taking her bear hunting, but it wasn't really a date,

 I had a funny feeling.

When he told me they sat at the kitchen table and talked and sipped coffee for three hours,

 I KNEW he was a goner.

  Yup, sure enough, 8 months later,
 our son is getting married.

He said it was her heart for God that attracted him, but she is a "good little hunter" to boot. 

Together, they planned a lovely country wedding 
with a bit of redneck and a wonderful gospel message.

It was a beautiful day for the momentous event of beginning  a new family.

 Framed in a farming valley fringed in with timbered hills, 
a newly cut hay field hosted a small gathering of friends and family to John and Michelle.

Our lovely Michelle, adorned in ivory lace and cowboy boots rode her horse to the ceremony 
with the romantic bluegrass music of "Ashoken Farewell."

An honored daddy preached and married the son and daughter-in-love.
It was sooo good, I have quoted it here:

"Marriage is honorable because of who established it and gave it meaning.  God created it; He gave it its definition. It started in the garden of Eden when God said of the first man and woman, Adam and Eve…
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24, ESV)
Marriage is a oneness, a representation of completeness.  But it has a deeper meaning than just our happiness and completeness.  This is what the Bible is talking about when the Apostle Paul repeats these words from Genesis in Ephesians 5…
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:30–32, ESV)
God created marriage, not just for our pleasure and happiness, but to serve as a representation of the loving relationship that would exist between His Son Jesus Christ and His church. 
From the Words of Scripture we learn that marriage, although also intended for our pleasure and happiness, is mainly about displaying the covenant-keeping love between Christ and His church. 
Marriage serves as a picture.  Marriage is a picture of the Gospel.  Where Jesus, in perfect love, lays down his life for the church and the church in turn loves and respects Jesus Christ.  This is what we must understand…
Our marriages are a picture of the covenant-keeping love of Christ and the way he has loved those who would believe in Him.  When husbands love their wives with way God designed, and when wives love their husbands the way God designed the world gets to see Jesus through them.
Unfortunately, many marriages have become a terrible representation of this wonderful thing God has done for us in His Son Jesus Christ. 
The truth is, unless a man and a women have experienced the covenant keeping love of Jesus first hand, through faith in his death on the cross for their sins, they really cannot be a good representation in marriage.  That is because they do not have the capability to love in the same way that Christ has loved us. 
The Apostle Paul tells husbands just how to love their wives so that they are that picture…
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” (Ephesians 5:25, ESV)
And he also tells wives how to love their husbands so that they are that picture…
“For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.” (Ephesians 5:22–24, NLT)
I find it interesting that both these forms of loving one another in marriage are self-sacrificing.  Loving a wife as Christ loved the church is to sacrifice self, to die to selfish wants and desires.  For a wife to submit her will to her husband and respect him is to sacrifice self, to set aside her wants and desires, her dreams and aspirations in order to be her husband’s help and completer.  So, the main love of marriage is that of self-sacrifice.  And without God, we do not do it well!

We are capable of many kinds of love on our own… without any help from God. We can do friendship kind of love, brotherly kind of love, even erotic love (although often quite badly) without God’s help.  But there is one type of love that we just are no good at without God’s help… and that is the type of love Paul tells husbands to have for their wives and wives to have for their husbands and that is self-sacrificing love.  And, without Christ’s redemptive work in our lives we are just horrible at self-sacrificing love.  And there is one whole chapter in the Bible dedicated to that kind of love… it gives us understanding into what this love looks like played out in our lives.

What Is Love?

The world we live in values things and people based upon their usability. Perhaps you’ve noticed when they use the word “love” as a verb, they mean that the object of their love gives them something they want. For instance, when someone of the world states, “I love my car,” he probably has in mind the benefit the car brings to his life, either through its ability to enhance his image or through its problem-free service. When someone says they love pizza or chocolate or ice cream… it is because it brings such delectable pleasure to their palateJ!
And when someone of the world says he loves his wife, he probably means that she brings him pleasure most of the time, she does what he wants her to do most of the time. As long as she makes him happy and comfortable, she has value to him which he expresses with the term “love.”  The problem is, as soon as that wife, or that husband for that matter, no longer makes them happy, pleasured, comfortable, or pleased then they say they have “fallen out” of love.  That is because the world’s kind of love centers on getting and using.
In stark contrast, God’s kind of love focuses on giving and serving.
The moment we look to someone to be THE source of our happiness or comfort, we put them in the place of God. At that point, loving that person with the love of God becomes an impossibility.
In his first letter to the church in Corinth, the Apostle Paul explains to them the true character of God’s kind of love, a love that gives and serves. 
I want to read this to you, because our society today has such a messed up view of love;  listen… take it to heart… put it into practice and you will have a happy and joyous marriage.
"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, NLT)
John and Michelle…
You are capable of loving one another with that kind of love only because you have been set free from selfish forms of love through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ by faith in his death on the cross as being sufficient to pay your sin debt.
However, make no mistake… you are still capable of loving selfishly, and will at times lapse into it… but, because of the forgiveness and freedom that is yours in Christ Jesus, you can, and will return to love each other selflessly.
I know you understand this.  That is why you have asked me to take this time to share with those here celebrating with you… so that they might know that same freedom of loving selflessly by knowing Jesus Christ and his selfless act of dying for their sins.
Now, if you two will stand before me…
John and Michelle, if the solemn vows you are about to make be kept without violation, your lives will be full of joy, and the home you are establishing will abide in peace. 
 No other human ties are more tender,
 no other vows are more sacred than those you are about to assume."

John and Michelle both could not stop from grinning ear to ear.
O happy happy day!

The proud daddy may have shed a few tears as he watched the couple embrace with their
  first ever kiss.

It doesn't get any better than that for mama and daddy.

 Daddy wasn't the only one dabbing his eyes.
Oh no, twas a beautiful wedding full of deep meaning and ceremony
 for two young people whose love for each other is held in high esteem,
 but whose love for Jesus yet higher, 
and this mama was grateful for a lovely hankie given to her for the occasion.

My favorite memory:
A sweet moment together during the ceremony, looking over favorite scriptures from John's well worn Bible
as they took communion together.

The beautiful bride anticipating the day ahead of her.

Our happy family, minus our beloved Scott, who was serving overseas.
It was a perfect day.
A glorious day,
man and woman giving themselves,
vowing  to selflessly love and serve the other all their days.

John and Michelle
August 10, 2013
The beginning of something Divinely beautiful.


  1. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful, That's all I can think to say. Looks like my hope for our last little one in the nest (she, at 13, says she isn't THAT little anymore).

  2. Beautiful wedding !!!!!! Many Blessings to all of the family and the newlyweds! Keep us updated , love your blog!

  3. I have followed you for a long time. I commented a long time ago. This is absolutely beautiful. Just LOVE it! So simple, yet so richly beautiful and you can see their love in the pics! Praise the Lord for their purity and example. Your daughter Anna's wedding was amazing, too. I love when you post!!!! Bless you and your beautiful family. We live in Idaho,too! :)

  4. Oh Julianne! This is so beautiful! I love to see young people who love the Lord, get married to each other! What wonderful promise for the generations to come!

    My oldest is courting now and I see wedding bells ahead - they too, love Jesus and want to Glorify Him with their lives!

    Thanks for sharing the photos!


  5. Beautiful, Julianne. So simply elegant, and so God honoring.

    Guess what, I am in your beautiful country. I arrived here Sept 2 and will be here up to mid Nov. visiting with family and friends.

    I think of you often, dear friend.



  6. Simply Beautiful! I love your blog, so refreshing and beautiful! We too had a son get married to a beautiful women this summer who are both serving the Lord. They lived a God honoring life and met in college, now on to Seminary. They both chose to serve communion together at their wedding service. It was the most beautiful thing, serving connunion was the very first thing they did as a married couple. We are blessed and grateful for the path they have chosen! You have a beautiful family~~to God be the glory! love and joy..g

  7. Always enjoy your posts, Julianne, and this, of course, was no exception. What you posted about Anna's wedding was beautiful, and so is this post about John's. I am so happy for your family that you now have two married children who did things in a God-honoring way. This is our prayer for our children as well. Thanks for being such an inspiration to me.
    Heather C

  8. Absolutely beautiful! It gives me such joy to see other families who truly embrace hearts for Christ. Such a beautiful wedding. Thank you for sharing it!


Your comments and input are very much appreciate
- Blessings!

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