STEPHEN and LANE
As they become Mr. and Mrs. Kirby
11 June 2011 – 1 pm
Maranatha Fellowship Church
St. Albans, West Virginia
Written and Given by Aunt Yvonne in their Wedding Ceremony
What an awesome and holy time this is.
A time to walk away from your past and into your future.
A time to transition from dream to reality.
A time to let the love that brought you together
now be the glue that keeps you together.
Today, I charge you to remember that Scripture, not culture, is the manual for a stable and fulfilling married life. Scripture says, “God brings the best out in you. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind with God’s Word. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is for every area of your life” (Rom. 12:2, NIV). He desires that you encourage each other to develop and walk in the gifts and callings He has given each of you.
I charge you to pray and read the scriptures together on a regular basis and thereby resolve problems by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus says if the two of you agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by your Heavenly Father (Matt. 18:19). He doesn’t give you a timetable. Jesus also says when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you (Matt. 6:6). Thus, you also need to have your private place of prayer. There are some things you’ll pray for that need to be heard only by the ears of your Heavenly Father—and no one else.
I charge you to follow scriptural advice on finances. You won’t need everything everyone else has. Jesus says, Protect yourselves against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot (Luke 12:15). Don’t try to hide purchases from each other. Don’t give in to the lust of the eyes and the pride of life for they will cause you to make debt, and a borrower becomes a servant to the lender (Prov. 22:7). This compromises your service to the Kingdom of God.
I charge you to honor 1 Cor. 7:3-5 and fulfill each other’s sexual needs. Do not deprive each other unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Steve, I charge you to be considerate as you live with your wife, and treat her with respect. Study her and learn to read her emotions. She is a woman of God—but she IS a woman! When 1 Pet. 3:7 refers to her as a “weaker vessel,” it’s the picture of a precious, valuable vase that must be treated with gentle care so it won’t be broken. At the same time, this verse says to remember that she is an equal heir with you of the grace of life and if you mistreat her, your prayers will be hindered.
Lane, I charge you to show respect to your husband (Eph. 5:33b). Honor him. Cherish him. Encourage him. Value him. Accept his counsel. Overlook his faults—for they will all be minor! (Prov. 19:11).
I charge you both to recognize that marriage is a relationship of two persons who are not always at their best. When you put two people — any two, even two spirit-filled people — in the same house, you’re going to have irritations and annoyances. In these moments, be guided by (Eph. 5:15-17; 4:31-32) which says don’t resort to sarcasm, backbiting, and profane talk. Be gentle with one another and sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you. Marriage, takes time and careful nurturing to become really beautiful. That means learning patience. Together with Jesus, you can survive every situation. “A three-fold cord—Stephen, Lane, and Jesus— cannot easily be broken.”
I charge you both to be completely transparent with one another. When you start to hide attitudes, feelings, purchases, or decisions from each other, the cover-up begins and corrupts the marriage. Remember, your life is no longer your own. By your free choice, you now belong first to Christ and then to each other.
Finally, I charge you to demonstrate the life of Christ. Yes! You do have a charge to keep. A charge to glorify God in all you say and do; a charge to fulfill your calling. A charge to live a holy and godly life. Your success in your calling will only be as strong as your marriage.
Let us pray:
Heavenly Father, Steve and Lane stand before you this day charged to be husband and wife as you have designed marriage to be; charged to live in such a way that their marriage points the way to the relationship between Christ and the Church. May they be filled with the enabling power of the Holy Ghost to live an exemplary life to your glory and honor and for the edification and comfort of all who know them. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.
Written by Yvonne Karl especially for the wedding of Stephen and Lane Kirby, her niece. Her niece is the only daughter of her only brother Richard Hively. She is Dean of Maranatha Bible Institute. Her new husband Stephen is in the medical profession. Here they are leaving their wedding reception on 11 June 2011. Maranatha Fellowship Church, St. Albans, WV. (For Permisson to use this Charge in any form, contact the author at: firstname.lastname@example.org)