Russell and Duenes

A Wedding Exhortation

with 3 comments

I had the privilege of officiating another wedding this morning, and as usual, I gave the young couple an exhortation, a “charge,” if you will, to send them on their way. Today’s exhortation is something that has been of immense significance to me in my own brief marriage going on four years. Here it is.

As I was trying to think of a word of encouragement for you both, my mind came upon two verses in particular. Paul says in Ephesians 5:31-32, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” What you are entering into today is a covenant relationship, where there is now an actual union of two people. Of course the law and society will now recognize you as Anthony and Michelle Devito, but what’s infinitely more important is that God now recognizes you as such. Your life together now is part of that great mystery which shows forth the union between our Lord Jesus Christ and his chosen people, the Church. And my charge to you today is to reflect often on this union and to consider its implications. For if you are like me, and like most people, you will spend a good amount of time and energy trying to figure out how you can be married and still “have your own separate life.” And of course you will remain separate people, but there is no “separate life” now, just as there is no “separate life” for God’s people, the church, apart from God. When the Church is united with Christ, she takes on Christ’s life, follows Christ’s lead, commits to Christ’s purposes in this world, shares in Christ’s destiny, and of course, lays claim on all of Christ’s promises.

You are nothing like two roommates trying to negotiate over “that’s yours and this is mine.” You are not entering into a business transaction of shared assets and mutual interests. You are not merely looking for permanent companionship while you pursue your own separate dreams. I know you know this, but it sure is easy to fall into it. You are, in fact, becoming “one flesh,” entering into real spiritual union, reflecting the indissoluble union between Christ and His redeemed people. Your attachment now means, among other things, a union of body, a union of soul, a union of name, a union of possessions, a union of time, a union of talents, a union of labor, a union of parenthood (should God desire it), a union of dreams and a union of destiny. And this is true even when you are pursuing separate vocations or hobbies. It is a union forged and held together by the grace and love of our Father God, and so you can have great confidence in Him as you relinquish “control” over your lives and give yourselves to each other and to him as husband and wife. So my charge to you today is to reflect on this union regularly and live in light of it, for it refers to Christ and the Church.



Written by Michael Duenes

June 26, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Posted in Duenes, Theology

3 Responses

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  1. […] 27, 2010 Over at RussellandDuenes, a beautiful and uplifting piece on marriage has been posted. Here’s a snippet: You are nothing like two roommates trying to negotiate […]

  2. I would like to use your Pastoral Exhortation to officiate at my daughter’s wedding since it says so much of what I want to say. Hope that is okay


    September 29, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    • Borrow away. Glad it was helpful to you.



      September 29, 2010 at 10:14 pm

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