Contagious Love

Jake & I attended a wedding of some of the Eldridge family friends yesterday & it was the most tender wedding day I think I've ever attended.

This couple's journey to one another was most definitely ordained by a Holy God who knows the perfect timing for things such as this. It's a beautiful picture of God's grace & His sovereignty. Kate has waited patiently for God to bring the right man into her life after being devastated by a previous engagement that was suddenly broken. She was faithful to remain in God as He remained in her. As she depended on Him, He prepared her for her future mate. Kate's family have been friends of my in-laws for many, many years.  And it was Jake's Nana who would introduce her to Tait. My in-laws have also known Tait's family for many years as they are all from the same small town in Choctaw County.

I was completely captivated during the entire wedding ceremony. It was not a 30 mintues & out ceremony, but a very real effort to place the Lord at the center of the marriage from day one. Prayer was a central part of everything. They prayed together, just the two of them. We prayed together as a congregation for them. Each of their friends in their wedding party prayed with the bride & groom.  It was absolutely a picture of Christ & His bride. The pastor even mentioned that in order to follow Christ, we have to marry Him. We have to commit to Him. I must admit, I've always struggled a little to completely understand being "married" to Christ. My simple mind couldn't break past the boundries of all that marriage entails to see how it'd be possible to be married to Someone I couldn't see or touch physically. But when I heard it yesterday, I immediately understood. In an earthly marriage it's about commitment, right? About me & Jake. About giving everytime, not expecting anything in return. Loving endlessly, no matter if love is returned. Committing to tenderly serve my spouse through sickness & health. Picking up the clothes & shoes every time if I have to. Doing the dishes every time if I have to. And not begrudging in my heart if I am doing it every time. Commitment is also what Christ requires of us if we choose Him. The difference is that while our earthly mate is imperfect, Christ is perfect & He loves us perfectly. If I'm committed to Him, He is 100% committed to me & will prove His love to me over & over again. But I have to commit. My sweet Savior will not force me into a marriage I do not want.

The vows Kate & Tait spoke to one another convicted my heart of how often I am selfish & how often I complain & how less often I am on my knees praying to God for direction & answers, but rather trying to figure it out on my own. Control & plans are comfort zones for me but I'm finding more all the time that they are also stumbling blocks. And I've found the Lord unwinding my tight grip on them one strand at a time. I am humbled by His gentleness & tenderness toward me as I learn dependence on Him. 

I loved that their friends embraced them, with arms around one another, & prayed with them & for them, one at a time. It was a very sweet time & something I will never forget. After they lit the unity candle, they stood together in front of a couple hundred people & prayed together for several minutes. The pastor turned off his mic for several minutes & prayed with the couple & for them. As they shared their first dance, they didn't take their eyes off of one another. It was definitely contagious love.

More than being a day about Kate or a day about Tait, it was a day about glorifying God & it was evident that was exactly their intent as they planned. I was challenged to look at my life & examine if I plan my days to be all about God, to glorify Him, or if I plan God into my day & squeeze Him in where there is a free second. My prayer is for the first lifestyle. I was also challenged to examine my heart to see if I am doing all that I can to make my spouse more like Christ. Am I encouraging him as Christ would? Do I love him as Christ would? Do I serve him as Christ requires of me? Do I pray for him as often as I should?

When my focus is on Christ, it is NOT on me, & that is when I love the deepest, learn the most & find myself completely overwhelmed with joy. I'm so grateful God chose to use Kate & Tait to speak to my heart. I think that is truly how life is supposed to be--to see God working in every facet of life. But especially a wedding day since our culture dictates that this day is all about you, the bride or the groom. I am so encouraged by their faithfulness to the Lord & to witness the pure joy when Christ is truly center.


  1. Stephanie,
    We certainly appreciate what you wrote. You definitely got the message Kate wanted to convey. Hope you don't mind us sharing it with our family. Thanks

  2. Mr. Richard & Mrs. Lynn,
    You are most welcome to share it with family. It was such an honor to be a part of their special day. Can't wait to hang out with them after things settle down. We're practically neighbors :)