This past Friday, we were privileged to witness the marriage of my eldest son and his new wife. It was a beautiful, joyous occasion to witness the union of two great young people. It is so clear that they love each other and love God. What more can a father ask?
And yet . . . I received much more.
I was able to witness how many good friends they have, and what great friends they are. As parents, we have always prayed that our children would have good friends who would help point them toward God and walk beside them in truth and light. That prayer was answered in spades. Many of these young men and women I already knew, of course, since they were my son's friends growing up. Some were his bride's friends, and I have only recently begun to know them. But all of them show a quality, a grace, and a beauty that is obvious. How blessed we are that our son and new daughter have such people alongside them.
I was able to see the love that my son and his wife give to others. Everyone I met had great things to say about them, and it was easy to see that they were genuine, not just the vague things you say about folks when you're trying to be polite. At the rehearsal dinner, we had a microphone set up for folks to say a few words about the couple. It was clear that even in their short lives, they have both had a profound effect on people. Their love for children was evident, as was their love for God. That was a huge blessing to me.
I was able to hear my new daughter's thoughts on the man she wanted to marry, and how my son filled all those desires. What impressed me most was the fact that she was looking for a beautiful soul who shared her love for children, and her desire to minister together. That was marvelous.
I was also able to hear my son speak of five men who had shaped his life. I was in that list, and that alone is enough to fill my heart with joy. But the others who were in that list, two of his youth leaders and the fathers of his two best friends, were an even greater indication of the way he has been blessed. It's expected that a father have a good influence on his children. In my own small way, I've done that. But the other good men who have influenced him are icing on the cake. I commend those men, and thank them for their love for my son. I pray that their children can say the same thing about me.
It is great to have a new daughter in our family, especially one this sweet, kind, and joyful. But it may be an even greater blessing to have my son grow into the man that he is. They do grow up. They go away as children and come back, hopefully, as friends.
May you all be so blessed.