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Logan and Emily Fechner

Wedding  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Scripture: Matthew 7:24-27

Mr. and Mrs. Logan Fechner Wedding Meditation

           For our Scripture meditation, we turn to Matthew 7 verses 24 through 27. This is the final section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. It is somewhat of an unusual passage to turn to for a wedding, because we don’t find the normal, expected wedding words here—love, husband and wife, marriage, and yet I believe it is fitting. Let’s hear the word of the Lord.  
[Jesus taught his disciples,] “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
           Logan and Emily, every now and then, I hear a report in the news about a study that’s been conducted on the average age of couples when they marry. A study conducted in 2015 found that the average age in the United States was nearly 28 years old. That’s significantly older than back in the 1960s when people were getting married very early in their 20s, around 21 and 22. The trend is that people will continue to wait longer and longer to get married. 
           There’s a variety of reasons for why people are waiting. Men and women are looking for the most ideal partner, the one person who brings them the greatest benefit for their future. Some people want to pursue their dreams and fulfill their goals first. Honestly, it does seem like it could be easier to attain individual goals without having a spouse and family to care and provide for, or even just think about. Along with that, there are those who just don’t want to settle down. They recognize that with marriage and starting a family, they won’t be able to have the same lifestyle as they do when living independently or separately. 
           If a person or couple has recognized that, they’re onto something. When I think back to when I was in college and think about what I hear in numerous TV sitcoms, the language of being in a relationship almost always comes with this thought of being “tied down” or “settling down.” Now that you’ve said your vows, you’ve tied yourselves to each other, I’ll remind you of a simple truth: marriage changes people. Logan and Emily, who each of you are, the way you act, the choices you make after you walk back down the aisle tonight and especially as time goes on, you guys will be different.
We talked a bit about change together in our meetings. You guys are young, younger even than the old average age of marrying. You face not only the changes that happen as adults age, but there are still changes common to early adulthood that you will go through together. Changes in opinion and views as you think through matters you haven’t dealt with before. There is emotional and mental maturing still to come. Then add on the changes that come with your pursuits. Moving out of the country, establishing a home together, living with each other, one day hopefully starting a family. You find, if you haven’t already, that change is not always easy, and so marriage is difficult, and with every change, it will take effort. 
Yet there’s one thing I hope that doesn’t change. One thing I pray that through those vows you said that you commit to not changing. It’s something that you’ve already been instructed in and something that many of those supporting you have been praying for. It’s this: that Jesus Christ would from this day forward be the rock that your marriage is founded and built and lived upon.
That’s a great thought, but what does it mean tangibly? Three things I want you to try and remember from time. First, it means that you, each of you and both of you, must remain in relationship with the Lord your God. We heard earlier Paul saw the union of husband and wife to be imitating that of Jesus Christ and his bride, the church. Jesus came to this earth, lived obediently, died innocently, rose triumphantly, and ascended to reign. Was that just for an exciting timeline or historical event for people to look back on? No, not at all, he did this to redeem his people. He did this so that all who repent and believe in him as Lord and Savior will also experience salvation and freedom from sin. Because this is the most important thing, because your relationship with God precedes your relationship with one another, do not walk away from your profession of faith, and holding dear to the promises God has spoken to you.
Second, for Jesus to be your marriage’s foundation means that you pursue him together. One of the most helpful and beautiful things for a marriage is shared faith, and a desire to build each other up in that faith. When you make time for reading God’s word together, praying and lifting up yourselves and others before God, when you regularly worship with a body of believers, when you practice grace and forgiveness, and are also able to receive words of truth from your spouse—that is what it looks like to pursue him together. 
But it takes work. It takes effort to set up a routine or to pause in the busyness of everything, and intentionally pursue God. It’s clear how much you guys love each other, and love spending time together and being in each other’s presence. I hope that continues. But I’ll warn you, because God is not someone we can grab hold off, it’s easy to lose our pursuit of him. Yet seeking Christ is the only way to know and to have true love, compassion, and forgiveness. He’s the only way because he created us for and continues to reveal to us what the best relationships offer. Make him a priority, and not just an unseen, forgotten foundation.      
There’s one more piece that I want to offer tonight, and this one causes us to pay close attention to what the text actually said. There were two men. They each build a house. One on rock—meaning he dug down and gave himself a solid footing; the other just went on top of or set it very shallow in sand, which is soft and shifty. One commentator I read pointed out that already here, the actions they have taken make them wise or foolish. That’s important because these men don’t live in an area that gets hit by flooding storms 365 days a year. No, it would seem there are dry and sunny days, plenty when things are going just fine for both of them, but then when things change, when the storm and the flood and the wind comes, one house stands and one house crashes.
What does it point back to, though? Jesus’ first statement, “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man…” Hearing, listening does a whole lot of good for a couple. Choosing to not tune your spouse out when they go off on a rant or when you’re talking about something one of you cares for and the other doesn’t—but you listen because you care about the other. Good marital advice. But Jesus is saying true wisdom rests in hearing my words and putting them into practice. 
Because we have been saved, because we are forgiven, listen and follow me—whether single or married, with or without children, on days when we’re blissfully happy and those days where we’d rather crawl up in a hole and ignore everyone. Paul writes in Philippians 2 verse 4, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” He goes on from there to lay out how our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Jesus laid aside his interests to serve us, to atone for us. 
As you wrestle and wrestle together with your flaws and each other’s flaws; when you see sin and brokenness and worry and pain, remember your commitment this day to one another. As you do that, remember that Jesus also calls us to put his words into practice—words of trust, words of who we are, loved by God to love him, and that in the midst of all the changes we go through, he never leaves or forsakes us. Amen.  
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